So much for BMW’s run-flat tires. Believe it or not, I’m actually sitting on the side of the A3 motorway in central Germany, about halfway between Frankfurt and Munich, waiting for the tow-truck to arrive.
Apparently you’re supposed to be able to drive on these tires even when they’re flat… and with such confidence in their country’s manufacturing capabilities, the German rental car company didn’t bother providing me with a spare. Call me old-fashioned, but I’ll take a spare and a jack over run-flat tires any day.
Given what we put this car through, though, it has performed admirably– about 2,500 miles of hard driving in just 4 days at speeds usually exceeding 200 km/h. You see a lot of interesting things when you spend that kind of time on the road, and one of my observations leads me to believe that we are in for a major shift world finance.
For starters, customs agents across Western Europe are visibly out in force, patrolling the highways and major travel hubs. Their mission? Generate revenue, coercively if necessary.
In just a single 12-hour period, we were stopped twice in France by government thugs. Similar to my treatment that I described last week at Helsinki airport, the encounter felt more like an inquisition– where were we driving from, what were we doing there, what do we do for a living, and most importantly, how much money were we carrying…?