Observing Sweden – 20 April 2013

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 They seem surprisingly pro American here, an almost admiration. I’ve seen U.S. flags on cell phone covers, Levi jackets (which cost twice as much here) pillows . . . even shoes.

Almost everyone speaks English and often German as well. These skills are learned in grade school.I worry about my ability to speak Swedish, but my son in law has taught me the most important swear words. They seem the easiest to pronounce.

More on moose lights:

I was looking at one of the many cars with moose lights which always stick out further than the bumpers. I asked a friend how in the world the kept from being broken when parallel parking.

“There is no parallel parking in Sweden,” I was told. Seems like a good idea.

The snow here has now totally disappeared. Days have been sunny since our arrival. Last week all our neighbors were removing their studded tires. Tires must be switched on a certain day, both spring and winter. Failure to do so results in a huge fine. They are big on huge fines here.

My son in law just got a 4000 kroner speeding ticket- a little over $600. His first speeding ticket ever; he is forty. There is no recourse, no traffic court or driving school options. I worry about driving here. Lots of funny laws and speed limits are weird. 40 MPH on most four lane highways. 50 on freeways. On rare sections of road 60 MPH is permitted.

Enormous roundabouts are everywhere and eliminate the need for traffic lights, but you have to think fast both entering and exiting. I am not good at thinking fast.

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About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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11 Responses to Observing Sweden – 20 April 2013

  1. I enjoy reading of your new adventures. Roundabouts scare me too.

  2. mariadesuede says:

    20 km/h, 30 Km/h, 40 km/h and 45 km/h…
    50 km/h – 70 km/h – 90 km/h – 110 km/h – 130 km/h (110km/h if it’s raining on the highways) here in France… But one thing you should know if you visit France, nobody respect this speed limits… On highways the French are often driving around 150 km/h… Autobahn is a better place for them… In Sweden you have also 80 km/h, which the Parisian mayor want to have on the “péripherique”, the ring way around Paris…

    In germany you have no limit on Autobahn, but rules to follow…

    But here you’ll see “Union Jack” everywhere, which looks better than the american flag, more graphic… A Mini with “Union Jack” on the roof looks nice… But the best one is of course the French! 😉 “Liberté, égalité et fraternité”…

    Ha en trevlig helg! (Have a nice week end)

  3. Does all this slow driving mean very few accidents? And do they use miles instead of kilometers?
    If they do I envy you!
    We are 50K in built-up areas, 80K’s in most places, and 100Ks on the motorways…and have LOTS of accidents – mostly young speedsters or drunks!!!

    • bldodson says:

      Valerie,
      Ir’s kilometers here. I really know about here. I should find out how that is.
      Alcohol limit here is .2 It was .8 in the States. People I know here don’t drive after even just one beer, but I don’t know many people.

  4. authorjim says:

    Hey, I’m enjoying these comments about places i have never been. Bruce, I admire your courage in moving to another country and doing what has to be done to live there.

  5. catnipoflife says:

    You are a brave soul, Bruce! May the force be with you 🙂

  6. I wouldn’t mind the slower speeds. I would if Sweden was a big as the USA and I had to drive from one coast to the other. My car has both mph and km. One day while my hubby and I were out an about I looked at the speedometer and it read 104. “You better slow down,” I said. “Why?” he asked. “You are going 104, yet it doesn’t feel like it.” He looked at the speedometer and said, “We are going 104. Kilometers that is.” So, 104 km is about 60-65 mph. I don’t get so freaked out now when I see an odd number on the speedometer because it is easy for it to get switched from mph to km. We have not had roundabouts for very long and people here have yet to learn how to use them. So I often fear of getting hit by another driver when I have to enter one.

    Best Wishes from the Central Plains, USA

    • bldodson says:

      Cynthia,
      Do you have a Volvo? Ours is the same, MPH & KPH on speedometer.
      Still don’t have plates on car so have only entered a roundabout once.
      They are huge here, two lanes and a good 30 yards across.
      I felt like a marble being dropped into a spinning roulette wheel!

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