Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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nine. go to mexico

This one wasn’t an easy one like the last one. Or at least it’s not an easy one if you’re starting in Sweden. Standing in the south of Texas would also make this one pretty easy. But that’s neither here nor there, seeing as we live in Sweden. 
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Evelina and I travelled to Mexico to celebrate the wedding of our dear friends Kallie and Justin. (All names changed to protect identity – duh.) It was a ridiculously beautiful beach wedding at sunset. Being in Mexico for a week didn’t hurt either, with a beautiful hotel, snorkeling and Mayan ruins to be seen, fun was certainly had.
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We loved Mexico, and would love to go back. There’s more adventure waiting, seeing as we still have the Aztec and Inca ruins to visit!
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2013 – looking back

At the end of each year I like to take a moment to reflect on a year gone. Okay, no, that was a bold faced lie, sounded good though, right?

This year at least I would like to take a look at last year’s New Year’s resolutions which read as follows:

  1. Paint a painting.
  2. Find a lasagna recipe Evelina enjoys as much as I do.
  3. Make homemade macaroni and cheese.
  4. Bake a rulltårta.
  5. Watch more movies.

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It seems the only resolution I have successfully been able to follow is number five. To be fair I have also completed 3 & 4, but really just in the past few days as a last ditch attempt to be successful with my resolutions. Yes, I deem 3/5 successful. Passing grade people!

In regards to the first two. I’m pretty okay with their lack of completion, as they are both well on their way. For my birthday Evelina got me two canvases and some paints. I have already planned out what I am going to paint and how I’m going to paint it. Half way there. As for number 2…Evelina has exasperatingly explained that she does not like lasagna. She will not like lasagna. As she does not like cheese, which is a main ingredient in lasagna. Little does she know I plan on adding these two uncompleted resolutions to my new resolution list (coming 2014) and I have a little something up my sleeve. Cue evil laugh.

found here

found here

I don’t want to dwell on the things I haven’t accomplished, but rather take a look at the things I have.

  1. Well on my way on learning Swedish
  2. Read Wuthering Heights
  3. Went to Mexico
  4. Read a book a month (despite some delays in posting about it – coming soon)
  5. Own the complete 10 seasons of Friends

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And those are just the things off of my 25 before 25 list. I’ve even:

  1. Planned a Lucia celebration
  2. Celebrated my Dad’s birthday with him
  3. Attended my brother’s high school graduation
  4. Listened to my calendar when it told me to eat chocolate for breakfast
  5. Learned even more about Sweden

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I’d say this has been a successful year.

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driving on the right side of the road

I’m currently reading the books that contain the information necessary to get a driver’s license in Sweden. I need a Swedish license to legally drive in this country. I have needed it since September 8th of 2011. . .

Driver's books

Don’t take my delay in attaining a license to drive as procrastination, because honestly it is something I want to do. Need to do even. And am motivated to do. I was not motivated, however, to pay for it.

I am astonished at how expensive it is to get a driver’s license in Sweden!!

I’m not sure if I find the Swedish fees for attaining a driver’s license obscene because when I was 16 I did not actually pay for my driver’s education and/or licence getting in any way. But hear me out.

First there’s two classes you have to take. Mandatory classes, not like driver’s ed. They’re called Risk 1 and Risk 2. I actually took Risk 2 first. Luckily that was allowed. Risk 2 starts with a classroom discussion on safe driving. You learn how much you weigh going at different speeds.

This is how much I weigh going 50 km/h

This is how much I weigh going 50 km/h

Then you get into a car rigged up on a machine and do a 360. An upside down 360. It went very slowly, and is not at all what it feels like in real life. (Yes, I do know what it feels like in real life.) It was more like a child’s roller coaster ride. It does however demonstrate that seatbelts will keep you in your place if the car were to roll over. The next stage was to drive on a specially designed course. It was made slippery with oil and water, and the purpose was to learn what it feels like driving when it’s icy/rainy/hailing etc. It’s essentially a slip’n’slide for cars. I got to drive around the course breaking heavily on both normal gravel and the man-made slippery surface. It was a lot of fun. After a few laps the instructor brought out a moose. Not a real moose. A moose made of hanging rubber tubes attached to a pole. Then I got to break on the slippery surface and avoid a moose. Honestly, I spun the car around a few times. But in the end, on the last lap, I made it successfully around the moose. It was actually a lot of fun, and with my successful avoidance of the moose I feel I’m clearly good enough to drive in Sweden.

Clockwise from top left, where I drove Risk 2, my ride (notice the epic front bumper), everyone's ride, our instructor adding water to the slip'n'slide

Clockwise from top left, where I drove Risk 2, my ride (notice the epic front bumper), our instructor adding water to the slip’n’slide, everyone’s rides

Risk 1 is purely lecture. I got to sit for 3 hours and discuss with 18-year-old Swedish kids what I thought of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and lack of sleep. My thoughts are that it’s a bad idea. We watched somewhat terrifying videos of car accidents. Learned some relevant statistics about driving under the influence, as well as the fact that you should buy as new a car as economically possible (as these are the safest cars on the road). One might hope it was mostly a common sense course; however, it really wasn’t.

I feel as though I’m well on my way to getting my Swedish license. Just have to pay the final fee. (After the Risk 1 fee, Risk 2 fee, Swedish identification card fee, and test fee.) I better get this thing on the first try. I’ve had enough with these fees.

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