Settling In


Mike started his new job on Monday. He’s now officially in the Danish economy with the official ID number essential to really settling in. Mine and Walter’s were supposed to come yesterday, but didn’t, however they’re not going to approve him and not us, so hopefully we should have ours today so I can get a doctor! If I didn’t have such easy pregnancies I’d probably be more tense about it, but I feel Thwompy move around every day, my blood pressure feels fine and generally speaking I’m as comfortable as someone can be at 35 weeks pregnant.

    May 1st is labor day, so I walked 45 minutes to a big park in Copenhagen to see the festivities. We got there too early for any of the speeches, which we really wouldn’t have understood anyway, but had some lovely fair food, Walt found a playground to run around in and we talked to an immigrant from Tamil. I’d never even heard of such a place. I guess they are an ethnic minority under Sri Lankan rule who want to form their own nation like every other oppressed minority on the planet. I took some pamphlets to look further into their situation, but I admit unless it’s Syria bad, I just don’t have the energy to get up in arms about despotic governments right now. Nice lady and cute dog though! She gave Walt a lollipop, which occupied him the whole stroller ride home.

    I haven’t talked at all about the architecture, but it’s worth mentioning that all the buildings are brick with terra-cotta tiles, those concave ones they used to make molding them on the artisan’s thighs and glazed in blues and blacks. I can’t tell the age of any of the buildings, the styling is too foreign to me. Someone had said it was a Portland, ME sized city. That may be true, I’m not sure, but it certainly feels a lot bigger. The buildings are very close and while the parks and apartment courtyards are numerous, it very much feels like a brick and concrete jungle. I know Mike would prefer to live in the city, but I am not complaining that for affordable rent we’ll be living out in the suburbs. I like more open green spaces.

    On the way back we found yet another grocery store chain, at this point we’ve discovered Irma, Netto, Lidl, Rema 1000 and now Meny, the Many was the biggest I’ve yet entered. They actually had discernible categories on their aisles that I could understand. I found a diaper section and finally finally finally found pull up diapers! Fighting with Walter over the strappy kind has been a constant source of friction, especially since he’s settled in enough to now object to every stitch of clothing I put on his body. Now diapering is a quick affair, albeit still full of tears. Like everything I’ve discovered so far, the diaper brand seemed small and kind of cheap, but it has adorable bugs and animals on it and the performance isn’t bad. I don’t know if one has to go to an actual supermarket to find paper towels that are absorbent, toilet paper that’s soft or diapers are engineered better than sanitary napkins. One of my Danish contacts has given me links to online shopping and when we’re settled in at our permanent address I’ll be interested to see if they have a wider selection.

    Not a whole lot else to share. Mike’s office is in an ancient building with sections of ceiling low enough he has to duck. He loves his new work laptop and lunches are catered. He seems really happy with the fare and enjoys that his coworkers are polite, but distant, just what he was hoping for. It’s a direct bus ride from the house and a much shorter commute than when we lived in Pembroke.

    I feel bad that Wally isn’t getting a lot of socialization, but I have to focus on the essentials: bank account, housing, doctors, local cell number etc. before I can make a friend network my priority. He at least has run into some kids at the park. He met a 4 year old Somali-Dansk boy at the local elementary school on Sunday who loved playing ball with him and tossing him sticks, like a dog, which, yes, Walt retrieved in his mouth. I must say, I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about hijabs (aside from for ID photos), I’ve seen four or five different styles since I got here. They range from close fitting and black to brightly patterned and flowing. I realize it has a religious significance as well, but they just look like another fashion accessory to be worn in a way that expresses the woman’s sense of style. My ears are always covered by hair, how is that different than a scarf?

    Today I’m taking Walt back to the library where he fell asleep and in the afternoon tackling the housing market.