The prodigal – adopted – son… (or daughter, for this matter)

Here's dolly, in front of the U-Bahn station... No worries... her own wool and blue sweater keep her warm

So… much has transpired since my last update. I have a problem; I think too much, but some of you already know that. I guess the problem is, most of the time I have no computer and /or piece of paper to either type or write down what I’m thinking at a particular moment, or else, I am way too lazy to stop what I am doing and actually write — coherently — down my thoughts. Sometimes I wish there were some sort of machine (this is and idea aimed to you, inventors / entrepreneurs/ jobless / lazy internet surfers out there!!! ) that would somehow sync itself to my mind and automatically type down what I think, first because it is usually the case that, whatever thoughts I form in my mind are funnier / more beautiful / better arranged when they just spring up than when I actually pen them, and second because it would then be effortless for me to think (as I’ve already stated, it takes too much energy, just going through the process, even when I “unwillingly think”). A friend of mine actually suggested giving a break to ‘ the hamster in my head’; let him pull out a couch, some pop corn and let him sit, relax and share memories, instead of running the wheel all the time. What do you think, hamster in my head? Det lydder hyggelit. Also, since now I am actually UNWILLINGLY thinking in Danish some of the time, (like last night when I had this dream where I spoke a few CORRECT Danish phrases) it gets more complicated, for on any given scenario I won’t find the appropriate word in the language I am operating at the time, but instead will think phrases like, “I have to spise”, “Jeg vil gerne have en Danish pastry”, or “Tengo que lede efter un libro” It’s crazy!

Anyway… the point is, I am again excusing myself for not writing so often; I don’t know why but it’s lately become quite overwhelming to express myself through writing (no misunderstanding, I STILL LOVE IT), perhaps because I constantly feel I have not enough time to do so, while actually processing and analyzing the words I am letting out. However, now I not only am in the mood, but also keeping a promise to myself that, however difficult or draining, I’d write; not just let words float in and out of my consciousness, but put them in ink and paper… or on the screen, for everyone to see.

The reason behind the title of this post is that I felt exactly like that, coming back to København, from Germany (see? I was thinking “coming tilbage til København fra Germany”). Berlin was great, I got to see many interesting places and took all the time in the world to wander through the Jewish Museum (and the Pergamon) with no pressures or rush; after all, the weather was quite crappy (excuse my French) so there was no point in being outdoors. I think I would have liked it better, had it been -10༠ C, with lots of fresh powder (snow), but anyway… back to the actual trip and coming back. I got up at 4 a.m. on Saturday – after a horrible night’s sleep, due in part to my dorm roomies, but oh well, that’s hostel life – in order to take the U-Bahn and then a bus to the airport, and felt this little hint of pity, compassion and camaraderie all together, for the night shift guy at the front desk [you know, ’cause I was once in such position… only much more uncomfortable and colder :) ]. For a few minutes I felt as if we belonged to the same team, the same community, the same world… just for a couple of minutes. Then I got my stuff and walked in the middle of the night, feeling way too confident (is that good? should one let his /her emotional & mental guard off so easily? Hmmm…), while showing Tyskland to Dolly , who spent most of the time in my luggage and thus could not really appreciate much. Though it was a good trip, and I got to see much, and perhaps understand a bit, just a bit better, the German collective “vibe”, I was ready to come “home”; even had this strange feeling of homesickness while talking about MY Copenhagen with some other fellow travelers. All of a sudden it became home and I even started comparing the way things are in Germany (or Berlin, for this matter), with Denmark, being invaded by the warm, cozy, hyggelig pride only a Dane can feel. I know I am waaaaay far from being a Dane. Neither looks nor language or mindset help much; if there is a non Dane – that I know – who could call herself one, is my American friend Jess who’s been living here here entire adult (ever since she was 17) life and have the whole hygge/candle-lighting routine figured out! But oh no, not me. And yet…

When we finally landed in Kbh., and even before, as I waited at Schönefeld Airport, I was soooo glad I could actually understand some of the words, recognize the now familiar blond haired, blue eyed faces – with all its variations, from Asian looking, blond blue-eyed guys, to dark skinned, curly haired, porcelain-like young girl faces, and everything in between – and move around comfortably as a… a… a hamster in its burrow?, I can say I had the closest experience to feeling home in Denmark I have had since I got here 7 months ago. I even felt brave enough to, on my way home, explain the bus driver – in my broken Danish –  I wanted to stop not at the next stop but the one after that one… his (Danish, that is) wasn’t so good either, as he was not a Dane himself, but rather an immigrant; Now that I think about it, he could have also been a “New Dane” , that is, a person who is not ethnically Danish, but  born in Denmark of immigrant parents; though  in such a case, the language hardships could not be explained…interesting. In any case, I felt – for once – part of this society, and not only a guest.

Now there “er less than fem måneder tilbage” (are less than five months left) tentatively, til I have to go back, and I am suddenly flooded with a thin, but persistent stream of sadness :( Having to leave one’s adopted home so soon, when just starting to adapt, is not fun; feeling uprooted shortly after one started laying roots, stinks; and constantly losing new-found friends along the way doesn’t help either.

at Kbh's airport,& because terminal F is so far, they tell you how long it'll take you to get there... just in case you're too confident and don't run fast enough

I have braved the weather, with nothing more than my frail Mexican self; I have gotten sick 5, if not 6 times in the 7 months I’ve been here; I’ve learned – effortless, I should say – to eat rugbrød and train my mind to understand that, when I hear “no”, it’s actually nå! (equivalent of the English expression “Oh!” as in “Oh, I didn’t know meant that!!! How interesting is the Danish language!”). I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve gained weight and have lost my daily swimming routine (let alone PEACE and QUIETNESS, in a house full of people). I’ve gotten through summer, autumn and winter, and I am not yet hating the snow, or the rain, or the fact that you don’t know what exactly to wear on any given day, thus meaning you also change the kids’ clothes at least two times before leaving the house; I’ve accepted my English has gotten worse and my Spanish not better; and my Portuguese… well… Portugal and the Portuguese are right now quite a subject in themselves. I’ve transformed myself and let myself be transformed by time and experiences; people and the environment, and Danish, with its nonsense; and God’s plans, and my own stubbornness; mistakes and failures, and victories and inexplicable laughter; and friends, and just people; passerbies? passer-by’s? passerbys? passersby* and those I wish would stay forever… I’ve LIVED here, all this seven months!!! Don’t I deserve a chance to continue to live, in this part of the world? to continue falling in love, while I grasp how to correctly pronounce “brød”?

I just wonder… Don’t I? Should I? What are you thinking – God – about it all?

* I actually had to look up the plural of “passerby” in the dictionary. Turns out there IS a plural form… ha!

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