In Ghana we often complain about the laziness of workers, especially civil servants. I'm always unimpressed when I see Friday traffic starting at noon because staff have decided to cut their day short as the weekend is about to start. Similarly it's always funny to guess how many people will show up at work on a Friday when the Thursday before it is a holiday. Usually, the answer is quite close to 0%.
I don't know if I was away from Sweden for too long, but somehow I thought the work morale here was better. It was only when I was heading into town yesterday around 12:30 that I noticed the tram was a lot more crowded than usual. I said so to my mum and she reminded me that today, Ascension day, was a holiday. I still wasn't sure that was the reason I was seeing so many people...until I bumped into my older brother V outside Nordstan, the main shopping centre.
"Are you on your lunch break?" I asked. "Yeah, but I'm heading home, because there's hardly anybody in the office."
Suddenly I remembered my walk in Slottsskogen, the largest city park, three weeks ago, on our first summery day (24 degrees and sunshine!). It had been around 1p.m. on a Thursday and yet it seemed every person in Gothenburg was picnicking in the park. Why? Because the next day was 1st of May, Labour Day.
And as if taking a half day before Ascension Day is not enough, it seems nobody will show up for work tomorrow either. After all tomorrow is known as a "klämdag", a day squeezed in between a holiday and the weekend, which seems to be a good enough excuse to make that too a holiday.
Now I know you're thinking, what the hell is she complaining about, shouldn't we be happy for more days off??? And really, I'm not complaining, I just find the excuses for more time off funny, but mostly I am amused by how easy it is to complain about Ghana when I'm there...and how similar the working patterns of Swedes and Ghanaians are. The two are closer to each other than we think!