Friday, January 16, 2009


This new job definitely has its perks. I've just got back from two days in Gothenburg, visiting a certain Swedish truck manufacturer starting with a V and ending with an O with a LV in the middle. (Now I use Google Alerts at work, I am suddenly nervous about Naming Names, because it's amazing what I get on my alerts, quite often people's personal blogs and notes about how good the car was in a snow storm, etc.)

Anyway, far from the usual Boring Blokes in Suits Looking at Spreadsheets, us desk drivers got to drive some of the trucks on their test track! Some of the trucks were up to 16 litre, 60 ton, 20m long. This manufacturer has a new product out which basically means any monkey can get a huge fully laden truck from A to B relatively easily. The truck drives like an automatic but actually there is a magic computer working the manual gearbox in the best possible manner. Things I learnt about truck driving include:

1. Your stopping distance increases considerably when there is 40 tons of gravel travelling behind you
2. The steering wheel is enormous
3. You can never have too many mirrors (or buttons and flashy lights on the dashboard)
4. Trucks are actually easier to manoevre than coaches are (yes, we drove them too)
5. Swedish test/co-drivers are very cool and have nerves of steel (No, fe haf nivver had anyone crash heeyah (twinkle smile).).
6. It's best not to wear high heels to drive a truck, but it's still not impossible.

This was one of the trucks I drove.

This was the first V-olv-o off the production line way-back-when....

... and look, the spokes on the wheels are wooden!

Things about Gothenburg:
1. The people are lovely and all speak really good English
2. It's cold in February
3. Nothing opens before 11am (apart from cafes)
4. It's a good place to go to get Moonin and Pippi Longstocking stuff (did you know she's depicted with suspenders too?), and loads of cool Scandinavian house things
5. Cars might stop at the pedestrian crossings, but trams sho' won't...
6. There are two yarn stores
7. Gravadlax goes well with pickled celeriac
8. Swedish is a really funky language to listen to. (If you want to emphasise something or be more polite, say it twice: Tack tack! means thank you very much, Hi Hi! means hello welcome on the plane.)
9. It's not where Batman lives.
Yes, a quick check on Ravelry revealed two yarn stores, and as one was on my planned route I popped in, and left a little worse off in the pocket but better off in the stash. This store stocked mainly Drops yarn, which was cool, although I don't think it's the softest in the world it does have a great range. There's another store across the river, so if I go back I'm going to try to get there.

And next week I am being sent to Paris for the week for Training. I fear there will be lots of sitting around waiting for people involved, when I could more usefully be sightseeing or knitting. Perhaps I will take some knitting into the office (maybe not on the first day). There are several WIPs that need to become FOs, especially before I get my first Socktopus sock club parcel which is due to come out next week. If I can get home with a finished jumper and second sock, I will be extremely pleased! I'm staying in an apart'hotel just by the Moulin Rouge, which is good because I get tired of fancy restaurant food, so I have the option of cooking for myself or nuking a ready meal. Unforts I don't think I will get to see a show, unless one of the other newbies going over for training fancies it. It's soooo expensive too! €99 just to go and see the show! Perhaps they do last minute discount tickets. Here's hoping.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, WHAT an exciting job you have. You may not think so, but from a girl who lives in Idaho-USA, trust me it is.

Enjoy Paris, even if it means sitting in a sitting around, you'll be sitting around in PARIS!

Now I want to visit Sweden too...but alas I am one of the millions of layed-off American workers who is thankful to still be able to afford my internet connection!