Wednesday 4 September 2013

Free Coffee Refill is Not Flirting

kafffeLast week an Englishman visited me in Gothenburg. He went for a walk (on his own) and ended up in a café. When I asked him how his morning went he said that a waitress had given him a free coffee.
It took a while before I realised that he was talking about "påtår" which is an old Swedish word for coffee refill and is often included in the price when you buy a coffee. My friend was a little bit disappointed. The waitress wasn't flirting, she was just exposing him to a Swedish custom. Also when you go for lunch in Sweden coffee or tea is complementary and is called "kaffe på maten" ("coffee on top of the food").

It would have been awkward if my friend had returned to the café, hoping for something to happen with the waitress. On the other hand this cultural clash could have been the beginning of something romantic.

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