Posts Tagged ‘denmark’
Here’s to crossing another item off my unofficial bucket-list: Flea-market saleswoman.
When I was little, it was a yearly tradition for my grandparents to buy a stand at a flea-market, and I would come help by selling cake. I have a picture where I am standing behind piles and piles of things, trying to sell a piece of cake. And, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am pretty sure my overalls and braids contributed to at least 50% of the sales we made. And my overall winning personality, of course, which was prevalent even back then. I remember telling several ladies that they looked “fabulous” and “beautiful” in my grandmother’s old coats, and most of them bought them! So to me, flea-markets have always equaled SUCCESS EXPERIENCE, where you leave with a lot less shit and a ton of cha-ching.
However, that was many years ago, and my grandparents eventually stopped going. But I have always held on to my things thinking that one day I was going to do that again, on my own, and get rid of them that way. Fast forward to yesterday, where I, after a spur of the moment decision made last week after seeing a poster advertising this flea-market, decided to spend four and a half (cold, windy) stiff hours on the lawn in front of my building along with ten other people, including my sister, who, like me, had chosen to defy wind and weather in attempt to sell all their old no longer wanted
It took my sister and I twenty minutes to carry out a table, four chairs (two of them were used to showcase our items), and at least one hundred pounds worth of
bullshit things, like books, DVD’s (who even uses those anymore), shoes, and clothes – and an electrical heating blanket, which I wanted to be our centerpiece. I do have some experience, after all. However, I was sharing a stand with a rookie, and it was veto’ed.
Our view from behind our stand.
So, we waited. And we waited. And we waited. And the wind blew all of our things on the grass. And this was pretty much the circle of events. Lots of waiting, lots of attempting to keep things from flying off the table, lots of tea-runs. No one bought anything, except for me, who kept going to our competition to buy things out of absolute boredom.
Someone was selling store-bought cake that was still in the wrapper for twice the original price — I thought that was pretty ballsy. And before you go think the worst of me, no, I didn’t buy it! But someone else did and was snacking on it for an hour.
Eventually, more people came, and a lot of people were interested in our things, at least it seemed that way; but it never really took off. It rarely got beyond, “How much is this?”, and even though our prices were in no way unreasonable, it just wasn’t interesting enough, I suppose. My sister sold a lot more than me, which led to a looooot of tension behind our table, let me tell you. Every time she went inside to pee, I contemplated setting her things on fire.
So, what DID I sell? I sold a copy of Michelle Obama’s autobiography, and a jewelry tree — and made a grand total of 8 dollars. Ergo, Totally Epic Mega Fail.
The flea-market was supposed to last till 4p.m, but at 2:30 I looked at my sister and said, “It’s cold, it’s depressing, I am hungry, and I have spent more than I have earned. How about we say fuck it and go watch “Twin Peaks”?”. And because my sister is the best sister in the world, she responded with the words I most desired to hear at the moment. “Oh my god, yes!”. So we packed up all of our things, again, which was pretty much everything we had carried out earlier in the day, and that was that. I was going to take a picture of our stand before we packed everything up, just to show you that there was practically ABSOLUTELY NOTHING MISSING, but I forgot. Sorry. Just look at the first photo and pretend it’s the end result, because it was.
It was SO demotivating. But, I have decided to not let this be my last time flea-market’ing, because I don’t want to have my last experience be a bad one. And also, it’s so circumstantial. You can be lucky, you can be unlucky. Either way, I will try again. At some point. When it’s at least 25 degrees celsius outside, and if the flea-market is held near a hotdog-stand.
I am sure I have mentioned this before (I am getting old and my memory is failing me), but I love walking. Going for walks is probably one of my most favorite things in the world. Maybe it’s because I know I should never ever ever take the capabilities of my legs for granted — they are not exactly the most reliable part of my body. When I walk, I feel like I am defying everything. With every step I take I am breaking down a barrier, and I am telling the disease that is causing my bones to be frail to go f itself. Every night, I sink together on my couch after a long walk and I feel like I have done my job — I have made myself physically exhausted, just like those jogging away on treadmills for hours in the gym. This, walking, is what I can do to feel normal, healthy and alive, within my body’s realm of possibility.
And it’s all I need. I am happy, I am content. I am walking, breathing, and I go home with a set of lungs full of fresh air and so much hope that I feel like I could burst. I am a flower blooming along with the bushes, trees, and everything else living that is cared for and nurtured by the sun and the earth’s natural resources. Unstoppable, invincible, every walk is like leaving the nest for the first time; brave and with wings that have been neatly patched up by those who love me, those who cared for me when I felt like I would be broken forever. For ten months, my grandparents held my hand and guided me through the fog of a situation that seemed so meaningless. Now, here I am, their babybird. Hope is the thing with feathers…
Sometimes I am joined by my sister, who clearly could have been a prima ballerina assoluta. Such grace, such style.
And sometimes we play. And sometimes I hide in crooked little houses and wave to the camera.
It’s all out there waiting for me.
The weather status in Denmark right now is that it is sunny while also being as cold as a tongue stuck on a frozen metal pole. We’re a spit away from April, the second month of Spring, and supposedly there is no Spring in sight. There are big chunks of ice and snow lying on the sidewalks, and some places it’s so slippery that walking with a crutch is actually a bigger disadvantage than walking without one. God, I hope I can ditch the crutch soon. On the other hand, I am so thankful to only be feeling 10% of the pain I felt before.
Yesterday, I went for an hour-long walk around the neighborhood.
Isn’t the sunshine just so pretty? MORE OF THAT, PLEASE.
There are so many apartment-buildings like this in Copenhagen, and I think that has to be my favorite part about living here. There is so much eye-candy all over the city, and sometimes it’s just feels overwhelming. I have always felt so proud when showing Andrew around, and it’s like my appreciation and love for this city increases the older I get. When I move to New York one day, I will try my best to put money aside so Denmark can be a kind of sanctuary for us (and our little half-Danish/half-American babies, of course), a place for us to spend our summers. It’s hard not to feel peaceful here.
Today is my mother’s birthday, and I have a huge rash on my face that does not go with my outfit or my outfit’s matching nail polish. The rash has been living on my face for a week, and because my reaction to seeing my face in the mirror every morning has been, “Oh god, why even bother”, I have also had a week of venturing out into the world sans any make-up, because my sense of reason is horribly crippled by this thing called Sofie-logic. In this case, it told me that this was an unredeemable situation that called for stronger powers.
So. I have had to dig up every bit of my (of course irresistible) charm and wit to divert the attention away from the big pulsating flesh-eating rash that has probably grown eyes and eyebrows and teeth of its own by now, and let me tell you it has been hard work. Yesterday, I saw my father for the first time in weeks, and he said, “Woah, you are beginning to look like old (pre-all-the-bullshit-that-happened-last-summer) Sofie again – pause – haven’t you lost weight?”. And here I was thinking that normal Sofie looks better than a big pulsating rash. THANKS. I swear, I should have set my rash on him; teeth and mustache and all.
My grandfather, who is a retired doctor, has given me some special magic creme to put on it, which will hopefully make it go away — preferably soon. It’s not that I am vain, it’s just… very rash-y.
Anyway. I am not going to grant the rash any more attention. Instead I am going to talk about something that is has always been and will always be a hot topic in Denmark. THE WEATHER. There is always something wrong with the weather. It’s the perfect icebreaker in any situation, because every Dane has an opinion about the weather.
This was Denmark on March 2nd, two days into Spring — ain’t it lovely?
Now there is a warning out that there will be a dramatic snowstorm starting next week; the worst in ten years even, because we can’t just stop at snowstorm, right? It has to be the worst in xyz number of years. And… I hate to be That Dane, meaning every single fucking Dane in existence, but, REALLY? It’s March 16th. The season has changed. It’s time to move on to warmer and sunnier times. Weather, let’s not go back, let’s move forward. Together. This is nonsense. An unnecessary roadblock on the road to short dresses with flower prints and ice cream. Let’s set up a demonstration at the town square against this stupidity, and I promise I’ll be there — except for if it snows. Then I am not going anywhere.
Firstly, the piece I wrote for Kendra’s “Defining Me”-series has been published today! The concept of that series is really nice, but that may just be my quarter-life crisis talking. I strongly urge you to check out Kendra’s site, Like a Bird, for more interesting concepts, entries, and, if this entry doesn’t do it for you, adorable baby pictures. She is an awesome woman and one fine mama.
Yesterday, the youngest of the Danish royal brood was baptized, an event which was of course televised. Something like that includes everything I am a sucker for, like babies, names, name speculations, pretty dresses, etc. In the last thirteen years, we have had eight royal baptisms, and I recall sitting glued to the television screen with all of them, holding my breath whenever they were about to announce the name. Why does everything always sound more pathetic when said out loud?
There are certain customs when it comes to royal baby-naming. It is costume that the child is given four names, for example, and that several family members are honored in the process. Because our two princes have chosen to find love outside of the Danish borders, the names have become increasingly international.
Anyway. News run slow in Denmark, and therefore this whole shebang is a much bigger deal to all of us than it should be. Everyone has an opinion on the name and what they think would be appropriate/inappropriate/adorable/hideous, etc. Imagine having 5,5 million people speculate about your child’s name. I would feel pretty important.
While watching the fancy guests arrive at the church (on TV, of course, and yes, this was also shown), my grandmother and I composed a list of possible first names for the little Danish princess.
At one point I went to the bathroom to pee, and that is where I had this psychic vision (the kind you can only have when you are on the can) that the first name would for sure start with an ‘A’. This revelation could be described as nothing less than divine.
And my toilet-psychic devine sense was right! Athena Margueritte Francois Marie. Now, one might think that the common folk’s name speculation ends there, but no. Now we speculate about WHY this particular name was chosen, and what it all symbolizes. Are there any political messages behind the name? (Our royal family are apolitical). Is it Danish enough? Etc, etc, etc. To me, Athena was the only real shocker. Margueritte is a tribute to our Queen, Margrethe (nickname Daisy, which in Danish means “margueritte”), Francois is a tribute to Princess Marie’s mother, and Marie is honoring Princess Marie herself.
More adorable pictures of royal babies, as that is the theme this post is going with:
All of this talk about babies… You know, my brain is saying one thing, but my ovaries are screaming GIMME SOME OF DEM BABIES. Is there some kind of fix for this? Because this is pretty much a constant for me at the moment. I think it’s because my uterus has realized that it is two weeks from now it is no longer in its baby-making prime.
Yesterday was a roller-coaster, and I have some information I need to process, which is why I am laying on my couch for the third hour in a row with my computer, watching reality shows and drinking tea. That, my friends, is how I deal.
Today I bring to you a list of fun facts about the fairytale country that I call home. Some are educational, some are silly and some will make you hungry (like the one about cupcakes and lattés). Enjoy!
- We invented LEGO. Yes, me. The name LEGO is a combination of two Danish words, “Leg Godt”, which means “Play Well”.
- We have one of the oldest monarchies in the world.
- Isabella and William are the #1 most popular baby names.
- As of January 2012, there are 5,580,516 Danish citizens.
- Anne and Jens are the most common names, and Jensen is the most common surname, closely followed by Nielsen and Hansen. The -en ending of the surname stems from back in the day, where children’s surnames were their father’s name + -sen (-son in other Scandinavian countries).
- You have to be 18 to drink, 18 to drive, and the legal age of sexual consent is 15.
- Denmark is officially a Protestant country. If you marry into the royal family (like Australian Mary Donaldson and French Marie Cavalier did), you have to give up your religion and convert to Protestantism. You also lose your lastname.
- Copenhagen has the world’s longest pedestrian street (In case anyone cares, I go there frequently!).
- Copenhagen has an obscene amount of hair-salons, cafés and bicycle shops. Like, really, you can’t spit without hitting one of the aforementioned types of shops. Why would you, though, spitting is gross.
- The cupcake concept has only just hit Denmark, and there is nothing more IN and hip than meeting up with your favorite gal pals for a latté and a tiny fancily-decorated cupcake. It’s usually pink with sprinkles. (Can you say fancily?)
- Feel like going out for a cup of coffee? Then you need to put your big spending pants on. Danish Café-coffee is the most expensive in the world.