Talking about Folkuniversitetet yesterday, I remembered an almost forgotten figure from those times: The communist teacher. M. and I had named her after her daily attempts of teaching her view on swedish culture as an addition to verb forms and impossible pronunciation.
Every morning she entered the classroom with a bunch of free magazines or flyers under her arm, that she must have collected during her investigative afternoon strolls through Stockholm. Of course she used the material to discuss city life with her students. This could be piles of paper from the post office about special Christmas envelopes, a museums exhibition map or coupons from the pharmacy.
She also never failed to inform us about her right to take as much free stuff as she could possibly carry home, since it all came straight from her tax money. ”Skattepengar”.
The flyers that weren’t financed by her personally tended to belong to big capitalists, that were quite ok to rob. Those included a variety of companies like bookshops, hotels and wellness clinics.
Sollévi had just opened next to Balettakademin and our teachers eyes almost popped out when she with both hands in fists, yet a well controlled smile on their face told us, how very unusual and new this was in Sweden. Doctors and nurses should not make money with their work, she said. In Sweden, doctors only work for moral reasons. Sollévi was a clear sign of the systems decay.
Christen, the girl from Washington had the cutest question marks all over her face.
The communist teacher lectured about times when people had enough shame to hide wine bottles in other shopping bags and in the back of the kitchen cabinet. ”Young families walk around publicly with bags from Systembolaget today”, she stated. ”Vi kan ju inte ha det så. Eller hur?” (And it really shouldn’t be like that, wouldn’t you agree?)
I started dreaming about her ”Eller hur???” and my poor boyfriend, genuinely swedish, who daily got to comment and verify my newly acquired knowledge, started to get all green in the face.
”No really”, I continued, ”she said that in Sweden, we don’t like when women go out for coffee with their babies. It is not recommended. Babies should be taken care of at home where they belong, just like their mothers. Eller hur??”
I am not sure what this teacher is doing today, but things are as they tend to be, she still tries to convert a bunch of 25 foreigners each quarter. The good news is that they don’t understand. Only those who still perceive Swedish as soup of singing and bubbly sounds stay, listen and take notes.
I left the class and actually got my money back. So did M.
Folkuniversitetet reacted with a typical ”yes but no but thank you but welcome back”.
Nurses really do have ridiculous salaries.
Systembolaget just extended their range of plastic bags with a nightblue color.
The word ”Lattemamma” is registered on Wikipedia and described as young mothers from upper middle-class who are on parent leave and sit in big city coffee places, drinking lattes.
Sweden is very good at gender equality and has a word for it: Lattepappa.