03 March, 2012

Talking to the Swedes

Aside from the 20 steps to the reception, and a young man did help me with my luggage. The hotel is more than adequate. Yes there are hallways that go on forever, turns like a maze in England and the room is nice but too small for Dick. He likes the speciousness of the Udaipur palace. Then who wouldn't? But the bed is nice. There are two pushed together, which makes getting up and down easier because you don't bother your partner.

The first evening we needed a drink. So we first went into the screaming bar, singers singing American songs from the 1960s protesting anything and everything. Then a guy got up and blathered a poem about the fiscal crisis, which is all very nice, but really? This is your form of entertainment? Everyone clapped and hooted and thought they had just heard the queen say she would step down and let the homeless lady down the street take her place.

So we took our drink and sat in the lobby, which we were told is against the law. Maybe a kid could grab our drink and take a taste.  Really that's what the man behind the reception told us. Of course we ignored the silly rule to save our ears from the noise.

We talked to the the Swedish receptionist about Sweden's place in Scandinavia, and he said that Denmark and Norway were jealous of Sweden and wanted to be just like the Swedes. The Swedes would never copy or sing songs, never read books  from Denmark and Norway, but those two countries were Swedish wannabes. I decided not to say that the Swedes were profiting from both sides of the war, while Denmark and Norway suffered under the heels of the Nazis.

Then we started talking about the US Government and he said that Obama was like a big balloon, full of hot air, which burst sometime after the election living him limp and lifeless. "But let's face it," he said," there is nothing more disgusting than the American form of government and their politicians." It never does any good to jump to our defense, because even if we feel the same way, we don't want to hear some ninny from a pissant country talk about us that way, because they really have no clue how anything works in the US.

The Swedes are considered very tolerant people. For years their welfare system was so extensive, that there was up to 18% absenteeism at work. So the crisis hit them early and they cleaned up their act. Now they are booming, so what does one say to that.

 However, we ran into the manager, who had no love for the owner of the bar and restaurant. He told us the food was horrible, which is not true, so he must have some personal vendetta. In any case, I said I had just come from vacationing in Spain and he asked me if I could get a receipt there. I was a bit confused because I never had any trouble, but I did have to ask. Yes, he said, they don't give receipts, because they don't want to pay taxes. Frankly this is not my problem and I don't care. Not too PC on his part. 

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