There’s another questionnaire making the rounds in blognation, and I found the results to be very interesting. While the idea is pretty simple on first glance I’ve been enjoying reading those posts a lot, not least due to the fact that, as it turns out, the answer to some of those questions depends a great deal on which corner of the world you come from. What’s a no-brainer to you might be a totally outlandish idea to me, or vice versa.
So let’s see in which ways having been born and raised in Germany has screwed me up, shall we?
Have you ever…
…driven or been driven at 100 mph / 160 kmh?
Oh boy, we’re starting off with a slam dunk. You see, many highways in Germany don’t have speed limits whatsoever for huge stretches. I think it’s stupid and high time for a change, but our politicians know all too well that we have a significant amount of speeders who love nothing more than to burn their money on the street, almost literally. Since more than half of that cash flows directly into state coffers it’s also a very serious source of governmental income, so…yeah.
It’s no big wonder, then, that I absolutely have driven at such speeds too when I was young. I think my all-time top speed was just over 200 kmh (124 mph). That being said, I don’t have to drive out of town much anymore, and I’ve also become older, calmer and wiser (I hope), so the needle rarely crosses 140 kmh when I drive nowadays.
…learned a possibly deadly skill?
Does tackling an opposing Football player as hard as I possibly can count? No? Then no.
…ridden in a helicopter?
Yes, in 2008 over the Grand Canyon. Pretty great, although I wouldn’t call it a life-changing experience.
That being said, flying (riding?) a helicopter myself is one of my lifelong dreams – most likely ever since I saw my first episode of Airwolf when I was about ten years old. I’ve done a bit of research though, and unsurprisingly this is something that takes a lot of time, effort and money. Unless you’re really wealthy I don’t think it can be realistically done just as a hobby, at least not in these here parts, so it probably won’t happen.
…gone zip lining?
Yes, in an adventure park on Koh Samui, Thailand. Quite fun. Lakisa even dared to ride upside down, which I politely refused.
My personal highlight in that park was all-terrain quad driving though. Hell, I want one of those things! And the terrain to match, which is the bigger hurdle.
…been Bungie jumping?
No. I would really like to, but I think someone would have to literally push me over the edge, as my fear of hights would prevent me from doing so myself, and I don’t think that’s allowed.
It may sound contradictory that I wouldn’t dare to jump yet still want to, but it’s that same fear of hights which lets me enjoy roller coasters, freefall towers and stuff like that all the more. Without a moderate amount of fear a ‘thrill ride’ is just a ‘ride’, I feel.
…been to an NFL game or Ice Hockey?
Yes and yes.
Being huge Football fans we’d wanted to watch a game live for quite some time. In 2017 the schedules finally aligned and we watched the Giants host the Lions in Metlife Stadium, New Jersey. The game was pretty crap, but it was still a great experience. We’d like to watch the Seahawks play at home in Seattle next.
We live in Cologne and thus have a first league ice hockey team playing right at our doorstep. We’ve watched the Kölner Haie, which translates to Cologne Sharks, playing at home three or four times. We’re not the biggest fans of the sport though, so we don’t go regularly.
…watched Dr. Who?
No, not even a single episode.
I don’t know why, exactly. I might be mistaken, but I think the show was never a big thing in Germany. At least I can’t remember anyone at school or anywhere else I used to hang out talk about it. It’s one of those glaring gaps in my entertainment-education, it seems.
…been to Canada?
No, but I’d like to see it. We’ve already talked about the possibility to make the above-mentioned trip to Seattle, watch the Seahawks play and head north afterwards one of these years.
No. We love amusement parks, but mostly those that focus on thrill rides. Also, the nearest one is in Paris, which isn’t that far but not around the corner either, and it’s said to be outrageously expensive.
…visited an actual castle?
Yes, several. Mostly in England and Scotland. I’ve been to Doune Castle, for example, which is where most castle-related scenes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed.
We even have quite a lot of them here in Germany, and, well…as Eddie Izzard once said, we (Europeans) are up to here in fucking castles. They still fascinate me though, and I love visiting them.
Yes, twice. We’ll probably go again. It’s fun for a couple of days at a time.
…eaten alone at a restaurant?
It depends on how you define restaurant. If only ‘real’ restaurants count, so no canteen, no pub, no fast food place, then no. I think. Never thought about it, really. If you loosen up the rules a bit the answer changes to ‘pretty regularly’ though.
…played an instrument?
Yes. I’ve actively played the guitar for about six years, the drums for about twelve years and a wee bit of piano in between. I can still strum a couple of songs when I pick up a guitar and play the drums fairly well, but not counting small fun-gigs at birthday or christmas parties I haven’t done so in quite a while.
…ridden a motorcycle?
…ridden a horse?
Yes, but I didn’t like it.
Lakisa rides a lot, and I reluctantly agreed to go on a ride with her when we were on vacation in Corsica. What can I say, I really don’t like being at the mercy of an animal that doesn’t appreciate me sitting on it. Also, I totally understand the horse’s mindset on the matter, and I’d rather leave it be so we’re both happy.
Skiing, yes. Once when I was about six, hated it. A second time 25 years later, just to see whether my opinion on it had changed. It had not.
I guess I really like to stand on firm ground, so I’ll gladly pass on having huge, unwieldy planks nailed to my feet, thank you very much.
As you might have guessed it’s a No on snowboarding.
…gone to a festival?
Only single-day ones. The idea to live in a tent for a couple of days, without bed, shower, toilet or dignity…no thanks.
…driven a stick shift?
Again, this is a somewhat weird question for most Europeans as manual transmissions are still the norm over here rather than the exception. In Germany there are most likely a lot of people who have actually never driven an automatic, whereas most everyone has driven a manual. So have I, and our current car is a manual too.
…ridden in a police car?
…driven a boat?
Yes, again in Corsica. We rented a small boat just for the two of us and cruised around for two hours (I think). Unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as fast as I’d hoped – turns out you need a driver’s license for any kind of bigger motor – but it was still quite nice.
I had to google what that even is. Ew, no.
…been on a cruise?
I’m not proud of it, but yes, we’ve been on a couple. It does very much go against my desire to go on vacations that feel at least a little bit like an adventure, on the other hand it’s an extremely stress-free and relaxing way to see a whole lot of stuff in a short amount of time. A couple of years ago we’ve been to Athens, Rome, Crete, Mykonos, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and a few other places all within twelve days, for example.
…been on TV?
Yes, once or twice. It doesn’t really count though as some colleagues and I were just filmed doing our regular jobs, which in my case is handling the technical stuff of radio broadcasting.
…been in a paper/book/magazine?
Not that I know of.
Yes, quite often. My tastes in regard to fish are rather limited though, and I pretty much only eat tuna.
…seen a U.F.O.?
…rescued an animal?
My ex-wife took in a very small and weak hedgehog once and nursed it for a couple of days until it seemed strong enough to go back out again. I helped her a bit with that, but since I don’t know whether the little fella actually made it after that I can’t be sure if it really was a rescue or only delaying the inevitable.
…met someone rather famous?
My aforementioned job brings meeting more or less famous people with it every now and then, yes. If we play someone’s music chances are they’ll swing by sooner or later and record acoustic or at least scaled down versions of some of their songs in our studio. I think the most famous artist I personally recorded was (don’t you dare laughing!) Chris de Burgh, because of course I had a day off when Mark Knopfler or two guys from Metallica came by. Chris de Burgh’s autograph made my mom happy though, so there’s that.