Being Different in Gothenburg

I’ve been to Gothenburg. It was different this time. I didn’t get to pick the restaurant. I’m a vegetarian, and restaurant usually means a lot to me. This time, I didn’t want to say anything. It was me and 20 other guys. First, I didn’t want to tell them that I was a vegetarian. It’s usually a big thing when I’m introduced to people. It’s what we talk about. Now, I’m thinking that being a vegetarian is like being purple. So, it doesn’t bother me that people talk about it and ask me all sorts of questions.

I don’t eat seafood

But, I usually don’t try to stand out from the crowd. I like to blend in. I enjoy being just one of the guys. So, I decided not to say anything about the restaurant. I was a bit worried though. The name of the restaurant, was Räkan (the shrimp). I don’t eat seafood, and everything about the restaurant was referring to seafood.

We walked to the restaurant in bright sunshine. We talked. We laughed. I walked passed a vegetarian restaurant, and I was thinking about the dinner I would eat by myself later on. Usually, I eat before I arrive at a party or at a restaurant, if I’m worried that they won’t be serving any vegetarian food. I didn’t have the time. I was hungry. It was getting late in the evening. I was planning my late dinner, when one of the guys asked me if I had been at Räkan before. I told him no. He didn’t now that I was a vegetarian. Then, you’re in for a treat, he said.

Being different

I’m not sure if he could tell, by looking at my face. But, I was really worried after that comment. I was thinking that the food was so great, that they (20 guys) would make me eat it. They would force me, by telling me over and over again that the food was amazing. They’d use words to push my face into the food. That’s how we do it in Sweden, they’d laugh as they’d see how scared I was.

He opened the door. The waiter said welcome. And, as I peaked inside, I was amazed at just looking at the interior design. It was very different from any restaurant I had ever seen. I understood what the man was referring to. He wasn’t talking about the quality of the food, not necessary. He was talking about how different the restaurant was. I didn’t walk much, so I didn’t get to see everything. For instance, I heard a lot of people talking about the toilet. But, I didn’t have to go, so I didn’t. In the end, I probably should have – because I really enjoy different, even if it’s the toilet at a restaurant.

I’m still smiling

What was different was that Räkan had two huge aquariums with lots of different fish swimming, next to the table. I could have touched them, if I wanted to. We ordered shrimps, of course, and when the waiter told the other guys how to get the shrimps, I just started smiling. One of the guys got a remote controller. The waiter put a shrimp boat on the water, with a case of shrimps. The guy with the remote had to control and steer the boat to our table. That’s how we got the shrimps. I was smiling and I thinking about how different this experience was from any restaurant I’ve ever been to, and I almost forgot to ask if they had any vegetarian food.

What if?

What do you think would have happened if Räkan would have been an ordinary restaurant in Gothenburg; the same prices and the same quality of food as other restaurants in Gothenburg? That’s it.

I forgot to say that it was packed with people. I didn’t talk to one person who said anything extraordinary about the food – but everybody was commenting the shrimp boats and the aquariums.

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