Thursday, September 20, 2007

The People in Your Neighborhood

Sometimes the coolest little experiences come when you least expect them. A couple of days ago, Don and I went grocery shopping and were trudging home with heavy bags (IN OUR HANDS) and one very sniffy and disobedient dog. We started down a long flight of stair, where we saw an old woman slowly, slowly making her way down the many steps, clutching the handrail. We said hello, and Don mentioned something about "so many stairs," to which she replied, "so many stairs for such an old lady." She asked us where we came from (Mars?), and then we just started talking (all in Danish, mind you). We told her about where we were from, what we were doing here (people are always very curious about that and not shy about asking), what we thought about living here, where we lived, etc. She started telling us about learning English in school when she was a young girl here in this very same town, and she recited the first thing she learned in English: "See me hop, see me run. I can hop and I can run. Oh, how it is such fun, fun, fun!" Margit was quite proud of that, and it was a real treat to see her laughing out loud that she still remembered it. Turns out she's 82, and she told us all about living through WWII -- the American soldiers who came here in 1945 after liberating the concentration camps ("ah, I remember Jimmy and Joe! They were SO nice!"), and how loads of refugees came here and lived on the boat docks, the same docks out our windows, just sleeping under the stars and so happy to be free. Our jaws sat on the groud for quite a while listening to her, and it occurred to me (again) how rich in history this place is. I still can't quite believe that we live across the street from a castle (A CASTLE!) built in the 14th century. I hope we see her again.

There are all kinds of neato people in our neighborhood!

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