Thursday, January 24, 2008

On an ordinary day in Sweden...

Upon moving to Sweden we embarked on the adventure of getting a home phone (not so common anymore). The phone was to call family and friends across the vast Pacific Ocean in Canada and the U.S. There are two interesting things we discovered upon getting the phone. First of all, our apartment, built in the 1800s, has an interesting box, which looks like a smoke alarm but, which is in fact, a loud, annoying phone ringer. Anytime the phone rings, the box rings. And the minimum level on the box (there is no off) is not very quiet. Second interesting fact, there is a lot of telemarketing in Sweden. I have since learned not to answer the phone when call display says "private". I sometimes receive upwards of four telemarketing calls a day, but the one I received on Wednesday tops them all...

E: Hello, E. speaking (the polite way to answer the phone in Sweden)
Telemarketer: er, Hej, Jag ringer på E. (please excuse the poor Swedish)
E.: Jag heter E., but I don't speak much Swedish
Telemarketer: Jaha (classic Swedish phrase), well, I'm calling sells....underwear!
E.: Ok?
Tele: I was wondering what kind of underwear you like to wear?
E.: ?????
Tele: high waisted, string,cotton...
E.: hmmm
Tele: We would like to send you two free pairs, and after that you do not have to buy anymore you can just tick the ingen membership box and post it, or you can join the club and we will send you 5 pairs a year....

Well, this was quite the interesting phone conversation. I declined the underwear club offer as tempting as it sounded, and while I'll be happy to get my name on the no call list, it will mean giving up the chance to hear the strange offers I get over the phone in Sweden!

Hej då! E.

Friday, January 4, 2008