The Queen’s Garden

I was told that there is an American woman living on our street. Her name is Elizabeth and she has two kids, a boy and a girl, who are close to my kids’ age.

Once Nani heard this, she wouldn’t leave me alone.

“We need to go and knock on their door.”

“And say what?”

“You’re American, we’re American. Let’s be friends.”

“I just got here from Seattle. And I have a problem with talking to strangers. I don’t think I can do that.”

“Do you want me to die of boredom?”

“Not really…”

I resorted to stalling tactics.

“We’ll go over there later.”

“You mean, like tomorrow.”

“Yes, tomorrow. Whatever. Sure.”

Well tomorrow became today.

“You know what today is, right?” Nani asked.

“Yard waste pick-up day?”

“We’re going to knock on their door today! You promised!”

Okay, so I swallowed my pride and my inherent shyness and marched down the street to the unsuspecting American woman’s door.

She was home, but her daughter wasn’t. We chatted for a little bit. She’s from California, but could easily pass for a Dane. She was married to a Dane, but they since divorced. She said that when her daughter gets home, she will send her over to our place.

Later that day Elizabeth and her daughter, Annika, stopped by. Annika is very Danish, which means that she’s tall and thin, with blond hair and looks of a supermodel. She’s also very mature and polite for a kid who’s only 14.

Annika was having a friend over and only stopped by to say hello. She was later going to her dad’s for a week, so wouldn’t be back until almost the end of the month, but Nani is already excited at a prospect of making a new friend.

Elizabeth and I talked for a little bit too. She told me some neighborhood trivia, which made our little street sound so special!

For example, this entire street used to be the queen’s garden! Some of the existing shrubs and trees date back to those days. Including our very own apple tree! (I feel honored to have royal apples in my back yard).

The garden was handed over to “the people” in the 1930’s and our house was built in 1939. In fact, probably most of the houses were built at that time. They’re all more or less identical. Recently the entire neighborhood opened its doors to everyone on this street and all the neighbors went to each other’s houses to see how they decorated them inside (to get ideas for more optimal arrangements).

The houses are in fact not stand alone houses, but duplexes. I really keep forgetting that, because the design is very private and I actually still haven’t met the doctors with whom we share a wall.

Another thing that is special about our place in particular is that a movie scene was filmed here once! This was about 10 years ago and the movie is Danish, of course. I was told the title of this movie a couple of times already, but of course, I can’t remember what it’s called. Next time I will insist on someone writing it down for me.




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