The Dial-a-Swedes were also happy to offer various travel tips.Enid said that strategically layered clothing was key to combating the harsh winter climate and Daniel told me that Stockholm’s state-owned museums were now offering free admission.After even more voicemails, a young woman finally answered, but told me it wasn’t a good time to talk because she was eating lunch. Enid, 18, answering from her home in the eastern coastal city of Oskarshamn, was happy to talk about her town, her pony, and what she was going to have for lunch— hamburgers, not meatballs, by the way.Torgny Peterson, a 69-year-old retiree in Gothenburg who had previously worked for a global NGO, discussed Sweden’s immigration policies and the recent terror arrests in Belgium.“This is the same thing as you and me having a conversation on a bus.We want to be open-minded.”Having spent about 18 months living in Stockholm, I found Swedes a polite but reserved bunch, and it surprised me that so many would voluntarily engage in impromptu phone conversations with random strangers.
She was roundly criticised after the airing of a two-part two-hour documentary on Swedish national television called 'The Sex War'.“Instead of a marketing firm, we wanted the real Swedish people talking about Sweden.”But wasn’t it a potentially risky, I wondered, leaving publicity in the hands of just anyone?After all, it was only a few years ago when the country had citizen ambassadors take charge of its official Twitter account, only to have one woman stir up controversy with a series of odd, anti-Semitic tweets.“We are an open country, and everyone has their own opinion,” she said.” I asked at one point, mentioning western Sweden’s largest city as a reference point.“I am not really sure exactly,” said Tobias, who told me that it wasn’t unusual to encounter badgers and deer on his nightly forest walks. Quite a bit north.”The hotline is supposed to be active 24/7, but this turned out to be only true in theory. on Sunday night, the same pleasant, automated voice informed me that, “Sweden is asleep right now, so you might end up in someone’s voicemail.”Asleep? While I was able to get through after p.m., post-midnight attempts saw my calls directed to voicemail. But then the same thing happened with a succession of calls placed between and am. The country also offers a generous parental leave policy that gives Swedish moms and dads a combined total of 480 paid days off.That being the case, they couldn’t all be working, right? Or maybe it was such a runaway success that all the lines were tied up? Fortunately, additional attempts over the next few hours yielded several pleasant conversations with Swedes from all over the country.