Friday, August 21, 2009

A rather eventful day

Yesterday was rather eventful. There was the obligatory 3 1/2 hours of Danish, followed by a power nap. My Dane and I then headed off to look at this camper that he'd seen on the side of the road.

[Insert flashback special effects]

My husband, who leaves WEDNESDAY, for Holland (I have part II of my Danish test that day, how unfair of the universe is THAT?) had still not found a place he was willing to live. Most of the places that were almost affordable were shared rooms or in a dormitory-like environment. My husband, bless him, is a little old for returning to college life. I could see him coming out of his dorm room and shaking his fist at the noisy kids. Or giving the evil eye to a roommate. He only puts up with me because I'm cute and I show him my boobies.

(Off topic note: He is forbidden to call them anything other than "breasts." I hate when people refer to someone else's breasts with some stupid pet name or childish term, but I also retain the right to call my breasts whatever the heck I want if it will imbue a story with a bit of levity. I'll stop talking about breasts now. This could be the post where my parents finally get around to reading my blog and I would hate to embarrass them.)

Anyway, so on the topic of husband travelling/lacking a home, he'd made cracks about living in the car. I, however, do not get Danish humor, and so promptly pointed out that if he were to live in the car, he'd have to live at a campsite so that he would have bathing and toilet facilities. I'm really big on people not peeing freely. I'm not sure who pointed out that the most sane idea for staying at a campsite would be to have a camper, but it came up as a frighteningly good idea. He did a bit of research and discovered that campers are insanely expensive in Denmark. I swear, you could put wheels on a dog turd and sell it for millions. He even went to a used camper dealership, where they were selling campers held together with duct tape for 50,000 kr. Heck, I'm going to start putting wheels on my OWN poop!

(Toilet humor getting to you? Sorry, blame the mad storm of yesterday, I may have been struck by lighting.)

That would have been the end of it, except that while driving home from Grenaa the other day, he saw a camper for sale on the side of the road. He looked it over, called the guy, poked, prodded, did whatever two men do when they contemplate an exchange of wheeled objects (my poop not included) (SORRY) and came home to talk with me about it.

Ever so practical, I asked him if there EVEN WERE campsites near his school. That's what I'm here for, killing the joy. Oh yes, I can kill the joy. [Insert lots of boring details here that I won't... er... bore you with.] Yes, Virginia, there is a campsite... open until Oct. 4th and in the woods. After that he might have to get creative, but that will be his anxiety, not mine. He decides it will be a great adventure, I see it as a way to go camping in France. I hear they have good wine. So, because it was under 15,000 kr., and in good condition, we bought it. It's little. It's bitty. It dates from 1980-something and so goes great with the Volvo station wagon. (I tried to find a comparable one on-line... but I couldn't.) It's got a bed, a table area that could become a second bed, sink, two gas burners, a fridge, a toilet (an empty yourself kind), and an attachable tent with walls (thereby doubling your living space... when it's warm outside). It's very brown and green, but doesn't smell at ALL. This is vitally important.

I swear we are now the perfect middle-class American family... without the kids. Lousy Danish family though. We lack privet hedges and a summer house.

Right. So, now we've caught up with where I started (and slightly overshot, but do I look like a hollywood director?). We had a date with some friends back in Århus, but since we were running late, we took the camper with. It was a hit and our friends' adorable little girls declared that mum and dad should buy one with their DanKort (think Debit Card meets Visa).

And then it started raining. Whoa boy, did it start raining. And there was the lighting and the thunder and all in all it was a very impressive summer storm. We thought it was over by the time we parked the car and camper half a mile from our home (free parallel parking where you don't actually have to maneuver between two other parked objects is not that easy to find in Århus). We were mistaken. We took shelter in the doorway of a lonely store in the middle of nowhere.

Note to all: It is acceptable to pee freely when it is pouring rain, you are far from home, and surrounded by closed non-residential buildings, provided that you pee somewhere where it will be washed away by morning. Also, always accept an umbrella from friends. Always.

Just as we were starting to wonder if we'd have to swim home, my husband saw a bus. I couldn't see the bus stop, but my Dane said there was. We actually chatted about this as the bus pulled up on the other side of the road and sat at the stop. Realizing that we'd be kicking ourselves if we didn't take it, no matter where it went, it had to be drier than this, right? We ran across the road. Correction, we splashed across the river that just happened to be partially navigable by car, and got on the bus. Bless that bus driver, he'd seen us and waited. We determined that he was actually going to go right by the street our house is on (yippee!) and we were so grateful we bought bus tickets. (Note: in Århus, you buy the tickets in the back of the bus at a little automatic ticket booth. Think of it as a strange honors system. The bus drivers do not check the tickets. But there are special bus police that do, so you do have to watch yourself.)

Where was I? Tickets! Okay, so we bought tickets. Then the bus driver dropped us as close to our house as possible, not where there was a bus stop (the closest bus stop being farther away). What service!! We were impressed. We were soaked. We were having a ridiculously good time for people caught out in the rain with only a borrowed umbrella to protect us from pneumonia.

I think it was the excitement of purchasing a camper, eating a good meal with friends, drinking wine with friends, and that it was not that cold out which made it so much fun. The thunder and lightning didn't bother me a bit! I think if we hadn't had a loaf of fresh homemade rudbrød (SO YUMMY), a bag full of important papers, and the fancy camera we would have pulled a "Singing in the Rain."

Or at least I would have. I'm kind of a freak like that.


  1. Anonymous2:48 PM

    Picture of the camper, please.

    By the way: I saw a container being used a "sommerhus" in IKEA magazine last edition. The inside of the small container is screaming cute cute cute. So maybe the same thing can be done to your camper? LOL

    And about Aarhus buses and how you get tickets from them: That's weird. At the back of the bus? How odd. I should really come to Aarhus and ride buses all day long :)

  2. Congrats on the camper! I hope you two have lots of fun... and it works out for your husband. I like how you corrected the run across the street to splashing across the street. And what great service you rec'd from your limo bus driver :-)

  3. Anonymous3:27 PM

    Ok, let me get this straight - you let your husband look at your boobies?? My husband doesn't even get to do that! I guess that's how girls from California are ;-)

    Sounds like fun times with the camper! Glad it doesn't smell. I sooo get that point.

  4. Haha, love your stories.

    The camper sounds like a great idea. I happily lived in one all alone but with a hundred donkeys in rural Australia, at a donkey sanctuary. So yours proved rain-proof?

    P.S. Do you know Denmark Square in Jerusalem? I posted it today and also earlier at
    Next time I'll photograph the sign in Danish for you. Good luck with your test.

  5. Jennie, once you show a Scandinavian man good old fashioned American boobies they're yours for life. Choose wisely.

    Loved this blog! You're so freaking funny. Sverre kept looking at me like I was a cackling looney, I kept laughing out loud, for real!

  6. lol, California girls and their boobies! Not just an urban myth! LOL

    Congrats about the camper... we have started looking at the option of doing this next summer as it would be easier to travel with a baby if you have a camper to take all the stuff you need... cannot wait to hear how your adventures go!


Keep it clean, don't be mean....