Get a Car and Honk!

21 Jun

I miss driving. In my hometown the first thing you do when you turn 17 is to go to the next driving school (choices are more or less limited) and apply for driving lessons. It is impossible not to have a drivers license, otherwise you are caged in Gelsenkirchen, with very limited possibilities in shopping, going out or just having a nice sunday funday roadtrip.
Since I moved to Berlin, I have barely touched a steering wheel. Buying crates of water (or beer) is basically impossible, as well as going to IKEA in order to buy some new nick-nacks for my flat.
Last week, after being in a different part of town, I found myself desperate, no trains nor busses operating and my only choice being the cab. Not only the money spent for nothing made me angry, but also an incident in the cab…

While sitting in the cab and listening to the radio, I heard a newsfeed on a women from Saudi-Arabia who wanted to drive her own car, which she did, posted it on youtube and got arrested for it.

Just so you know, women in Saudi-Arabia are not allowed to drive a car. This incident provoked a protest via internet called Women2drive on twitter and on facebook. They started a world wide protest, where people all over the world should honk for the right of Saudi-Arab women to finally be able to not only stand in front, but in the car operating the steering wheel (for further information see also here and here and here).

Back to my story, after hearing it on the radio I started talking to my cab driver, trying to convince him to push the honk. He refused. I went on arguing and I really did not get why he did not want to do it. You know, I am not the next Alice Schwarzer or so, but this really made angry. He was close to kicking me out, therefore I stopped at some point and did not give him any tip (espacially since tip is not my second name). Anywho, after leaving the cab I could not calm down and kept on moaning and swearing to a friend about firstly the taxi driver, secondly his attitude and finally on not having a car.
After making fun of me for a few minutes, he starting telling me something about “carsharing” and “flinkster“.

In order to keep it short and simple, it is a way of “lending” a car for a certain period and amount of money via internet or even Iphone. You have to register and when you have your flinkster membership-card, you can, for example, check where the next free car is (in my case, it was Kottbusser Tor,a smart, price:1,50 €) and take it. How great is that?
After searching the web for some more information I found a funny comment on a blog why carsharing is not an option for “Bloggi”.
You really should listen to it, I never actually came across a blog that has audio blogs (similar to a radio station).

Check it out: carsharing-der-bahn-die-ubliche-gier-und-das

Furthermore, I also found an article from a guy in Ulm that tried carsharing out and commented on it. Here!

Another article on for DriveNow in Munich was published in order to present what,how and if it works, though there is no real criticism nor opinion announced.
One could argue wether this idea is profitable, too expensive or just simply great. But in my case, get a car and honk!
For you, for the women or just for fun!

4 Responses to “Get a Car and Honk!”

  1. Sophie June 23, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Hey Kristina!

    I love driving!

    I got my driving license when I was 17, being a part of this special programme where one was only allowed to drive when a parent or another person inscribed on my lovely pink driving lincense sat next to me..

    A funny little detail is that you need to be 30 years to be such an accompanying person, but my driving teacher was only 25 years old….so one can be a driving teacher but not allowed to participate in this programme.

    strange… 🙂

    But actually, the idea of sharing your car or using the so-called ‘Mitfahrgelegendheit’ is a good one. I always do this when I am being a groupie and follow my favourite band’s tour through Germany. We are four girls and one car. Definitly cheaper than takiing the Deutsche Bahn..

    Thank You!


  2. Stephanie Krogmann June 24, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Hey Kristina,

    I know excactly what you are tlaking about when saying that you miss driving. The first thing I do when visiting my parents is driving around and just ebjoying. 😀

    However, in Berlin a car is not an option for me, as I always go by subway. This is the cheapest and easiest way to get around. (Also, it is really hard to find a parking lot sometimes ). In order to go home to my family, I use Mitfahrgelegenheiten like Sophie though. This is the cheapest option. One just has to find a way ;).

    I will definitely check out carsharing which might be an interesting option when going to IKEA the next time.

    I really like that in your post you combined an interesting option for us with an serious political issue that is important for the rights of woman. We in our developed western world can hardly imagine that there are still woman that have no rights! Check out this article where 10 limitations for arabian women are presented:

    Thank you very much for that interesting post.

  3. lisaneubert June 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Hey Kristina,

    driving is absolutely necessary nowadays. Although I do not like driving, I think it is obvoius that EVERYBODY can drive, women included, of course! For me, it is not understandable why driving in e.g. Saudi Arabia is not allowed for women! We are living in the 21st century, so in fact there just even not be a discussion about this.
    I have never heard about “carsharing”, but it seems to be again a great idea! But how does it work exactely? I mean, do you just have to have access to the Internet? And the point about the price – 1.5€ per hour right? I mean, that would be pretty cheap! Amazing how people came to those ideas which are very helpful, if you do not want to pay such expensive cabs!

  4. kiki June 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    hey lisa,
    well,if you have a bahncard you can get a flinkster card for free (if not you have to pay 25 euros). You actually need to have an internet access in order to see where cars are and where you can pick one up. You are paying 1,50 euro per hour and 0.17 euros per km. So it is just perfect for short trips or rides.
    here you can check out how it exactly works and maybe even get a flinkster membership!
    thanks for your comment!

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