90% of the time being an American in Berlin, at least for me, means helping an english speaker with directions on the subway, ignoring tourists who say ridiculous things very loudly, and yearning for pizza. While that might be a slight exaggeration, it’s strange what a trip to the US does to me. Although I don’t go full tilt, I do talk more to retail staff and I really adapt well to driving wherever the fuck I want to, even when it’s not necessary.
In the five-or-so years that Stephanie and I have been together, the times that one of us has been behind the wheel with the other can be counted on one hand. What I realized much after the fact was not so much that I felt über-American driving around town; rather, I felt like a responsible adult.
In the six years I’ve lived in Europe, I have not driven even a single time. I usually shrug off the invitation or request to drive based on my lack of European license, which is true. The fact of the matter is driving is responsibility. It also means more stress, spending more money, and being more accountable.
While I do enjoy driving a little bit, I certainly don’t miss it. It does, however, make me feel like a badass American.