So while in Nantes I have mastered (I use this term loosely) a new skill: driving a manual car!
Last year in Austria I think I tried driving the stick shift 5 or 6 times. I wasn’t a failure at all, but definitely didn’t have the confidence or ability to really hit the open road… or drive to practice. So while I was home in the states, my wonderful neighbor Kathy McCormick helped me out a few extra times to get the hang of it. Really I took a crash course the week before I left for France, but I was able to drive out on the real road- with other cars around me and everything!
Getting to France, I knew they were
hoping expecting me to be able to drive, or at least one of the Americans since we’re living together. We have 2 cars for 4 of us to use. One is a brand new one (we basically drive a new car before it is sold, and then we get another one) and the other is… old. Really old.
We named her Bertha, and what’s crazy is that she was called Bertha 2 years ago by other Americans that have played here! We had no clue until we mentioned the name to our other teammate who has been here for a few seasons. Nutty!
I may have been more scared of Bertha than necessary, she is old but experienced. I drove her around for about a week before really feeling comfortable with the whole stick-shift-on-my-own thing and being able to put a new car at risk. I have done my fair share of stalling and jumping, but the numbers have decreased a TON since the first week I was here- Yay!
The funniest thing about Bertha though is how she starts. We literally have to wait 30 seconds for her to inflate and lift up before we can drive. I don’t know why or how or what, but otherwise she makes some funny noises.
It’s a little tough to see but here’s a vid of Bertha making lift off:
See ya on the road 😉