Did some driving over the weekend. Quite a bit of driving actually. CBCC and I went down to southern Sweden to visit some family. About 600 kilometers from Stockholm. It was a good time but I learned a few things about driving in Sweden.
To start off we had some car trouble. The battery was shot. I don’t drive so much so the car had been sitting for about a month in some pretty cold weather. I walked to a grocery store near where we live and asked around. With no luck. None. I even had jumper cables to offer but no one was taking. People were just not in a mood to help. Maybe it was too early on a Saturday and the cold weather turned everyone’s heart the size of a lump of Grinch-like coal. I’m not sure. But, finally, CBCC managed to flag a friendly person down and we got the car started.
Once the driving started I realized something else important. It is expensive. Really, really expensive. I’m driving a classic Saab 900. A decent size car but not huge, and not a huge gas tank. But I put over 700 SEK into it each time I filled up. Which was once on the way down and once on the way up. That’s over 100 dollars with the dollar being at about 6.5 SEK. That’s insane. That’s how much it costs to fill up a Suburban in the US, not a Saab. I’ll be honest; it hurt, like taking a swift kick to the groin. You swallow, straighten yourself and just man up and keep going.
Driving with kilometers per hour is tricky. I kept looking down and saw that I was going over 100. But I had to keep reminding myself that it was only kilometers per hour. Which then made me think that I should speed up because it was only kilometers per hour and I was converting in my head constantly. But eventually I just found myself a nice Volvo to follow and settled in behind him, when in doubt, just follow the locals.
On the way back I bypassed Stockholm to drop CBCC off in Uppsala. Added a bit of time but it saved him a lot of hassle and I ended up picking up a Christmas tree so it worked out quite nicely. But while in Uppsala I started reflecting on my biking days there as an exchange student. It was required by law to have lights on your bike. Not just reflectors but actual lights. I only got one for the front towards the end of my time there. I figured I could see just fine. I didn’t need a light on my bike. There were plenty of street lights to lead the way. Well, turns out the lights aren’t for the bikers. They are for drivers. Those bikers are damn near invisible without lights on. Scary invisible. And since the sun goes down at 2:30 there’s a lot of time for bikers to ride around in the dark. Luckily, I didn’t hit anything. Or anyone.
And I had other things I was going to write, but South Park came on and well, I got distracted. Hence the abrupt end to this.