“Love is a matter of difference/Between you/And me/Love
is a matter of distance/But you are too far away…” — Tim
Christensen, Danish singer (been hearing this one on the

Featured update: I just saw Italian for Beginners, a movie
in Danish with English subtitles. If you can find out where
it’s playing, go see it! It’s funny and adorable, about this
random group of people who all end up in the same
community-ed class. Which, by the way, are very big in

Featured realization: So maybe this trip isn’t about
making life-long friends. I already have some of those.

Featured funny thing: Last Saturday four people and I
tried making dinner. Most of it was amazing, someone
made pad Thai, and Thai soup, and banana dessert. Me?
I just brought some salad from my host fam. But three of
us, while waiting for the others to show up, took on an
ambitious side project. We tried making maple-syrup
brownies, because the person’s host mom happened to
have gotten a jug of maple syrup as a gift from a previous
host kid. I was in charge of measuring the sugar. But we
couldn’t find the woman’s measuring cups. Instead we
found a liquid measuring cup. But that was marked off in
the metric system. Yeah. So I think I put in about twice as
much sugar as the recipe called for. We realized that when
we tried “creaming” the butter and sugar together, and
ended up with basically just sugar.

Featured Danish quirk: Everywhere you go in Copenhagen,
it looks like people are leaving their babies outside, with
their carriages tied up to posts, like pets. Sometimes they
just leave them on the sidewalks. The carriages all look
the same, old-fashioned buggies, navy blue or black. But
now after a few weeks, I’m pretty sure that they take the
babies out before they leave the buggies outside.

Featured Danish culture note: Here it’s normal for couples
to have children, live in the same house, and never be
actually married. Especially in the 70s, tax laws favored
the unmarried. So people who’ve lived together for 25
years and have children aren’t technically
husband-and-wife. Also, single parenting is normal, not
just an accident. The state gives you enough assistance if
you’re raising a child on your own that you can still live a
comfortable life and have a child on your own.

Bonus quote: “There’s too damn much freedom!” — My
philosophy prof in another existential crisis

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