20 hours after stepping out my front door in Yakima I crossed the threshold of my new front door in Humlebæk. There were some great experiences during those 20 hours, and even more in the hours following. I want to share every single one of those experiences. But I can’t. I am much, much too tired for that (did I mention 20 hours of travel?). So, instead I will summarize and most likely butcher any attempt to convey the feeling of what has been going on. But at least you will know what has been going on. And I will get to sleep. Mmm, sleep.
Ok, first thing first. My friend Kirsten and I had planned ahead to travel to Copenhagen together. She flew into Sea-Tac from Portland and from there the two of us went from Sea-Tac to Toronto, to Copenhagen. We met at Sea-Tac and within seconds of meeting the man at our gate, whom I had just been talking to called me over with a loud “Luvaas!” Kirsten and I went and were told we had just been upgraded to first class. For those of you wondering, that is the best way to start 14 hours of plane travel. Long story short, Kirsten and I enjoyed being somewhat noisy, eating our three course meals, and watching The Lorax or Cool Runnings. You know, classy things. Judging by the silence in the cabin, all of the sullen looking middle-aged businessmen we were flying with were likely engrossed in the same activities. We fit right in.
The problem with flying first class for five hours is that it makes sitting in the very middle of coach for eight hours seem so much worse. However, I did survive and managed about 1.5 hours of sleep.
Arrival. It honestly didn’t hit me that I would be gone for four months until the moment I was handing over my passport at customs in Copenhagen. Not when I packed the car to go to Sea-Tac almost a full day earlier, not when I went through customs in Canada, not even when I said goodbye to my parents. Just then, when my fingers lost contact with my passport did I realize what was happening. But I was happy. After collecting baggage and winding our way through the airport like a semi truck, a group of us DISers arrived at host family check in where we would wait for our families. Though, I didn’t wait. The first thing I saw upon walking into that room was three extremely blonde at waist level with three sets of blue eyes staring straight at me. Behind them stood a tanned, dark-haired woman and a tall, blonde-headed man. This was the introduction to my family: Thomas, Lisbeth, Lærke, Pelle, and Sofus. But more on them at a later time. They deserve their own post.
After a ten minute tour of the city center we continued on to Humlebæk. It was a pretty drive, though much too flat.
Soon after arrival we had lunch (Sandwiches!) followed by, and I did not think that I would be writing this, a swim. Yes, a swim along the beach in Denmark. Not a nap after all of that travel. Not more food, a walk around the park, or anything like that. A swim. I was told it was an extremely warm day and that the water would likely be warm. Thomas, my host father, guessed the water temp to be 20° Celsius. Kids, if you don’t know your conversions, at least learn Fahrenheit to Celsius so that you don’t do what I did. I knew it was cold but I had no idea it was that cold! By the way, 20° C is equal to 68° F. It was not 68° F. Despite this, I began to enjoy myself as I spent more time in the water. It was nice to be surrounded by so many happy people speaking so many languages (I was able to discern English, Danish, French, and Spanish). The setting was ideal: on one side the Louisiana Modern art Museum with its beautiful statues and grounds while on the other side, between the cloud-like sails of passing boats, there was Sweden as clear as day. It was beautiful.
The night after that was uneventful. There was talking as the neighborhood kids stopped by to play (there sometimes seemed to be 50 of them all running in and out), a dinner of Thai inspired cashew chicken (Thomas enjoys Asian recipes), and one last sunset lit swim before bed.What a wonderful day.
I know that I did not do the day justice. Forgive me, I am exhausted. You will just have to take my word for now.
Denmark, it was nice to meet you.