I’ve mentioned before, how the explicit friendliness of people here in general sometimes still baffles me. The other day a lady, who moved here from Sweden seven years ago, said how on arrival she thought just how weird everybody seemend. “Nobody would jump a queue, when somebody would accidentally bump into you, barely touching, they would immediately appologize, I couldn’t believe it!”
It sometimes goes much further. Today the lovely old lady at the grocery store went to set a record, maybe overdoing it a tad. In the 90sec small talk* we had while she scanned the items from my basket, I was called “darling, honey, sweetie, love, sugar, and upon saying good bye “babes”. I will say that I did feel a bit smothered by such intense verbal snuggles.
Again, the person to person niceness is in sharp contrast to anonymous annoyances, such as automated sales calls on the landline phone and impersonal letters, as seen below. I even would have paid the licence without the threat of a big fine and a courtcase (for reasons mentioned), but will stand the boisterous bullying anyway.
* her part of the conversation including
“How are you today, darling”
“OK, honey, is that all?”
“Right, sweetie, do you need a bag?”
“OK, love, thank you!”
“Don’t forget your card, sugar!”
“See you later, babes!”
and I probably even forgot a line or two.