Thursday, October 8, 2009

Autumn time - snuffles time

Even after three years in Sweden there is this one thing I do not understand: why do Swedish people think, that blowing the nose in public is disgusting but instead snuffling is the better solution? In the beginning I just felt irritated and was wondering if all the people in the tube forgot their tissues (which was admittedly naive and rather unlikely). The a friend told me that she read in a kind of "rules of etiquette" book that blowing your nose is a no go in Swedish society.

I adjusted to it as good as I could. When living in a foreign country you wanna show some respect to the rules and behaviours of the according country as I am the foreigner, right? But still, the whole idea does not make any sense in my mind. How is snuffling, sharing the fact that you have a running nose, better than one time blowing your nose and get it over with? The tricky thing about the whole adjustment is that when I return to Germany for a few days I of course do not re-adjust myself automatically, I am no robot. But with the snuffling of my nose I collected some weird looks from other Germans around me, which was the reminder "Oh damn, wrong country for snuffling!" The good thing then about being in Germany again is the huge variety of tissues. Here in Sweden I often have to dig a little until I find then, but in Germany the plurality of tissues is overwhelming: with balm, extra-soft, menthol, for kids, big box, aroma therapy etc etc. In Swedish supermarket: Lambi and house brand of the accordant supermarket.

Supermarkets can certainly be a very good indicator for all kinds of typical behaviours and habits, both foodwise and hygienic. While Swedish supermarkets have a huge variety of "lösgodis", their diversity of milk products is relatively small in comparison to Germany. I have to admit though, that in Swedish supermarkets the needs of people with food intolerances are well considered: lactose intolerance, gluten free, all kinds of diet stuff; a food intolerance does not mean to abstain from anything. In general, the eco market and "hälsokost" are very well covered here. A lot of things are also nearly fat free, but reading the small imprints just shows: cutting down the fat means adding up sugar :-(

When I am for example in Åhléns, I am impressed how much make up there is and how little hygienic stuff in comparison. I mean I can get everything I need, but nontheless I am happy to go to Germany to go to DM, my most favorite cosmetic store in the world: cheap, nice, good stuff and again a HUUUUUUGE variety of everything. I wouldn't keep on stressing this fact if my Swedish friend Helena, that came to a road trip with me this summer through Germany, was completely staggered after entering DM for the first time. She never wanted to leave again. The prices just made her speechless AND the quality of the stuff also convinced her. Mmmh yeah, I guess DM is one of the things I miss most, but nonetheless, I absolutely love Sweden and don't want to leave any time soon :-)

1 comment:

  1. absolutely agree about tissues hahahha. I felt the same!!. David