So I’ve begun speaking with people. Not that I was not speaking before, of course I was. Some would probably even say I speak too much. And some of them would be correct. What I mean is that I’ve started speaking with strangers in situations where I would, in correct Swedish fashion, not speak at all. I will give two recent examples as I feel unusually pedagogical today.
Yesterday after a spinning class I told a middle aged man that ‘boy, you really get sweaty from spinning’ (which is not the most interesting thing to say, I know, but that was what I was thinking at that moment). He smiled and then we talked a bit about spinning and I made a reference to my San Francisco spinning instruction and the military. He laughed and thought that it perhaps is good to test your limits sometimes. Then we said goodbye and that was it. Today I exchanged some words with one of the men who are redoing the balconies outside my new home. I asked him how it was going and got a lecture on the difference between the concrete balconies of today (better quality, a thick level of isolation that keeps water from coming in and making holes in the concrete) and the ones that was there before. Interesting, I said, and I was not lying. He knew what he was talking about, which in my opinion is an important quality for any guy working in the concrete balcony industry. Then he continued his work and I walked away.
Not all random conversations turn out like this however. This summer, when I was leaning out of a window on a night train waiting to depart from Zürich Haubtbahnhof I struck up a conversation with a blond and friendly looking older man from France who was leaning out of the window next to me. He seemed perfectly normal at first and spoke about his love for Sweden and its nature. But then, after hearing a police car racing by, he suddenly became a raging racists and began explaining that all the problems in Switzerland was due to ‘the Muslims and their drugs and guns’. But hey, you can’t expect all conversations with strangers to pan out.