This post is part of my ongoing series entitled Culture Clash. Part truth, all sass, Culture Clash takes a less than conventional look at the differences between cultures. Previous post: Why My Country Is Better Than Yours.
After almost 4 years of living in Sweden, I've come to understand that there are many awesome things about Sweden: free health care and university, almost everyone speaks English, and they have cinnamon buns the size of your head. Vegan ones, at that! Aside from the fact that you won’t see the sun for half the year, this place is a friggin' paradise. But underneath the pale and blonde surface lies a cultural trait that has shaken me to my very core. I feel obligated to speak out.
You see, where I come from, there is a place bound by rules and respect. It’s a place that brings people together, a place for sneakily making out and overindulging in king-sized soda pop.
That place? The movie theatre.
As a kid, I went to the movies almost every week. In the small town where I grew up, admission was only $2 on Tuesdays. I went so often that if the 7pm movie was bad, I would just pay to see another one at 9pm to wash my memory clean. Heck, if you saw Battlefied Earth in the cinema you’d do the same.
Now, where I come from, the movie theatre has rules. Sure, you can bend them here and there, but it is an abhorrent faux pas to break them. Where I come from, people turn their phones off in the theatre. They aren’t checking the time or their texts, and certainly aren’t taking calls. They aren’t chatting up a storm like this is their damn living room, either. Want to reach for that final twizzler in the bag? You do that shit quietly. You don’t ruffle your popcorn or slurp your Barq’s during quiet scenes. You know why? Because that is inconsiderate.
Where I come from, we live in something called a society.
I thought Sweden was a socialist dream, a place where people put the common good ahead of selfish needs.
But I was wrong.
OH. And you know what else these perfect looking heathens do? They talk during the previews. Not just the terrible car commercials, but the previews for other upcoming films. I mean, heck. Where does it end??
Now, I’ve been to the movies in half a dozen countries on half the world’s continents. I’m something of a going to the movies expert. Yet never in my life have I seen these obscene behaviours take root so strongly. It would be baffling if it wasn't so annoying.
When I asked Christine, my Swedish partner, why people do that here, she replied with a shrug.
“People are dicks here.”
Hm. So there you have it. That’s why I hate Sweden: it’s full of dicks.
In case you missed it, this is part of my ongoing tongue in cheek series CULTURE CLASH. Part sarcasm, part truth, all sass. I don’t actually hate Sweden…but I do wish people here would be quiet at the cinema.
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