Dispatch #27 – Mexico.

I AM a representative of the former British Empire and the current Commonwealth of Nations; I am the descendant of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the son of an RAF pilot. I did not graduate with First Class honours from Cambridge University and since then have not entered the Foreign Office’s prestigious diplomatic corps.

The Northern Plights’ documents my assessment of Sweden for the possibility of any future conquests which the British Government’s War Cabinet is not considering.

Mexico? Have I lost my Elgin marbles? Have I gone, what I might haphazardly suggest the Swedes spell ‘löcö’? Before now Mexico has never really featured on my radar, I once went to an American Ambassador’s fancy dress party as an ‘illegal immigrant’, but beyond that I have paid it no mind. Nor, incidentally, has The Empire, Britannia has enough drunk, shouty, stabby people of its own, muchas gracias all the same.

Yet Mexico, it seems, has been thrust upon me, like an awkward maneuver performed by one of its working class masked wrestlers.

This came to fluorescent-stripped light one Friday afternoon whilst striding a shopping trolley up and down the aisles of my local food court. Most of the fresh foods look like they have been clubbed over the head and dragged in by a bedraggled hunter. For a fussy connoisseur, pickings are slim and mostly pickled.

Whether the Swedes had gone on a hunger strike was not clear, but what was obvious was that the store was deathly quiet, a quiet I had not heard since I squiffyly bellowed ‘You know Abba were miming, right?’ at a Swedish Embassy musical soirée.

But hold the Ericsson phone, there was life…and it was all centred in one aisle. My curiosity got the better of me and I waited for the blond/e mass to dissipate. They left behind the bare shelves of what had once been the Mexican food aisle, and I don’t mean ‘shelves’, an ENTIRE aisle had been reserved for cacti and sombrero adorned tins, jars and spice-mix boxes. Like a pack of malnourished wolves with a wild boar carcass they had stripped it bare. And sure enough, as the checkout bleeped and blöoped their items out, every basket contained at least one item from the now barren Tex/Mex shelves.

Why…varför…¿por qué?

In short, I wish I knew.

No one knows, but this quite genuinely appears to be the embryonic stages of a tradition, like ‘Christmas’ or ‘colonialism’. At the very heart is the notion of ‘Fredagsmys‘ which literally translates as ‘Fredagsmys’ or, if you ask a native, ‘Friday Cosy’, a custom akin to the slightly more dogmatic and restrictive Jewish Friday tradition of Shabbat.

Everywhere else in the world it would be referred to as ‘I am Knackered and Can’t Be Bothered to Cook or Go Out Day’, but since the early 1990s some entrepreneurial Swedes have made it into a marketing Mecca – they have found a way to fleece the hard-earned kronor from the, err, fleeced pockets of the Average Swede while festering with his/her loved ones on the sofa. Sweets, snacks, fizzy pops and all manner of calorific mucks are consumed by the snow-shovel load, but where there is muck there is gold and the company on the winner’s podium is Santa Maria.

For all intents and purposes this Swedish-based company has snuck into homes, removed the meatballs and replaced them with the ingredients of a taco…and no one has cared, not a jot, in fact they have embraced the taco to such an extent that the day is morphing into ‘Taco Friday‘.  Every year Santa Maria makes 85 million taco shells along with 200 million tortillas..that’s an awful lot of Tex/Mex for a population of 9.5 million.

Food pundits, health campaigners, social historians are all scratching their Nordic noggins trying to pinpoint the precise origins of this weekly custom; Ladies and Gentlemen, let me come  to your assistance – The Brits have been sitting on their posteriors doing nothing but eating rubbish since records began, welcome to The New World Empire, you appear to be settling in nicely.

Toodle pip,

ATTENTION BOTH THE FOREIGN OFFICE AND EMPIREES: My name Juan, I take Dippylomat hostage…you subscribe or I break ‘is monocle.

About The Dippylomat, Esq.

A connoisseur, a charmer and a bit of a cad.
This entry was posted in Benjamin Disraeli, Culture, diets, Ex pats, Food, Gothenburg, Humour, RAF, Stockholm, Sweden, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Dispatch #27 – Mexico.

  1. When reading this, if I chose to stifle my laugh (as Swedish culture unfortunately recommends when you find something terribly amusing) I will from here on call myself an idiot. How on EARTH do you manage to find all these words to portray a simple grocery shopping into a comedy?? I am amused, amazed and dumbfounded by your talent. I STILL can’t stop laughing! And yes – I do agree with what you say; the line between Christmas and Colonialism has become faint…. hahahaha…. and I have always and WILL always think of Sweden as being a bit of a copycat when it comes to trying to be original. The only think I would say is connected to Swedish success would be IKEA…. what do you think? Copycat or original…? What do you say? 🙂 // E

  2. Oh, I forgot to explain myself…. sorry; what I mean with being a copycat is that just because something is “popular” and that the advertisment we are constantly poised by on telly, all Swedes find themselves forced to follow suit. Jantelagen någon? AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT FOOD???? xD Can’t help but be a little mean and sarcastic. Sometimes it’s good for u yes? 🙂 Please do not think of me as a negative and evil-tongued person, I am truly a kind and gentle woman but when something bugs me, boy does it bug me…. it drives me bonkers at times. Sorry about two comments at once… //E

  3. egills says:

    Fajitas… I love fajitas, but making them is no mean feat, I mean they have to have a decent salsa and guacamole ( preferably home made ). Does it get warm enough up there to eat them though?

  4. mzungu says:

    Recently come across to your blog,it’s humorous and very interesting reading congrats.
    Keep them coming.
    Greetings from Smålands Högland, heart and sole of Sweden.(away for the winter months!)

  5. G says:

    What happened to Dispatch #27?

  6. The wolf ate that one too!

    Mistake noted and amended, consider yourself an honourary prrof reader, dear G.

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

  7. SwedeGee says:

    Det ar slut for veckan , det ar dax for fredagsmyyyyyyys! 😉
    Tacos taste better than Mamma’s kott bullar. I think that is what old wolf’s end up as, lol.

  8. Gristybeasty says:

    The rest of you I have decided are/is deranged. I have consulted my psychologist as to why i click or rather hit, on these dispatches. He advises that it could be
    all about nephew’y love and that I have this insane desire to keep an eye on this wayward nephew who vomits forth copious bundles of bilge.
    As for the rest of you commenter(s) you are sycophants and you would probably all be best off behind bars. There you are, it sucks!

  9. Marigv V says:

    With a humble grace and if you permit I wish to introduce myself. Aww, sorry I forgot to shine my shoes and to have a proper attitude in front of you, Sir. Let me arrange my dress and take a straight attitude. Right…. I’m from East descend from a Queen and a bloody Impaler. I’m on this land to learn about other people customs.
    Arrh, right about the blog topic. I have never eaten Mexican food. 🙂

    • How delightful to meet your grace, Her Royal Highness Marigv the V,

      Be in no doubt that a friend of Vlad’s is a friend of mine. Having not tried Mexican food is of no consequence as it means you have also not experienced gastroenteritis.

      ~The Dippylomat esq.

  10. ladyfi says:

    You’re hysterical! I take it you are posted up north in Sweden. (I’m just north of Stockholm.)

    Don’t forget that Friday night is now tacos night for most Swedes. Hurray for Mexican food! (I was born in Mexico, but that is my only tenuous connection….)

    • Why greetings there, Lady Fi,

      May I say that you are my tenuous link to royaly, that is if you pronounce ‘Fi’ as in ‘hi’ and not Fi’ as in ‘fee’!
      Unfortunately I am in the ‘grubby end’, in dear ol’ Malmö.

      Thank you ever so much for your flattery.

      ~The Dippylomat esq

  11. Carrie says:

    Haha! so funny! 😉

    One is not surprise at this, though, as Sweden is a cold country for the most part, and what better way to ‘warm your cockles’ than to have a nice hot ‘n’ spicy mexican dish!

    One is off to her salsa class now 🙂

  12. OK, now I will have to check to see whether my local Konsum here in Stockholm has a Tex-Mex Friday! As an American living in Sweden, I’m all for Tex Mex, but typically find the local offerings to be rather unimpressive.

  13. Ms S. i. Sweden,

    I dare say your local Konsum will have a bounty of all manner of quasi-Mexican dishes..Sweden really is Little Mexico!

    ~ The Dippylomat esq.

  14. anitalok says:

    Funny, my swedish boyfriend and I always made Tacos pretty frequently and I never fully understood why besides the fact that he loves it…hm..


  15. Your blog is truly funny! I couldn’t stop laughing because I’m from Mexico and my boyfriend is Swedish, and he absolutely looooves tacos! Now that he is in my country, he can’t stop eating them almost everyday.

    • How awfully kind of you to say so Maria and thank you for reading. The Swedes certainly do get a little bonkers every Friday; to be honest, I have never really explored Mexican food until I moved to Sweden and now I am hooked although every time I eat tacos I always wonder what the streets of Mexico must look like – are they covered in shattered bits of taco shells, they are impossible to eat!

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