I just want to thank everyone for all of the support the past few weeks! Today I have officially obtained a Swedish driver’s license! 😀
When I interviewed for the position I am starting on Saturday, the interviewer told me that having a Swedish license is mandatory. Later I learned that this season I don’t really need one after all, but at that point I had already started my 2-3 week endeavor, so the only thing that made sense was to keep going.
When I told the driving school that I needed my license by this week, they looked shocked and told me that they didn’t really think it was possible. The education one acquires when getting a Swedish license is among the best and most strict in the world, and even though I had driven (automatic) in the States I felt almost like I was starting from scratch. I had to learn to drive a manual, study for the written theory test and take a plethora of mandatory 1-hour practice tests covering anything from the hydraulic braking system to “If you’re going 90 kph, at which speed would you hit a moose you spotted 45 meters away?” – An all-day endeavor every day until it was time to take the written test. I also had to attend a 4-hour course about risks, a 4-hour car skid training course (funnn!) and lastly pass the driving test.
In order to pass the final driving test you also have to be proficient at Eco-driving – something I never even knew existed before coming here! That and the similarities and differences between American and Swedish traffic laws made something that could have been extremely dull and tedious pretty interesting instead!
Not only that, but thanks to the theory book written in British English coupled with online tests in Swedish I walked away a better Swedish speaker who thinks 50% in Swedish, 30% in American English, and 20% in British English (although I’m sure some of it has to do with my *small* obsession with Sherlock and Doctor Who).
The day before my driving test I fell very ill and my best friend who was in town for the weekend to help me practice drive ended up taking me to the hospital and doctor instead! After that I was in bed for almost a week and could not attempt the driving test until afterwards (today). There was only one available slot this week for taking my driving test, and considering that and the fact that I am leaving for my new job in Ibiza on Saturday, this was my one chance to do it!
It still has not hit me yet, but I did it and I am so incredibly happy and relieved! 😀
I am so thankful for the kind words and for those who believed in me, and for my best friend who made a long drive two weekends in an effort to help me practice drive. ❤ I am also tremendously grateful for the employees at the driving school – they were skeptical as to whether or not it would be possible, but they still gave me a chance to try, and for that I am so thankful!
I am also so thankful for the knowledgable and fun driving instructors, especially the one I drove around with the most – Ronny. I became so nervous when the driving test approached, but he kept ensuring me that it would be just fine! 🙂 Oh, and his classic, “When you get your license tomorrow you can drive me and my wife to the pub! Nah, I’m just kidding, but when you get back from Ibiza you can swing by and have some coffee or tea with us!” made my day. Today I stuck around and waited for him to return from one of his lessons so I could tell him I passed and when I stuck out my hand for a handshake he demanded a hug and said that it has been so much fun and that he’s almost sad I have my license now. I love people so much! ❤