Briana Hansen
April 09, 2016 11:47 am
Warner Bros. TV

If you feel like making a friend in a foreign land, why not pick up the phone and call a random person in Sweden? Because now, thanks to the website The Swedish Number, that’s exactly what you can do.

According to The New York Times, a Swedish tourism agency created the idea to connect curious callers to random Swedish volunteers who will answer the calls and engage in conversations about whatever the caller wants to talk about. The agency believes that the actual people of Sweden will be the best ambassadors to make people more interested in visiting. And by keeping the service both random and volunteer-based, they’ll be able to show their nation’s diversity and hopefully combat Swedish stereotypes.

Adele would be happy knowing she doesn’t need to call 1,000 times in order to get another person on the other end of the line. One simple phone call and you should easily and quickly be able to connect with someone across the globe. Or, if you’re already in Sweden, someone across the street.

The volunteers and agency alike are both aware that because of the random and open nature of the conversations and connections, there’s a chance it could derail. But they remain optimistic that most people calling will just be curious and excited to chat with a person they would never otherwise meet.

This is not the first time Sweden has believed in and relied upon their own people to represent their country. The Twitter account @Sweden (the country’s official account) is taken over by a random Swede every week who represents the entire nation 140 characters at a time.

Even in a world where we can easily connect to people anywhere through social media, it’s especially exciting to think about the more intimate connection of a real conversation with a person who’s willing, open, and excited about having it. And if someone asks why you took so long to text them back, you can now say, “Sorry, I was on a call with my friend in Sweden,” which is a pretty awesome excuse.

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