The Swedish fika. The perfect ice breaker be it business or pleasure. Business wise it’s a gloriously informal chitchat where ideas are floated and others are, well, not sank because this is Sweden, but shall we say ‘nudged into open water’.
Pleasure wise they can either entail friends or a date… perhaps not even a date as such, more just a getting together to see what you think of each other. It’s more of a ‘pre date’ than anything, and this is where the extreme beauty of this cheeky little cultural nuance comes into its own.
Swedes being notoriously shy are rather unlikely to be up for a date out of nowhere, but with a touch of charm and a dash of luck you might be able to coax a fika out of someone.
Being mostly a man of leisure I have had 5 years hard fika’ering under my little belt and I have become anything but ‘lagom’ at it. Remember I’m not Swedish so I will allow myself to bathe in my talents rather than be bashful about them.
So there’s someone you like, great. Confidence is key, but don’t allow yourself to come over as brash or arrogant. It is a fine line best walked carefully, which in itself is ironic as stockholmers walk anything but carefully, but still.
After you’ve warmed them up a bit I’ve found its a good idea to ask presumably rather than nervously. Confidently but not taking it as a given.
Here comes the magic.
Sweden is notorious for equality between the sexes, and it is not uncommon to see couples queuing one behind the other to pay for their own coffee. This goes against every fibre in my dare I say ‘well rounded physique’.
However i am a firm believer in chivalry as well as equality and I can safely say when implemented in the right way Swedish girls appreciate it.
‘Look, why don’t you get us a seat and I’ll get the first ones, then you can get the next ones. Equality right 👍‘.
Now you can either give them a thumbs up, the finger gun, or go up top for a high five and hope they don’t leave you hanging. I joke, pinch their arse and give them a nod and a wink..
I will be doing an open mic night next sunday at Big Ben in Söder if anyone’s interested. Support much appreciated.
.. This should put you in the good books, at least after they’ve managed to push aside their feelings of you being a sexist pig anyhow.
Now, conversation tips and techniques.
- Shut your mouth and open your ears.
- Sit there and smile, nod every so often.
- Under no circumstances tell them you support Trump.
- Play the hole you’re on.
It’s no good me pretending I know everything or that I am some fika God, but it never hurts to let someone talk and show them you’re actually listening.
And every person is different so you have to go with the flow, but I can say why you can alter your game a little depending on the lie of the green you should always be yourself. Apart from if you support Trump. No matter what reasoning you give anyone they will be disgusted with your attempts to justify The Donald, take it from me haha!