97: Mug Shot

We had a playdate the other day with Walter's friend whose parents are from Syria. It reminded me of the first time I visited my Afaghani friend in high school. About every 20 minutes a new plate of food was brought out. In this case, first it was Middle Eastern cookies, then assorted chips and lastly plates of cut up fruit. I think she brought out two of each, one for her son and one for mine, since her son objected every time to Walter grabbing food off the plate and she kept pointing out there was a second serving platter. They lived in an immaculate small two bedroom apartment on the other side of the train station in a big complex with large green picnic areas between each set of buildings. Our hostess' parents had wisely decided to get out of doge with the Syrian civil war started. They were living in Damascus and, as Kurds, were stateless, so the parents had to walk all the way to Greece and from there took public transportation all the way up to Denmark where they applied for asylum and then bought all five kids plane tickets. Our hostess is in 12th grade, which is different here. College ends in 10th grade and then you have two years of community college-like courses before either going into a profession or university. I'm unsure if she's actually 18, I should have asked, or more likely got a late start on schooling, being as she came here only 6 years ago with no Danish language skills. Her family isn't religious and she doesn't wear a hijab. She says she likes the freedom women here have, though her mom gets endless grief for wearing a headscarf, even though it's not a religion thing, but a comfort thing since she's been donning once since childhood. I haven't noticed any racial tensions in Denmark, but Islam does seem to be a tricky issue. Anyway, it turns out that my son's friend, who is three and a half, had never had a house guest before and was really not sure what to do with him. We kept the playdate short and sweet and while it started out with his school mate wanting to know why the kid who talks funny had come over, it ended with him asking if Wally would come back. Next time we'll try to do it at our place, though I have no idea how I can live up to the kind of hospitality we received. Maybe make 5 batches of cookies?