Greetings and salutations friends and family!
I’m currently writing to you from the Herning library and stealing their free wifi, while also attempting to do homework. Clearly the key word here is attempt.
Denmark is by far the most expensive country I have ever visited. Usually I let myself eat out once a day, but this time, I’m living completely off of grocery store food, because even that makes me feel poor. But even if I had eaten out, I still would have made a trip to the local food mart, because as weird as it sounds, I’d say it’s usually one of the highlights of my trips.
Let me explain. I like getting to know the cities, towns, countries, etc. that I visit. And to me, one of the best ways of getting to know a place, is by going grocery shopping. Everybody needs food, locals and travelers alike, so you bump into a wide range of people. You also get to check out the cost of living, see what’s popular to eat, and engage in awkward cashier-customer mumbling in which you fumble with your change because the local currency freaks you out (me every time). It’s also fun to buy something completely foreign, like a funky looking pastry, and see if you like it, or see if you don’t!
I’ve found out that ‘hot cross buns’ actually exists, fish is expensive no matter how close you are to the sea, and I’ve had fun hunting down all the translations of familiar food brands in every language imaginable. It’s become a bit of a scavenger hunt for me. I’ve come across Hungarian Quaker’s, Danish Activia, Chinese Skittles, and Oreo’s in every single language. Maybe I’ll start a wrapper collection.
What else has been a highlight of my trip? Eating and drinking with strangers, and sharing stories. Yesterday morning a Danish Italian man ate his breakfast across from me while I worked on my laptop. We started chatting, and I found out that he was quite the character. Very philosophical, vague, and a bit bizarre. He didn’t want to write in my travel journal because his response to my topic required “the right time and space” to do it in. And then last night I enjoyed a conversation with two older Danish women who were headed to a golf tournament the next day. We talked about everything under the sun. Finland in July, grandkids, my birthday coming up, you know, the usual.
Looking back on when I first ventured out completely solo, Italy last April, I see many similarities, but also some changes that have happened. Gone are the trips in which I visit as many museums and historic sites I can come across. While I still love history and collecting cultural fun facts, visitng places solely for those reasons are no longer my first priority. They’ve been replaced by a quieter intention of getting to know the city for who it is today rather than in years past. Why am I in Herning? Because there is a John Mayer concert tonight that I’ve been looking forward to for 3 months. It’s an interesting shift of preference, but one that I knew would come, and will continue to change as I age. But now I must get out of my head, and back to the books, because finals are coming up.