CPH:Day One

Well friends, 9.5 hours after take off and we are in Denmark.

Paul has an interview for a job here, and we are ever so close to relocating. Although, one does have to wonder at the wisdom of a chatterbox like me immigrating to a country where it’s rude to make small talk with strangers! I’ve already offended a woman by cooing at her ugly-cute mutt, and alienated another by commenting on her terrific orange eyeglasses. Sigh. It will certainly be hard for me to curb the urge to talk to every child and elderly person in site. It could only be worse for my soulmate Jen, who regularly accosts strangers at Trade Joe’s in order to tell their fortunes and issue blessings.

Copenhagen is not one of those world-class stunners of a city. Foregoing flash, this small wonder has cornered the market on charm. From what we have seen so far it’s squat and well kept—a low-rise city with darling balconies jutting out everywhere. I can’t shake the impression of an old maiden aunt who’s kept her self quite well. Reserved preservation seems to be the key here. Unlike our car crazy city, Copenhagen seems to be populated almost entirely of bicycles. Already I’ve seen a woman riding her bike in a skirt, stockings, high heals, and a fur coat. The only thing cuter than the bikes are all the babies in old-fashioned prams making there way down the strassa. Since only the dog would acquiesce to riding in a pram, I’m dreaming instead of an Electra cruiser with wicker basket and an efficient little bell. (Eden’s only requirement for her new bike is the “dinger bell” – Cate insists on streamers.)

We’ve checked into the vintage Hellerup Park Hotel. Our small room with the yellow curtains is the epitome of Denmark’s national goal of being hyggelig (who-gull-ie), or “cozy.” I once heard travel guru Rick Steves say, “You’ll rarely see Danes sitting down without a candle between them.” This is true even in our tiny rented room – a candle waits for us on the side table. Everyone is helpful and polite, and I think our dinner waitress might just be in love – Paul miscalculated the exchange rate and gave her a $25 dollar tip!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Silvia October 4, 2007 at 3:35 pm

I loved reading this. You already know that I’m Dutch, but I’ve lived in Finland for a year. I recognize so much in these impressions. Except for the bikes. Fins don’t ride bikes that much, but the Dutch do. :)

Have fun!

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Susan Young October 4, 2007 at 10:57 pm

Denmark…please keep us posted. Have you all gone on the trip or just the grown-up’s? Loving you, Susan

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Goddess of Leonie October 5, 2007 at 2:15 am

oh darlin… this is too exciting… i love that you are in my blood country…
if you feel called… i would love to see photos…

have a miracle adventure honey <3

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cpm October 6, 2007 at 6:21 am

Please don;t go. I like the fact that once every three years when I get to Seattle we get to see you. PLease don;t go.

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jen lemen October 6, 2007 at 7:14 pm

oh this is very exciting. i don’t know whether it is all the bikes or what, but i am intoxicated at the thought of coming to see you in your new adventure.

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kellybean October 7, 2007 at 12:46 am

RACHELLE!
Oh! How wonderful!
Ride bikes. Smile and talk to strangers despite the strange looks you’ll get in return.
Dive in! What a great opportunity!

(ps…I visited Denmark oh so many years ago and bought the most sumptuous pair of leather boots that served me well for decades. I have very clear memories of some Incredibly marvelous wholecream softserve vanilla icecream with chocolate dust from a street vendor (my visit was about this time of year)

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Rose October 14, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Rachelle, the past two weeks I have been thinking about you and wondering how you are all doing. Today was my first chance to sit down and catch up … I am so excited to follow along as you and Paul and the girls travel this road. Peace to you and your family.

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