On Friday we went to Systembolaget to get some of their finest cheap wine. While I was in the checkout line, Kostia went to the front of the store to wait. The cashier said something in Swedish I didn’t understand. I said, “Sorry?” She said, “Do you have your ID?” I didn’t. You rarely need your passport in Sweden (unlike in Russia), and I’ve never been carded for alcohol in Europe before. “Kostia!” I shouted. “Do you have your passport on you?” He came over to the cash register. He didn’t have his passport either. “I’m thirty,” I said. (You’re supposed to be 20 to buy alcohol.) “OK, OK,” said the cashier. We got our wine. I no longer mind the fact that I look younger than my age, but I would have been pissed off if we couldn’t buy the wine.

Advertisements