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View Diary: Polarization Gets Personal (187 comments)

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  •  I wouldn't be fooling anyone (3.50)
    1. I'll have plates declaring that I work for the US Army.
    2. If I leave Germany to visit a neighboring country, my car must have a USA nationality sticker on the back and none other.
    3. I'm not ashamed to be an American; I'm just ashamed that Bush and Co. are in charge.

    I figure a Kerry sticker says about as politely but firmly as possible that I actively oppose Bush.

    Natalie Maines didn't say "I'm ashamed to be from Texas."  She said, "I'm ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."

    Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely in my name.

    by A Texan in Maryland on Thu Sep 09, 2004 at 07:25:34 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  This is fairly bizarre actually -- (none)
      They are changing the USAEUR licence plates so they look more like the German plates, but they still make you put the USA stickers on the car?  In the Netherlands, we have Dutch plates and we put NL stickers on our car.  But my husband is assigned to NATO, not USAEUR...

      Anyway, enjoy Germany and hope the exchange rate gets better...right now it's pretty sucky.  But hey, there's German beer and schnitzel and hard rolls and bratwurst...all the things we will miss the most when we leave Europe next month...

      •  From the USAREUR driver's handbook (none)
        From Army in Europe Phamplet 190-34, "Drivers Handbook and Examination Manual for Germany":

        4-4. NATIONALITY MARKER
        An oval nationality marker must be affixed to the POV when crossing international borders. The "USA" decal is the only marker that may be placed on a U.S.-Forces-licensed POV.

        "POV" stands for "personally-owned vehicle."  The USAREUR is my DMV while I'm working for an Army contractor in Germany; I have to pass their rules test (in English, but identifying signs in German), they control my license, and I register my car with them.  I still have to buy German auto insurance, which is quite pricey.

        I've never seen a USAREUR plate, so I don't know if they looked more like North American plates (dimension-wise) before.

        Anyway, even though I'm driving a car that would fit in somewhat well (small Volvo), everything else about it will scream "owned by an American!"  Not that I worry about my new neighbors taking out their frustrations with our current leadership on it, but I'd like to let them know that not all of us agree with Bush and Co.

        Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely in my name.

        by A Texan in Maryland on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:48:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We did have a few incidents (none)
          one locally, several in Italy, before the Iraq war started, with locals expressing their displeasure with our president.  But other than that, there are never problems.
          We are NATO and our cars are registered with NATO, so we have Dutch plates and an NL sticker, but they have changed the look of the USAEUR plates so they look more like the German plates.  Force protection and all that.  
          The American insurance we had cost a bundle to insure our cars -- over $1500 a year for two cars -- a 2000 Chrysler and a 1975 MG Roadster.  
          Germany is a great place to live -- we lived there for 4 years and loved it.  Good luck!
          •  Would that it were... (none)
            Geez... I pay $1500 a year on my single car here and have been quoted $2850 for Germany, 1/4 payable the first day of the policy.  And this is with Geico, which was cheaper than anyone else.  No tickets, no accidents - just plain underagedness.  Sort of wish I weren't going for another several months so I could get over-25 rates =)

            Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely in my name.

            by A Texan in Maryland on Sat Sep 11, 2004 at 06:59:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whoa. (none)
              We did have another car, an European Audi, so our insurance was higher than that before we sold it (the MG is just a toy.  With three kids we need two cars that can carry 5 people...).  We are 40, have had the same insurance co for years and years --USAA, great for military personnel -- and don't have any big accidents, just a couple fender scraper types.  And people here say that USAA costs more than the local insurance.  Of course, that's for us geezers.  But you live in Maryland?  That's a really expensive area too, right?  We paid less than $1000 a year when we lived in Ft Lewis, WA.
              By the way, I looked when I was on Schinnen today (that's the post that supports Americans at AFNorth, the NATO base in Brunnsum NL) and they don't put USA stickers on the cars any more.  They do have USA on the licence plates, but no stickers at all.  Guess that's a compromise for force protection.

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