It was a chilly evening, but it was Midsummer – one of the most celebrated holidays in Denmark – and I really wanted to see some witches burn, so Nani and I joined a Meetup group.
In Denmark Midsummer is celebrated a couple of days after the actual Midsummer, on June 23. Here it is called Sankt Hans Aften (Saint John’s Eve) and it’s a great chance for friends and family to get together and burn some witches.
Now, perhaps I’m not being sensitive to the gender bias here (the witches burned are always dressed as females) or the history of witch trials (thousands of witches were burned in Denmark alone; I tried looking up actual numbers, but they vary from website to website. The estimates for Europe go up to 100,000), but it seems that sometimes you just have to take the gruesome history and make light of it.
[For the record: we met up at Islands Brygge, hoping they’ll burn witches. No witches were burned at this venue. I was told you would need to pay extra to see a witch being burned – although in the Middle Ages this was totally free – and go to Tivoli Gardens.]
So yes, I joined this Meetup, looking forward to meeting new people and hoping to make friends.
I’m like an introverted extrovert. I love alone time. I have no problem doing things by myself. But I also love people. I love the exchange of ideas, points of view, different approaches to every day life. I need people in my life, to bounce off ideas, fears and observations. Since I’ve come here – it really hasn’t been that long – I’ve been feeling lonesome at times.
This Meetup drew a good number of people. A few groups quickly formed. The young girls (in their 20’s) group, the tech industry group, the group of people who already know each other group.
It’s not easy, to meet new people like that. Not for me. I enjoy being myself, and not have to put up a front. But it seems that with people you don’t really know you should at least try to come off as a halfway decent human being (and not spill your beer on a baby, like I did). I can be crass and a little too outspoken at times. So, being on my best behavior takes some effort.
Beer-spilling-on-baby incident aside, it was a good night out. I had some good conversations with a few really cool people and it was good to look for “my group” whenever I was coming back from the bathroom. It was a good time. I’m not sure I’ll see anyone again, but for the record, I enjoyed hanging out with you Tony, Dave, Alessandra, Ken, Larry, the Iranian guy and the guy from North Korea. Thank you for making my Midsummer – Sankt Hans Aften – a little less lonesome.