It’s snowing buckets out there and it has been for hours. There are several inches of snow on the ground and it looks like more will be accumulating. And you know what, I love it. I am not minding this springtime snow for the moment. Or at least not while I am snugly tucked inside the house.

On another surprising note, I had good customer service yesterday. In Stockholm. As this tends to be the exception and not the rule, I will share my tale. I called my local Systembolaget (the only place you can buy wine and alcohol in Sweden) to order a bunch of wine for an upcoming party. First, you need to realize that my Swedish is slow. Instead of ordering a wine by its order number as most Swedes would – number two thousand, two hundred and twenty one – I spell out each number separately so as to make sure that my Swedish is clear and leaves no room for miscommunication. On top of this, my clerk was a fast talker. So in my slow Swedish, I repeated everything he said back to him to make sure I was understanding what he was saying. “OK, what you just said was…”

It was a long conversation. I thought for sure that this guy would lost patience with me. But he didn’t. Not even when I ordered  several bottles each of seven different kinds of wine. When I was done, the clerk complimented me on my excellent taste in wines. That was my next shock. Such small talk niceties, while common in the US, aren’t the usual in Sweden.

So I told him that the wine was for an upcoming wine tasting party. And he said that it should be a really nice evening for my friends. And then he thanked me, telling me that taking my order was mycket rolig or very fun for him. I about fell off my chair as I am pretty sure that it was a tortuously long order for him to take. On top of it, he then told me that he looked forward to meeting me when I came to pick up my order. The whole conversation left a smile on my face.



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Going Swedish or how I found my balance | 59 North
November 10, 2015 at 22:54

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