Day 53 — Back to School

Jag heter Dan. My name is Dan.

Jag är 63 år gammal. I am 63 years old.

Jag bor i Halmstad. I live in Halmstad.

So began my first day of Swedish classes at the adult education center in town. And I’m in the “advanced” class, i.e., immigrants who have some college education in their home country. There are about 20 of us in this class and there must be 25 other classes because the school has about 500 immigrants learning Swedish at present, just in Halmstad. There are several people from Iran, at least two from Bosnia, two from the Netherlands (who have been in the country for two years and are just getting around to learning the language), Hungary, Croatia, Poland, Hong Kong and yours truly from the U.S.

My classmates have been in Sweden for between 1 month and 2 years, most a few or several months.

The teacher, a 26 year old woman who came from Romania when she was 4, is cheerful  and extroverted and will probably need plenty of both to drag us into and understanding of Swedish, but most seemed up to the challenge. By coincidence there about 6 in the class who are also 26. Most are in their 20s. I am the oldest by 15 years.

Thankfully, the teacher ended class an hour early because my brain was spinning and my eyes were strained from looking up words in my English-Swedish dictionary. There are three extra vowels in Swedish, ä, å, and ö that come at the end of the alphabet and it really messes with my training patterns when looking up a word. All in all, though, it is a nice building, clean, very well organized and seems to be one more example of a system that works. I guess that “socialism” runs the gamut from North Korea to, well, Sweden. They are not the same.

The day began with weather that was, once again, all over the map, including thunder, lightning and hail.

The weather is psycho-dog here but I don’t mind it (yet). Here’s the school:

But just to balance the tone of “how great everything is here,” on my way home I came upon this grisly sight:

Some guy wrapped his car, a Volvo no less, around this tree less than 100 meters from where I turn into our neighborhood. A few minutes earlier I had passed an ambulance steaming into town and came upon the mess.  I semi-communicated with a man standing there and apparently the driver was doing 150 km/hr when he went off the road and stopped very suddenly. To convert kilometers per hour to miles per hour, you divide the kilometers in have and add 10%. 150 divided by 2 is 75, plus 10%, which is 15, means the guy was going 90 mph when he hit. Not even Volvo can do much for a head on at that speed, as you can see.

 The road is one lane in either direction with a posted speed limit of 40 km. What the guy was doing at 4X that speed is, I gather from these pictures, between him and his Maker.

Hey, my only agenda with this blog is to report the events of the day as we see and experience them. I will take wrestling with how to pronounce sjuksköterska (nurse) any day over what those people went through. By the way, sjuksköterska is even harder to pronounce than it looks, if you can believe that. Mariette says even Swedes have trouble with it.




2 thoughts on “Day 53 — Back to School

  1. Nice school, very nasty accident. Why would someone be driving like that? My guess is he/she was amped on drugs or severe case of alcohol poisoning. Wow.

    Any Canucks at the school?

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