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Stockholm Sucks

A beautiful city, just be sure to avoid the Swedes


The Tomato Incident

In addition to a ‘pushing and pulling, ‘and ‘every man for himself’ mentality, a complete disregard for other people is something I have grown accustomed to here in Sweden. The Swedes behave as if they have blinders on. This was evident during an incident I witnessed on a public bus.

Swedish Tomatoes

Swedish Tomatoes

A woman and her small daughter entered the bus with their arms full of groceries. It was mid-day, and the bus was approximately half full. Somehow, the daughter, about nine or ten years old, dropped a tomato. In her knee-jerk reaction to recover the tomato in mid-air, she inadvertently stepped on it, causing a mild tomato explosion, and then lost her remaining tomatoes all over the floor. The mother and daughter scampered around the bus retrieving the dispersed tomatoes.

The reaction by the bus patrons shocked me. Some turned the other way. Others peered more intently out the window. The more polite ones shuffled away while mother and daughter pawed the ground beneath. Others looked on with coldness or disgust. Not a single person came to their aid.

Read on for The Icy Swedes


9 Responses to “The Tomato Incident”

  1. November 19th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    anton says:

    was this the girl that lost her tomatoes? i’d help her out

  2. December 3rd, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Trent says:

    can i touch your tomatoes

  3. March 1st, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Sous says:

    Yup, that’s Swedes for ya. I must say Americans are a lot more polite and helpful than Swedes.

  4. April 12th, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Ron says:

    the swedes are completely devoid of personalities. they’re worse than the russians. the russians are devoid of personalities, but they are actually very nice people. the swedes are devoid of personalities, but they are arrogant assholes. they think they’re god’s gift to the world, but they’re actually peons in teh grand scheme of things. i’ll take a russian over a swede any day of the week.

  5. September 14th, 2010 at 12:10 am

    John Winston says:

    again, this sort of behaviour always disappoints me about the Swedes ‘Turn the other way. It’s not my problem’ I had an experience once myself when staying at a friends place in Nacka. I had just got off the bus, and I was pulling two large suitcases up a hill. IT was February, and the road was as icy as anything. Anyway, I slipped over on my bum, and my suitcases started to roll down the hill. Do you think any of the people from the bus went to my aid? Not a one.

    I believe though that a lot of Swedes I call my friends would NEVER act so cruelly. It’s usually the more well-travelled Swede that’s lived in other countries before that are bit warmer.

  6. February 2nd, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Tapio Forsberg says:

    And what did you do? Did YOU help her to get the tomatos back together?

    Even though I carry a swedish last name, I’m not from Sweden, so not really biased in that way, if anything, it’s a common “fact” that all finns hate swedes. ;)

  7. March 27th, 2011 at 3:04 am

    AmerinSweden says:

    Classic Stockholm behavior. They are terrified of calling attention to themselves or having to do something out of the acceptable norm.

    Reminds me of the other day I was on tunnelbana and a band got on the train and started to play – violin, standup bass and accordian, and a singer..they were really good! I listened and smiled, nodding my head, enjoying the surprise subway concert. Looked around after a minute and noticed all the Swedes around were sitting up even more stiffly than usual, staring at an invisible spot on the wall or out the (black) window…so sad they don’t feel they are allowed to appear they enjoy anything unless it was already planned and organized to enjoy it. Not unless it’s accordion day!! *rolls eyes*

  8. February 20th, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Pete says:

    That is the Swedish way. I’ve seen similar variations of that theme in my stay in that sorry place. I (seriously) think if you were to fall on the sidewalk people would sidestep ignoring you.

  9. January 17th, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Karina says:

    Correction, Ron: Russians actually have fabulous personalities, but it helps if you speak Russian. Russians are the opposite of the cold Swedes; they love to laugh, are very warm and affectionate, and even those who aren’t highly educated enjoy intellectual conversations. You won’t find Russians talking about some silly TV episode, the weather, and other air-headed topics. How fortunate that all those Swedish genes that were contributed historically to Russia’s genetic heritage had no effect on Russians’ personalities!

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