Swedes not so sweet

I’m a bit shocked this morning. I’m having an ongoing cyber-row with a Swedish lady I’ve never even met. And it’s getting quite nasty.

It’s all because I’ve developed a new hobby, buying our favourite china, Ostindia by Rorstrand, on eBay. Ostindia is a pretty Swedish blue and white floral patterned dinner service, with a romantic story attached – it came out in 1932, inspired by a shard of china salvaged from the wreck of the Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg, which sank in 1745. We saw it on holiday and fell in love.

Then the eBay supply of Ostindia plates dried up (all right, I bought it all). So clever TL found the Swedish equivalent of eBay, Tradera. As Rorstrand is a Swedish firm, you can hardly move on Tradera for Swedes flogging their Ostindia – it’s still one of Sweden’s most popular patterns today. I’ve had great fun, browsing page after page of candlesticks, tureens and other bits and bobs that you can’t find anywhere in the UK. Before you ask, my Swedish is limited to ‘hi’ – I just paste everything into Google Translate.

Finally, I decided to take the plunge and I bought a teapot. Ostindia teapots have been discontinued in the real world, so I was pleased to find one on Tradera, and remained pleased even when the seller told me how much she was going to charge me for postage. I was very happy indeed, right up until the moment I opened the box this morning. The teapot is NOT Ostindia, it doesn’t have the right markings, it’s slightly the wrong colour, the printing is all wrong, some of it is even blurry as though it’s a bad photocopy of a teapot.

You’d never think a Swede would lie, would you? They have a reputation for being upstanding, honourable, good people. After eight increasingly vituperative emails this morning, I’m now coming round to thinking that it’s no wonder Inspector Wallander is so busy in the Henning Mankell books. What this lady is trying to get away with is blimmin criminal.


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