It is seldom that, under normal circumstances, anyone utters the words:
‘So, once again I find myself miserable in Denmark.’
I, on the other hand, seem to recite this often enough that it has become something of a mantra. Denmark is a wonderful place and has been voted the happiest nation in the world on numerous occasions. It has a quaint, toy-town feel to it and is full of skilled designers, artisans and people who generally care about what’s happening around them. To find oneself miserable here is, in itself, quite a feat, but to do it on a number of occasions as I seem to be able to, is very near impossible.
The second time I lived here – during the 2007-2008 academic year – I spent my days working as either a dishwasher, or the person who counted how many frozen-chicken stickers there should be on a roll*. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to be working, but both were tiring, boring jobs. I started at six am every day and finished at three. By the time I’d come home, cooked dinner and done my language homework, it was time for bed again. That period of my life was not a pleasant one.
The problem now though stems from too much German sausage, long trips in the Primera and a misunderstanding about the word ‘over’.
The dress I’d brought with me for the wedding we’re going to tomorrow no longer fits. Apparently, my boobs – and no other part of me – have decided to gain weight so that now, the lovely red-silk gown that S- bought is too small. Then, the ‘trim’ I’d booked for myself at the local hairdresser’s went horribly wrong. Silly me for presuming that ‘over the eyebrows’ meant my fringe would remain a length that most people consider too long. Apparently though, in Danish, ‘over’ means that the hair will be cut above the eyebrows, making me look like a combination of Spock and the guy who pushes the wheelchair around in Little Britain. Though the lower layers of my hair are chin length, the top ones are a mere two inches, leaving me with what I have dubbed a ‘bobbed-mullet’. To add insult to injury, the girl who did my hair was quite heavily pregnant and so instead of cutting my Spock-fringe from the front to ensure that it was level, she sat at my side and cut down at an angle. The right side of my fringe is about an inch and a half, whilst the left is almost three inches.
I’m not normally a vain person – my daily attire usually consists of whatever too-large shirt S- dropped onto the bedroom floor the previous night and a pair of Thai fisherman’s trousers**. I just really wanted to look nice for J- and R-‘s wedding pictures and for once, not be the strange, eccentric girl who stands out for all the wrong reasons. It’s going to be a beautiful day tomorrow and I really want to do my best to make sure my brother-in-law and his future wife have beautiful pictures to match.
Maybe I’ll go and get a Star Trek uniform… seemed to work for Nemoy…
*Yes, somebody does actually have to do that. I not only possess an unusually large Danish vocabulary, as far as sticker production is concerned, but can also recite the ingredients for a Rose brand chicken as I spent days running thousands of labels through the cutting machine.
** I would like to specify that I did not take said trousers from a Thai fisherman, but that this somewhat confusing name is that given to that particular style of breeches.