It Will be Good Again | Det Bliver Godt Igen

Denmark Begins the Second Phase of Reopening
SECONDARY SCHOOL KIDS RETURN, RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS CAN OPEN

Hej from here. That’s Danish for Hi. Sounds a lot like… “hi.” At least to an American. Even after living in Denmark for over five and a half years with my family. Last week, I was contacted and interviewed by a prominent American news source wanting insight as to why we didn’t consider returning to the States during this ever-evolving worldwide pandemic crisis. Simple answer? We live here. In Denmark. We have jobs here and our kids go to school. Here. But in reflection, it was more than that. Do you want to know? Why? Did we decide to stay? First a little timeline of what’s gone down. Over here. In Denmark. Continue reading “It Will be Good Again | Det Bliver Godt Igen”

When Extraordinary Situations Strike in a Life Lived Abroad

Don’t Underestimate the Emotional Quotient of Feeling Far Far Away
AND ALSO | PLEASE DON’T JUDGE MY RESPONSE

We live in Copenhagen. For the last five years. And last night, the Prime Minister of Denmark announced that the country would go on lockdown, in an effort to mitigate the spread of the novel Coronavirus COVID19. Schools and universities and daycares would close. Public sector employees would be sent home (with pay.) Cultural institutions should shutter. People were recommended to work from home. Indoor gatherings of 100+ participants to be banned. This is serious stuff. Not since World War II has the little Scandinavian nation of Denmark recommended such a lockdown. Continue reading “When Extraordinary Situations Strike in a Life Lived Abroad”

How One Little Word Can Mean So Much When You Live Around the World

Sometimes it’s the simplest of interactions that make the most impact
SAYING SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR IN DANISH

Ses!” 

Walking away from our middle son’s most recent football match, we were passed by some of his teammates heading home from the game by bicycle. Because it’s Denmark. It’s how you do. As they rode past, each called out, “Ses Q!” See you. A small head nod or raise of the hand with his reply, “Ses.”

See you. It’s such a simple phrase. Ses. Spoken between boys. But the sentiment behind it? So very powerful. Especially for an expatriate. Or an immigrant. Or a migrant. Whatever you want to call me. It’s powerful. For me. For him. For us. Choosing a life lived across borders. Calling Denmark home. Continue reading “How One Little Word Can Mean So Much When You Live Around the World”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from this American Mutt

I am going to go full American on you for a minute. Or two. Bear with me. But it’s Saint Patrick’s Day. And with 32.3 million¹ self-proclaimed Irish-Americans, myself included, it’s our day to do so. That’s 1 in 10 Americans people. But wait. Isn’t St. Patrick’s Day Irish? Like from IRELAND. Yes. Yes. It is. Did you see what I did there? Claimed it for my own? Pretty American eh? Hang on. Don’t be offended yet. Let me explain.

Saint Patrick’s Day is kind of a pretty big deal in the United States and my given name is Erin Kathleen. Kind of Irish. My brother is Michael Shannon and my other brother is Colin Patrick. We had an Irish Setter named “Paddy” growing up. And as cliche, groan-worthy or just downright confusing as it may sound to actual Irish people, every year on March 17th my mom made corned beef and cabbage, soda bread and a side of green jello salad. I now know how Irish-American that meal is. Especially the lime jello. There was nothing grown from the earth in that “salad,” just saying. My own children made leprechaun traps at school and my sister in law puts green food coloring in the toilet as “evidence” of their sneaky appearance overnight. Think of it like the “Elf on the Shelf” of March. Thanks Pinterest. March 17th is a big day. To us Irish-Americans. “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” Continue reading “Happy St. Patrick’s Day from this American Mutt”

Things I am Thankful for Living In Denmark

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Denmark. There is no time off work. The kids get no break from school. We will not be traveling anywhere. Unless you count my husband’s day trip across Denmark to a meeting in Aarhus, delivering him back home late. My eldest son was busy delivering pizzas. The youngest had studies for a spelling test today. It was a regular day here in Denmark. It was Thursday. Torsdag to the Danes.

But that is ok. Full turkeys are hard to come by. If you do find one, it may cost you a pretty penny. Or plenty of kroner. Probably both. And good luck finding a Russet or a Yukon gold. There is some crazy nut tax that makes pecan use prohibitive or down right luxurious depending on your position and wallet. Canned pumpkin is equally overpriced and only found at the “American/British” aisle in certain grocers popular with expatriates. Maybe you have an inside source at the American Embassy. Or maybe you thought ahead and smuggled back a few cans of Libby’s and the requisite evaporated milk.

Most everything else you can find for your traditional recipes that you may or may not have printed, preserved and packed over the border with you when you passed. But, I didn’t make them yesterday. It’s ok. We’ll do it tomorrow. When we have time and can tune in some American college football via the old rabbit ears of streaming internet with VPN hiders. Yep. We may even head to the nearby park and toss the pigskin around. The football. Not the futbol. The football. It’s brown. And has laces. At least ours does. At Thanksgiving.

And while it may not be traditional or specifically timely, thankful we are. Grateful that we can. We miss family and friends celebrating afar, especially on days like Thanksgiving. But we are grateful that we have had this opportunity to explore this life across borders. Over here in Denmark. These are some of the things that I’m thankful for. Things that make this our Danish life.

THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR IN OUR DANISH LIFE

Colorful buildings and cobblestone streets.

Continue reading “Things I am Thankful for Living In Denmark”