Thursday, March 22, 2012

a long but lagret day

a long day, that started with this frog... 
william and i shared him this morning.  he came from the super best bakery yesterday when greg took william and henry to get milk.  these bakery detours are getting a bit out of hand.  

so what was long about this day?  nothing in particular.  we stayed around the house and the guys played in the sandbox in back of some of the flats here... something we only discovered yesterday.

in the process, i met two new neighbors, both working moms of kids older than my kids, but still, there was plenty of common ground and it was fun to talk to them.  much of the conversation followed a path similar to other extended conversations i've had here-- first, the ubiquitous weather conversation-- and look, another beautiful day... at least in the afternoon...

then, the explanation of what we're doing here and how long we're staying.  finally, a back and forth about the differences between the u.s. and denmark:

outgoing, friendly americans compared with introverted danes.  ("had you moved into an apartment in copenhagen, none of your neighbors would talk to you.")

the cheap cost of food in the u.s. compared with the expensive cost of food in denmark (i bring up the joke about americans liking their peanut butter, which is rather expensive, but not impossible to find here... and isn't it true? don't we all like peanut butter?)

the expensive cost of daycare in the united states compared with the cheap cost of daycare here. 

12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave in the u.s. (granted, some employers will pay) compared with the year of paid maternity leave in denmark.  

the diversity of americans compared with the uniformity of danes ("except those danes that live in the south, oh and what about those northern danes?!") 

and i learned that danes don't usually hire babysitters so they can go out for a decent dinner every now and then, a possible explanation for the relative lack of restaurants around, and the fact that the ones which do exist are so expensive-- everyone here has kids so no one eats out.  and confirming the sad reality that greg and i will not go out for another three years.

greg, meanwhile, learned that they grade their cheeses here, based on stinkiness.

from mildest to stinkiest, the grades are as follows:

lagret (the mildest)
mellemlagret (mellem seems to equal medium, but mellemlagret is more stinky than lagret)
ekstra lagret (extra lagret, but even more stinky that lagret)
gammel (gammel = old) oleg (name of a guy)
oleg's grandfather (the stinkiest)

the more stinky the cheese and the longer it sits in your fridge, the more it will make your fridge stink.  that's logic.

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