Today, at Tyresö Centrum, I had chats with a number of people. Not the bus drivers though. I’m generally lucky with the drivers now that we enter from the front door on all of them. Generally I’ll say hello, they’ll smile and return my greeting, then I’ll say thank you as my card blips on the machine. Today though, the bus drivers were not in the mood to exchange anything.
The woman in Clas Ohlson, on the other hand, was more than happy to welcome me to Sweden. She was overjoyed when I told her how much I loved it here. “I’d stay here forever,” I told her. We chatted about my Australian accent which she could pick. I found that amazing. I can never pick accents in foreign languages. Maybe she’s watched a lot of Neighbours.
The woman serving at the fish counter taught me how to say salmon in Swedish. She then cut me a piece from the centre of the fish. “It’s the best bit,” She told me as she wrapped it beautifully. She often serves me and we have a good laugh.
There was also the woman serving at the Systembolaget with the red hair. I complimented her on the colour and she was delighted.
Then, of course, there was Nora the Barista. Though, today, for some reason, she was wearing a name tag which read Eva. Clearly I’m going to have to call her Nora not Eva from now on. Anyway, she was very excited because she was heading into Stockholm for a meeting. She was looking forward to the change of scenery.
There was also an elderly chap in front of me at the Ica. He kept darting back and forth between queues, eager to be in the fastest one. He spoke to me in what I think was Swedish, ignoring it when I said I only spoke English. Not that he was rude; he just kept speaking in Swedish. He was like a character out of a silent movie. Only not so silent.
Oddly, I don’t think he was in any particular hurry. I think he just wanted to get out as soon as he could because he hates supermarkets. Or queues. Or people not speaking Swedish with him. Whatever the reason, he was very funny.
Mirinda calls these interactions ‘mini social events’ and it’s so true. Because I don’t see anyone else, they constitute my social life. I cherish them all.
The longest conversation I generally have is with Nora not Eva while she makes my coffee. However, today, we had quite a long chat with the young woman at Norrby’s as she fussed over the girls. She was telling us how busy it had been yesterday and how today had been much more pleasant. I’m sure her boss would see things a bit differently.
As for me, I was reminded that I had a French straw hat when Mirinda wore it the other evening. Of course, I have started wearing it again. I feel like an old, bearded French artist.
Needless to say, it was another perfect day.