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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.

12 responses to “Being Different in Gothenburg”

  1. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Sounds like a neat restaurant Jens! Keep being different, and sharing your thoughts. I dig your writing style 😉

  2. Adrienne says:

    Hey Jens,

    Shrimp boats getting the shrimp? That is different, never heard about that before now. So tell me, did you eat the shrimp anyway? I was more worried about what you were going to eat? Bless your heart… I’m sure they had just vegetables or salads, what restaurant doesn’t right!


    • Hey Adrienne,

      No, I didn’t eat the shrimp, but I participated in getting the shrimp to our table. It was an awesome experience. I don’t remember what I ate, but it was vegetarian 🙂

  3. Rohan Bhardwaj says:

    That was a cool experience, you missed what was special about the toilet anyway. Sometimes it is the aura of the restaurant that makes us keep going again and again.

    I go for taste first and then anything else. As I eat flesh too, so I don’t feel awkward. You got a cool experience, that was funny as all you saw people talking, was about a boat and shrimp.

    Could it have gotten any better, nah.

    Anyway, I found this on kingged.

    • Hey Rohan,

      I missed the toilet, but I’ll visit it the next time. I usually go for taste first as well, but this experience was different and it made me realize that taste is not always the focus, if the restaurant is different enough.


  4. Philip Varghese Ariel says:

    Hi Jens,
    A totally different experience at Räkan.
    Glad to know that you enjoyed the aquarium
    shrimps and the boat thing!
    Thanks for sharing your experience with your
    Keep going!
    Best Regards
    Hey Jens, I found this post at and i kingged it and posted this comment there
    May you have a wonderful time ahead

  5. Josh says:

    That restaurant sounds like it is a lot of fun. I don’t eat shrimp, but I would have enjoyed watching the boat or looking at the aquarium.

  6. Carolyn Nicander Mohr says:

    Hi Jens, Yes, the experience sound wonderful, it’s really all about the tech, right? How cool to have the shrimp brought to you by remote-controlled boat. I would have loved that!

    But the first rule of restaurants is it’s all about the food. I was in New York last week and there were two food carts next to each other. One had no line and one had a line that stretched around the block. New Yorkers hate to wait so which food cart would you choose?

    I’m glad you took a risk and went to the restaurant. I haven’t been to a restaurant that didn’t have vegetarian options. My daughters’ friends are vegetarians and we don’t even think about which restaurant to go to, and we haven’t been stuck yet.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jens!

  7. Ann says:

    Hi Jens,

    We all have different taste preferences, we should respect what other people like to eat and what they don’t.

    I’m glad you still enjoyed it, even if there was scary food.

    The importance of going to a restaurant isn’t the scenery (well that is a plus factor too) but the food it’s self.

    If we wanted to see a good view we might have just gone to a park lol. No matter how pretty their stall is but if the food sucks, it’s not worth it.

    Thanks for sharing!


    P.S I found this post shared at try checking it out!

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