After 28 months in Denmark (give or take) you’d think I’d have developed the ability to expect the worst and stay calm in a crisis. Except, I haven’t.
At the two year mark, I decided to stay in Denmark for the foreseeable future. In this spirit, I’m starting the path to permanent residency, which includes going back to Danish language classes tomorrow.
My first go was a miserable failure, but I feel I’m in a better place this time because I can understand far more than I could when I decided to leave classes last time. And because the language school has finally wizened up and begun starting people at the beginning of the month, instead of on a rolling basis, which I think was a major reason that I failed so miserably the last time around.
This time, I’ve managed to actually get myself looking forward to class. Now I have a car and I don’t have to deal with biking in all sorts of dreadful weather, class ending 5 minutes after the bus, having to wait an hour for the next bus, and not getting home until after 8 on class days. Plus, why not learn another language?
Then, someone put the kabosh on my party. Again.
On June 4th, I applied to convert my US license to a Danish one. The Kommune needed to send my US license off for “authentication” and once they heard back from the police, I was to receive notification of how to schedule the driving tests. Honestly if I were to lie about having a license, wouldn’t I have picked one from a country that didn’t require me to take a written and a practical test? Denmark’s reasoning eludes me on so many levels.
I’d wanted to wrap up this bit of nonsense before going back to Danish class. One useless project at a time is all I can handle. Of course, I don’t think that learning Danish is an entirely useless project, but given the level of most Danes’ English, the complexity of the Danish language, and my definite missing knack for foreign languages, it feels like a hopeless endeavor to ever hope to have an actual conversation på dansk.
Anyway, for the first month after filing my license application, I studied like my visa depended on it. I took online tests, I read my driving manual at lunch, after work, on the weekends in my hammock. I used highlighters!!!
But then after 2 months, I still hadn’t received a test notification, so I went back to the Kommune to have my temporary license extended, and to see what was up with my application. They extended my license another 2 months and told me they had no idea how long it would take me to hear back on my application. So I stopped studying.
Then today, I checked my mail, and there it was! After nearly 3 full months of waiting, it was the driving test application. On the eve of going back to Danish language classes!!! What lovely timing.
This whole thing is laughable. American tourists are allowed to drive here on their US licenses. Up until 2008, it was possible to convert a US license to a Danish license without testing. They’ve allowed me to drive on a temporary license for 3 months, and I’ve provided them with a copy of my squeaky clean 21 year US driving record. So, this test proves what exactly?
Yes, I’m a bit miffed that I have to take the test, but when in Rome, blah, blah, blah… I accepted that fact and started the application process on timeline that was comfortable for me. I really thought I would’ve had my license long before now. But there was the 6 week wait for the useless doctor’s certificate, followed by a 3 month wait for the approval of my application, and now after nearly 5 months of waiting, I have to take this on during a very busy time at work, and while trying to restart language classes.
I’m angry that it took so long for the Kommune to process the application, especially since it was no doubt due to someone’s “holiday” whereby, they spent June thinking about holiday, July actually on holiday, and August getting back from holiday.
So. Tomorrow. Labor Day. I’ll start Danish classes from the beginning. I’ll call the driving school and figure out the quickest way to deal with this mess. Like so many times before, I’ll eat the elephant one bite at a time, put one foot in front of the other, and trust in the universe that it will all work out fine.