Sunday, March 18, 2012

welcome to denmark

from solveig!
marianne, the priest from the church next door invited us to her house for dinner tonight.  female priests were ordained in denmark beginning in 1948.  the earliest of any state to do so-- denmark has a national church.  the denomination is evangelical lutheran.  membership is voluntary, and although some 80% of danes are members, she tells us that most use it like a hospital-- i.e. only when needed-- baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals.  because apparently many danes don't get married until after they've had a child or two, they might even combine a baptism and a marriage, just to knock out a couple of visits in one shot.  today was the first day we'd gone inside of the church.  there was a free concert there this afternoon-- music of the balkans.  children were welcome.  the first thing i noticed about the church was that it was much smaller inside than it lets on from the outside (and it's beautiful).  the second thing i noticed, in conjunction with the first, was that if children really were welcome they probably shouldn't have been. the space was... cozy, the musicians consisted of a professionally trained singer and an accordion player, already playing by the time we got there.  the crowd was noticeably older.  i knew henry wouldn't last more than a minute.  greg took him out about 30 seconds in to our arrival.  william quickly noticed a model ship hanging above our heads (apparently a danish tradition to have model ships in churches: when sailors were out at sea in a storm, they would pray that if they survived, they would put a beautiful ship in the church).  the ship, plus a large hole in the wall behind us kept him occupied for about four songs.  then he was ready to go.  we decided we would wait for marianne to come to us, so we walked back home.  soon after we got there, a delivery van was pulling up. the new phone book our fruit and vegetables were here! an exciting moment for the S Q-S clan. 

obviously none of this is from denmark.

our vegetables.  i have never seen a cabbage of this shape before.  
awhile later, marianne came over with her oldest daughter, 7 year old solveig, on their bikes.  we bundled up the guys and ourselves (a rainy day here) and biked over to trekroner, about 10 minutes away.  solveig led the way.  marianne knew of a co-housing unit that may be available for rent this summer so we did a quick tour of that site and then to her house just a couple of hundred yards past the co-housing development.  it was another fun and relaxed meal, good conversation, and three children for william to play with.  ice cream for dessert.  then a bike ride home-- like having all the windows down in the car and burning calories instead of fuel.

i think about how even in a bike-friendly city like madison, they didn't put a bike lane on north sherman avenue-- a major thoroughfare between the north side and downtown-- when they completely tore up and repaved that road.  and that is in madison.  what does that say about the country at large adopting cycling as a viable alternative way of getting around?  oy vey!

i'm going to put ultra-bike-friendliness down as one more thing to love about denmark (so that's being added to the built-in work-life balance and the affordable preschools/nurseries).

welcome to denmark!  thank you.

1 comment:

Kit Nat said...

glad you guys are enjoying Denmark.. We looked into getting organic veggies delivered to our door too and most of them were not from the UK either. Love the posts!!