In January 2015, I moved to a small town in rural Denmark with my husband and two young sons. Only two weeks before, we’d moved from Somerville, Massachusetts, out of the only home our kids had ever known. Our life there had been relatively happy and satisfying: We lived within reasonable walking distance of a subway stop, a lovely Indian takeout place, a decent Mexican restaurant, a lovely bakery, the Tufts University campus, six parks, two groceries, and a beautiful walking path along the Alewife and Mystic Rivers. We had nice groups of friends from various stages of our adult lives scattered around the area, and we had a small, modest apartment with wonderful upstairs neighbors and a vegetable garden in the back yard. The Boston area had been good to us and I wasn’t exactly itching to leave. Read more
Our family is about to celebrate the two-year anniversary of our arrival in Denmark, known to the expat community here as a “Danniversary.” So here we are, two years into this Danish adventure, and I’m sorry to say that the following is the most successful unscripted conversation in Danish that I’ve had with a stranger yet (translation mine).
Cashier: Oh, I see your cats very well like to eat.
Me: Yes. Yes. That they do. Read more
Well, in case you had notions to the contrary, I’m here to tell you that a small Danish town isn´t exactly a fountain of exciting things to do, that is, after the bakery has lost its sheen and become merely a routine pleasure. At some point, our family had to face the reality that in Billund, a town of 6,000 people, we had to make our own fun, especially once the LEGOland theme park closed for the season.
As a remedy, a friend and I formed a ukulele group, BUF (Billund Uke Forening, the last word meaning club or association), and we play together about once a week. Though other members will Read more
My first hint that the Danes are generally not sentimental about animals came last year during our first Farm Week at my sons’ combined forest kindergarten and day care.
At the beginning of the week, I picked up my younger son—who was 2½ years old at the time—from the vuggestue (a day care center for infants and toddlers up to age 3) after his midday nap. He was groggy from sleep and enjoying an afternoon snack.
“We had a chicken in the vuggestue today,” the teacher told me, “because it is Farm Week.” Oh wow! A chicken! I imagined a chicken walking around in the back garden Read more