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更新时间:2016-4-17 10:47:29 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

‘Calling Sweden. You Will Soon Be Connected to a Random Swede, Somewhere in Sweden’

Margareta Marza, a 28-year-old marketer in Stockholm, was reading a book on Thursday evening when she received my call.

玛格丽特·马尔萨(Margareta Marza),一个在斯德哥尔摩的28岁市场营销员,在周四晚上当她接到我的电话的时候正在读一本书。

Until she told me, I had no idea who she was. And she didn’t know who I was — or which number, country or time zone I was calling from. But that was the fun part.


To gin up interest in the country, a Swedish tourism agency created the Swedish Number, 46-771-793-336, a single phone line that connects international callers to randomly selected Swedish volunteers to chat about whatever is on their minds.


When I called the number and was connected to Ms. Marza, she said she had been driven to participate out of curiosity and for the chance to have pleasant, serendipitous chats.


“It’s amazing how you are in New York and I am here,” she said. “It makes the world seem smaller.”


The Swedish Number’s website invites callers to “talk about anything you want.” After I dialed the number (callers from the United States should dial 011 first; international rates apply), an automated voice responded: “Calling Sweden. You will soon be connected to a random Swede, somewhere in Sweden.”


In one case, that was Arvid Heden Gynna, 28, a biology student in Uppsala. He chatted with a man in Texas who explained that no, not everyone in the state wore a cowboy hat.

有一个例子,阿维德·黑顿·吉尼(Arvid Heden Gynna),28岁,一个在乌普萨拉(Uppsala)的生物专业学生。他曾同一个在德克萨斯的男子聊天,那个男子解释道,不,不是每个在这个州的人都戴着牛仔帽。

Michael Kazarnowicz, 38, who works at a communications agency in Stockholm, said he had fielded calls from a Greek who claimed to be bankrupt and in need of money, a birthday girl in Kazakhstan and a chef in Siberia.

迈克尔·克萨诺维奇(Michael Kazarnowicz),38岁,在斯德哥尔摩的一家通讯机构工作,说他接到的电话来自一个声称破产并需要钱的希腊人,一个在哈萨克斯坦过生日的女孩,一个西伯利亚的厨师。

By letting everyday Swedes communicate directly with foreigners, tourism officials hope to present a more authentic picture of the country than one conjured up by a marketing agency, said Magnus Ling, the secretary general and chief executive of the Swedish Tourist Association. As of Thursday evening, about 3,000 Swedes, many of whom had heard about the number through the local news media, had downloaded a mobile app that would put them on a list to talk with strangers for the next two months.

通过每天让瑞典人直接和外国人交流,旅游业官员希望呈现出这个国家更加真实的画面而不仅是由市场营销机构想象出来的,马格努斯·令(Magnus Ling)说道,他是瑞典游客协会秘书长及首席执行官。当周四晚间,大约有3000瑞典人,其中许多听说这个号码是通过当地新闻媒体,下载了一款手机应用可以将他们列入一个在接下来两个月和陌生人通话的名单。

Yes, Mr. Ling acknowledged, the chats could go off the rails. But he had little fear of lewd, meanspirited or even dangerous correspondence — he believes that people have good intentions, he said. And he believes the Swedish people will make good ambassadors for the country.


“It’s no worse than when we travel abroad and two people meet and talk about Sweden,” he said.


Sweden is no stranger to relying on its people to tell its story. The country has a Twitter account, @Sweden, and it is staffed by a different resident each week, who is given full freedom to write Twitter posts about virtually whatever he or she likes on behalf of the nation of about 9.5 million people.


About 7,500 calls had been placed to the Swedish Number as of Thursday afternoon, with the most coming from Turkey and the United States. Mr. Ling said several of the people he had spoken to from the United States were especially curious to get his take on the presidential race (typical Americans, making it all about us). Other Swedes I spoke to were eager to battle stereotypes (no, they aren’t all blond).


Hugo Gefors, a 21-year-old mechanical engineering student in Kalmar, said his call from the Swedish Number had interrupted his studying for a test on Friday, but he had been looking forward to the distraction. After 10 minutes of friendly chatter, including discussion of meatballs — “They are generally not made like the ones you eat at Ikea,” he said — it was time to return to his studies.

胡戈·杰佛斯(Hugo Gefors),一个在卡马尔(Kalmar)21岁的数学工程专业学生,说他接到这个瑞典号码的呼叫打断了他为周五考试的复习,不过他正期待这个分心事。在10分钟友好的对话后,包括关于肉丸的讨论——“他们通常做的不像你在宜家吃的那些,”他说道——是时候继续学习了。

“Thank you for calling Sweden,” he said before hanging up.