Yesterday Beatrix and I took the bus to Holbæk. It was one of the places I wanted to check out as a potential place to move next year when we buy a house. Holbæk is on the North Western side of the island, we currently live on the South Western part. Unlike Slagelse, which is an hour bike ride from the ocean, Holbæk is a port city. Naturally the first thing I did when we disembarked from the bus was walk down to the harbor. It was the most public friendly wharf I've ever been to. There were steps on several sides leading down to the deep harbor and a ladder for people who might have trouble getting out. Then there was a long spit of land with the leeward side having both a swimming beach and an area for water games. On the land there was a winding brick structure housing a bathroom cove (no privacy really), a shower cove and just some spots that were protection from the wind. The view of sunsets and rises must be fabulous from there.
It had all the necessary basics: our bank, a library (one that's open on Sundays in the colder months!), bakeries, good grocery stores, a Flying Tiger discount shop, a playground, immigrants of all colors and ethnic backgrounds.
The town is a lot bigger than Slagelse and felt older. Most of the down town was cobbled. Unfortunately, it was not half as bike friendly. Pretty much all the bikes I saw were being pushed on sidewalks, not ridden. It didn't feel as warm or friendly as Slagelse. It had that sort of New York "nice place to visit, but wouldn't want to live there" vibe. I'm planning on checking out some of the small towns in the same commune and on the same train line next.
In other news the local high school was having a scavenger hunt and had a clue at the end of our street, right next to the house. In the process of figuring out what the heck the sign was, I talked with a gaggle of high schoolers and hopefully asked if any of them were interested in a language exchange. They said they weren't and didn't know anyone who was, however when I got back today from picking up Walter, a teenage boy pulled up in a car with his mom. The teens had mentioned it to him, their classmate, he lives the next street over and is totally gung ho to do a language exchange. I am just thrilled because the online class I've been taking is trash and I'm in the process of quitting it. So yay, I still get to move forward with my Danish.
Lastly I ran into Walter's Eritrean buddy's older siblings waiting for the bus this morning. I asked their names and they both said "Ariyam." I was very confused. After much talking and clarifying, to the best I can tell Ariam is not a unique moniker for Wally's friend and most likely some sort of childhood endearment. I assume if the children live to adulthood, they are given a new name or maybe they have names already and don't use them until they are grown. I now have a mystery to solve. Though until then, I think I'll just refer to them as Big Ariam, Ariam 2, Ariam 3, Ariam 4 and Wally's friend as Little Ariam.