01 November 2009

november

at a flea market today, i came across some china plates with the names of the months, but they only had april, september, november, and one more. was there a reason that they only had plates for months with only thirty days? it's strange to think that another thirty-one days elapsed just like that. halloween is not really celebrated in denmark; the people who do celebrate halloween here are mostly perceived as leeching off of the USA and affecting a cultural aspect that they personally have no claim to. it's true - how many of the children who trick-or-treat here in denmark do it just because it's something that they've seen on t.v.? trick-or-treating is not a common thing here, but my friend did have someone knock on her door yesterday evening - inconveniently, while she was in the shower. needless to say, there are no big bags of halloween candy in the supermarket here or waiting by people's front doors. i have seen some jack o'lanterns here, but mostly in front of cafés and other businesses.

see? there's a pumpkin in the window. and a bike, of course.

mmm, hygge. hot chocolate with my friend laura and her cousin yesterday after shopping. basically every café lights candles. even in the kitchen in my dorm, we light candles. one of the many things that make so much sense in denmark but that you could never get away with in amer'ca.

election season in copenhagen. all (or at least most of) the different parties represented on a ... light post?

i took this picture at 5 p.m. (have i already mentioned that the sun sets around 4:30 now?) there is this indigenous group of musicians that are always performing in rådhuspladsen (city hall square) or on strøget, and this evening they were accompanied by torches and dancing, clapping kids. i don't know what it was all about, but it was pretty cool.

at the huge flea market i went to today looking for furniture. although it was indoors, there was no insulation whatsover, and after a couple hours in there, i thought my hands were going to fall off because i didn't think to bring my gloves to an indoor flea market. ugh. i did get a sweet rug for my room though, and an awesome vintage jacket.

all of those flags got me thinking about how bizarre it is that i live in denmark. it's this tiny little place probably about the size of my county in california. (am i exaggerating?) i guess it wouldn't be so weird to live in denmark if i hadn't already spent a year living in sweden. it's just bizarre to me that two cultures can be so close geographically, linguistically, and culturally - and even, at one point, been ruled by the same crown - and still find so many ways to distance themselves from one another. this ridiculousness, to me, is exacerbated by the øresund bridge that connects denmark and sweden. i mean, people go over to malmö just to go shopping for the day.

anyways, i am pretty glad that october is over. i wonder when it's going to start snowing. the temperatures are dropping hard and quickly. the number of barren trees are increasing. i know i talk about the weather a lot, but i think it's one of the most pervasive aspects of life here, as opposed to coastal california, where our seasons are basically "warmer" and "less warm". the seasons never stop shifting here - no matter how slowly they might change - and it makes time here pass quickly. like, god. i've already been here for a third of a year.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Interesting thoughts, as usual. At least with EU the Europeans are trying to find ways to work together (to be able to compete in a world market?) It is incredible to me to see how much English there is in Sweden now compared to in the '80s. I walked by a shoe store and saw a label that said New Arrivals. What happened till Nyhet? And why are all the signs Sale now instead of Rea? Strange.

Last year it didn't really snow in Lund till after the new year...maybe a few flurries that melted the same day. Some of the Swedish authors I have been reading always talk about the seasons: the longing for the sun and warmth of summer, the dread of another dark, cold winter. It is definitely cultural. And the candle thing! We bought a bunch of tealights when we moved back to the US last time and never ended up using them up, despite the fact we went through them almost like candy in Sweden! And we had plenty of snowball candles which we could have lit. In the US the indoor lighting is much brighter and it seems dumb to light candles. Here it is most often more of a "romantic" (that must be part of the Danish hygge) level lighting and then you can actually enjoy the candles.