“Talk is Cheap on Satellite” – Calling Sweden
April 12th, 2016 @ 5:29 pm


If you are in the US, call that number and you get a random Swede! Just remember, that Sweden is 6 hours ahead of the East Coast.

As part of the celebration of the Freedom of the Press Act of 1766, the Swedish Tourist Association has set up The Swedish Number for the world to talk to a random Swede.

So, this morning, before work, I called the American Swedish Number, 1-301-276-0600. At 8:20 AM in Savannah, GA, it is 2:20 PM in Sweden. I was connected to a nice lady, Malin. In speaking with her, I found out I was her third call, but first American.

Malin was in Stockholm. We compared the weather in Stockholm and Savannah. She has the nice weather we had yesterday. She was happy it was spring and she didn’t need a jacket. I told her it was wet here.

I asked her are can she see the aurora borealis/northern lights there. She said you can’t see them in Stockholm, but if you do further north in Sweden, you can. From her talking, Sweden sounds like Bryan County down here. It’s not too wide, but’s it’s a long county. Going back to the weather, she said the northern part of the county is cold and she goes there for skiing. Sweden may be smaller than the US, but they have there regions like we do. Malin isn’t fond of the cold, which sounds like my grandfathers that were from the Buffalo, NY region, but both settled in Nashville, TN later in life.

We talked about bilingualism. She said they learn English very young. They are now teaching it before Kindergarten. She also learned it from watching a lot of American and British TV. I was lucky to take 7 weeks of French and Spanish each in 7th grade, the earliest I was taught. I have trouble speaking anything except “C’est la vie” and “Si ce n’est pas l’amour qu’est-ce que c’est?” in French. That there shows the difference in foreign language skills in our schools.

As the bilingualism conversation was ending, we moved over to IKEA. I told her I probably would learn a few more Swedish words since my sister is about to start working for their distribution center here. We don’t have an IKEA here in Savannah, and the one in Jacksonville isn’t open, yet, but a distribution center is in Savannah.

The call was only 7 minutes, but it was interesting.

I decided to call in the Swedish evening at my lunch time. Calling again, I was connected to Sharawan in Göteborg (Gothenburg). He’s about 6 hrs from Stockholm. 19 year old kid in the midst of studying. He had just finished at the gym. Mainly talked about how far his city is from Stockholm. Wished him luck in his studies. I asked him what his name meant, but he said he didn’t know. I explained that on paper, I look like a male, but as he could hear, I was a female. This call only lasted for 5 minutes.

The interesting thing when calling, is the start of the call goes “Calling Sweden,” complete with the accent. It reminds me of the old Eurovision reels I’ve seen on YouTube when they are calling the nations for their points. Interesting that the Eurovision contest this year will be in Stockholm.

Third person – a nice lady didn’t catch name due to reception. From the sounds of it, it also started with an S. She was traveling home to Stockholm from Oslo, Norway. We spoke about the trains. She’s said it’s cheaper to fly than to use the train. She also visited the USA in November to visit Key Largo and the rest of the Florida Keys. I told her it can be cost prohibited for me fly to the to West Coast, but I can afford to drive up and down the East Coast. She had spoken to many Americans and had signed up for this as soon as she heard about it. I’d do it if we had one for Georgia, USA.

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