Thursday, November 28, 2013

Husk Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, American friends & Happy End of November, everybody else.
This greeting has nothing to do with corn husks, if you're wondering. "Husk" - pronounced hoosk - is Danish for "remember" & "Husk Thanksgiving" appeared Saturday in the ad paper from a supermarket that's a national chain.
Husk Thanksgiving - what's that all about, forcryingoutloud? Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays & the only Danes who have even an inkling of what it is are the ones who watch American football. Or have seen a film such as 'Pieces of April'. Or who know an ex-pat, such as me. I've probably explained Thanksgiving 50 times to various friends & colleagues & every other American ex-pat I know has done the same. Often as not it ends with a comment from one or the other about how the Indians - oops, I mean Native Americans of course - must regret saving that gang of pilgrims, even if they were invited to a feast in sincere gratitude that very first Thanksgiving Day. I will not speculate about that here because my title is (for the third time) Husk Thanksgiving.
What it was all about was sales. What else is new? The stores were trying to sell turkeys; very handy for Americans abroad. I bought 2 today after a long search through all the freezer compartments that were full of ducks, presumably left over from the Martinmas - Mortens Aften - on November 10th, a very big deal here. There was one turkey left after I nabbed my 2. Don't know how many they originally had, but turkey is becoming more popular in Denmark all the time, mainly because it is less fat & greasy than duck or goose.
But what about the menswear store & their Black Friday sale? Come on. Tomorrow is Open by Night here in Svendborg, meaning all shops open all the way until 10.00 pm with special offers everywhere you turn. This happens every year on the last Friday in November but as a kickoff of the Christmas season. The tree in the central square gets lit up with all due ceremony at 5.00 pm. So Black Friday ...? I would talk about the universality of culture but even taking 'culture' in its broadest sense, I can't bring myself to use the C-word for one more stupid sales pitch. Or in this case, two.

I made a pot of chili con carne for dinner & my husband & I wished each other Happy Thanksgiving. On Sunday a large but exclusive group assembles for turkey & all the trimmings, one of the year's absolute high points. I am thankful for so very much. But as for sales pitches, I say Bah Humbug! International finance is enough of a mashup already. Spare us, pleeeease, for Husk Thanksgiving & Black Friday sales where they do not belong. Let us celebrate from the heart - not the coolness quotient or whatever it's supposed to be. I'm glad I can buy a turkey in Svendborg - no matter that it comes from France. My holiday is none of their business.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Walking with VIM - & sometimes vigor

 Sometimes VIM - my Very Important Man - & I walk hand in hand or kind of bouncing off each other, chatting a bit, smiling private smiles, complete together. We enjoy walking together & in Svendborg most of town & lovely surroundings are within walking distance. Other times VIM has something on his mind, something demanding all his attention. Then I end up charging after him, short legs after long, rushed wifey after philosopher with wrinkled brow. I try not to think about how silly we must look because he never does it on purpose & I'm sure nobody who knows us even notices anymore. Of course I can get annoyed, like when my bag’s heavy & I’m trying not to dislocate my shoulder or level all the displays Svendborg’s trusting merchants put out in front to lure the undecided consumer. Or when I’m the consumer and would like to juuust check out one little thing, but I know he’ll be 100 m. down the street & won’t look back to see what happened to me.
      One of these days, when we're in town together, I'm also going to show that annoying Albanian who's shorter  than me. I made the mistake of speaking to him in the Mini Asian Market. Honest mistake – I thought he worked there – but ever since then he's tried to get invited home. One day he’ll see me with my tall handsome husband, all cozy & complete. He’ll finally get the message.
      Oh NO! There he was. What he saw was me huffing to keep up with a preoccupied man who ignored me – ideal male-female behavior such as you seldom get at this latitude. So he still sidles over when he sees me & attempts a come-hither look - not easy since eyebrows fill half his pudgy face.
        Thought about mentioning it to VIM but that would just be mean. What good does it do to tell an unconscious man – out cold on the floor – that he should have opened that door before he walked into it? I try to think of it as a valuable weapon in the fight against vanity. Sometimes that works ....