The good thing about getting stuck in traffic jams is that other drivers' reckless speed is not a problem. I just remained in my lane, stayed a safe distance from the guy in front of me, and kept an eye out for the crazies.
The drive home was partly after dark but pretty uneventful. There was one Stau, but it didn't last too long. I saw no wild pigs dashing about on the Autobahn, so that was good, too. I did hear on the Verkehrsfunk that drivers needed to be careful on another Autobahn because there was a Schrank lying on the road. That's a cabinet, folks. There was a cabinet lying on the freeway.
I actually checked off several items from my driving to-do list:
Driving back from Esslingen
or and from Esslingen on a week day
Driving into and parking in a parking garage
Driving out of a parking garage
Driving to and from a place other than Esslingen
Driving in a big city (Esslingen has only 90,000 inhabitants)
Driving with the radio on or a passenger talking
Overtaking a slow car on a two-lane road (I have already overtaken a tractor and a bicycle…)
I did overtake cars on the Autobahn, but that wasn't on my list. The fastest I drove was 130 km/h (80 mph), but that was only briefly. Even on the Autobahn, I just don't see any reason for me to drive faster than 120 (74.5 mph). I mean, there could be a cabinet lying on the freeway, and I have a better chance of avoiding slamming into it if I'm not driving faster than my eyes can focus. And yes, German readers, I stay in the right lane except when overtaking.
Yeah, that's a little bit what it feels like. It only took me two years, nine months, two weeks, and five days to gather the nerve to drive 46 miles from home. And back. Boo YAH!