It is an unfortunately accurate statement. Swedes do not venture out of their comfort zone with relish. They do not speak to people sitting next to them in buses; they do not greet store clerks; they do not have prolonged conversations with strangers. I am not an exemplary Swede, as anyone who knows me will laugh at the amount of times I have broken these unwritten rules. I once spoke to a store clerk when he was ringing up my purchases, and he looked to see if there was anyone behind him.
Today I stood at the computer terminal in the city library to look up Tintin, and a man in a Gryffindor scarf steps up next to me and says,
"You look like a person who's about to finish her business." At my non-plussed look, he continued, "I'll just wait here until you're finished with the terminal."
"I'm looking up Tintin," said I. "I want to read them. Not that I haven't read them before--I have--but I saw the movie a few days ago, and it reminded me that I haven't read them in a while."
"I haven't seen it yet."
"My friends are really big fans of Tintin, and they were appalled the movie had combined The Crab with the Golden Claws with Red Rackham's Treasure."
"I thought it was really good. Some changes had to be made, but I thought it captured the adventurous spirit of the books. But then again, I'm not a die hard fan."
Am enjoying this.
Still good for a second reading.