Prior to my most recent visit to Sweden, my only experience with Swedish people was one night I spent in Stockholm to see The Hives in concert. That was both one of the best and worst concerts I’ve ever been to.
The show was at Gröna Lund, one of the amusement parks that Scandinavians seem so fond of. I got there early to get a good spot, and slowly I became surrounded by other concertgoers. When the band came on, I lasted exactly three songs before the crowd’s oppressive moshing almost killed me.
I always attributed that to the band, the music, and the fact that a crowd was on the young side. But actually, the Swedish seem to have absolutely no decorum when they’re in crowds in public – at any age and with any kind of music.
On my most recent visit to Stockholm, my friend got us on the list for Fou. I usually don’t like clubs that require a list but I was in a celebratory mood for reasons that I will share another time. We got there around 11 pm and the crowd was packed into the first floor before the second floor and terrace of the club opened.
Since we were one of the first people upstairs, we congregated around a small table on the second floor where the DJ was. Neither the first floor nor the upstairs terrace had music, which seems to be a common theme in Scandinavian nightlife.
The music selection was great, and we were having a fantastic time until the place started filling up. An entire group of people dressed in costume and their entourage flooded the second floor. That was fine because it was funny in a ridiculous way. It got progressively less cute every time the DJ stopped the music to play Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” when they brought them a new bottle, which was at least seven times.
But that would have also been tolerable if these people went clubbing like the classy folks they appear to be. But they behave like animals. And their awkward version of dancing is light rhythmless moshing.
Men, women, employees – everyone just shoves you out of the way when they’re trying to get by. No “excuse me,” no “sorry” in any language. These people are the definition of a bull in a china shop. They dance with their shoulders and elbows, and because they’re so big, it’s almost impossible not to get punched in the head or pushed into a wall. For the first time in my life, I missed the subtle dick-in-the-ass move that Miami guys play when they gently slide past you.
I think I speak for the rest of the civilized world when I say that if you’re gonna take up that much room on a dance floor, you need to learn to dance. This isn’t a rock concert, and I got a drink to drink it, not have it spilled all over me and the three people around me.
It seemed like everybody was really angry to be there and really annoyed that other people were in their way. As if they ended up in a crowded bar by accident. First of all, if you’re so pissed off, maybe instead of going to a club, you should take a boxing class or a Xanax to help you calm the fuck down. At least have some manners. If you need to get by, try eye contact and a couple of words. If you insist on leading with your linebacker shoulders, then maybe you should be spending your Saturday evenings playing rugby.
The women were considerably worse than the men, in an uncoordinated hot mess way. We fought back by drinking more and dancing harder, but that didn’t make it any less frustrating. It was knocking on 3 am when I had enough of the Swedish mosh pit that I got myself into. I had no interest in getting arrested in Sweden for cutting a bitch. But rest assured, I would have.
As beautiful as Stockholm was for a few days, I think I’ve had enough of Swedish people for a lifetime. On their own, they’re very pleasant, but you can’t trust people that don’t know how to behave in large groups. That’s how the Holocaust happened.