...which post mistress you get in the post office line.
Why are some so patient and helpful and kind? And others are mean and cranky and impatient and terribly hateful?
When you go into the post office here, you take a number. (They're civilized that way, you know. All orderly-like.) Needless to say, you've got to take whichever frau calls your number, no negotiations here. So, when I get the nice lady, I breathe more deeply and I smile. Cinchy. When the meeeeeeeeean post ladies start shouting my number, I shorten by a good three inches (that's 8 centimeters, Hans) and skulk down the counter slowly. I start to wonder if this really does need to be mailed at all, or maybe I can just keep walking to the number dispenser for a fresh stab at the situation.
The nice ladies talk softly and grin and nod and don't hurry me. They even write down numbers for me and one speaks English. These are fresh and pleasant transactions. I like Denmark very much during and after those meetings.
The mean ladies... Well... THEY MEAN. They take my parcel or letter and weigh it and roll their eyes and shout at me very quickly. I blink, and so they shout again. Am I deaf?
Here is what they are saying to me:
"TRE OG HUNDREDE KRONER!!!!! PRIORITAIRE ELLER NEJ?!??!!!!?!"
Which translates to:
"ONE HUNDRED THREE KRONER, STUPID!!!!! PRIORITY OR NOT, YOU MANGY LITTLE NON-DANISH-SPEAKING TWIT?!!!??!?!"
And it sounds like:
"KJDHF HDKURGUHUUOOOWDSK DISKH KUDGFH!!!!!!!!!! KIHDAKH GVKSZHDF KSSSSSAAAAAAAJTUILUUUU IIIIENKJSL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
And then, in their infinite helpfulness, all of them try to sell me a phone card or ask me if I need stamps or alert me to the definite possibility of avian flu which may or may not be in Denmark but that I should be very careful anyway when I travel internationally. Or something. And so I blink some more.
One of my favorite episodes of "Absolutely Fabulous" finds Eddy and Patsy taking a trip to Provence, France. Of course, neither of them speak a word of French. After sitting around their tiny pest-ridden dumpy chalet without any alcohol for HOURS, Eddy gets up the nerve (I am cracking up as I type this, BTW) to go out to town in search of booze and food, in that order. While she's out, Patsy, alone, is faced with a pounding at the door. Terrified, she answers it, and a surly old Frenchman talks menacingly at her. She has no idea what she's saying, and her spastic facial expressions are the best filmed examples of COMEDY GOLD EVER. She starts throwing money at him to get him to go away. THIS IS HOW I FEEL WHEN I GET THE MEAN POST OFFICE LADIES.
Go find that episode on YouTube, and welcome yourself to my world.