Sunday, June 17, 2012

Time flies....

 1,461 days (AKA 4 years) ago I moved from Texas to Denmark.
And with this blog post, I have now written about my life as an expat 1,103 times.
In these four years my blog has been viewed more than 173,000 times and I have approved the publication of nearly 7,500 comments. In fact in the month of May alone, "madsandkelli.com" was viewed 5837 times. C-R-A-Z-Y!!!!

Phew!
Talk about an incredible journey.

As I was looking back at some the different topics I have written about during these four years, I realized that some of the things that SHOCKED (and somewhat amazed) me four years ago are now the things that I just accept as normal everyday life.
  • I plan my schedule around the fact that I cannot do my grocery shopping after a certain hour on weeknights and that most Sundays I cannot do ANY shopping at all. 
  • When I open the newspaper or turn on the TV, I am a LITTLE LESS TAKEN ABACK when I see/hear the "f" word. (OMG, Denmark, you have ruined me! The nudity still freaks me out, but the language has sadly become commonplace.)
  • There are now TWO PAIR of træsko (wooden clogs) sitting at our backdoor... yes, one pair belongs to me and yes, I wear them every time I go out back! 
  • I hear myself saying to Mads that we should use our spare time taking a walk in the forest.
  • I put on jeans every single day to go to work and love it because if I wore something that required pantyhose (as my old life did!), I would look like an oddball.
  • I buy only the amount of groceries that I can fit in my tiny little Danish fridge, knowing I will have to go back in about 3 days to shop again.
  • If I am meeting someone downtown (and it is not pouring down rain), I often WALK to get there since we live so close to downtown.
  • I have taken the "top sheet" off our bed and have resorted to the "all you need is your DYNE" way of thinking because honestly, whatever technology went into creating the DYNE is AMAZING. 
  • When I need/want to travel to another town in Denmark, I automatically check DSB.dk to see if taking the train would be a better option. Sometimes it is cheaper; sometimes it is not, but I now see the train as a viable form of daily transportation. 

But then there are also those things that EVEN AFTER FOUR YEARS, I am still 100% Texan and 100% American...those things that no matter how Denmark has tried, I have stuck to my guns.  :-) 

  • I never ever ever say the words, "Why don't we take our bikes instead of driving?"
  • I eat with a fork. ONLY a fork. I use a knife if I have a piece of meat that needs to be cut, but after cutting that one bite, I QUICKLY put my knife back down and resume eating with my fork.
  • I still (and will always) use my American pillows. In fact, it is about time to bring a new set back over with me on my next trip.
  • I still (and so does my Viking!) drink ICED TEA with all meals. And when I am at someone's home for dinner and the only options on the table are beer, wine, and water (to be poured in these tiny glasses), I honestly want to run to my purse and pull out a packet of Crystal Lite Peach Tea and offer it to my host/hostess to show him/her what other options there are in the world! 
  • I cook the same food I cooked when I lived in Texas--the menu at our house is always either Cajun or Tex-Mex (and my Viking would not have it any other way).
  • For lunch I either eat leftovers (from our Cajun/Tex-Mex dinner from the night before) or something that involves peanut butter (either a PB&J sandwich or apples with peanut butter). My lunch NEVER EVER EVER includes rugbrød. 
  • I have never and most likely will never INHALE SHARPLY as a way of saying "yes" or to show my agreement with what someone has said. In fact, I don't think that physically it is possible unless you were born here. :-) 

One thing that has not changed in these four years (but that is not Denmark's fault) is that I live in COUNTDOWN MODE. Yes, I enjoy every single day of life, but when your daughter, parents, siblings, and all the rest of your family live 5000 miles away, it is only natural. I always know when my next trip OVER THERE is or when the next arrival TO Denmark is. (My parents arrive in 11 days; I fly to Texas in 23!)

Some may think I am odd or that it means I have not fully embraced my life here in DK; however, they are half wrong.  

Because yes, I am odd. But I HAVE DEFINITELY fully embraced my life in Denmark. 
I love my life.
I love my jobs. (yes, plural... but we will discuss that later!) 
I love my friends.
And I most assuredly love my Viking.
And I actually love this country most days! 
But I will always be a woman with two homes as long as those that I love the most in this world live on another continent...

And if you think my Countdown Mode was bad before......just wait till Miss Corrie Ann arrives on October 14!! 

11 comments:

ladyfi said...

Loved this post.

I didn't realize that the inhaling sharply thing was also prevalent in DK. I CAN do it but don't usually...

Laina @ Vibrant Serenity said...

Haha! I still eat with just a fork, when we are at some sort of gathering and eating everyone at the table just looks at me weird because I keep the knife on the plate and my right hand (I'm a lefty) in my lap.

I love this post, reminds me of me and my life here, as well as, my life back in Texas. I am pretty sure, I will always have two homes as well.

Thanks for sharing this one Kelli!

dee_rogers said...

I am so glad that you are happy in Denmark with Mads. I am thankful for your job and your friends....but I am also happy that you have not forgotten your roots and all the people across the water that love you so much. We'll see you in 11 days! Love ya, Mom.

nettielouise said...

I can't believe it's been four years!

Bína said...

Hi Kelly, I just want to start out with saying that I love reading your blog and the way you have on putting things!

And I so understand that you life your live in countdown mode, because I do the same thing! I am from Iceland and have been living in DK for 5 years and I still count down to the trips home (now only 18 days :)) and it has nothing to do with how I like living in Denmark :)

It is great to have to places that you call home!

Bina

Kirstin Berge said...

I love these lists!

What on earth is up with Scandinavians doing that inhale-yes thing?!
I HATES IT.

As much as we can fall in love with our new countries, home is always home...especially on a few personal points! (re: peanut butter) ;)

Kathy said...

As a soon-to-be American transplant to Aarhus with 2 little kids, I have to ask...how do you keep up your peanut butter supply? PB on banana or apple slices and PB on toast are two mainstay breakfasts/lunches/snacks at our home and there's only so much I can carry over at a given time! :)

Mads and Kelli said...

Hi Kathy.
DK has peanut butter but if your family eats JIF or something similar you will be VERY disappointed. I import all of my peanut butter (along with other mainstays I cannot get here).

In the last four years I have found some comparable purchases for many of my American products, but not JIF. And funny thing is I eat apples and JIF for lunch most days! :-)

So pack a few in your container and then convince your family to ship them to you in care packages on a regular basis!

You can buy some things in Germany as well (Flensburg is the German town just at the border that most of us use and they have been known to stock SKIPPY)- The stores in DK have their own version of Skippy, but it is NOT the same. ;-)

Kathy said...

Thanks! I foresee a future full of smuggled Skippy natural PB for me... and lots of drives over to Flensburg for other items!

Lovely Light said...

I like how you are able to think about the changes/non-changes in your life. I feel like someof them could be me (groceries, etc) in South Africa!

Anonymous said...

Home will always be home (Philippines represent!). Ditto on the American pillows. I have my own set while my Viking sticks to his euro pillows which I cannot get used to...ever! As for the beverage choices, I also have ALOT of Crystal light, Sugar free Kool Aid and Tang in stock.

I love this list! It hits the spot!

Oh Kathy I'm in Aarhus too!!

Elizabeth