Four postcards from Sweden

I went to Sweden with a friend in 2018. While there are many things that I will always remember from the trip, I think most of all, the trip was loaded with a lot of unexpected, impromptu funny moments.

I thought let me make this post about humorous experiences, the kind of ones that come to your life in unexpected little ways, bursting forth like a spot of rain on a sunny day!

‘These are like the ginger shots we have at breakfast’

While we had our breakfast daily at our hotel – Hotel Rival (they laid out a lovely spread), for lunch we would usually grab something depending on where we were. Lunch could be had at the cafe of the museum we were visiting or from a cafe on the street. For dinner, we tried to go to a restaurant that we had researched about, and if we felt indulgent, we would order something really nice and splurge a bit.

One afternoon, we decided to have a slightly elaborate lunch. I was excited because the menu offered Swedish meat balls, but had the non beef versions too – elk and reindeer.

While I was busy making a choice between elk and reindeer, my friend turned around and said that she was ordering ‘energy shots’ for the both of us.

I know little to nothing about drinks and I hardly have any alcoholic drinks, having grown up in a state in India that prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol.

And because she was ordering for the both of us, and since she wasn’t having any alcohol on the trip either, I asked –

“What are these?”

“Oh, these?” she replied, “These are like little shots of appetising fruity sodas or energy shots we get at breakfast. Like those ginger ones and apple ones. What shall I order for you? Cherry flavour perhaps?

“Oh, lovely,” I exclaimed.

Our food arrived and so did the ‘energy shots’. They came in tiny shot glasses.

I took one sip. My throat burned, eyes watered and I choked up.

“D,” I said, in a bewildered voice – “these don’t seem to be non alcoholic. My throat is on fire.”

“Of course not, let me take a sip,” she replied.

She took a sip from her glass and there was a long, pregnant pause.

The waitress hovered around our table.

“Are you ladies alright?” she asked. She had heard me coughing.

“Well,” I said, pointing at the two energy shots, “what are these?”

“These,” she said, “are Schnapps. These are typically Swedish alcoholic drinks taken with a meal. And mind you, they are very high on the alcoholic content – about 15 to 20 % and sometimes even more.”

She smiled. “Are you ladies enjoying your Schnapps? Do you want to try some other flavours? But well, it is only noon and ours have 20 % alcohol.” She trailed off.

After she left, I tried another sip. I felt my head swirl like I was on a roller coaster ride. This time, my eyes squinted too.

“D,” I said, “I don’t think I can have these. These seem to be much stronger than the Bacardi Breezers I have. Or prosecco.”

Hmm, she said. I thought when it said ginger, apple, aniseed, cherry and such, it was just some kind of a fruity juice with some soda or something in it.

The waitress came over again. She laughed. “You didn’t know you were ordering alcoholic drinks? And these are way way stronger than your prosecco! Do you want something else to have in place of these?”

We said no. My friend poured the contents of her Schnapps shot to her large glass of water. She then gulped it down.

I sat there, laughing and she joined me too. Did she feel a tad dizzy for the rest of the afternoon? I couldn’t really tell!

(Part 2, 3 are here and 4 will follow)

3 thoughts on “Four postcards from Sweden

  1. Thanks for sharing such precious memories from your trip to Sweden. Visiting different countries and trying to order unfamiliar food and drinks can often lead to funny stories to remember in years to come. I hope all is well with you and your family during these uncertain times. Aiva 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for writing in, as always. Really appreciate it. We are at the moment in India and aren’t able to travel back to Dublin as India closed its borders and suspended all international and domestic travel. However, we are safe, we are able to be of some help to our families and am grateful for that. I hope all three of you are doing well.
      The trip to Sweden was full of such moments – funny, laughter inducing and big on the friendliness of the people we met as well as lots of fun. All of that combined made the trip very memorable.


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