We all, whether we realize it or not, live with multiple
versions of ourselves. There is the
person we are when we are alone, when we are with friends, when we are with
family, and when we are with people from different points from our past. This is not the say we are all riddled with
identity issues, but that we change in minor and important ways depending on
our audience. This is why is can be so
interesting to transplant a person from one part of your life to another and
see how the components react.
A little over two weeks ago my mom and my step dad came to
visit me for four days and I got to show them my Denmark. There was a lot of self prescribed pressure,
since they had just visited my brother in Seattle and I wanted them to have an
amazing time. The question arose, after living here for three months, what do I
choose to condense into a short period.
Also seeing Denmark through their eyes made me reflect on the way I see
the country and the version of myself I have become since living here.
My father taught me that every arrival should be an
occasion, so when I picked them up from the airport I had Dunkin Donuts coffee
with little Danish flags stabbed in them, and a doughnut with the Danish flag
frosted on it. We hopped in a cab and
headed to my neighborhood where they were staying in a cute boutique
hotel. I showed them my apartment, then
they needed a nap and I needed to finish a paper. Already my carefully detailed itinerary was
Post nap and academia we explored Vesterbrogade and
Vesterbro. Walking through the
meatpacking district we noticed a new restaurant called Warpigs, which is the
brain child of some good old fashioned American southerners and the boys at
Mikkeller. We stopped in for a beer and
an amuse bouche of barbeque. We got
brisket, ribs, and cold smoked shrimp.
The rub and smoke were top notch, so much so that they didn’t need
sauce. By my Carolina standard, not only
was it adequate, it was exceptional barbeque.
My one complaint lay in the sauces, they had Carolina, Memphis, and a
couple other staples. I tried them all and none of the sauces were quite
right. They’ve got time to work that
out. As always Mikkeller beer was delicious.
We walked some more, snaking our way down Sønder Bouldvard,
affectionately referred to as Hipster mile, and then made our way to Lele for
dinner. I have been hearing about Lele
ever since I got here and it was making its way to the top of my culinary
bucket list. We got a duck confit salad
and a mixed platter to share, since we were still pretty satiated from the
pork. On the platter the friend things
such as wontons and spring rolls were standard, but everything else was
amazing. I think when going to a
restaurant like this, where the smells of the deep fryer are wafting out of the
kitchen its easy to go towards things drenched in oil, but I highly recommend
deviating from that tendency at lele.
The next day was the Queens birthday, so my mom and step dad watched the parade, and then we met after my classes to explore. We went to Nyhavn and Christianborg Palace, then it was time for Tivoli!
This was my first time at the amusement park, which is the second oldest in the world. I had decided I would save some newness for us to enjoy together. The park is beautiful. We wandered around, got our bearings, and then bought tickets for the rides. My step dad and I did the spinny fast ones, while my mother watched. Then we did a rousing and aggressive round of family bumper cars. (I won). We also got my mom on her first roller coaster.
Following Tivoli we got dressed up for our big night out, i.e. dinner at Geranium, which is detailed in my next post.
The next day we had a whirlwind view of Copenhagen and did Street Food, Christania, Amalienborg palace, the Black Diamond, and a quick water taxi. By the end of the day we were pooped and decided to cancel out dinner reservation. We went to the grocery store, got some goodies, and went back to my apartment to cook dinner together. It was lovely to spend our last dinner together in a laid back environment. We also popped over to Lidkoeb, a whiskey bar in an old apothecary, for a drink.
The final morning, before my mom and step dad went on to Italy and I went to Barcelona, we went to Rosenberg park for a picnic. We met my visiting family and had a beautiful meal in the sunshine. I got to see my two worlds collide, my family from home, and the family I spend my time with in Denmark collide. It was fantastic. They all got along well and there were stories, jokes, and laughter. We went through rounds of cultural questions about the differences between Denmark and the US.
As cliched as it is, on our way to the airport there was an enormous rainbow hanging in the sky. I realized how much I love having different bits of my world and my life interact. Having my parents in Denmark was wonderful and gave me the chance to reflect on how much I really love living here.