Some of my favorite stops on my most recent Enrichment Voyage were not new ones at all—in fact, out of 19 countries, only two were first-time visits for me—but rather the places I had been many times before, like Copenhagen.
The difference in this visit was that for once I experienced Copenhagen in the summertime, which might as well have made it a new stop as different as it was bathed in the warmth of sunlight then blanketed by winter gloom and smothered in cold.
What you hear is true, not just in Denmark but across Scandinavia: Everyone is outdoors the second the sun comes up until the moment it goes down (and beyond). And bear in mind, in summer months, that can be 3am.
Since the last time I saw her in 2009, when she and Bjarne came to visit us in Tennessee, she’s had not one but two baby boys. And in case you want to be sickened by what a Dane looks like three weeks after giving birth, here it is:
I’d never actually met her firstborn, Sigurd, and I’d also never considered the fact that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with him in words given that, you know, I don’t speak Danish and he only knows about three words in English. Still, that didn’t stop us from becoming quick friends.
On the one night I was there, Helle had a cookout and invited our friends Lea and Kristian, as well. Then, the number of boys multiplied from two to four, with one on the way!
I can’t tell if time has been good to us, though I’m pretty sure we all look exactly the same! It was just funny seeing all of their mini-clones. The weird thing about having so many friends in far-off places is that you go years without seeing them, and then when you do, it feels like it’s been no time at all but—BAM!—they’re suddenly married and have kids trailing behind them.
I’m so used to my American friends going AWOL when they have babies, until they’re at least two years old. Well, not in Denmark. They just throw the kid in the Baby Cadillac and haul him all over the city (even though all the stairs and cobblestone do not a stroller-friendly place make).