Friday, March 5, 2010

Stopped by the Swedish Police

Dang it and here I was thinking I was invincible. I guess there is a good reason to follow the law and the nasty amounts of red tape required to get my Swedish driver's license...

I have a new house and therefore, a new and longer route to get to the little guy's school. It involves going through the downtown. Uppsala seems to lack stop signs. They are replaced with roundabouts, traffic lights at major intersections of course, but in smaller intersections, it's a bloody free for all!

Now I know that some rule must exist when you approach traffic coming in 2 different directions, other than your own. But seeing as though I have yet to get my Swedish driver's license, I have no clue who goes first. I just follow the crowd and when no crowd exists, I wing it. There's this one particular little intersection that freaks me out everytime I approach cuz I have no idea who goes first, second and last. But I think on my approach, I might fall into the latter category.

Anyway, I make my way through, start going up the street and notice "Polisen" vehicle behind me. Naturally, I start to slow down and freak out a bit, especially since I'm coming up to this other small intersection, but one I definitely know the rules for...or the most important rule. The cars coming up the hill onto this street have the right of way. Apart form this, No clue if it's me, going straight, or cars turning to go down the hill in the opposite direction or cars coming straight from the opposite direction that have the right of way. I wait patiently to make sure there are no cars coming up the hill and then I go. And copper is still on my tail. And then I turn right and proceed to throw up in my mouth a little as I realize the Swedish Police are indeed in pursuit, lights a flashing. I pull over and commence internal freak-out.

Rather good-looking (cuz well, it's Sweden) male cop saunters over to my window (you should see the women! It's like in that racing movie with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman where that hot blonde woman who is really a stripper pulls over their trailer). I proceed to roll down the window. He starts blah, blahing in Swedish. I turn on the charm and proceed to answer in English.
Jenn: I did something wrong, didn't I?
Blonde Cop: Oh, you speak English (his English is uncharacteristically bad). Do you speak a little Swedish?
Jenn: Oh, just a little (flashes smile, hoping nothing is stuck in my teeth from lunch)
Blonde Cop: Can I have your license please?
(Hands over license and ID Card)
Jenn: What did I do wrong?
Blonde Cop: Can you blow in this tube please?
(Yup, my very first ever breathalyzer. These guys don't fool around.)
Jenn: Oh, I have never done this before! (Acting all amazed)
Blonde Cop: Do you live here in Uppsala? (Looks over at his partner, says something in Swedish I don't understand.)
Jenn: Yes, but we just moved here recently (if recently means over a year ago, meaning I should definitely have my Swedish driver's license now)
Blonde Cop: Mumbles something about a hill, turning right and prohibited. (I have no idea what he's talking about)
Jenn: Oh, I didn't know, I'm so sorry! (and still don't have the faintest idea what I did wrong, though it could have been the small intersection from before and I only noticed later he was following me. He couldn't have pulled me over on the big street because it would have stopped traffic.)
Blonde Cop: Ok. Make sure you don't do it again. (Do WHAT again? But there was no way I was calling this guy out on his bad English communication skills when I was like THIS close to maybe getting out of a ticket)
Jenn: Oh, I won't sir. (Nod & Smile, just Nod & Smile)
Blonde Cop hesitates and then....walks away. I breathe deeply and drive away. He didn't even run me through his system (There is a God). I think I freaked him out with my English-speaking ways and pink hat.

I eluded the notoriously tough Swedish Police. But I still have no idea what the heck I did wrong and will be dragging my friend with me on a re-creation of the scene to find out. I was lucky yesterday. Next week, me and my confused driving skills are headed through the jungle of red tape until I find out who has the right of way. I'm pretty sure it wasn't me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Weigh-in Wednesdays: Week #3

Whose stupid idea was this anyway? That would be mine...sigh.

Ok, it's not THAT bad but damn, it shoulda been way better. I am the founder of this little blog sorta carnival thingy aren't I? I should be leading, with force, showing you all how it's done. Right? I've been searching high and low for my light saber. I seriously believe its absence has been hampering my mission to full-bodied greatness.

And no, I did not eat that donut. Not because it wasn't calling out to me from the plate on the table. But because my husband got to it first. I still consider this a victory.

I no longer have the excuse of the "Big Move" to the new digs as we're pretty much all settled in. I'll tell ya though. My body was on overdrive last week. I.did.not.stop. And boy did I feel it for days afterwards. Like slamming on the brakes going 100 kms/hour (or miles for you American readers). So, you see, I am capable. So today I sat here kinda looking around going, "Now what?"

I love that quote that goes something like this: "Insanity is doing the same thing all the time and expecting different results." I gotta make some serious lifestyle changes starting tomorrow. Ok, no, not starting tomorrow. Tomorrow is Swedish/Swimming lessons day. See, there I go again with the excuses. Tomorrow it is. But best to start off small right? How about this? When the little man gets home from scratch that. When I get home from Swedish lessons, I will haul my ass outside and walk somewhere, anywhere. Nah, scratch that. I WILL unearth my YouTube exercise video, get down on all fours and do some leg lifts, etc. There: Lifestyle change #1.

So my weight has stayed the same, 74.2 kilos...still down the four pounds, 2 kilos. Let's kick it up a notch this week. How about everyone makes one small lifestyle change, for the better. So picking up smoking as a means to avoid another handful of jellybeans is sooo not an option. My little lifestyle change will be have that tight-assed YouTube fitness instructor show me whose boss. And it's not me. It's her.

How about you? Will you be switching from whole milk to skim, eating an orange instead of drinking a glass of OJ, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, eating instead of skipping brekky? Do share.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What are a Dog Breeder's Responsibilities?

Thought I'd put an innocent question out there to the blogosphere. I would like to know the following:

If you are sold a purebred dog, many of which are prone to some genetic, breed-specific "deficiencies" and are guaranteed against any of these deficiencies and your dog is 6 months old with, the absolute worst case of this deficiency a vet has ever seen in a dog that age in his entire career, what are your options?

I cannot imagine this scenario being a dog-lover and past dog owner myself. I cannot imagine falling in love with a new member of the family for 6 months and then being told by your vet that your only options are a) extremely costly, extremely invasive surgery you cannot afford or b) putting the dog down.

Right now I am researching this...getting some feedback. Would love your input.

Crazy Cycling Swedes

What is with these people? The weather doesn't stop them. As evidenced by the saying, "No bad weather, just bad clothes." We've had countless blizzards the past few weeks and there's one constant through the thick haze of snowflakes and gusts of wind: cyclists wiping out.

Ok. I get it. Cycling is not only an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation but a much quicker alternative than walking. Plus, you look all athletic doing it, even if you're wearing a skirt and high-heeled boots.

But c'mon people. For a population that is practical and all common sense about everything, what's the deal with peddling in the middle of a snowstorm? You WILL wipeout. You always do. I see you. I see cars braking as you careen into traffic, your shit flying everywhere.

If they do sell winter tires for bicycles (do they?), get some on. And if they do and you have them on and you're still wiping out, abandon your bike and put feet to pavement. Ok, there's a chance you can wipeout there too. But what's worse? Falling off a moving, raised "vehicle" (that likely comes crashing down onto you) into oncoming traffic or falling a few feet onto your arse?

I'm all for the bike brigade that is Sweden and am thinking of joining you. Seriously. But I'm gonna be smart. I'll be the one wiping out in a busy street on a sunny, dry summer day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

We are the champions my friends

We won Olympic Gold in the only event that really mattered to Canadians...Men's Hockey.

We won against the Americans. It was epic. The winning goal was scored by none other than Sydney Crosby, a legend in my home province of Nova Scotia and my hometown of Halifax.

We dragged the little man way past his bedtime to watch the game with some new friends who invited us over. It was worth it. Sweden is second only to Canada in terms of how seriously they take their hockey and to heart.

To top it all off, Canada broke a record. We beat Russia as the country with the most Gold medals ever, in the history of the Olympics...14. So if you're counting wins by Golds, Canada won the Olympics. The 2010 Olympics that were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

We are no longer that grayed out area just above the U.S. border. "God keep your land, glorious and free. Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee."

I have never been prouder to be a Canadian. And neither have the hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets celebrating in every major city across our country.