Der er et yndigt land,
det står med brede bøge
nær salten østerstrand
Det bugter sig i bakke, dal,
det hedder gamle Danmark og
det er Frejas sal
This Danish national anthem, There is a Lovely Country, describes a beautiful country, surrounded by sea, with tall beech trees reaching towards a clear, clear blue sky, land of Vikings.
The lyrics were written in 1819 by Adam Oehlenschläger and bore the motto in Latin: Ille terrarum mihi praeter omnes angulus ridet, “This corner of the earth smiles for me more than any other”
The Trip – Epilogue
So my trip comes to an end for this year. It’s always sad to leave a place with people you love that you may not see for a while. For a good 2 – 3 weeks after I come home, I’m thoroughly depressed. There’s a hollow feeling in my heart that never quite fills up again.
But I wouldn’t trade the feeling for the world. Denmark really is a lovely land, full of fairy tale magic and great people.
Why is it so Hard to Leave
Family aside, why is it so hard to leave and come back to what is supposed to be home?
Perhaps because I have so many people I care about there. Perhaps there are so many wonderful childhood memories there. We used to spend summers with my grandparents on their farm, chasing sheep, irritating bulls, driving tractors. Days spent days playing with my cousins. Days spent exploring the upper reaches of the barn, trying to entice the highly suspicious barn cats to come over and snuggle. I used to run through the neighbouring oat and wheat fields which seemed to go on forever.
But what I remember most though was lots of laughter. Anytime the family was together, there was belly aching, snorting type of laughter. And singing! By God, there was always singing. It was magical.
So why don’t you just live there?
That’s a good question.
There are many things I really like about the place. Food, as you well know, for one. My family is there. Most importantly, I fit in. People get me there. There are lots of people who think like me. Not to mention that it’s nice being in a place where men are tall than me.
Would it Really be Different?
Yet, as everyone knows, visiting a place is quite different from living in a place. When the daily routine of working, shopping, cleaning, riding the bus all kick in, any place would become monotonous. I can tell you the monotony came back pretty quick once I got back home. That holiday feeling only lasted a week, maybe.
When I visit somewhere, I research the heck outta the place. I try to find as many different and interesting places I can to visit, like Olsen’s Paradis. This kind of place just doesn’t usually show up on a map. Nor does Graceland Randers. If I lived in Denmark, would I still seek out these places or would I be happy to just live in the locale that I settle in. Vancouver has beaches, parks and mountains, none of which I seem to have or find time to explore. Would the same happen if I lived in Denmark?
Maybe, maybe not.
One thing though, I wouldn’t spend nearly as much time making food. I could pop into a local delicatessen and pick up everything for a good ‘kold bord’: herring, frikadeller, fiskedeller, sauces, bread, cheese. Just as people move to France for the food, I think I could move to Denmark for the food. Having family to laugh and share the food with is an added bonus.
Judging from my family, I certainly would lead a more active life in the old country. Being flat, it’s idea for bicycling AND there are proper bike lanes, not just crappy white lines painted on the middle of a busy street. There are lots of activities and groups to join. Of course I’d still have to get out of my house and participate. But without a network of friends, would I?
There may come a day when I will move to Denmark, perhaps not forever but for a while. It would be nice to be able to pop over to
my cousin’s for dinner or stop by my onkel’s for coffee. For now, I’ll just have to make do with the intermittent trips and electronic messages from loved ones abroad.
In the meantime, I’ve already got Agent C hooked on the idea of creating a group of guerrilla cooks and setting up a black market for Danish foods. That way we keep the food tradition alive and have some Danish good times while doing it.
So, Keep your snaps on the ice – until next time!