July 18th, 2003



Went driving yesterday..

The first longer trip.. ok.. not that long.. only about 3 hrs.. or about 260 km..

Just thought about one thing..

People have a hard time being happy about something..

In Sweden.. where we have cold dark winters and often a very short, but hottish summer.. In the winter, obviously, everyone complains about it being cold.. wishing for summer.. now it's summer.. and obviously most people like that, but.. couldn't it be colder?

When they made the roads once upon a time, the important thing was to tie the towns and villages together.. One of the main roads in Sweden is the "E4". A main road, which basically runs through the whole country, south to north. Up here, on the east coast, it's really the main road up north, as it follows the coast from Stockholm all the way up to where Sweden and Finland meet. Once upon a time, I guess it wasn't such a big road in a sense, just the road from one coastal town to the next, but, being practical to use if you wanted to go north.
Since there's such a lot of traffic along it, there has been a need to make it fit all that traffic, and make it as fast etc as possible. The dream, obviously, is to make it a "non-meeting" 110 km/h (65 mph) road, all the way, which passes outside of all towns. Practical, but a touch boring.

I know a lot complain about the roads being boring, since you really doesn't see much. In Sweden we have lots of forrests, which often makes it feel like you're only seeing the road and trees at the sides, making it more noticable. You drive along.. and it's trees, trees, some open fields, trees etc etc... Every now and then you might get to a truckstop, or see some houses.. and info-signs for the towns you never see, who wants to lure the drivers to turn off "E4" and have a look at the town.

Boring.. yes..

But, at the same time, obivously, extremely practical. You travel fast.. and.. most people complain where they've not built the new road yet, that you have to go through a town.. reducing speed to 30, maybe stop at some traffic lights..

I guess.. people really wants to eat the cake, and still have it..

me? I don't know.. I'm mixed.. I'm happy, of course, that one can travel fast.. get where you want as fast as possible, and I don't mind passing the towns. If you want, you can turn off. I kinda wish the roads in itself, were a bit more interesting.. fields.. see the towns (as you pass them) etc.. and not see trees, trees and more trees..

Traffic lights..

I wonder.. are we naturally pessimistic in Sweden..

I guess the proper, technical term for traffic lighs in Sweden is that.. Traffic Lights..

(In Sweden they're Red, Yellow, Green, by the way)

In normal talk, and I guess the word that a lot think is the proper name for the traffic lights, is "Rödljus" / "Redlights".

I guess, used because the assumption they will be red when you get to them..

In case you're asking for direction here.. driving.. obviously the Traffic lights are used a lot.. "You go straight ahead, then when you come to the 2nd redlights you turn left..." etc..

Now, of course... they've discovered the trend of roundabouts, and I think we get new roundabouts as fast as they can build them..

Oh... on a note.. We actually have a 4-way Stopp crossing in Sandviken now.. The first I've ever encountered in Sweden.. (I know there might be some other, but... they're extremely rare). That was the first problem I encountered in USA.. It went well.. I'm not sure if I broke any law etc, but.. it went smooth driving.. until I came to a 4-way stop xing, and went: "eh.. this is something new.. and what the heck am I supposed to do now?" (I winged it, and later found out I was right).