Saturday, August 18, 2012

A few days with the happiest people on earth

It has long been said, Denmark is the place where people are the happiest in the world.  20/20 did a show on it way back in 2007, and even in 2012 they still hold the title.  http://denmark.dk/en/meet-the-danes/work-life-balance-the-danish-way/happy-danes/
Omar at Legoland


I was an exchange student in Denmark way back in 1978-79 and stayed with a host family that has become as much a part of my life as any blood relatives.  I go back often and enjoy being there.  Because we had just been to Dubai, and were flying through London, my husband booked a ticket there for me to visit them for a few short days.  It was the first time I was visiting since my best friend of more than 30 years had died, and I thought it might be a sad occasion, but it was warm and I felt welcome.  We stayed with my Danish mom in a house that has been built where their old farm used to be.  An entire subdivision replaced the fields where the pony grazed.

Crabbing on Vejle Fjord
The weather was predictable for a Danish summer, cool with intermittent sunshine.  We went crabbing the first day.  Omar thought this was a blast!  You have a stick with a clothespin tied to the end.  Insert a piece of salami and dunk it in the fjord, and a few minutes later...voila!  A crab!  This is strictly catch and release.  We take our kids to fast food outlets for birthday parties.  The Danes bring their kids to the fjord for a picnic and crabbing.  No wonder they are so happy!
We followed up by having an ice cream from the beach kiosk.

We managed a trip to Legoland one day with my Danish mom, Danish sister-in-law and her girls.  Omar called them "beautiful girls" because it's true and it was easier than calling out names all the time.  It was extremely crowded and the lines were long.  This was the last week of summer vacation and all the kids were getting in a little fun before school started on Monday. Still the rides were fun and Omar had a blast celebrating his 7th birthday at a theme park.  He got a special badge and everyone wished him happy birthday in Danish.  Too bad he didn't realize they were saying it!  At the end of the day, we came back to Michael's house where my talented Danish brother had made home made pizza.  It was indeed the perfect day for Omar!
Who doesn't love an ice cream at the beach kiosk?
one of the many crabs caught

My Danish Dad Henry
Lis and Omar at our picnic
The final day was sunshine and warmer.  My Danish Dad and his wife planned a day of outdoor activities that included a picnic.  There's a grocery store that has the most amazing "smoerrebroed" sandwiches on Fridays.  We picked up some with fish and other toppings and enjoyed eating in the outdoors and hiking along the fjord.  His wife has loads of energy and was great about chasing Omar and doing all the playgrounds with him.  Afterwards we met her sister Lone at her house and had coffee and "hygge", which is a Danish term that really can't be translated.  It just means having a great time with friends, enjoying yourself, being cozy. Lone's husband, Vagn, broke out into spontaneous song for Omar to wish him a very happy birthday.  We felt happier just for being here a few days.  I am indeed so fortunate to have such an amazing family on the other side of the world that I can call my own.




"Happy Birthday Omar", Vagn sings

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