Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Secret Agent Man.. alias... 1973 VW Karmann Ghia

When my VW finally arrived from Seoul, South Korea to Germany... I had to get it tagged and registered on the military base with the German Government.. since, I am a US Government employee (another fancy word for: school teacher) and am residing and working in Germany.. my car has to pass the very strict German inspections...

At one point, the 'inspection guy' was hanging in the air from my car's suspension system. He told me later that since my car was so old... he was making sure that it was safe. I won't mention that he also told me that he was SURPRISED that my car passed the inspection.. Before I got my car inspected, I was told by many to not worry- because most cars don't pass the first time. Case in point: The 3 year old Mercedes in line behind my car did not pass the inspection.

Guess which car did PASS the inspection the first time! You got it.. my car did!

And the next step? You are eventually (lots of waiting in lines as there are at any car registration place) issued German car tags...

I love my Ghia and I've had this car since 1989 and she/he has lived in various countries as I move about for my job.

However, when I moved to Grafenwohr, Germany, it was impossible to find a place to live close enough to walk to work if the weather turned bad or I have car trouble- which is how I've usually managed in the past and there certainly wasn't any public transportation in the 'boonies' where I was living- so, since I have an almost 14 mile daily commute to work each morning and then again in the evening. AND, then when I found out that they did indeed have a lot of snow.   After driving to work a few times; experiencing all the curves and hills that I had to nagivate along narrow shoulderless roads (there are no shoulders on regular roads in Germany)- I knew it was time to buy a new car that was better equipped for the driving conditions.

Since, I'm single... and as a result... due to US GOVERNMENT/MILITARY rules... I had to get special permission to own 2 vehicles. How could they deny my reason? My car is 36 years old!

I purchased my first new vehicle in 20 years. I bought a Front wheel drive Jeep.
*Yes, I did want a red Jeep.. but, there wasn't going to be a red Jeep in country until the end of DECEMBER and I needed a new car before the snows started.

WHEN I went back to the car registration place on base.. to register the new Jeep.. I soon  noticed that the man at the counter was checking my ID/Name/Social Security number in his computer for what seemed like a long time.. I knew something was up by the look on his face.   And, I really KNEW that something was up when he called a couple other employees over to check the computer screen.  (I am if nothing else... able to notice the 'big clues')

After several minutes, he asked me if I had a VW car by tag# such and such.. of course, I didn't know my tag number- but, since he could look up my information on his computer.. I knew that he ALREADY knew that the TAG NUMBER that he was quoting me was indeed the tag number registered to my 1973 RED VW.

I asked why.. (good question, right?) AND.. it seems that my sweet little innocent car had 'accidently' been given UNDERCOVER SECRET GERMAN POLICE CAR TAGS!

Of course, hearing the above statement and "Well, look at that, (as they check their computer data base) you're our 33rd millionth customer, and as a result your vehicle tag cost will be free for life!" are probably the least likely things that any CAR TAG employee is going to tell you, right?

Ok, maybe it wouldn't be the most 'easy to blend into the crowds' secret agent man car?

No wonder my VW's gas milage wasn't as good as I thought that it should have been.. my car was doing SECRET AGENT MAN missions at night.. while I slept peacefully.. thinking it was parked innocently in my driveway.

Now, if I'd only known...  I could have been really breaking the rules by parking 3 hours in the 1 hour parking spaces while having my tires sitting right on the white painted lines marking the proper space.  I drove for over 7 months with my German Secret Police car tags!

ok, sing along with me now
.. (here's the actual song.. in case you have now started singing the song and you can't quite remember how it goes)

1 comment:

Renna said...

I was singing the song in my head long before you posted the link (which I did not need). That is one wild story!

I LOVE your Karmann Ghia. I love those cars, anyway, and your paintjob is awesome.

Congrats on the new Jeep! :-)