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Gobbles Musings

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About this blog

This shall be a place for everything I have to tell someone or some sort of diary. I tried to write a diary several times, but writing just for me seems useless. Current topic is my drivers license and a future one will be getting my dog which I need the license for. (Now you know my biggest motivation.)

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Our 1st visit - Day 2

Like the day before, we picked her up at the breeder and drove to the flat for a second breakfast for us. No rain that day, which was great! This time she barfed into her box, so we got all fluids we could on our visit. (Minus, blood, she was in heat during September, so we skipped that. 😂) As it was a working day the shops were open, so we took her to a pet store. She was a bit unsure outside, but once inside she perked up again and went looking around. Curious as she is she stood in front of other customers and starred at them. I was like "Kiki, stop you are embarrassing". But you definitely get in contact with other people with her. Her breeder said when she took her to that store she wanted to steal something, with us she was a bit more reserved and did not try to steal. 😅 She got a pack of toy balls in her size and a chewing thing made out of cow skin. We also bought a gift card for her breeder. A old lady came to talk to us and petted her, she stayed calm during that too, no fear. (We also went into a clothing store to look around after that and she did good there too.) One our way back to the flat we went for a walk through some streets in that little village and she was walking okay, but not perfect. (We need to work on that too!) She inspected every house we walked by, got on her feet and looked into the gardens, meet a big dog and did great (stayed calm and ignored him) and she also stood in front of a elderly woman who got out of her car and watched her doing that.   Back in the flat she got her chewing thingy and she was happy with that. Once she was done, she buried it in my suitcase. I have that on video, I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. She did really good. We took her back that evening and it was hard letting her go. But it is good that for her it is nothing bad, she is back with her little friends, and she has no idea that a very luxurious life of a princess awaits her. Haha!  So some things we need to work on (peeing outside, driving alone + walking better at the leash outside) but the important things are there and perfect. No dog is perfect, so I am more than happy with her. Her main job is being with me outside and joining me on activities, interacting with humans. Being able to hold her while talking with people calms me down and makes it easier to talk to them.   Here are more pictures:

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Our 1st visit - Day 1

On Sunday morning, October 6th, we drove a couple of hours north to visit Kiki and our breeder. Twenty minutes before we reached the breeder it started raining and it did not stop for the rest of the day. It was horrible, like really heavy rain. We spend some time at the breeders house and got a collar for her and the breeder gave us also a cat littler box. Everything else we brought with us. Kiki was shaking when we put her in the box in my car because she was so nervous. It was her first time being alone without her "siblings" and of course her "Mum". We saw her earlier this year, but obviously we were like strangers to her.  While driving to the apartment we rented for two nights we thought that she farted because it smelled, well, funny. But once the smell did not go away we checked and she had pooped inside the box. (Good thing we did a last minute change of plans at home and I left her really good box at home.) She was inside a plastic box with washables towels. When we arrived at the flat we took her in the rain to a grass area so that she could pee, but she did not. (She is not used to the concept of going for a walk to pee, at her breeder they can go in and out of the house whenever they want.) I had her on my arm when we greeted the family who owned the apartment and she did great with that. Looked at them with interest but no barking, nothing negative at all. We let her run around in the flat (it was huge, two bedrooms, living room, huge kitchen, bathroom and a spare room). She perked up the moment we let her run around and she inspected everything. She even noticed right away that a clock in the kitchen had a funny tick noise. She was standing in front of it and looked up. Her big sister at home is also really curious, but Kiki is another level.  We spend the rest of the day mostly inside playing with her due to the weather. She played with all her toys and loved the treats her big sister gave her. (Little dried fish.)  We took her back to the breeder for the night and got her on the next day. *** Obviously the peeing situation will have to change once she is here, but that is no big deal for us. No cat littler box here, we are not in favor of letting dogs pee in that and not taking them outside. She will have daily walks (at least two) once she is here and she will also have access to our garden. We noticed when she had to pee, but due to the situation we could not simply put her outside fast enough. No fenced in yard for example.  She shows no signs of fear when driving with other dogs so, the car situation she will have to get used to. Also no big deal. Her big sister also had some problems in the beginning but started to love it after a few times.  All the key things she needs to be perfect in are there. We adore how curious she is. Extremely alert and shows interest in everything. She does everything you ask her for food, which is great to work with. She loves to snuggle and is extremely calm when you carry her. (The breeder said that is one of her priorities for safety reasons.)  Here are some pictures, Day 2 and more pictures in the next post!

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Planing our visit!

During the last two weeks we were busy trying to find a good and not so expensive apartment to rent for our two days visiting Kiki. It is a bit difficult, because the region she lives in is a very touristy area. Lots of people go there to hike or bike so we had some trouble finding something. But in the end we got a flat in a village nearby, about 15 minutes away by car. It is quite huge, so she has lots of space to run around.  Right now I'm planning our drive, it is "only" around 170km and normal people would drive on the highway and be there in under two hours. But not me. Haha! I'm not driving on the highway, so I picked out a road trip like drive and it will take us around 3 hours. After the middle we take a break, but the current plan is that I'll be driving the whole thing. (My Dad is not coming, only my Mum and I go.) We took big sister on a holiday twice, but that was years ago, so it feels really weird to plan all the things we need for her. Because we get our car cradle thing first when she is here, she has to sit in her dog-bag for the drive to the flat. Long term plan is to get a proper box that will sit behind my drivers seat on the floor. I don't want her in the trunk, it is to unsafe in my opinion. Also I want her out of my view, so she will not disrupt me when I look in the rear view mirror. Less than a month to go! 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

A house for Kiki

Last week I saw someone offering a pet house at a Facebook group I'm a member in. He had it for his cat but the cat did not use it. It is in very used condition, but with some paint it will look fine again. And it was free. So today I drove there and picked it up by myself. This is such a huge deal for me. I was extremely anxious, but I managed to do it. I went there, ringed the bell, told him I was there for the house and he carried it to my car. (This was in the middle of the town, so totally safe by the way.) So my dog owns a house now. 😂 She will of course live inside, but I really wanted something like that for her for when we are in the garden or maybe for the terrace. It is mainly a fun thing to have. We have a little house in the garden for us humans and now she does too.  Here is a picture how it looks like new: I sadly have no new pictures, but we are planing a visit during the next weeks, so I'm really looking forward to that and I hope it goes as planned.  

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

A successful sister!

I'll get new pictures of Kiki in a couple of days when our breeder has time off of work. (She has a normal job besides breeding, because she has only about two litters per year and she is a responsible breeder she can't live off of it.) But there are very good news from her biological sister, who also lives at the same place. She won the two required titles, passed all the health tests and is now a certified breeding dog. The two sisters are completely different. Mine comes after the mother, she is the spitting image of her, and the other one looks like the dad. They have a brother and he looks completely different. Genetics are funny. Kiki was supposed to go on that route as well, but because her teeth have a minor (like really minor) problem she is not allowed to. Good for us, because otherwise we wouldn't have her. I'm also so happy for our breeder because she puts so much effort in it and to be rewarded with another top dog is amazing. (She hates having to go on those shows, but it is necessary to be able to breed officially.)

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

She is already spoiled...

Kiki isn't even here yet and won't be for a long time, but she already has a box for her stuff. We have a lot of doggie things already due to big sister, but we need some new things for her. I want to wait buying her her harness/collar and the more expensive things (bag for travelling by plane, car box, ect.).  I want to buy as much stuff as possible at the different shelter events here in our area. They have those flea markets every time and the things they sell were donated to them, so I can justify all my purchases as donations. A win-win situation. Yesterday the was a summer festival at one and I got Kiki is leash and one thing one the must-have list - a muzzle. For travelling it is required for example in Austria to have on with you or in Croatia on the ferry. I have never seen a dog wearing one, but we have it in case it is needed. The leash is red with hearts on it, cheesy as hell. Knowing her character, she would hate me if she knew what kind of leash that is. 🤣 Also today a cool-mat for big sister is arriving in the mail and a rucksack thing to carry dogs in for Kiki. I wanted to have a cheap option already available for visits. We won't used it a lot later, but she needs to know it and for example at our graveyards no dogs are allowed. If I put her in that I can carry her like that, that should be okay. Or it depends on the IKEA, but some allow dogs in carriers inside. Or even if we go on hikes for several hours she can be carried for a while. I really have to stop myself from buying her things. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

It's official - we got the papers!

On June 5th we signed the contracts and paid Kiki. It's official know. We own two dogs, one still here with us and one 150km away. 
With the papers we also got her pedigree passport type of thing. We don't really care about her relatives and what they won or that one of them was at Crufts, but it is nice to see who she is related too, especially because we know nothing about big sister, not even her real birthday.  Her parents are from the Czech Republic. (Mum lives in Germany, Dad in the Czech Republic.) Her grandparents on her mothers side are also from the Czech Republic and from Denmark. On her fathers side we have both grandparents from the Czech Republic. The great-grandparents are very interesting. There are of course eight of them and three of those eight are from the US, one from Japan, one from the UK, one from Sweden and again two from the Czech Republic.   The US kennels are "Dartan", "Rafina", "Halo's" and the one from the UK is named "Bramerita".  Currently she weighs 2,2kg (4lb 13oz) and we thing that she'll end up at around 2,5kg (5lbs 8oz). Which makes her a smaller dog in our breeders standards. Her dogs are always around 3kg (6lb 9oz). The German dog federation wants a Chihuahua to be between 2-3kg.  I also made an album for pictures of her when I don't have enough to write about but a picture to show. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

And she is mine.

Fall 2017: First toy bought at an animal fair. First time held a Chihuahua. 
January 29th 2018: Gave a list of breeders to my mother so that she could call them.
January 31th 2018: My Mum had a two hour phone call with our future breeder.
August 26th 2018: First visit to the breeder. First time seeing Kiki, who arrived there one day earlier. At that time not knowing she would be ours.
May 5th 2019: We got the mail that Kiki would be a suitable dog for me. 
May 26th 2019: First time meeting Kiki for real.
To be continued... Kiki Luna.
Born May 16th 2018.
  I'm not good at waiting for something. We knew that they would arrive between 10am and 11am. I spend that hour behind our window in the stairway. Of course they came at exact 11am, so I waited an hour. Earlier in the morning we drove to a bakery in the neighbour village to get some brezels and buns. We got the table ready and I made sure that her future toys would be there and a fish like play tunnel I got very cheap a while ago. We were standing outside the house when they arrived. Current doggie and now big sister spend the day at my grandparents. She was a bit shy for the first few minutes, but then she quickly overcame that. While talking outside our neighbours walked past and she did great. She greeted them friendly, but not overly friendly (she is not that type of dog who instantly runs to someone). We then went inside to have cake and snacks and so that she could recover a bit from the car ride. She was carried up the stairs by her breeder. Our breeder thinks that a couple of stairs is okay, but she feels like too many of them are not good for so little dogs.  After that we went for a walk. It was a very sunny, beautiful day and also the elections for the European parliament were happening yesterday so a lot of people also walked to the polling station nearby. I can't count how many people we saw. Many who we knew so we had to stop and talk to quite a lot people. Kiki did great. When we walked past a horse farm type of thing their dog came out and we stopped and talked to the owner a quite a while. It was a Collie, like Lassie. She is around the same age as Kiki but obviously a lot bigger. Kiki was not so sure at first but friendly. Jandra (the Collie) got down to her level to meet her which was amazing to see. There was a fence between them and while we were talking Kiki, the cheeky little thing, crawled under the fence into the property and got in to Jandra. It was really great seeing those two together and I think that when the time comes and she will be here for good those two could be good friends.  After the walk we again had some leftover cake and snacks and Kiki made herself comfortable with her little bum inside my fish tunnel. It looked like the fish was swallowing her. So funny and we were really happy that she was so relaxed. We talked some more about the financials, what she would cost and the costs that would be coming up, vet and taxes, stuff like that. We get the legal paperwork sometime this week to sign and then like planned she will live and continue to learn at the breeder. We are going to visit her during that time, in fact a visit is already planned sometime during this summer.  She also met my Grandparents, which was important for me because you never know if they are going to be around when she comes to live with us. My Grandpa is 87 and at that age everything is possible. So her meeting them was a wish I had. My Grandpa said that she looks like a big rat but also said she was a nice dog.  Her original name is "Kiss me". Like that, not translated from German. Our breeder choose to name her Kiki and we are going to keep that name because it fits her so well. Her second name will be Luna, based on Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. Due to her scar I wanted some kind of reference and Luna is also my favourite character. (Current doggie has three names, the one from the shelter, our name we choose for her and the name she got from the people in Turkey who rescued her. I use all three when I'm mad at her.)  We are extremely happy with our decision and she is something to look forward too, especially because in the next years we will eventually loose so many old people around us (who all are childless) and of course our current dog.  We only made one picture yesterday of me holding her, we completely forgot to make others. (Blacked myself out and attached it below.) The pictures look a bit different to how she looks in real life. Her scar is much more visible when you see her in person. First one is her as a puppy. Second one is a picture that was sent to me a while ago from our breeder and the last one is me holding her and she is kissing me. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Her name is Kiki

She passed her test. Her test consisted of spending one and a half hour walking through a very beautiful/medieval city (-> many tourists) city. The weather was very good so there were even more people. She had to do some special tasks, and the breeder said they were stopped by many people talking to them and telling them how cute she was. (The dog, not the breeder. 😊) Her name is Kiki and we will keep it if it works out. In two weeks the breeder, her husband and Kiki will drive to us (they are around two hours way) and then the breeder will judge if she and I could be a great team. Keep in mind that my breeder isn't a special breeder for service dogs, she is just an ordinary breeder, but she is the best. She knows a lot, did a lot of workshops and is very responsible and has great knowledge.  One thing she still thinks about is that Kiki wasn't born at her place. She got her with 3-4 months. So that is some minor thing she still is a bit worried about because she did not work with her from the beginning.  She is a very compact/muscular Chihuahua. Now with almost a year she weighs 2kg. I guess that once she is fully done she might be around 2,5kg. (I do not want a very small, fragile dog, so this is important. I hate all those irresponsible breeders who breed Chihuahuas with a weight around 1kg.)  So next update in two weeks. I do not want to upload a picture from a dog who isn't mine yet, but I want to show you a bit of her so I decided to include a puppy picture of her. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Sunday, May 12th.

I already wrote a tiny bit about it in my status, but I changed my mind a bit and so I want to share some things about what is happening. It could be the start of something great, so like my driver's license, I want to keep track of the journey, which will be a long one (hopefully). Like I wrote in earlier posts the search for a future dog who will be with me everywhere I go and support me just by being there is going on since last year. Or even earlier, in fall 2017 we meet with the first breeder. In August 2018 we meet our current and final breeder, all the others did not meet our criteria of how a good breeder should be. (There is a difference if once for example has over 15 litters of puppies per year or 2 like our breeder.  Last Sunday we got an e-mail. We were on our way to a animal shelter (we are members there to support their work) and I had parked at the side of a road because we were too early. My mum checked her mails and that is when the madness started. My breeder wrote that a dog living with her could be a fit for me. The dog was planned to be a new breeding bitch but she has minor issues with her teeth so she did not pass the medical check. So on Monday my Mum called her and they talked about it and to be sure the breeder will take the dog into the city on Sunday to check again if she is doing fine. If she "passes" then the breeder will visit us with her later this month and that is when I will make my final decision, but lets be honest, if Sunday is a yes then my decision is basically made. She has her 1st birthday later this month, is a really beautiful short haired Chihuahua in beige/white colouring. I have her picture hanging in front of me. My breeder would keep her until we are able to get her, even if it takes two years. We only have to pay for vaccinations and the dog tax. How amazing is she? I will update when I have news, but it could take a while.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

1000km

On Easter Monday while driving back from an Easter market I hit the 1000km mark in my car. So I haven driven 1000km since I got him and my license. Getting in the car alone still is very nerve wracking but once I start driving it feels so much better. Today I went to McDonalds, ordered my food via my phone in the car (the best thing ever), then went to a second hand store and after that to the garden center and three other shops. All by myself. It is the the before May 1st, which is a holiday here ( Worker's Day) and there was so much traffic. And like I wrote in the beginning, on Easter Monday we drove for a longer time (100km round trip). It was so much fun driving along those country roads with beautiful views on various castles.   I kind forgot getting my appointment to put on the summer tires, so I need to bring him in next week. Better late than never and in fall timing is more important. My tires are stored at my car dealer. Worth the money, so I have nothing to do with that. Well and on the dog front: The favorite dog of my breeder is currently expecting puppies.  K. is still with her (the one who would be a good fit for me) and maybe one of the babies also would make a good companion for me. At least the bitch would be a perfect fit, maybe the get her good genes. (And it has to be a girl.) Current doggie still doing very good thankfully. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Driving lessons, roundabouts and fog

Last week we were invited to a 50th birthday party in another suburb, maybe 20/25 minutes to drive. The party started at 7pm and lasted until after midnight. I drove my Mum and it went really great. I reverse parked like a pro! 😉 On our way back there were literally no cars on the roads. I was so much fun driving around town alone. I did some roundabouts twice and we had music on. It was better than the party!!! 😂 There was also a pretty foggy part outside of the town, almost no visibility. Took me a second to find the fog light (I know were they are, but finding them without looking for the first time was a bit difficult). It felt so great being able to drive my Mum. I also gave my mum her first lessons in an automatic car. She is only used to driving manual cars and has never driven an automatic. She is doing great, her left food is no problem at all, but she always wants to shift with her hand. So I have to remind her constantly to have her hands on the steering wheel. Driving alone still isn't really happening. I feel safer with my mum next to me. Totally crazy, because she never says something. I don't need her help at all. I need to face my fears a bit more and drive alone. Also I don't drive on the motorway and I don't plan to change that. I'd rather drive longer on the other roads. Driving on the motorway isn't the problem, but pulling into it. Maybe I will practice when there is very little traffic, but due to the area here, there is always traffic on the motorway. It still feels unreal to drive. I wonder when that will change.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

If one door closes, another one opens

You might have noticed my status updates about something I did not want to talk about. I decided to start writing through this process as well. I already wrote about getting another dog after our current fur monster passes away. I'm all in for #adoptdontshop and animal shelters and our current dog is from a shelter, but that is also the reason why we are opting for a responsible breeder this time. That is another story, but I just want to mention that there are reasons why we don't use a shelter and even the people at various shelters have told us to opt for a breeder in my case. (In Germany no dog is killed in a shelter, so that is also something different.) We have found the perfect breeder already, visited her in august last year and are in contact ever since. She has a lot of knowledge about autism and my problems. I won't get a puppy, the dog will be at least a year old and she put one up for sale we met last year. My mother had a long phone call with her today and unfortunately the little lady is not fit for my needs. She is too shy.  BUT there is another dog who might be good for me. Those are the good news! We for sure want to wait with getting one. Our current dog is 14 and we couldn't bring another dog in. It would break her heart and it wouldn't be good for the new dog as well due to her problems. But if the dog at the breeder would be good for me, the breeder would keep her until it is time.  I need to give the people some fake names, because only writing about a "breeder" feels wrong. She is such a special person with a huge knowledge. It will be a Chihuahua due to the size. It should be possible to take her in the cabin on a plane (8kg limit incl. carrier) and have her on my lap when I need support in public transport, ect...    As for the car & driving: I will write another post about that. No news is good news I guess. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

125 miles and counting

Time for another update. And I converted the kilometers in miles because it sounds so much better. I drove 125 miles so far.  Were do I start? Maybe with last week. We went to the hardware store to buy our baby tree for my Grandparents living room. Only a meter high, but they want it to be on their table so we are limited in size. Due to my Magic Seats I was able to fit that tree easily behind the drivers seat. Driving feels great. Still really weird but it is so much fun. I drove alone for two short drives already, but most of the time I have my Mum next to me. Here in Germany you can make your license with 17 but then you are required to have someone (they need approved) next to you all the time until you turn 18. I'm 27 so I don't have that requirement, but I still think that is a really good thing. I can always ask my Mum something if I need to. Or she can give some tips on parking ect...  This week I'm going to drive alone again, to pick my Mum up from a Christmas party and on Friday we will drive to IKEA for the first time. I'm so hyped! My parents hate IKEA and up until now I always had to ask them to go and I went there maybe once a year. Now I can go whenever I want. Also first time driving a longer distance on unknown roads. I could take the autobahn, but I don't want to. I love driving on normal roads. Much more relaxing. And I still can drive up to 60 miles per hour on certain sections if I want to.  I have planned since beginning my license to buy that big lion on my first visit. Going to use my gift card from the advent calendar (is that a thing in other countries?). You buy the calendar for 12,95€ and there are two gift cards in it who are worth at least 5€ each.  So that is the update so far. And yay for falling gas prices. I paid 1,56€ for the liter of gasoline when I got the car, it is down to 1,42€ currently. (I don't get that gallon thing, so I can't compare it. I paid around 50€/56$ for a full tank. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

He is here.

Yesterday I picked my car up at the dealer. The car was parked inside the building on the first floor (2nd in the US I thing, so not ground floor, one above it). We paid and got a little introduction and then we watched as they basically shoved the car out of the window onto a ramp and like an elevator it went down to the ground. (You only get that if you buy new, with used cars you just pick them up on the parking place, haha!)  First stop was the gas station (I paid 50€ for a full tank, I don't want to know how cheap it would be in the US). And then my Mum and I went on a little shopping trip to various stores, my navigation app said we drove 26km. I reversed parked at the street without problems, parked on the parking lots and went up the ramp from the parking garage (yay for hill start assist). The trickiest thing was getting onto our property. It is a very small gateway with buildings on both sides. I had to turn the parking sensors off because they went totally crazy. But it went well.  Today my Mum is at work the whole day so no driving, but tomorrow we are going to the supermarket again and later to my relatives to show off my new car. I want to drive with my mother only at the beginning. She almost fell asleep, so I guess I drive okay. My Dad is so afraid and my Grandpa tries to tell you what to do all the time, even when my Mum drives, who has driving experience since she is 18 and no accidents... First drive alone is planed for next Friday. I'm going to pick up my Mum from her sports class and then we go to Christmas party and later I drive home again.  It is still such a surreal feeling. When we got home yesterday I started crying after I turned the car off. So weird when something you never thought could happen becomes a reality.  His name is Scottie. (Yes, I'm one of those weird people who give their car a name.) Named after the cat of my driving instructor.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

I own a car now!

On 29th October I officially bought the biggest thing I have ever bought. My car! (Obviously I'm not able to pay for it, so thanks Grandpa/Family!) The car is already in Germany, so they dealer might get it around the 15th November and once they have cleaned, sorted out the official stuff and put on the winter tires I should get it around the 19th. I already have my license plate (in Germany you can either get a random number, or pay for one you want). My initials and four numbers, my birthday and the one from my dad. It looks like "S - XY - 1234".  I had to get the option with the sat-nav and the better radio (DAB) because the model without it would have a delivery date of March 2019 in the colour I wanted.  The car is made in Japan. Which I think is totally cool. A real Japanese car. Now the third one in our family. To bust the myth that we all drive around in German cars. Nope, you pay so much more for so much less. For real, for example a Volkswagen with the same stuff in it as my Jazz would cost at least 3.000€ more. And everything else, like changing tires or service is also more expensive.  So the last wait period has begun! The only thing I have or rather my Dad has to do is figure out the insurance stuff. The insurance runs on my Mum because it is cheaper that way. Oh, and pay once the car is here. 💸 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

It's going to be a....

Right now it is Friday morning, the day after my two test drives. I got the mail that my license is ready to be picked up on Tuesday, my Grandpa went and got it for me on Wednesday. Already on Tuesday we called and made appointments for two test drives, one in a Renault Captur with 120 PS and the other one in the new Honda Jazz/Fit with 130 PS.  First, driving was no problem at all. I felt much better than in the driving lessons. I had no problem using those new cars, took me about a minute and I was used to them. The Renault came first and it was a good drive. Great car, some minor negative things, but overall a good experience. The Honda Jazz was a bit more novel for me due to the CVT. I'm used to double clutches, so it feel a bit weird at the beginning.  So, it is going to be the new Honda Jazz/Fit Dynamic with 130 PS. Driving felt a tiny bit better in the Renault, but judging by the bigger picture the Honda has more to offer. More practicability due to the Magic Seats, more stuff in it and at least in Germany Honda has a great reputation for being very reliable. With the 130 PS it is okay to drive and I need to hit the gas a bit more than in the car I drove during my classes.  There are no used cars around, so thanks to my Grandpa and family I'm going to get a new one. Due to my disability card I get a pretty good discount (I had no idea that car companies offer that) and well, I have the full warranty and everything that comes with it. We told them we need the weekend to talk it all through and on Monday we will finish the contract and by then I need to decide on a colour. My Mum said that if we get a new one, I should pick the colour I want, even if it costs a bit more.  I'll add a picture and the link to the description of the car on the British Honda site (note sure if the US model the same as in Europe) and I will keep you updated about the delivery/pick up date. https://www.honda.co.uk/cars/new/jazz/overview.html (It is the Sports type in the UK, Dynamic in Germany. I guess we do not think of this car as a sports car and this is why they named it Dynamic here. 😀)  

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Waiting for my license & a new car?

Because I switched from manual to automatic during my lessons I needed to wait a bit longer than usual for my license. Last week we went to the driver's license office type of thing and told them to change my license. We paid for the quicker time (a few days vs. six weeks for 19€ was worth it) and it should be ready by Wednesday or Thursday. I can't wait to hold that damn thing in my hands, and not only the paper with the big fat "this is not a license" on it.  Yesterday we went to look at cars again and visited a Renault dealer. We looked at a couple of cars and I saw one I instantly liked and sat down in it. It was love at first sight. It has less stuff in it than the Jazz/Fit, but more PS and it is classified as a Mini-SUV kind of car. Its name is Captur. Way to expensive brand new but it is a car that is often used for leasing and he said that there will be some coming back soon and then the price is okay.  So we hope that we can test drive soon. Right now it is Honda Jazz/Fit vs. Renault Captur. I will take them on the same route so I can compare. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

THE EXAM

So, like you probably read, I had my final exam on October 11th and passed! I'm so relived. This is how it went: On the day before I had my last required night lesson at around 10pm. It was really late and I was so tired, but I was glad that I had this lesson because the normal one in the morning felt awful. Night lesson went good and it made me a bit calmer. My instructor picked me up at around 7am the next day and I drove to the parking lot were the exam started at 7:30.  I was a mess, like a real mess. I sat there in the drivers seat crying, shaking and done with it all. I was able to compose myself a bit, but not much. The examiner came into our car and introduced himself. We knew since Tuesday who it was and my instructor told me to watch out for some things he cares a lot about. He was also quite young, 28, just a year older as I am. He obviously noticed how I was doing and gave me some easy questions to answers for the first part. In Germany you have to answer three questions about things you should know when driving. Like I said, I got lucky and my questions were: 1. Where is the button for the emergency flasher?
2. Where is the horn? 
3. Turn on the rear fog lamp and show me where you can see that it is on. Then the driving part started during rush hour. I have no idea about rush hour in other cities/countries, but it is bad here. The first minutes we had stop and go. He and my instructor talked about cars and jobs while the examiner told me were to go like a satnav. Lots of turning left, a living area with a different speed limit and right of way situations. Then I was told to reverse park at the side of a street. Worked on the first try. (I had two.) Then some roads outside of the town leading to the expressway (the little sister of the autobahn) and I had to drive into it, the part I was most afraid of. I got lucky again because there was only a single car at that time on the left lane and I drove onto the street once he was past me. Because of the heavy traffic, the speed was down to 60 on that street. We drove back into the city and on a street next to the parking lot were we started we did the emergency braking. As in drive 30 (18mph) and on command hit the brakes as hard as you can. My favorite thing! That was the second of the three required tasks. The last one came on the parking lot, reverse park into a parking space like you do at the supermarket. I managed to do that as well. So I was told that I had passed (started crying right there) and also that there was nothing to correct and that it was a really good drive. I got the paper I need to get my license (because I switched to automatic I did not get it right away, they need to make a new one).  The whole driving thing lasted for about 35 minutes.  The only thing I need now is a car. I will keep you updated! 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

The end is near

After another unplanned break due to the death of my instructors mum a possible date for the final exam is too close now and we have to look into the later dates. Being very vague here, because I'm not going to tell when it is, I will only tell when I have my license. Too much pressure when many people know it, even though you guys are "just" online people.  Next week I will have two of the three mandatory lessons during the night. You are supposed to drive on the motorway and on country roads during those lessons, not so much in the city. (Makes sense, with all the street lights it is not really dark in towns.) I'm looking forward to it, it will be very relaxing because that is not relevant for my exam which is during the day.  In the last lessons we practiced specifically for the exam. Lots of people I know failed their exam on the first try. It is quite hard. Not the driving, but more those situations you cannot plan. So I hope for a rainy day with really horrible weather so that not too many people on bikes are on the roads and not too many pedestrians as well.  Nothing new on the car front. Still waiting for the right car to pop up. But we have have told a construction company to build my parking lot on our property. We have space for two cars right now, but with mine we need three places.  So thankful that we have that opportunity. If you need a parking spot on the street you are doomed.  Next update will probably be that I have my car or my license or both but it can take a while. But it will be finished during 2018. Even if I fail the first time, there are still a few exam dates left this year. (I envy every one in countries were the exam isn't that hard and/or lives in rural areas.)

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

A broken car & a test drive

So, my driving school had a almost three week long brake and the day I was supposed to have my first lesson after that break my instructor called and said that the car is broken. Well, so on Monday I will have my next lesson, a week later than planned.  We are now nearing the end of it I guess. There are two exam dates in September, but I don't think we will be able to pick on of them due to the week lost due the broken car. And also I want to go on in the same, slower, way like I did so far. Never change what works. So maybe in October.  I have time, also because I have no car. The market for small automatic cars is pretty small right now. Apparently they are very sought after. Current planned car is a Honda Jazz/Fit. We want to do a test drive in one this weekend. The car dealer said that it is not clear if they have a car available so we'll see if that works out. Because they have no problems in selling their cars, they seem not to car too much about test drives and all of that. If the CVT is good and the traffic sign recognition works I think the choice for the Jazz is made. If not we will have to look maybe into the Mazda 2. Or my original choice of a VW Polo. I do like the Japanese cars more because they have better stuff in them. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Up up up....

At the end of the last lesson as I parked the car I looked to my instructor and he sat there having a smile on his face. That should tell you how I'm doing. Automatic really changed my life. I now have five lessons or so with the automatic car and the difference is amazing. So I guess we are very slowly walking or rather driving towards the end phase. The nervousness before lessons is almost gone and I can talk while driving and I drive quite normal now. Which my instructor likes, but still I should stop at yellow traffic lights and not speed through... Difficult for him I guess, it shows me being very comfortable to drive and of course almost everyone drives like I do but I shouldn't drive like that during the exam. The "100km/h race street" is my favourite part now. There is a traffic light at the beginning, and after that a long almost straight road with the speed limit of 100. Well, I tried out what my 200 PS car can do and how a "kick down" feels like. I loved it!  My Grandpa is going to join us in the next lesson. I'm quite nervous having him as a passenger, so good practice for the final exam.  Car wise we have found a model I really like and well, my instructor (who knows my Grandpa since a long long time) will support me in my "Grandpa buys his only Granddaughter a car"-project.  I have my eyes on a VW Up "high up" model. Not brand new like I wrote before, but not too old. Maybe a car that was used to show it to people or something like that.  Plan B works!

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Car update

So as of today our plan looks like this: We are going to keep our two cars (manual ones) and once I have my license, we will buy a car with automatic for me. A used one, not new. Not too old, but also not almost brand new, you get the point. It should have some features, not too many kilometres and a few other things. As automatic cars in Germany are not the norm, the prices are higher and you get less cars. But we have already looked, and there are some who are possible. So the decision to go on with automatic is 99% made.  Next lesson hopefully tomorrow, we weren't able to call my instructor yet. 

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

That's what I call driving!

Quick update: While the final decision will be made on Monday after another lesson, my heart is already set on switching to Automatic. That means getting another car. But my Grandpa said he will help me fund it.  Driving today was so so much better. I was at the right speed most of the time (50 when there is 50 allowed and not 40 like before), I drove quicker into roads. I felt better. It was fun to drive and for the first time I was pleased with myself after a lesson. My instructor said that in the future, there will only be Automatic cars. And even now, many upper class cars are Automatic. (Given that electric cars are also Automatic...) He prefers driving in Automatic as well. It is more relaxing. And he said that sometimes it is quite nice not being able to drive every car. EDIT: I blame my Autism for the problems with a manual car. Too much to do at once.

Gobbles

Gobbles

 

Stalling

Nothing new to report driving wise. I still taking my lessons. Still in the norm with how many I have. (Saying that, because there can be a huge difference between cities and countries. Traffic here is hell.) I will have my 30th lesson this week. 30 is the average, including especially young men who drove illegally before.  My instructor explained that I'm currently near the peak of the mountain, waiting for the last improvement. Still struggling quite a lot with shifting. It should be a bit better by now and it harms other parts of driving because I need so much attention for it. At least that is our assumption. Plan is to take two or three lessons in an Automatic car to see if that is my problem. If it is, we know what we have to train hard. Because in the end, I want my license with my manual car. I want to be able to drive every car, not just automatic ones. I'm very good in a couple of other things, emergency braking or knowing the rules. So it is not all bad.  Taking the lessons in the other car is still training. It has more power (200 PS) and is a bit smaller. I'm looking forward to driving it. Traffic is the same, so I still learn, just one less thing to worry about. But in the end, I need to figure out driving a manual car and my instructor believes that I can do it.

Gobbles

Gobbles

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