Winter seems to be over (I very hope so!), and with that, one of the Sweden Special Super Yucks seems to be less and less.
Yeah, there are a couple of things I consider Sweden Special, for I haven’t really encountered them in other countries – some of them good, some of them bad.
Out of those, after being in Sweden for 4 years, there are a few I simply never can get used to. And probably don’t even want to, for these are the Super Yucks.
The one which was more common in the winter is that many Swedes don’t know what a handkerchief (näsduk) and/or what is it for and how to use it. In the subway, on the bus, in shops and everywhere, you can hear sniff, sniff, sniff from all the corners, every 10 seconds. And they just sit with their nose full of stuff and the idea that they could blow it, doesn’t cross their minds, not even for a second, they seem to be perfectly happy with that, kind of that’s the way we do it.
And when it gets too uncomfortable and they can’t bear their own sniffing any more, no, no, they don’t get a tissue (I don’t mean the fancy, parfumed, extra fine Kleenex, the one for 3.- SEK per a 10-pack would perfectly do) – no, instead of taking a tissue and blowing or at least wiping their nose, what do they do? They wipe it with their fingers…
That’s what I saw from all kind of people: even from the most sofisticated, upper class, middle aged ladies, fine business men, or the famously beautiful young girls, wrapped in the latest leather jacket and with carefully, perfectly painted make-up…
Sometimes, I dared to offer some of them a tissue (very politely, you know, helping your fellow), when I couldn’t take it anymore that another person was sniffing in my ears in the metro just beside me, or standing in the cue behind my back, but they reacted as if I seriously offended them: “NO, NO, thanks!!!” Few of them took it – put it away and kept on sucking their noses… (Okay, there was 2 girls who were grateful and blew their noses, relieved)
In fours years in Stockholm, I saw maybe 10-15 Swedes using a tissue, and I’m not exaggerating. Africans, yes. Turkish, yes. Romanians and other Balkan folks, yes. Hungarians, yes. Latinos/as, yes. Swedes, no…
Will someone please tell me what is this about? Here in Sweden you don’t learn this very basic hygiene tool in the nursery?
Tags: sweden special