One of my pet peeves from early on in living here has been how seldom other people acknowledge you when they bump into you on the bus or train, for instance. A person could knock you down, but they won’t apologize or in any way recognize that they made contact with you. It really bugs me.
As we came back from our holidays in the US, we had a lay over in Paris. In boarding the plane to Stockholm, the person behind me slammed into me rather hard. I turned around, but there was no apology or even an acknowledgment from the man. So I moved on, only to be continually pushed down the aisle all the way to the back of the plane. Puzzled as to his pushiness, I turned around again, only to realize that he was turned away from me and speaking to the person behind him. In Swedish. I laughed out loud. Of course he was Swedish. Of course he did not notice he was bowling me over with his roll-on suitcase. While I still do not understand this pushy behavior, it’s all too often the norm, as as the obliviousness to it. After four years of living here, I still don’t like this encroachment on my personal space without an apology. But I have learned to not take it so personally. Thus my laughter at realizing that I was heading home to Sweden, with all its quirks.