6 months ago
Saturday, September 4, 2010
It was brief. Winter ended in around about June and summer started immediately. If you ask Danes, they summer was lovely but analysis of this is required to read between the lines. 'Lovely summer' pertains to roughly weeks 29 & 30 when most people go on summer holiday.
However, these first few days of autumn have been beautiful. In Scandinavia, that equates to an Indian Summer, Scandinavian style. You can tell good weather days by the amount of people slouched in their seats at cafes, staring up to the sun, and by the activity in parks and by the lakes. This group of kids were going out on the lake with their barrel and plank raft. No idea how they got it down to the lake - it looked very heavy. Suffice to say, there was a lot of Danish joviality going on.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Christmas time at 'home' in country Australia
Well, one person missed it actually, so I am biting the bullet and starting up again.
It's been pretty close to a year since my last riveting post and quite a bit has happened. Not all interesting. Apart from managing to survive that dreadful year - still haven't forgiven global greedy financiers of all sorts and nationalities but particularly certain American ones - but not completely scarless. Lots of people I know lost their jobs, not just here in Denmark but all over. This year has proved slightly - so far - less dramatic.
I went back to the Antipodes for Christmas and a month's 'holiday'. A term as an expat I can now see why others use it loosely. There's no such thing as a holiday when you go back to where you came from. It was busier than work and, while great catching up with people, very, very frantic. Weird too. If you've never been an expat, I can tell you such a trip is a surprisingly strange experience. You're in the place you've known a gazillion years. You see the people you love, eat at your favourite restaurants, can pretty much find places while driving blindfolded, again in an odd way, you don't really feel like your belong - the other part of your life is thousands of kilometres away. It puts you in a challenging position. You like where you grew up but you also like where you live now.
The reaction probably depends much on where you go. I've known people who've been posted to places they hate (and not everyone likes Denmark btw either). When that's the case, the going home for Christmas is probably trying in another way, knowing you have to return to a place you're not mad about. But for someone like me, who pretty much needs Prozac to get me on the plane on holiday over day, I was surprised how good I felt walking through to no man's land at Melbourne Airport.
I read a book called - strangely enough - Almost French by Sarah Turnbull. She's an Australian who ends up marrying a Frenchman and they live in Paris. But in the story, she talks about a trip prior to that, to Greece. She meets a older Greek Australian who says that he is torn between two places. She doesn't understand what he means until she finds herself, eventually, established in Paris. And that painted a very clear picture to me.