For many years now, I’ve stubbornly postponed something most of you do as soon as you are allowed to do it: Get a driver’s license. At 35, I still can’t legally drive a car. I did take some theory lessons 17 years ago, but never got around to put in enough effort to actually get the license. There are many reasons for this, all of them – at least in my eyes – perfectly legal. First of all, getting the license i ridiculously expensive in Norway. It’ll set you back at least NOK 20.000 (~$3,200 or ~€2.400), which, for a high school student, is a hell of a lot of money. In my case, it wasn’t something I wanted to spend money on, even though pretty much all of my friends did.
After high school, I spent a year doing my mandatory military service, and having a driver’s license didn’t really matter much at that point since we mostly walked. Then I attended college and the university for 5 years, and there really wasn’t economically sane nor necessary to have a car back then. And after I finished my studies, I moved to downtown Oslo, where public transportation works just fine.
Not having a driver’s license have never really been an issue. Until now. With the move to Nesodden, where public transportation is a bigger challenge – outside of peak hours, there’s a bus going by our house once an hour – and the kid coming in a few months time, I really have no choice but to pull a driver’s license out of my ass.
But what’s a driver’s license worth if you don’t have a car? We looked at quite a few brands and models before we settled for a second generation Škoda Superb estate. It’s a huge car, 4.8 meters (190 inches) long and damn wide, which can make it a challenge to park, but the extra space sure has come in handy more often than we’ve struggled with parking. And it’s four wheel drive, so if we ever see a proper winter again – this season has been utterly miserable – we’re ready!
Since I’ve now got the necessary tool to learn how to drive (the car), I can occasionally be seen cruising slowly around Nesodden, with Anniken as my driving instructor. So far I’ve not crashed into anything, gone above 70 kph (43,5 mph), or killed anyone. This probably sounds funny to those of you who have had your driver’s license for a long time, but it’s damn stressful for this old dog to learn the trick of driving. Next week I’ll have my first lessons with a professional driving instructor, but hopefully I’ll keep those lessons at an absolute minimum to control the expenses.
Until then, I recommend that you stay away from the roads on Nesodden for a couple of months.