16 December 2009

julefrokost and more

imagine an industrial kitchen full of twenty-somethings in three-foot-long santa hats armed with snaps, beer, and giant party poppers. oh wait. i'd better explain snaps first. snaps, also known as aquavit, also known as schapps, is a traditional scandinavian alcohol usually flavored with fennel and other interesting things like that and drunk in massive quantities, particularly in the dark part of the year.

in the kitchen there is a giant table decked with a red velvet cloth and probably a kilo of pink heart-shaped glitter. the table is set nicely, and we sit down alternating boy-girl-boy-girl for as long as there are enough boys. when we run out of boys, a bunch of girls take over a corner.

we eat a lot of fish, herring and salmon. all this is eaten with rough, dark, sour danish bread. after the fish comes meat. meat, meat, and more meat: duck cooked with plums, meatballs, sausages, roast pork, and liver paté topped with mushrooms and bacon!

there is no water on the table so you wash it down with snaps, which you chase with beer. everyone is laughing and some people are singing. you feel really full so you get up and start dancing before the dessert comes out. then you eat a bowl full of rice pudding flavored with almonds and cherry sauce, and go back to playing limbo. you haven't played limbo since you were seven at the roller-skating rink and laugh when you fall on your back and then find another christmas beer.

sometime during the present game a giant party popper explodes. you don't notice the explosion until you realize you are covered in iridescent confetti.

this is danish christmas lunch.

now that all the fun is over, i'm back to writing for my last exam. my danish class is over at last and i just have a conclusion to write and then i'm done with kierkegaard. it's snowing. it's been snowing off and on for a day and half and finally the snow is beginning to stick to the ground. there is a layer of it growing thicker and thicker and some of my neighbors are outside throwing snowballs around. i hope it sticks overnight, i really do. one of my best friends from california is here and we are having immense amounts of hygge. the snow helps!

although it has been freezing - and below freezing - we went to a free outdoor concert last night, to see gogol bordello, a gypsy punk band. they're probably the only band that i'd stand outside in below-freezing weather and, yes, snow, for an hour and a half to see play. they have so much energy that you really can't help dancing to them. what with COP15 and the entire world having its eye on copenhagen right now, there is lots of cool stuff going on in my dear little city. like a protest of a hundred thousand people on saturday that felt more like a parade than a demonstration. it was a good time, with music, dance, floats, confetti, and a real sense of community.

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