They do it on the street

When I was eight years old, I read a book by Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf named Nils Holgersson’s wonderful trip through Sweden. You may have heard about the story of a little mischievous boy who is so naughty that a troll transforms him into a little midget. Being scared and left alone because he is too small to function into the big people’s world, he escapes and gets adopted by a bunch of wild-geese whom he follows on a trip to Northern Sweden and back to the south. He discovers his country, every big city, every mountain and lots of scary things happen to him as he is so little and basically all the other animals try to eat him all the time. At eight, I wasn’t able to see the metaphoric values of it all, one thing was sure, it hooked me on Sweden.

I had never heard about that country before. When you grow up in France, you think everything is French, Mickey Mouse, McDonald’s, spaghetti, ABBA and even John Travolta is French. What the hell, he speaks perfect French on (dubbed) TV, so of course he’s French. Moreover, world knowledge is not a French specialty. Aside from the nasty Germans, the ugly English and the American cowboys, most French kids know nothing about other countries.
Indeed, Switzerland and Sweden, what’s the big difference, it all sounds very sweet but no kid has a clue, where these countries are and what they represent on a larger scale. Sweden in French is La Suède. Probably the most beautiful word in the French language. It is so soft and creamy that you either want to kiss it or eat it. Anything or anybody who comes from that place must therefore be as kiss- or eat-worthy.

However, I knew nothing about Sweden, I just knew from that book that it had amazing sceneries, friendly wild-geese and very small children. I therefore asked my grand-father, whom I thought knew everything about the world, to tell me what he knew about Sweden.
As a matter of fact, my grand-father had a well established opinion about Sweden and he replied by just saying: Don’t ever go there, promise your grand-pa you’re never EVER going there”.
At eight, I was even more annoying with my questions than I am now and this raised my curiosity. So I asked why why why, about 244 times until he told me: “you are too young to understand, but please, never go there”.

Let’s put this back into context. What is Sweden famous for today and what was it famous for in the 70’s?
Today: Tall and big breasted blondes who munch on fiber hard bread all day, who speak an alien language like the Swedish chef in the Muppet show, who give excellent massages in between shopping at IKEA and occasionally playing in porn movies. In the 70’s: Tall and big breasted blondes who play in porn movies.
I was of course perfectly unaware of this reputation and insisted and yelled until I started sounding like a Rumanian entry at Eurovision Song Contest that my Grand-father finally gave up and said that he would tell me only if I promised not to go there. Ever.

I promised.

They have sex on the street, he said. They look at each other while walking down the streets and they do it between two cars. They are very unhealthy people.
I didn’t really recognize the beautiful green hills Selma Lagerlöf described in her book, I didn’t understand what having sex between two cars entailed
, the only thing I was sure of was:

Sweden, here I am.

And I did go.

And stayed eight years.

And I never did it…

… on the street.

Two days ago was Sweden’s national day.

Grattis till alla och knulla på! Hurra, hurra, hurra!


16 Responses

  1. A friend of mine just got back from Sweden. He texted me about the buxom blondes while he was there but never mentioned sex on the streets! (sounds like a drink)

  2. I was told as a young woman, from the Army Officers that I dated that the French pee in the streets of Paris and the aroma of urine is all you smell. Of course, I was inquisitive and asked all kinds of questions and they told me that it is legal to whip it out and pee. I was astonished. Then they always said well they turn their back and pee in the alley or up against the walls. I had visions of French men with their wankers out everywhere pissing in the streets. It was strangely arousing(I’ve always been a freak)and I always wanted to go to Paris to see this myself. The freedom to piss in public had to be witnessed.But then I realized they were probably pulling my leg. You should hear the stories they tell of Germany. I would’ve loved to go to Amsterdam when my brother lived there. He was there for 8 years, up until 4 years ago when he moved to California and started GreasyComb Distribution. He had invited me to come there and I couldn’t at the time but if I had I’d probably never have left, I’d still be there, a serious heroin addict or dead. But it’s funny what we believe about some where we’ve never been.

  3. So you didn’t have sex in the streets but did you get seduced by lots of tall, blonde Swedes? Sweden may sound wondeful in French but it’s also the name of a vegetable in English.

    And, echoing Babs, people still think lions roam the streets in South Africa.

  4. misconceptions! 🙂 i asked better-half last night if he knew of any misconceptions about the Swedes and he replied: “they are no misconceptions – what you hear is all true!” bless him, he is a dane and they don’t tolerate their neighbours to the right all that well… Him being from Jylland (continental Denmark) he claims that once you have cross the bridge to Sealland (which is still Denmark, where Copenhagen is situated) you are no longer in Denmark!
    Echoing Nomad, when i would come back to Europe on vacation from Africa, people would ask if we lived in huts and if we had to chase lions around with a shotgun…
    which reminds me, the very first post i read when i came across your blog was tackling this issues of misconceptions 🙂
    But i love Sweden, will be spending the first weekend of July in Malmö. Wanna come over?

  5. you’re right Di, sex on the street sounds like a drink. We should ask chef babs to create a special recipe for us. babs?

    Well babs, as Coffee Addict’s husband claims, there are no misconceptions, it’s all true. Well at least it’s all based on some kind of truth. Yes, drunk Frenchmen piss on the streets, just like drunk people piss on the streets anywhere in the world. I once saw a drunk woman kneel down in the middle of Time Square in NYC. I had never seen this before. I don’t think this is a typical French habit, it’s more of a typical male habit.

    Nomad, seduced by tall blondes? Well, yes, kind of. After one year in Stockholm, I met a tall blond Swede with whom I stayed 8 years.

    Coffee, so the hubby is a Dane, I bet he’s nice & yummy… I don’t know why Danes are so much against the Swedes while the Swedes LOVE the Danes. Well, actually it must all be based on the fact that Swedes come over to DK to get pissed on cheap alcohol, destroy everything they see and then get thrown back like dead meat onto the ferry and sent back to Sweden. I’m actually disturbed by Sweden’s relationship to alcohol, even if I myself am prone to alcoholism. I should post something about that.

    BTW are you in Jylland or Fyn now?

    Please kiss the Swedes for me when you are in Malmö. What are you going to do there?

  6. Ah, that was a long time. Did you leave because it ended with him?

    As for blogger, yes, it has been playing up. If you are on the net so much, you could always ‘chat’ to me on MSN when you get the urge:

  7. Nomad, no I left Sweden because I got a job in Thailand. We went there together butthat’s where it ended. Expatriation is not good on couples.

  8. jeg skal besøg nogen venner i Malmö. vil du med?

  9. Blogger has been playing up, hasn’t it? You know that Sweden is a country that’s very dear to my heart, and I still sing Öppna Landskap in the shower. ::sigh::

  10. Coffee: Jo, varför inte förutom att jag inte är sa pigg pa att besöka Sverige just nu. För manga jobbiga minnen.

    Rhino: Oh I know about your “thing” for Swedish men. And god knows you’ve had your share of that… Have you ever sung Ö. Landskap to me? Can’t remember, I do want to hear it and sing it with you… in the shower.

  11. These are by far the worst product to have ever come out of Sweden! Can’t swallow them.

  12. Yeah right – saucy! Well I have the album, so next time you come over we’ll have a “dry” run, arf! I also have a Bob Hund album for some reason, if you want to hear that lovely Malmö accent…

  13. Jab bör i Uppland! Välkomna att hälsa på!
    I can assure you, if my husband was ever waiting for the tall, hardbread eating sexpot image they sell the media…he’d still be single!

  14. Frog, you do have a very valid point as every man I’ve known just feels some king of freedom by pissing outside, especially when you’re talented enough to write your name in the snow!!Mwah!!

  15. Since I am a saint, and have no Vices, I have nothing to respond with! 🙂

    But I do want to say that I HATE IKEA! That cheap molded plastic shit.

  16. I came over today via WTFun, I remember Nils Holgerson, we had it on TV as a children’s story and it was gorgeous!!
    I think it was a translated version but it was so sad I cried and cried.
    It was years ago thought.

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