Sometimes the German language makes me smile. Take the word ‘fahrt’ for example which means ‘drive’.
It’s pronounced exactly the same as its lower class English brother, and this puts a new swing on everything, particularly the meaning of ‘ascension’
which translates as ‘Auffahrt’ or ‘Christi Himmelfahrt’. ‘Auf’ meaning ‘up’ and ‘Himmel’ meaning heaven. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
(Actually ‘ab’ pronounced ‘up’ means ‘down’ here, but that’s another whole chapter of adapting to your new country.)
Anyway, back to my story.
I discovered the other day quite by surprise that I’d been ‘fahrt’-ing illegally in Switzerland for well over 4 years. And that, in order to ‘do it’ legally I would have to go for a ‘Kontrollfahrt’ .
The implications being that if I didn’t do it right I would have to start from scratch, take practical lessons and even write exams on the subject in German.
Talk about motivation towards excellence.
I decided I’d better take a few ‘fahrt’ lessons from a qualified instructor just to be sure I wasn’t offending anyone with my usual practices.
To be honest, I learnt quite a few useful tips in the process, particularly how to do it respectfully in tight corners or when surrounded by cyclists.
Well, I’m a legal ‘Führer’ now, with a licence to ‘fahrt’ wherever I please in Switzerland. If you don’t believe me I’ll show you the accompanying offical letter I received.
It says exactly what my examiner said. That the powers that be in this country wish me, above all else, a ‘gute Fahrt’ !