Wednesday, September 13, 2006


We've been adopted. Or accosted. Or a combination of the two. Our downstairs neighbor, Viggo, is a retired sailor who has taken a serious shine to Don and me. Pretty much every single entry or exit to or from our building means a 20-minute "chat" with Viggo, in, of course, rapid-fire Danish. So, our discussions are quite one-sided: Viggo talks, we smile and nod and try to splutter out something somewhat coherent, and then Viggo spits out another 9 or 10 sentences. Unfortunately, Viggo seems to be a pretty lonesome old gent, and so it appears that he is always on the lookout for us, wanting to start up another "conversation." On Monday morning, not long after Don had taken off for rehearsal, I was finishing breakfast and was about to get in the shower. The front door handle started jiggling loudly, and then a key went into the lock. This freaked me out as I was standing there in my bathrobe -- who the hell was this? Then the doorbell started going. Viggo. Wanted to know if we had painted our apartment yet, and if so, how did it look. I don't quite get it, but he's also said something to us a few times about men have to do the heavy work and I should not lift anything too big, and then he whaps me on my shoulder. Is this a Danish custom? I feel so terribly American when I see Viggo approaching and I just want to scream, "PERSONAL SPACE, VIGGO! BOUNDARIES! ME TIME!" But if I can't say it in Danish, I'll have to figure out how to mime it...

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