• Sweden's news in English

Swedish teen shells out for giant lobster

Jenny Sundelin · 2 Jan 2012, 14:02

Published: 02 Jan 2012 14:02 GMT+01:00

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“I love everything about seafood and really wanted to buy it as a special treat for my family on New Year’s Eve,” Sandgren told The Local.

A fisherman had pulled out the giant crustacean, which weighed in at 4.65 kilogrammes and measured 90 centimetres, the week before Christmas, from the waters outside of Kullaberg, in Sweden’s southernmost county.

It was put up for auction on New Year's Eve, an event advertised in regional newspapers. Sandgren immediately decided to buy it.

Despite usually being very frugal, she wasn't put off by paying over 4,000 kronor for a New Year's meal.

“I decided I was going to have it at any price,” Sandgren told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Having always worked hard, Sandgren has been putting money away since she was sixteen, working as a hairdresser and a personal assistant.

And according to fishmonger Christoffer Itzigehl, the lobster may well be over 30 years of age.

“It’s probably not the largest lobster ever in Sweden, but it is quite huge to be pulled up in that area,” he told daily Expressen.

Despite Sofia going all-out for her New Year’s dinner the family were disappointed to find that they were unable to eat the lobster on the day, lacking utensils strong enough to crack the crustacean's shell.

Story continues below…

However, after going at it with a saw on New Year’s Day, the family could finally feast on the luscious lobster meat inside.

“It was amazing, absolutely wonderful. It was enough to feed six people, and after we had all completely stuffed ourselves, there were still left-overs. Almost half of it actually, which I gave away to my boyfriend’s mum," Sandgren told The Local.

Jenny Sundelin (jcsundelin@yahoo.co.uk)

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Your comments about this article

15:26 January 2, 2012 by visitorfromnowhere
Here we have a uniquely Swedish psychological trait manifested. Nowhere else in the world would a hairdresser, even a young one, spend $4000, or even $400 on a lobster. Either 1) Swedes have a joie de vivre that is at least two orders of magnitude beyond whoever is in second place, or 2) the dark cold long winters have short circuited their internal wiring (because it is quite obvious that no lobster is worth $4000) or 3) Swedes are just so desperate to stand out from the crowd that they will engage in such manifest irrationality (blonds trying to outdo blonds for attention?).

Can a NATIVE Swede please explain this? I thought that maybe Jante woud explain Swedes, but frankly, unless they have good poker faces, I don't think that the Jante rules are actually true of Swedes (I'll be kind and leave it there.)

Please, I want to know the WHY of this! Please can a NATIVE explain it? I strongly believe that if I can understand this lobster purchase by a hairdresser, I will understand Sweden.

15:33 January 2, 2012 by J Jack
Don't marry this one!
15:34 January 2, 2012 by Svensksmith
I think you would have to ask her.
15:39 January 2, 2012 by N18h7m4r3
And where is the news?


I am not a native but still think that I have some answers.

First of all there is a big difference in "Kr" and "$" if you didn't know. The girl paid 4000 SEK or Kr and not $4000. The local reports clearly that it translates to roughly


People buy all kind of things of no apparent value to others for a much higher value all the times. Being a vegetarian I have no idea how much lobsters cost but since it was auctioned, the market value of lobster (SEK/kg) might not apply.

4000 SEK is not a very insane amount for a hair dresser to spend on a new year.

As far as your ability to understand Sweden is concerned, I doubt that you can do that given your intellectual levels reflected from your comment.
15:49 January 2, 2012 by Mb 65
This solves the question in Discuss. Why are haircuts so expensive in Sweden. now you know.
16:00 January 2, 2012 by DAVID T
Maybe she cuts ball hair - poor lobster - living for 30 years then being eaten by a ball shaving dunce !!
16:00 January 2, 2012 by visitorfromnowhere
@ N18...

I misread the amount, so that gives you a reason to insult people? You could have just pointed out the actual price. Do you really think I don't know the difference between $ and Kr? No you don't. But you are so insecure that you need to insult strangers on an internet forum no matter how trivial the mistake. Really, you need help and lots of it. I misread the price and yet you devote a whole comment to how 4000Kr is not that much to spend even though I thought it was much much more. And your desperate need to insult strangers is borne out by the fact that you even have to reduce the price from the actual 4500Kr. Your a joke and your life is meaningless.
16:14 January 2, 2012 by J Jack
@ N18... what gives you the right to personally attack peoples intelligence on this forum? With a tag like yours I would think you are pretty insecure yourself and spend most of your time in front of a screen. You need a life. Sorry for offering advice uninvited.
16:25 January 2, 2012 by skogsbo
She displaying all the traits of a Swede and no american traits, which is great for her. She could have spent that money on some electronic gadget that would have been worthless and out of date in 2 years.

Instead she had a great family occasion, one of the things you enjoy and treasure forever. Most folk don't appreciate the value this until they are at least 30 or 40yrs old, so good on her.

She has worked, she has saved, she has treated her family. There is a lesson for most people there. :)
16:37 January 2, 2012 by N18h7m4r3
Although I am not a Swede but the post by Visitorfromnowhere makes one (at least me) so frustrating.

visitorfromnowhere makes such comments about Swedes. He/She tries to show that he wants to understand Sweden but cannot give an attentive moment to read a story properly.

I don't know what else can I make of comments like following.

"...Here we have a uniquely Swedish psychological trait manifested....."

"...the dark cold long winters have short circuited their internal wiring....."

"...I strongly believe that if I can understand this lobster purchase by a hairdresser, I will understand Sweden......"

and then unnecessary use of captical letters in the comments as to shout out loud.

That 4500 SEK became 4000 SEK in my post because of your comment where you misread the amount 4500 SEK as 4000 $.

@J Jack

Its not an attack. Its my opinion, a humble one :D. I think I have that right.

As far as my relation with computer is concerned, I travel a lot, both for job and for pleasure and NO, I do not carry my laptop all the time with me.

In any case, welcome to Year 2012. Wish it to be a cheerful one :).
16:45 January 2, 2012 by 4254
it would have been a pity for me to be unable to treat my family with nothing better for 4000 SEK than a big lobster.
16:51 January 2, 2012 by skogsbo
4254, what they got was a priceless memory, a great family meal. Especially if they all like fish. Not everything in life is so materialistic. I've spent over 1000kr on a meal for 2 in a fish rest. so it's not that bad a deal for the family.
17:16 January 2, 2012 by 4254
skogsbo, a great family meal - i thought it's more about family, and not about the price of meal.

but it is OK for me that the young lady has bought this lobster or you have spent you money in that fish rest.
17:20 January 2, 2012 by skogsbo
4254 clearly the article and concept is lost on, as the saying goes, if you have ask, you'll never know.
17:29 January 2, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
That is really good what this young generous hearted young lady has done for her family. She wanted this lobster and she displayed great determination. I love to see this kind of true Nordic grit and individuality. Money does not bleed as far as this admirable young lady is concerned, good for her.
18:47 January 2, 2012 by HenryPollard
I'm my utopia, hardy creatures who have survived around 4 decades in the seas would get to eat financially foolish hair cutting bimbo teenagers.
19:04 January 2, 2012 by SayNoToUS
I humbly opine as follow:

The insults began in Comment #1.

Comment #10 was a gracious retort.

When she is ready, I hope my daughter does such a generous thing for our family, but just once will suffice.
19:19 January 2, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
looks like a plastic lobster to me - to go along with plastic ducks at a Wimbledon downpour and all sorts of other plastic things crappy, tabloid-type journalists use to drub up some news
19:21 January 2, 2012 by Dogs_Gonads
I would rather pay 4000 SEK to eat her.

There someone had to say it. And I know many have thought it.

Happy New Year to you all.
19:23 January 2, 2012 by DaveN
I wonder why there are no lobster lovers, just like all the wolf lovers that come out of the woodwork when one gets shot. And where are all the fisherman haters - again the hunter haters are usually quick to show up and spread their bile.

The poor old lobsters don't seem to have anyone to speak up for them.
19:59 January 2, 2012 by scrawler
Its seems to be fake news. Why don't this news is not reported in any other journals. Local is very intrinsic is creating news to grab the attention of readers.

"No wonder we can expect a news elk given birth to fox and its call elox"
20:07 January 2, 2012 by johan rebel
Who cares what people spend their money on? As long as it is their own, they can do with it what they want.

Personally, I wouldn't spend a penny on a lobster (especially if I couldn't even figure out how to get at the edible parts), but I can think of another zillion things I would not spend money on either.

To each his own.

What I really don't get is why this hairdresser and her lobster are considered newsworthy.
22:14 January 2, 2012 by maxbrando
Does everyone have to have an opinion on everything?? Do you have no real lives of your own? Leave the girl alone. She sounds like a happy, normal kid. May God bless that.
22:41 January 2, 2012 by wxman
The young lady is hot, and probably intelligent. She wanted to give her family a delicious holiday meal of lobster. So what? And yes, she probably is high maintenance, but so what? If you can't afford her, then you don't belong with her. Leave her alone, and be about your miserable life.
23:26 January 2, 2012 by Ankinette
Loved reading all the comments on that fascinating story :-D
23:38 January 2, 2012 by swenrika
LOL... I have to agree with #17,

#1 was so rude and so down-looking upon swedes and Swedish cultures, and the best answer was indeed #10.. lol.. that one kicked :)

Memories are priceless and iPhones overly expensive. I guess she thought to be Swedish and create a fond memory for all to share rather then be ..... and buy something for herself.
01:23 January 3, 2012 by N18h7m4r3

09:56 January 3, 2012 by Gordy
@scrawler This story together with the same photo was reported in Expressen two days before it was regurgitated by The Local. The Local don't do originality, they take stories from the Swedish press and translate them into English (usually very badly) as cheaply as possible, they just love off beat stories as there is a better chance of them going viral and dragging in more visitors some of whom might click the ads by mistake so that they can earn a crust.
10:37 January 3, 2012 by coconut39
Hi Kid!

With your 4500kr. you have done wonders! .

1. You have made yourself "Känndis" all over Sweden and more.

2. Could eat that huge lobster

3. The smartest of all. The left over went to you mother in law to be. With that you have tamed her to be your daughter in law.

Aly Shantiman 72

21:12 January 4, 2012 by L.A.
And the lobster is even pre-cooked...

Anybody know where is possible to buy uncooked fresh (still grey colour) prawns in Uppsala ? The fish section in ICA is quite depressing...
17:13 January 19, 2012 by Dicky Silver
lets face it - if anyone spends that kind of money on lobster and then willingly partakes in a story thereafter, should subsequently expect criticism, comment and ridicule of all kinds.

More so, if one is on the salary of a hairdresser......

sad and mad really.
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