When you are Swedish

FIFA 2006 Swedish Invasion in Munich (Worldcup...
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On Swedish quirks, which include:

  • Early morning birthday gift-giving rituals: I think there’s something quirky about birthdays in all these northern European mini-states.  The Dutch bake their own cake and serve everyone but themselves on their birthdays, not to mention the circle party where everyone congratulates you and your family, presumably, for making it through another round of intolerably insufferable family gatherings.
  • Shitty customer service: Again, much to be desired in much of the Continent. Yes, you need to pay yourself (often at exorbitant rates, of 20-30 cents per minute) to reach customer service.  No, there’s no guarantee you’ll reach anyone within a reasonable amount of time. Yes of course the lines are closed on nights and weekends. And yes, to have someone tell you something is simply “impossible” is the most likely outcome of your concerted efforts.
  • Odd breakfast spread combos like apple sauce on cereals: The Dutch has its own mind-boggling combination of breakfast specialties that include chocolate bits on top of butter and spread on biscuits.
  • And wordsthatsticktogetherthatmakesyounauseous: Although English seems to be the exception in this case, in its refusal to jive with the rest of its ancestral Germanic cousins in putting words together with no breathing space in between.
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