Five essential things to consider before you go to…
1. Most people speak English, but Swedish greetings are
simple for even the most linguistically challenged: say hello, hej hej
(literally, hey hey!), and goodbye hej do! Easy.
2. Swedes do lunch. Even fancy restaurants
offer a dagens rätt, an affordable, set-price daily special featuring such
Swedish classics as salmon with dill potatoes and cream sauce. Lunch starts
from 11am – leave it till 1.00pm and you’ll go hungry (see punctuality, below).
3. Welcome to the land of hardcore punctuality.
A minute past the allotted meeting time and you’re late. Anticipate
4. Fika is a coffee break and an
institution: it’s a chat, but always with a sandwich or pastry (such as the
omnipresent kanelbullar, or cinnamon bun).
5. Pack nice socks; Swedes always leave
their shoes at the door in their homes.
Partygoers note: payday across the
nation is the 25th of the month, which means it’s party time! The weekend
before, expect tumbleweeds blowin’ through the bars.
This article by Belinda Jackson was published in Sydney’s Sun-Herald Traveller section.