travel light

denmark is stunning. in a really understated sort of way. 

i woke up at eight this morning, about half an hour before the sun came up. the sun 'rises' at 8:30 ish and sets at about 3:30. it's a little bit useless, that danish sun, as the whole time it's up the sky is a dreary, cozy gray. i've yet to see the sky not be some level of overcast. it's constantly about forty degrees and rainy [drizzly, really], and dips down into the cooler temperatures at night.

today i went exploring. 

this could be interpreted as a tidbit of "culture", loosely interpreted. but all the ladies here wear skinny jeans or leggings and boots. worse than in america. everyone's clothes here--male or female--are dark and plain. i really stuck out prancing around in my royal blue scarf and bright red jacket. 

tihs is the building i'm staying in, with a backdrop of the brightest sky i've seen so far:

my boots clicked down the sidewalk as i made my way into the heart of the city, avoiding puddles and eye contact. the people here are...unfriendly? maybe not. they just really keep to themselves. it's something i've noticed since getting on the plane from amsterdam. they don't make conversation with people around them, offer to help when you're putting a fifty pound bag on the luggage rack of a train, smile at strangers, nada. a bit weird of a change coming from friendly ol' texas.  

i can't be sure, but i think i found a local bar 
despite all that, it's a really cool city to explore. the ominous sky just added another dimension to everything, made it all more intense.

 walking on cobblestone in my clicky boots made me feel like a horse. i guess that's better than being a cow...?
i wound my way through the streets, peering into window shops and observing other people and their interactions. i stopped in a park with some trees that looked disturbingly like the whomping willow:

i thought about my life; about what i'm doing here and what i'm going to do in the future. i wondered if i could ever go back to texas, go back to anything that's been part of my past. i wondered if i really have a future anywhere or if i was just going to be a perpetual wanderer. 

i decided that wandering forever might not be such a bad thing. 

i wound my way further, deeper into the city, and got to an outdoor mall of sorts. they don't hold back with the christmas decorations. 

it was packed and it was stunning. 

all of the stores here ["here" applying more to europe than aarhus specifically] are so different from america. they are either locally owned or lean more towards that style of products. i found hundreds of toys, trinkets, and gadgets that i wanted to get to bring home to my family. i found one-of-a-kind clocks, coats, candles, and candies. i feel like i had to stop and look at everything--pick it up, roll it around in my hands, figure out what the words on it might mean, think about who might really enjoy this. luckily i had all the time in the world. 

the one thing i saw that was worth sharing was this snowsuit. i'm sure this is the least europe/denmark specific merchandise, but when i saw it i wanted to buy it and take it home to aria, stuff her in it in a modern rendition of "i can't put my arms down". i miss that kid. 

i stumbled upon this city's version of a riverwalk. no really, stumbled. they put a step down six inches from the railing between you and the water. i came around the corner of a shop [h&m, to be precise] and tripped on this step, catching myself on the railing just before falling. it was a proud, proud moment for me. i regained my composure and pretended to be intentionally standing there admiring the water below.

when i'm in other countries i like to wonder what it's like to grow up there. i thought about people as i passed them;  what it would be like if i'd been born and raised here, if i were that little danish girl with two braids being led by the hand of her mother, if i were one of those two danish teenage girls, giggling and chattering in a language foreign to me. i wonder what kind of things they enjoy, what sort of things present challenges to them. i wonder how they make the money they're spending on clothes, if they struggle to pay the rent every month, if they feel free and ambitious, if they feel like they have a future full of possibilities. 

i just have to be careful to not stare too much as i'm lost in thought. 

eventually my legs grew tired of walking, my heels started hurting [riding boots aren't the most comfortable choice for wandering around a city], and i was ready to call it a night. after a brief episode of being a little lost [never a good idea to try and take a shortcut in an unfamiliar place] i headed back home for the night, taking off my boots and feasting on a balanced dinner of potatoes and european chocolate.

[title from anywhere with you by jake owen]

1 comment:

  1. thank you for correcting yourself and saying drizzly instead of rainy. it drives me mad when coloradans say that it's raining outside and you can't even see the rain through the window.
    Also, if you've seen the movie "the bucket list," everyone that saw your missed step next to the riverwalk could check off the item entitled, "witness something truly majestic"