Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Clap Clap Clap Clap

On Friday night we went to a Lars Winnerbäck concert, something The Swede has mentioned wanting to do a few times in the past couple of years. He just happened to be on tour this fall and I snatched up a pair of tickets as a surprise. I was too excited to keep it a secret, though, and told him the same day I bought them so we had a long time to look forward to the evening.It was a great concert and I was reminded of something funny about Swedes that I've forgotten to tell you about. Well, actually, it's more that I was confirming again and again, for the sake of science, that it wasn't a fluke. So here it is: you know how when Americans applaude we make sure that we don't clap in the same rhythm as everybody else? In fact, if it starts to happen, I, at least, start to clap faster or slower as needed to make sure the applause doesn't mutate into some distinct and highly uncomfortable rhythm. Well the Swedes love the rhythmic applause and seconds into it they'll all synchronize with one another - we're talking thousands of people! - and clap to the same beat. It is super weird, let me tell you, and there's no rectifying it by clapping at a different pace because then YOU are the one-in-thousands outsider with no sense of rhythm. Sometimes even the most discreet things will put you in your place. Sure, Mara, you may be a citizen of this country, but you dang well don't clap like a Swede.

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