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Monday, August 26, 2013

Observing Sweden - Culture Shock - Part 1

I’ve been in Sweden six months, half a year. Almost September now, a good time to review. I have made minor progress, have a doctor, and a dentist, (more about health care later).

        Driving is still a challenge. I’m okay, but not really comfortable. I can find my way home from downtown, go the mall and supermarket. The roundabouts still feel like concrete roulette wheels, with my car playing the part of a ball. But I am patient, willing to wait, or even miss a chance or two to enter. I’m feeling more confident and have even inquired about taking the driver’s test. See photo below.


        Nine books: You and I in Traffic, Road Signs & Road Markers, Road Sign Summery (Test), Guide on the Road (Practice Assignments), Home Assignments, Engines Test, and last but not least, Study Nerd (300 pages). The mind boggles, but my Stateside license is good for a year. I have time.

 Doing The Math:

        Even the time is different here. They’re using military time, like airports. It makes sense, but still . . . so different. Movie starts at 19:30. Damn. What’s 19:30? Subtract twelve. Not hard to figure out, but not reflexive. Have to do the damn subtraction.  I want it to be simply 7:30. You don’t need to tell me if it’s dark or daybreak. I’m an analog man in a digital world.

            The Metric system is another change. Not bad to work with, but still unfamiliar. I still have to covert kilometers to miles in order to get a feel for distance. I keep forgetting if a meter is more or less than a yard.

            I know twenty degrees Celsius is above freezing, but that’s about it.  I almost remember the formula for conversion. Is it 5/9 × C + 32, or 9/5 × C = 32? I used to teach this to my high school students . . . years ago. When you don’t use it, you lose it. Easier to go outside than do the math. It’s nice today, sun shining, 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Best summer in many years they say. Global warming?

1 comment:

  1. Six months...

    Sounds like you're adjusting well enough. Keep us updated!