My Top (and Not) Three for August

It’s been a very busy month. We pretty much finished furnishing the house, both kids started school, I applied for a driver’s license and signed up for Danish lessons (although I won’t be starting until October). Also, my older daughter Ellena came here for a visit, so we’ve been trying to find the time to do touristy stuff too. Now I got a bad head cold, so that’s slowing me down on all fronts…

But here are my three favorite things this month:

  1. Ellena coming to visit – I missed her so much!!! Ellena is my oldest child. It’s been so good to spend time with her… I missed our conversations and her interest in weird little things, like fake food, vintage slips, and nondairy lattes.
  2. The Danish school system – I will write more on this topic later, but for now, let’s just say that I am in awe of how wonderful this system is. This truly is the place to get an excellent education and to become the best that you can be. I actually cry sometimes, after coming home from my daughter’s Danish school, feeling sorry for myself, because I had such crappy education in the US.
  3. The Danish royalty – I never thought I’d be considering myself a royalist, but the Danish royal family is very cool and down to earth. The queen,¬†Margarethe II, is well-loved by pretty much all Danes. She’s self-assured, an artist and a style icon. Her husband, the whiny Prince Henrik, seems like a drag, but her son is pretty awesome. The Crown Prince, Frederik, married an Australian commoner, Mary. He’s an athlete who runs marathons and he completed Ironman Copenhagen. He’s also really into science, sustainability and walking his own dog on the streets of Copenhagen.

Then, there are the few things that haven’t been so great this month:

  1. “Hard” water – this water is awful. It tastes pretty good, to drink from the faucet, but it’s full of lime. Not like the green citrus that would go nicely in a glass of faucet water, but more like the white stuff that clogs spouts, drains and leaves glasses coated with this white film. The kettle water is cloudy. My coffee maker glass jug is covered in white spots. I’m putting salt in the dishwasher and am worried about the clothes washer. Does that need salt too? Also, although my hair seems to have gotten used to it, my skin is super dry.
  2. Toilets at train stations that ask you to send an SMS in order for the door to open – this is just wrong. If I have to pay for a toilet, I really don’t mind throwing a coin in or swiping my debit card. I do mind trying to text a code to some number and have the door remain steadfastly closed. This happened to me twice. I hate you SMS toilets.
  3. Licorice – I wouldn’t mind it so much if it wasn’t everywhere! I once bought what I thought were mints, only to discover it was licorice. At just about every check out you will find… ONLY licorice. There are licorice mints, licorice gum, licorice gummy bears, licorice cough drops, licorice chocolates, licorice ice cream, and licorice liqueurs. I asked one Danish woman if all Danes like licorice. She said: Yes, I think so.

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