[This is Denmark] Following the rules

Two people walk into a bakery, person A is very clearly in front of person B. Person A walks straight to the counter, person B takes a number from the automated machine. The person behind the counter calls the next number. Person B gets served first because person A did not have a number hands, and nobody balks at this. Person B knew and followed the rules of this particular bakery. Person A turns around to get an automated number for himself, but at this point there's another person who arrived as this was happening and took a number. Person A gets served dead last.

I was already being served when this happened. I'd walked in before all of them and even though nobody was there at the time, I took a number and waited to be called on... you know, because the rules.

Danes are all at once very independent, critically thinking people but also orderly, traditional, law abiding folk. Their rule following is ubiquitous, and I've often noticed it in subtle situations like this one. If I were person B in this situation, I would have demurred and insisted that person A go before me. If I were person B, I would have expected that... but that behaviour would be awkward and confusing here.

December Currently


Watching: The BBC version of "House of Cards". Someone recommended that we watch it before the US version, and still not yet having seen the US version, I completely agree with them. The BBC version is from the 90's, and the production value is just very hard to watch. The storyline is great though, so within an episode or two you forget about the terrible outfits and muted colors. We're on Season 2.

Anticipating: Our 3-week vacation for Christmas and New Year. We'll be in Berlin and Salt Lake City. I'm not looking forward to managing the time zone change with Calvin, but am really happy for him to see his grandparents, who are extremely excited to see him! (They're so giddy with excitement that they broke into singing Christmas carols to Calvin on our last Skype call together. I am no longer of interest to them... "BRING ME THE GRANDCHILD".) We're also planning to pick up Luke to bring him back to Denmark with us. YES!

Listening: To myself give a presentation at a conference. Horrifying? Not really. I did an okay job. Almost put myself to sleep though. Next time, more oomph!

Reading: "All the Light we Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr. It is very, very good. And a reminder that horrifying things happen in the world. Related side note: I love this time of year because all of the "Best of 2014" book lists come out. This one was on the New York Time's list. I've bookmarked many of them and hope to do some serious reading on our holiday vacation!

Eating: Homemade Indian food! We have a new arrangement with a woman to come and clean our house and do some food prep for us on Mondays. It's a glorious evening to come home to food, and Indian food for that matter! Amazing, fortunate.

Working On: Getting my Christmas postcards out the door. Yeah, they're going to be late to the US, but they will have cool Denmark postage on them!

Loving: (I’ve decided to change “Wanting” to “Loving”, like sister, like sister.) Life here in Denmark is pretty good these days. You could say that I'm loving it, maybe for the first time since moving here in May. November was a bit of a horrific month, with everyone getting sick, and the days (if you can call them that) getting really stinking dark. I was sick for two weeks straight, and in the middle of it, on Thanksgiving night, I fell down some stairs and dislocated my shoulder. There's nothing like dislocating your shoulder to slow you down a little... having one arm out of commission makes you think a little more about putting on your shoes, blow drying your hair, and more importantly, picking up your son. I put up our Christmas decorations, and have been making a point of lighting candles and playing Christmas music every night. I've been drinking lots of tea (with honey and rum, as prescribed by my doc to clear my cough). I clearly needed a bit of a crash to slow myself down and focus on the making things cozy. Things have been pretty relaxed and happy since.

Playing: Zombie Catchers, Best Fiends, Crossy Road and a bunch of other games that are using GameAnalytics and just killing it right now. It's exciting times at work.

Holiday Baking Cheer

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in America and this is my first time celebrating it outside of the country. I'm sad about that. We are going to dinner at another expat's house, but without the day off, and without my family and American friends around me, it's not the same.

To cheer myself up, or maybe to distract myself, I decided to focus on finding the necessary ingredients for my holiday baking. Calvin and I were both home sick earlier this week, but the weather was glorious and sunny. So I bundled both of us up and walked to the Super Best grocery store, which has the best selection of American foods. Calvin napped on the way, but woke when we got to the store and was not happy to be there. In a huge rush, I found all three of these very important items, bought them and left. Looking back on the experience, it was as if the ingredients found me!

The sweetened condensed milk, in particular... so excited to have found this! I don't know if I could go back tomorrow and find it again. Oddly, I think it was near the bread.

Do you know what holiday food each of these ingredients is for? If so, you're American, and I miss you.