Either this woman is telling a prolonged anecdote about a coffee transaction that isn’t nearly as funny as she thinks it is, or I’ve missed something. “It can also be something you say when surprised, like, ‘Oh my god.’ You know?
Neither of these options being improbable, I seek expert advice. ” I squint at her for a moment as if to say, "are you joking?
On Friday, I popped out to buy milk and encountered a teen marching band, competing to be heard above the dulcet tones of a Salvation Army choir and a local DJ playing something loud about ‘pole grinding’ outside a toyshop on the high street. A new neighbourhood offers fresh opportunities to engage in my favourite sport, one that doesn’t involve Lycra, poles or moving for prolonged periods: people watching. But since most people around me speak Danish, this activity still requires some fairly specialised equipment, namely Google Translate and a patient barista prepared to indulge the ‘crazy English woman who asks all the questions’.
Still reeling from this revelation, I start to wonder how the Peanuts comic strip translates into Danish (with Charlie Brown interjecting that he’s grateful for his caffeinated beverage every few frames?
) and how many other sayings I might have missed during my not-at-all-scientific two-year reconnaissance mission to date.
Instead, she is exclaiming, with big hand gestures, to a group of friends, over a Power Point presentation on her laptop.
She says it again, slaps her hand on the table, and guffaws.
" She looks at me as if to say, "I could not be more serious.
Now please stop BOTHERING me…" then moves off to the milk-frothing area.
It was touch and go for a while but two weeks in, I can now work the boiler and locate clean pants in an emergency.
We’ve moved to a different map-bump of rural Jutland, marginally closer to what can be loosely termed ‘civilisation’, but my new hometown is an eclectic place.
My adopted homeland, I discover from the tirelessly helpful people at Expat in Denmark, is no exception. The main sources of sustenance in Denmark (aside from the ubiquitous pork) appear to be carbohydrates and liquorice. Being told to “spis lige brød” or "eat some bread” means you need a time-out to calm the heck down.
Every culture has its own proverbs that express a basic human truth through some sort of practical, often archaic, experience.
They can offer useful advice about how to live your life or tell you something about the culture they come from.