Many a non-Swede will complain about the Swedish unwillingness to make eye-contact out in public. People look at you from afar, but the closer you get the more their eyes tilt down. By the time they have reached you, by the time they pass you on the street their eyes are studying the specks on the ground.
It is heartbreaking to live amongst people who want so little contact with the outside world, with people they don't know, or are only faintly familiar with.
It was even more heartbreaking to see this very trait in my daughter's young friend this morning. After dropping my kids off I walked past her (and whoever was escorting her to daycare) and watched her eyes drop to the ground as she neared me. She is my daughter's friend, how can it be that a six year old has already acquired this behaviour?
It makes for a very lonely life if you don't know anyone....