Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It’s the Little Swedish Things that Kill

Sweden has been good to me. But just recently I have been less than impressed. It’s the little things.

Like yesterday when I was walking to the subway and I was the recipient of a horrible flat tire. I was walking along at a pretty solid clip. Using those long legs of mine to cover some ground. When suddenly my left foot felt so very cold. And my shoe stayed where it was. I had been flat tired.

The guy walking behind me had stepped on the heel of my shoe. Bastard. I had to pull over to the side of the sidewalk for repairs. The man in question passed me by. Without so much as a nod of the head. I was disgusted. So I chased after him, tackled him, then spit in his eye for good measure, all the while berating him for his rudeness. That’s not true. I’m much too mild-mannered for that. Instead I’ll satiate my need for revenge by writing about my unknown assailant. But I was not pleased.

When you step on me from behind and give me a flat tire I would like some form of acknowledgement. I’m a simple man. I like steaks. Sports. Delicious gummy candies. And apologies for stepping on my shoe. Because honestly, who steps on a shoe?

And to top it all off, just a little while ago my “Ingen Reklam” sign was taken from my door. The ingen reklam sign is an important sign. It is the sign that keeps people from shoving all of those unwanted advertisements through your mail slot. And no one wants unwanted things shoved through their mail slot. Now my apartment is filled with advertising flyers for things I don’t want.

I have a couple of theories as to who did this. However, I keep coming back to one. It seems the most likely really. The culprit could be none other than the very same man who gave me a flat tire. In between dropkicking babies and clubbing baby seals, this man runs around stepping on shoes and stealing ingen reklam signs. That’s not very nice.

His is the face of evil. Beware.

Welcome to Sweden. Where evil lurks behind every corner.

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22 comments:

  1. I think I know that guy, his brother lives in Gothenburg. Yesterday I met him in the door, I was carrying two heavy bags and the bastard didn't hold up the door. He just let it slam right in my face. I think he might be a bus- or tramdriver, the kind that drives away just when you reach the door.

    I hate that guy.

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  2. That guy sucks. And so does his brother. I blame their parents.

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  3. I also know that guy. The bus driver. Once I came running to the bus doors just before it was supposed to leave and he closes the door right in front of me and get this - he looks at me and smiles sadistically. Someone should tell him off. and his brother in Stockholm as well. The situation is unbearable.

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  4. On a more positive note today is the waffle day. Unfortunately i didn't have time or chance to celebrate it...

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  5. Those bus drivers have relatives in Finland too. Their manners must be in their genes. Shoe-steppers may also have crossed the sea, east of Sweden :)

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  6. @robban - I have yet to meet his bus driving brother. I hope I never do. I actually didn't really celebrate waffle day either. Except for reflecting on the fact that Sweden actually celebrates a waffle day. I love it.

    @smek - Its unfortunate to hear that the shoe steppers have crossed. I can understand the bus drivers. But shoe steppers? The horror.

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  7. having lived in sweden for a short while now, i must say, yes i think in general swedes are pretty rude. they are good with greetings and thank yous, but really bad at apologising or saying excuse me. what's with swedes?

    newbie

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  8. You've given me the laugh of this dreary as hell NYC morning - the visual of your apartment instantly filling with flyers for unwanted goods as soon as the Ingen Reklam sign was taken is hilarious.

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  9. Funny side note: The same date as the waffle day, i.e. the 25th, was the trane day in southeastern Sweden, where the trane is supposed to come into the house at night and fill hanged up socks with candy. I'm not making it up.

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  10. Sorry, that is of course the crane. Did a little direct translation there...

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  11. @anonymous - a good question. and something I cant really answer Im afraid. a lot of people have told me though that it is more of a stockholm thing.

    @J Catlow-Shea - glad you got a kick out of it. it was amazing though how quick it went once that sign was taken.

    @robban - I love it. its like santa and the easter bunny, but you know, a strange looking bird. why exactly is the crane coming in the house?

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  12. @Hairy: I have no idea but the crane did come to me as well. The stork brings babies, the crane brings presents. Once it brought me a model train car.

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  13. Some links about trandagen:
    http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trandagen
    http://www.kalmarlexikon.se/index.php/t/trandagen.html

    This tradition supposedly has existed since the 16th century!

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  14. Oh, and sorry for not writing anything related to the topic of your post. But all I can say is that it's the rude people who have a problem. All that bad karma is going to cause them troubles sooner or later.

    By all means display your disapproval right then and there, or not at all. Just be careful to not internalize their problem into yourself, i.e. by dwelling on it. Don't give them the pleasure of having ruined your day.

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  15. @eklandisk - that is an amazing holiday/tradition. do you think the crane is pissed that it has to bringcandy whie the stork gets to bring babies?

    and dont worry, mostly I just laugh, especially at the flattire giver. its just kind of funny.

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  16. Hej! I tried to find some nice swedish blog to improve my swedish language skills. Somehow I ended up to your site which turned out to be a fortunate accident because you made me laugh and managed to make my awful morning so much better. So thanks! And yes, we do have those same Little Killing Things here in Finland too...

    -j-

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  17. Supposedly, that's the day when the cranes comes back to Sweden. My family actually celebrated it, since my father was from Kalmar. I loved it, of course, but somehow, I just can't seem to find the point for another spring holiday where kids get lots of candy. But I still love it, though.

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  18. Or wait, I guess I see the point: Candy!!

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  19. I am stunned, I have lived in Sweden all my life and I have never heard of this tradition with the crane ever.

    But I guess it's mainly in the Southern part this tradition exist.

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  20. I wish you had decked him.

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  21. @Robban, Madeleine: I guess Kalmar is the common denominator here. The Wikipedia article has a little info on it.

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  22. @anonymous – glad you found it! and glad to hear that those little things that kill aren’t just here in Sweden.

    @robban – that is a pretty cool day to celebrate. Not too many people that celebrate the return of cranes I would imagine.

    And especially if it results in another day that kids can fill themselves with candy.

    @madeleine – it sounds like it is very regional. I think that is really interesting with the regional holidays that sometimes pop up. Like crane day for example.

    @furredanimal – he would have had no idea what happened. It would have been just such an un-Swedish response.

    @eklandisk – I think you hit the nail on the head.

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