As yet I have not seen any piping hot B-Boy antics, served fresh from the warm oven glove of love that Sweden calls it's youth. Not once have I been danced in front of by someone wishing to show up my lack of demonstrable break dancing. I am not angry, just disappointed.
I have however, as long time reader(s?) will recall, been mistaken for either a drunk, or an underage.
Some clarification perhaps.
The law in Sweden states that one must look at least 25 years or older in order to purchase alcohol. That is without the need for ID being brought into the equation. If you have said ID, then it is possible to be 21 and secure this purchase. I am not 21. I am not even 25. I am one of those people that yearns to be 25 again. I am in fact sizeably older than 25, and have been literally amazed at the prospect of having to carry ID around with me. My passport is something for exotic locations, warmer climbs, not something to be carrying in the rain to get a bottle of rum for the weekend.
Sadly this is the state of affairs I find myself in these days.
I had gotten used to it.
That is until a week ago.
I was playing one of my favourite Swedish-based shopping games. Choose the lane checkout aisle based on who is the hottest checkout girl. Something one can still play in continental Europe without England's detestable Self Service Checkouts. Then the Swedish hit me. I cannot say what it meant. Or at least I could not until I asked her in Swedish if she spoke English. She did. Then the English hit me.
"Do you have any ID?"
I stumbled. For the second time in my life, dumbstruck.
"But I'm older than God"
Is what I should have said. I did not. I professed my exclamation, punctuated with a couple of made up swear words. Then thought about what could possibly require ID.
If you have been around since God was a boy, you still have to have ID for cigarettes. The legal age in Sweden for the purchase of cigarettes is 18. I know I do not look 17. If i did, I would still be applying for student discounts and getting into student unions. I do none of these things. Therefore I do not look 17.
I should take it as a compliment. Or at least that is what I have been told. I should take it up with a manager more like.
The anger and vitriol subsided, however, when I learnt that if you look under 25, you must provide ID to prove you are over 18.
That's a hell of a boundary.
At least in Japan you get self service cigarette machines that allow you to hold up a picture of a film star from a magazine and get away with it.