Getting a driver's licence involves gradually progressing through a series of stages until you are ready to graduate to a full driver's licence. It involves:While you're in the Learner's permit phase (where Em currently is), you have to drive with "L plates," which is a white card with a red "L" that you stick in the front and back windshields. You have to drive with a fully-licensed driver in the passenger seat, and that person can not have any alcohol in their system (neither can the driver, obviously). You have to log SEVENTY-FIVE HOURS!! of driving with a licensed passenger before you can progress to your "P plates."
So anyway, all of that to say that Hugh's dad took Em driving in the Adelaide Hills on Saturday, and I tagged along. We started by dropping by Hugh's work to say "hi." Then Em got behind the wheel and we drove to Hahndorf, a little German town in the Hills.
Now, when I've read about Hahndorf, everyone has said nice things about how cute and charming and traditional it is. The town was settled by religious zealots (much like America!) that had fled Germany, and they created a Little Germany in the Hills. I totally assumed it would be like Leavenworth, you know what I'm sayin'? Yeah, Leavenworth wasn't settled by actual Germans. Yeah, it's totally fake and commercialized. But I was expecting chalet-like buildings full of cheesy souvenir shops.
It wasn't like that at all. It really was charming, but in a really understated way. There was no rampant commercialization, no Bavarian taverns. Okay, there was one Bavarian tavern, but it looked fun and inviting! There weren't even really that many shops sellling "German" stuff. Just a couple German bakeries. There was a really nice cheese shop, but I don't think it was particularly German.
We had Bratwurst and sauerkraut for lunch. Mmmm, tasty! Then Em and her dad introduced me to a bienenstich or "bee sting." I'm telling you, these Aussies really know how to eat. Probably why Australia has recently surpassed the UK in obesity (don't worry, the US still leads the developed world.)
|(haha He eats like Ross)|
After Hahndorf, we just drove around for ages, so Em could log some good time behind the wheel. We got lost on country roads (and I mean dirt roads, here) twice, but Hugh's dad's amazing sense of direction got us back on track eventually. He's like my daddio in that sense. You're never really "lost." (And I had my smartphone all along, in case it got really hairy.)
Considering that I don't have a job yet, or any friends, or a car, it's really nice to get out and about a bit with Hugh's family. I really look forward to it. But now I need to get back to job applications!