Speed Racin’

If there was one thing I was proud of in my 13 years of driving, it would be the fact that I had never been subject to a speeding ticket. As of October 21st 2012, that streak has now become skid marks in my distant dream.

A few posts ago, you might have seen that my competence with handling manual cars was very limited. Now, after some practice, I feel that even Speed Racer himself would dub me the new demon on wheels.

It was Sunday as Yen and I were on our way to experience the wonders of Milford Sound. The day was as sunny as a box of Raisin Bran, and I was getting my two scoops in our newly rented manual Daihatsu Sirion. As I came around a corner, I quickly caught up to the only other car on the road that was undoubtedly moving slower than dial-up Internet. I was going to be hum dinged if I let this car stop me from feeling the need for speed so I released the gas, stepped on the clutch, dropped the gear into fourth, and Nick Caged past this unfortunate rival.

My excitement lasted less than a kilometer as I approached the top of the hill only to find a NZ police car sitting on the bottom of the other side. Like most drivers, the first reaction is to lay off the gas and attempt to slow the car down before… too late. Before I could even let out a silent squeamish “noooo”, the officer had already flicked on his blue lights, gotten out of the car, boldly walked across the road and guided me onto the grassy side.

Checkered Car

As he approached my car, a part of my heart sank. It was the kind of deja vu feeling that I’d only felt when I heard Michael Jackson had passed away…. why Michael, why!? My attempt to make a cute puppy face didn’t work either. This was probably because a) I’m not a hot girl and b) me making a cute puppy face probably looks like Sloth from the Goonies eating a Snickers bar. You just want to do anything you can to get rid of that atrocity.

Officer: “Do you know the speed limit?”
Harold: “Yes, it’s 100 km/h.” —Stupid.
Officer: “I thought you didn’t because foreigners usually don’t (my brain is now banging itself against its cranial walls). I clocked you going 115 and when you saw me, you slowed down to 112 km/h. If you knew the speed limit, then why were you speeding?”
Harold: “I…. uhhh… ummmm… I… I don’t know (shakes head), I don’t know.” —I knew very well why. I was living on the wild side.
Officer: “License please.”
Harold: (Pulls out NZ license instead of US) —Not very smart am I?
Officer: “Since you know the speed limit, you should also know that there is absolutely no speeding on holiday and no speeding when it’s wet!”

A breathalyzer appears to which I start blowing into. Instead, he tells me to state my name and address. Confused, I try to blow-whisper my name… “ha..haaar..haarrrro.” Needless to say, I was smartly informed to just speak directly into the device. He then walks away to check and process my information.

All right, first of all, I had no clue that there was NO SPEEDING ON HOLIDAY. They never gave me a pamphlet with the driving details. They didn’t even give me a driving test. Even Caesar the Ape probably would have been given a license. “Would you like a license Caesar?” “Oooo-oooo… noooooooo!” “Thank you, Mr. Caesar. Here is your NZ license, enjoy.”

What is 115 km/h anyways. If calculated, it roughly adds up to 71 mph. Only 71 MPH. All of that open road and you can’t even have fun on it. I felt like a child who had just been placed in a room full of electrical toys.

After a short while, I was relieved of my idling woes. I was given my $80 infringement, warned of the road hazards to come, and left to speed off once again. So remember guys, if you ever find yourself on a wet road during the holiday, do yourselves a favor. Drive only the allowed 100 km/h, and if you do happen to get pulled over, make sure you have a much better story to tell the officer. Go Speed Racer, go.


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