Posted on September 18th, 2009 in Journal0 Comments

People in town know their car. I mean, this is Gothenburg, capital of Volvo. Everybody knows about it and has owned at least one Volvo during their life time. And quite  few work for them or with them.

But I am a foreigner in this country. I have a now even a permanent working permit. After 10 years in this country I can speak and write swedish. Not 100% correct, but who does ???

Anyway, people notice that I am not from around. So I usually get the question what part of Sweden I am from. Sometimes it’s the north, sometimes south, they think. Until I tell them I am from Belgium. Then comes the inevitably follow-up question:

“From which part or city?”

Genk, I tell them.

“Ah yes, Gent. Volvo has a big factory there”, is an answer I get 99% of the time.

No, not Gent but Genk, I say. Again they hardly notice the difference.
G-e-n-k. With a k at the end. Where the Ford factory is.

“Oh yes, now you mention it.”

It’s always like this. And I wonder how I will respond in the future now Ford wants to sell Volvo. It looks like some Chinese company will buy Volvo, if not some group of Swedish investors will put in an offer (cause they want to keep it Swedish again after the Ford-fiasco, as they say). But…. then I hope they will also buy the Ford factory in Genk.

Or I could just start saying that I am from Gent……. I studied there. Does that count ?