Saturday, October 22, 2011

What a productive week!

This week felt like the most grueling week I've had in a long time. I accomplished so much! On Monday I had Riskutbildning 2, or the halkkörning. It's where you have to go to this driving course with other driving students and see the different between breaking really hard on a dry stretch versus a wet stretch, and around a curve. At first it was actually somewhat terrifying, because you're sailing along at 85kph (about 52mph) and you know you're going to slam on your brakes as hard as you can to stop as quickly as possible at some point. It was even scarier going over the hill and down the slippery watery slope. At the end it started to get pretty fun, though. I even did a 360 (accidentally!) once.

I also happened to finally get my SFI betyg, or grade/statement saying I officially have completed SFI with the grade VG for the D course, which is the best you can get in SFI. I was quite pleased to finally have that taken care of, so I have now been able to turn in my application for the SFI bonus. For those of us who move to Sweden and begin SFI within 3 months of registering ourselves as a person with Skatteverket (The Tax Agency, they take care of what is Sweden's version of Social Security Numbers, personnummers), and then complete the course within a year of beginning it, we can apply for the SFI bonus. It's incentive to integrate immigrants by having us learn the language quickly so that we can interact with the natives. Depending on which of the 3 levels you finish determines what amount of money you apply for, 6,000kr, 8,000kr or 12,000kr. I finished the highest level, so I'm hoping to get my 12,000kr (approx. $1820) eventually! It would be rather nice.

But the week doesn't stop there! On Thursday I had my one and only driving lesson. What? Driving lesson and I've been driving since I was 16? I know, I know. But I wanted all the tips a driving instructor could give me to make sure I will pass the practical driving test I have on Monday. I've heard they can be rather strict, so I wanted to see if a driving instructor had any complaints with how I drive. The only thing she corrected me of was not to use neutral too often, they want to see drivers drive more eco-friendly, which means downshifting and using the engine brake as much as possible when appropriate. For example, if I drive up to a light or intersection I usually once I get slow enough just throw the car in neutral for a short bit, since it's a smoother ride. So I'll have to be pretty careful of that. She also went through some other things with me, it was pretty good overall. I also decided to do the entire lesson in Swedish so that if the person on Monday is hesitant to speak English (never know in this country), then I've had practice and should be okay taking it in Swedish.

Last, but certainly not least, I passed the driving theory test yesterday!! That was the part of the test I was super worried about not passing. I have been studying all week, several hours each night in order to be able to pass the theory. It's not at all like the test we had in Ohio. It was 70 questions (but only 65 counted) and many were quite tricky! The main thing is to just use your logic. You have to get at least 52/65 to pass and I got a 58. Woohoo! So now it's just one more test, practical driving, on Monday, and then I should have a legit Swedish ID! No more carrying around my passport and Skatteverket paper with my personnummer on it. It will be so nice, oh, and I'll be able to drive legally here come November. U.S. license are only good to drive on for 1 year after having moved here, so I'm cutting it really short since I registered here as of November 2, 2010.

When I begin a post I never think it will be very long and it ends up being a short story at the least. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

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