I had a coffee at the Espresso House again today. While I ordered I chatted to the barista. I thought she had an American twang when she spoke English. I asked if she’d been taught English by an American. She said, no, her English teacher had been English. She then suggested that most Swedes her age had been brought up watching American TV and had probably picked up the accent that way.
I then asked her about Swedish accents. She said there are distinctive accents. She thought the Stockholm accent was a bit bland and didn’t really like it. She went on to explain that the southern, Skåne accent, is heavily influenced by Danish. Given Skåne was ruled by Denmark for a long time, this is possibly not surprising.
The northern accents, she continued, were soft and lovely to listen to while the island accents of places like Gotland, were even nicer.
She had worked in Tenerife in the past and said she found Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle accents quite hard to understand. I asked her about Scottish. She sighed and told me that whenever she had to serve a Scot, she’d ask her supervisor to translate for her.
I was at Espresso House having travelled into Tyresö Centrum on an emergency medical mission. Mirinda had run out of pain killers and her back insisted that she needed some.
There were also candles, socks and gloves to buy. I had also received a phone call to let me know that my Tove Jansson Alice had arrived at the bookshop.
An unexpected but very welcome discovery was the Swedish version of pork scratchings. For lo-carb people, the pork scratching is one of the few snack foods that complies with the proper lack of carbs that crisps do not have.
Back in the UK, pork scratchings are easily found (though it’s important to read the ingredients because they’re not always lo-carb) but here, we’ve struggled. Then, today, I found some huge packets. Of course they’re not called pork scratchings. No, here they are called Flæske svær. While seemingly difficult to pronounce, they taste very good.
Another unexpected discovery was the 824 bus.
Rather than catch the 840 bus today, I hopped aboard the more back streets 824 when it appeared at the bus stop first and had Tyresö Centrum as its destination. While it didn’t take any longer, it was certainly more interesting.
The 840 takes the most direct route which just happens to be the way we drive but the 824 heads passed the more suburban bits of the area and by numerous schools and small shopping precincts.
Rather than the little falu red cottages, vast apartment blocks line most of the streets. It’s vastly different to where we’re staying.
There’s also double bus stops on single lane traffic calming installations along the route. Bill would have loved them. When a massive great bus takes up the entire road in order to disgorge a few passengers, no car can drive too fast. Whether they keep the drivers calm is negligible but it certainly calms the cars.
Of course, I was perfectly calm, sat on the bus, watching the world go by.