Svensk Godis

“You speak very good Swedish”, the bloke behind the counter said to me, as I purchased 200 grams of mixed “godis”. Godis is the Swedish word for “sweets”, though the word sweets often don’t apply to Swedish confectionery.

“That’s too bitter for me”, someone nearby said, after tasting the licorice. In contrast, I’m a huge fan of licorice (always have been), and I’m not a great fan of “sweet sweets”; I like the Swedish approach to confectionery.

Having had Christmas lunch with friends, it was a welcome sight to see a sign for “Swedish Candy” at the Christmas market in Sydney’s Martin Place. While my friends headed to the light rail, I called over to the stall for

Swedish candy for sale in Sydney’s Martin Place

Even though I practice most days, I haven’t spoken Swedish to an actual Swede for a couple of years. After a moment of trepidation, I summoned up the courage to ask “Är du svensk?”. He told me was from Malmö and his partner was from Stockholm. We chatted for a while in what I sometimes describe as “Swedish as it is spoken by 5-year-olds”. It was lovely to connect, and lovely that I could hold a half-decent conversation without having to think too hard about it.

It was all going fine until he said I spoke: “bra Svenska” (good Swedish). Since only about 10 million people in the world speak Swedish, I’ve always thought it was the polite way of saying, “I can’t believe you actually speak Swedish”. Anyway, he seemed like a lovely man, and now that I have details of his online store, I’m bound to be making more purchases.

Swedish candy. I bought 200 grams on Thursday, and it’s all gone.

2 Replies to “Svensk Godis”

  1. I went past the Xmas market in Martin Place on two separate occasions and never noticed the Swedish candy stall. I’m always up for trying things like that. I did buy a Portuguese custard tart which was OK. I quite like the salty licorice. I first tasted it years ago from my aunts husband who was Dutch. The Danes have similar.
    I can relate to your delight in the opportunity to speak Swedish. I get that too whenever the chance comes along to have a conversation in Hebrew.

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