Germany you should – a series (part 4)

Ever since the first time I have driven a vehicle through Germany, there have been a several things that stood at to me as quite remarkable.

And I’m not even talking about the highway situation… But seriously though. Sort that shit out. Make a decision. Repair them, or don’t, but choose something. Don’t just start and decide on the fly whether you want to continue, or take a multi-year break, or never continue at all. Nobody likes these perpetual Baustellen. Driving 80 kmh on these weirdly narrow lanes with weird yellow lines going all over the place (is it really THAT hard to paint a damn line that stays ON the street?). Heike’s grandfather has told me for over ten years: “you know son, the Dutch are very good at building roads. The Germans suck at that”. Of course Dutch are good at building roads, the Dutch are good at anything that destroys ecosystems. And when we’re done destroying them, we build those new too. I’m not sure why her grandfather informed me about this, or whether it perhaps had a deeper meaning, but it felt like the warm embrace into the family from his side. Thanks Opa. I like you too.

Anyway. I ramble.

What I was really surprised by here is the traffic light situation.

At least the East German traffic lights have Ampelmännchen. Those are alright.

In the Netherlands, traffic lights usually guide the traffic pretty well. You may end up waiting for no one else to drive, because every light is red for no apparent reason, but, you know, when no one drives, at least your sort of safe. Here, the traffic light situation is pretty bonkers, and it seems to be only the case in the peak hours. If a traffic light turns green, all of them turn green. Like an inverted version of the Dutch traffic lights… Suddenly cars and trucks and buses come from everywhere, and pretty soon the whole junction is filled with a tooting and honking (or whatever the word is) angry mob of German drivers that want to cross over at the same time. If you stop for a traffic light to take a left turn, chances are high that when you go, you will be run over by a lorry that goes straight ahead. So you park your vehicle in the middle of the junction, and wait for the lorry and its followers to pass. In the mean time, your own traffic light has long turned red. Seriously, Germany, why are there traffic lights at all? These things make no sense. I have been lucky a few times that I just barely missed a frontal collision in the first few weeks. Giving someone the green light here does not mean what it is supposed to mean. I am slowly getting used to it.

Germany, you should really fix your traffic lights. I think they may be killing people…

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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