I have a friend visiting from the US right now. Whenever I have a visitor, it seems that I end up having to interpret this town for them. When she tries to speak to a stranger on the subway and is ignored, I explain the difference between casual interactions here and in the US. When service at a restaurant is slow, I tell him or her about the salary, tip structure and general customer service standards. In the grocery, I explain what all those dairy products are for and in the restaurants, I also explain and translate the menu. In short, I provide a crash course in all those things that work differently here and that I would have liked to know when I first arrived.
Of course, I am also the tour guide expert. I have worn out many a traveler with my walking tour of Stockholm. After five years of highlighting which sights to see and which to skip, I no longer feel in any way compelled to accompany anyone to the Vasa Museum. Been there, done that many, many times and don’t feel the need to go again. On the other hand, I am pretty much always up for a boat trip to the archipelago. So take my walking tour if you dare, but for the Vasa I will loan you my tour book and provide directions. My generous tour guide spirit only goes so far.