Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The ONE problem

My life here in Sweden is pretty good, amazing actually. My amazing, gorgeous, spectular, etc. etc. etc. fiance lives here, and I get to see him very very often. I get to spend time with his friends and family. I get to hang out with a nice family and learn a lot about being Dutch and Swedish. I get to cook and bake everyday (which I love). I learn ALOT of new things every single day. I just love it here. The biggest problem (aside from missing my friends, family and home) is driving a stick shift! I HATE it!

The problems I encounter driving a stick shift are as follows:
1. I forget to use the clutch when I have to slam on my breaks.
2. Sweden is full of round abouts, and as most of us know, round abouts are a great spot for surprises (the not so good kind).
3. It's hard for me to start from a completely stopped position.
4. It's hard for me to find 1st gear.
5. My car doesn't have power steering (which has nothing to do with stick shift driving, but it sucks none the less).
6. When I have to stop on a hill, it's SO scary to push the gas hard enough to not roll backwards, but I have to so I don't roll backwards!
7. Not freaking out and letting go of the clutch too fast! We all know what happens then, an embarrassing restarting of the engine, possible honking, and possibly another episode of letting the clutch go to fast.
8. It's a big deal to go just a little ways, even if it's just 5-6 inches!

So as you can see, 8 is a lot of problems to have whilst driving. There are probably more, but all of these problems relate to one another. It's just kind of scary. Everytime I drive, I think, I hope, I pray, I'm getting better. I feel a tiny bit less nervous everytime I drive. But when a problem comes about, I get so flustered!

But, as everybody says, it's all about practice, and soon I won't even have to think about when to shift, why to shift, and where to shift. But right now, driving is not pleasant for me. I hate having to think about what I'm doing at ALL times, even if it means slowing down for a pedistrian, or not slamming into a car pulling out in front of me! Trivial things, right?! NOT!

ALTHOUGH today, I did drive, twice! From the train station and back to the train station and it went well! I spent a really nice day walking around Göteborg, and met Fredrik for lunch at a Japanese restaurant. It was really lovely, other than the freaking guys trying to fix their car alarm the whole time! It just kept going and going and going! The whole time we ate! But I really love living in Lerum, the country is beautiful, but I absolutely love spending time in the bigger city, riding the train, trams, and buses. It's exciting! And I really love seeing where Fredrik comes from, and not just from a tourist point of view, but as an actual person living here!

FYI-I got my first Swedish paycheck today! How fun is that? :) And proves, I really am working, not just having a great time learning new stuff, eating fun food, and drinking coffee!


  1. You are doing your best at driving with a stick. Even though you get easily frustrated you are doing fine! :)

  2. I HATED driving a stick! We had to sell our manual Neon when I was 5 months pregnant because I couldn't lift my leg up high enough anymore to push the clutch down.

    It can get easier, even while you're hating it, I can vouch for that.

    Good luck!

  3. You'll do just great! Once you get home you'll want one. I loved my VW Bettle. It was like a race car. A paycheck! Good Job! Love Mom