It was a day of “unexpected Swedishness”.
First, a colleague who had recently visited Sweden had brought me copies of some Swedish magazines. There was one that was a bit like “Woman’s Day”. The other was a bit more like “Women’s Weekly”.
It was a lovely gift, especially since the Swedish in these magazines is reasonably simple and straightforward. I was able to skim through the magazines as quickly as I would a similar magazine at the supermarket.
Actually, another colleague (who doesn’t speak Swedish) had no problems following the stories either. I guess it’s because the story of Brad and Angelina is reasonably straightforward, no matter what language you speak.
Still, she noted the magazine was full of “Swedish people I’ve never heard of…”
The other magazine featured the more well-known Agnetha Faltskog, as having appeared recently at a Swedish Royal function.
Minutes later, another colleague turned up with a guest from Sveriges Radio in Kalmar, a town in Southern Sweden. She was in Australia, as her son is studying here for a year. And although I knew she was coming, I wasn’t expecting her today.
“Why do you speak Swedish?”, she asked. A question for which there is no easy answer.
“Kom med mig”, I said to her, as I took her around to meet my colleague who is half-Swedish/half-Australian.
For a country that’s on the other side of the world, and on opposite parts of our hemispheres, she seemed a little surprised to discover a large amount of Swedishness.
Both she and her son mentioned there was a lot of interest in Sweden for both Australia and New Zealand. “Everyone wants to come here”, they told us.
Somehow, I didn’t feel so strange after all.