Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How are you?

As promised I walked to the store today. I do not believe I will do it again. It was so cold and windy I thought I would freeze to death. Half way there I thought about getting on the bus or calling a taxi for the way home.

I was okay out there for about three minutes. Then I turned the corner and the wind hit me! Andrea quickly fell asleep in the stroller so I tucked her away safely in her little confined warm spot for the rest of our little journey so at least she was safe. It took us about 15 minutes to get there and that was with me speed-walking.

There were lot of people out walking. Why? It is so cold out there, but yet I passed so many people on the sidewalk... none of which said a word to me, much less looked at me. On the way back I was frustrated with Denmark in general for various reasons: store was out of bread, groceries were too expensive, I dropped my apple bag, it was cold... Then a not helpful person put me over the edge.

After we left the grocery store I was trying to push Andrea and my dumb stroller up a steep walkway which led up to the sidewalk. Ten pounds of carrots and potatoes and eight liters of milk, along with all my other groceries make for a heavy load. Add a nice layer of ice to the non-salted path and you get me unable to make it up the hill without being pushed back down the hill by the stroller with Andrea and our groceries slipping off into the bushes on the side. It may have been funny if it wasn't so cold. It may have been funny if the dumb man would have offered some help instead of just sitting there.

Anyways, that's why I was frustrated for the way home. THEN I started passing people on the sidewalk. I couldn't stand just walking by all these people and not even saying Hi or smiling at them. When a person walks directly in front of you, you look at them... it's the natural thing to do! So I started saying "Hi" to people. I looked right at their cold faces and smiled and said, "Hi". I said "Good Morning", I said "Hey", and my personal favorite... I said "How's it going?", to the large group of older people at the bus stop." People don't understand why Americans say, "How are you?" when they greet a total stranger. (We do it to be nice. It's a habit. No, I may not really care how they are doing, BUT it's polite.)

Funny... I didn't say Hi to everyone to be nice. I was not feeling very nice, I was feeling freezing. I found myself thinking, "HA - Take that! I said Hi to you and you don't know me!" It was like a little point for me everytime.

I did make it home. I learned I need to wear a hat and buy a coat... some boots would be better than my sneakers too I guess. After I make some purchases perhaps I'll try that whole walking-to-the-store thing again. :)


Mads and Kelli said...

Girl, you need a pair of UGGS... I don´t leave the house to walk Albert without them! I bought the "Snow UGGS" before I moved here because they are perfect for wet and cold weather! And they have those special grippers on the sole so you dont slip!! Plus they are really warm with all that Australian sheepskin inside!!

'Babs' said...

Oh Tara I have nearly lost control of my post babies bladder reading the 'How's it going?'

I have done that, I still do it actually. I find forced cheerfullness in the face of frozen faces is a great antidote. It works even better in the summer.

You wouldn't dare do the same in the UK though as you'd be dicing with death.

People in Denmark may come across as rude and unfriendly at times (mostly to strangers) but at least they don't smack ye in the face if you look them in the eye. (This can and does happen elsewhere).

The man who was sitting down? Who didn't get up when you needed help? He was probably too drunk to stand, don't take it personally.

Kelli is right about the UGGS. I always wear wellington boots myself. It's a fetish.

'Babs' said...

P.s: I also love saying 'Have a nice day' in a booming voice to grumpy shop assistants. It's passive aggression, to be sure.

Lisa said...

Kraig said he did this one day to entertain himself. He said it made him feel impowered to watch people cowher, not knowing if he was a turist or an insane man.

Archaeogoddess said...

I am a native Californian who married a Dane, and I agree, smiling at random strangers is *the* best way to freak out the Danes. Sometimes I think I smile at other Americans, and then I hope that I've brought a bit of happiness to their day. But again, I'm a California girl, I can't help but smile at people.


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