Friday, September 18, 2009

Jeg er en Amerikaner

In Europe, country-hopping is like state-hopping over here. Very common.

Day #6 of our journey found us on a plane to Amsterdam(45 minutes), and another plane to Billund, Denmark. Before taking off from London's Heathrow, I grabbed some fish & chips to go.(because who goes to England and doesn't eat fish & chips?) We went through security twice...once at Heathrow, and again in Amsterdam. I got used to grabbing the BAG THAT MUST NOT BE X-RAYED out of my carry-on, handing it to the screener, setting off the machine nonetheless(Animas pumps always do that), getting patted down,getting bags hand screened, etc. Traveling is a pain with diabetes, it adds an extra 15 minutes to everything.Do that twice, on top of everything else..and its enough to make you never want to travel again.

By that time my cold was in full force,and I couldn't taste anything. I had some of the fish & chips on the way to Billund..and though it was comforting, I wasn't sure it was totally worth the 7 lbs.But at least I did it.

My husband's cousin picked us up at the Billund airport, and we zipped away to her boyfriend's house for dinner. In Denmark, 99% of cars are stick shift and air conditioning is unheard of.(because in Denmark, it never gets truly HOT) She apologized, I thought the warmth was a welcome change from the London rain/chillyness. It wasn't even as warm as it would be back home... much less feeling like Florida. But they don't get warm weather there very much. And in Denmark,thank goodness, they drive on the right side of the road so you don't have to worry about which way you should be looking when you cross the street. So we had a nice the very IKEA-ish house of her boyfriend. There was wine(which most Danes have nightly), which I begged off because of the cold. Then we went back to her place for the night.
The next day, we went to Grostenslot Castle and saw the Danish queen + the changing of the guard.

There was a dinner party that day...over the hedge, you could hear people laughing, etc. Sadly, we weren't invited.

Then we were off to another cousin's house,to visit her family & be fed lots of food,etc. and exhibit the patience of Job for the sugarless adaptations they had provided me with. Really, it didn't matter, I couldn't taste anything anyway. We played a Wii for the first time(ever-sad, I know)and that was fun. I went to bed early,I was feeling bad from the fever.(the relatives were encouraging of me dissapeiring early)

The next morning,I couldn't get out of bed, I felt too bad. The worried relatives wanted to know whether I had H1N1(and at that point,I was beginning to think maybe I did). Spent that day in bed.

The day after that, I felt marginally better. We drove off to the family beach house..on the eastern side of Denmark(the North Sea). It was too cold to swim, but we got out on the beach. My husband's aunt and the cousin's daughter were there. We spent the rest of our time in Denmark there. At one point, the other cousin showed up for the day (he's really into politics & knows the Danish NATO minister(Rassmussen). Then we toured the TV station where cousin #1 is an anchor. It was cool, pretending to be on TV. Most Danes speak pretty good English,but the older ones may not.(my husband knows alot of Danish but I sure as heck don't) And my husband's aunt..doesn't know much English, so they translational services of the cousin were much appreciated. We had some weird food,(fishpaste on a mayo-bread thing)though most of it was pretty normal. Danes really like licorice candy, raw oats, and small potatoes.

The last day, we hopped on a train to Copenhagen (that took several hours) where we put our stuff in storage at the station & another relative took us to the graves of my husband's grandparents. One is buried in a cemetery..and one is buried in a Field of Unknowns. So my hubby laid flowers at their graves.

Then we went to a hostel,where we stayed the night. Hotels are really expensive in Copenhagen,and even the bare bones hostel cost an arm and a leg. By bare bones, the only things in the room were beds. It did have a skylight window, which let the cool breezes in and provided relief from the stuffiness but the 4 individuals getting drunk on the patio were hardly conducive to a peaceful night's slumber.We'd planned to go see the Little Mermaid but she was on loan to China.(figures)

The next day, it was up early to walk to the bus stop, take the bus to the train station,rescue our stuff from storage, take the train to the airport terminal, get checked in/go through security, fly to Amsterdam and go through a very THROUGH security check again,finally get on the flight to Detroit..get off, recheck our luggage and go through security & customs AGAIN,and get on our final flight home. It was only about 7 pm when we got home, but when you're running on Danish time it was 3 AM and we were both dead tired. We were happy to be home.

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