In commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the abolition of censorship in Sweden, the Swedish government has just launched a telephone hotline allowing anyone who dials it to speak to a random Swedish person. Because Sweden.
While this might just sound like more crazy Scando socialist nonsense to most of us Aussies (seriously can you ever imagine something like this working here?), there is a kind of bizarre logic at play. The idea is that the Swedes will speak to the foreign callers about their country and culture without fear of censorship.
The system connects foreign callers to ordinary Swedish citizens who have volunteered, with, and this being Sweden, 3000 people already having signed up. I mean how cold is it over there that people are so bored they’re volunteering to be called by random strangers from overseas?
The idea isn’t without precedent though, following on from the @sweden Twitter account that was started in 2011. The brainchild of the government’s PR agency (wouldn’t you have loved to hear this pitch), the account selects a different Swede every week and lets them discuss/rant about whatever the hell they want.
Anyway if you’re feeling up for a bit of a chin wag with a Scando in another land-o, the number is +46 771 793 336 although keep in mind that international charges do apply.
Meanwhile, all I can think of is this.