Just came back from a few days trip to Sweden. The usual business meeting with some additional time to linger around: an opportunity to soak in a bit of local atmosphere. Although visually just another European town (Stockholm) with the charming cobbled streets, centuries old architecture, quaint shops, and traces of royaly sprinkled all over, something was amiss. The people appeared a bit different. Quite pleasant is the best way to describe them. Europe is not the best place to be coming across smiles on the daily go - since they are not the best at pleasantries - which is perfectly alright - infact the cloying pleasantries of America are on the other hand quite superfluous.
Perhaps these the most pleasant western Europeans. With my limited exposure to western Europeans, as compared to others Swedes appear more positive in their dealings with people. My belief was confirmed when I heard my colleague told me what a recently immigrated African cab driver told him. He said that after trying London and Paris, where he felt inexplicit discrimination, he tried Stockholm. And so far (it had been a year) he loved it; the people are genuinely normal he claimed.
I landed in Sweden with fewer impressive adjectives - quite efficient, best mechanical engg industry, ikea with its charitable ceo, volvo's safest cars....... and left a lot more impressed.
I just googled - ikea sweden volve abb' and this is what I got - quite an interesting read