There are quite a few homeless people near our house, presumably because the varmestue (shelter) is a few blocks over. They fall into two categories, the drunks and the eccentrics. The drunks are thankfully in the minority. I don’t know where they were all winter, but since the weather has warmed we’ve had a couple, a male and a female, who sit at the bus stops or hang out near the grocery store. I have no idea where they get such vast quantities of alcohol, but they seem to perpetually have a bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label on hand. I should mention that they look together enough that my in-laws had an extended conversation with them (I didn’t even know they spoke English!) and didn’t realize they were bums. I’m not fond of them, because they sometimes have very loud, uncomfortable sounding conversations and the woman is always asking me for a cigarette light, which obviously I never have, because I don’t smoke. The other group are these people with dogs, fanciful hats full of feathers and suitcases full of their possessions. There’s one who walks through town with a cart full of stuff and boombox gently creating a sound track for his life. He hangs out a lot near the big grocery store, maybe he’s a panhandler? There’s another who walks down our street most mornings. At first my husband thought he was returning from some long exciting trip, until he noticed him walking by at the same time every day and I then spotted him at the varmestue. In general, they’re all really nice. They wave back at me, we’ve seen them chatting with small children, so clearly Danish parents don’t think they’re sketchy. For whatever reason, they’re not taking place in normal society, but I find them a charming part of the landscape, proof that socialism works, that everyone is taken care of. It makes me happy to think no matter what life my children choose to live, I don’t have to worry about their well being.