And so we’re back, once again, in the mainland of Denmark; Jutland. Chance would have it that as we boarded the bus, we ran into Carlsen, Ellen and their daughter Laura, also on their way back to spend Christmas with their families.
A note on driving in the dark: In ’98 while I was in the armored infantry, we used to extend our weekends into monday morning, in an effort to spend as little time on base as possible. So Nielsen, one of my platoon mates, Holtegaard and myself would get up at around 4 o’clock in the morning, don the uniform and speed into the darkness, getting to the barracks just in time for cleaning them…
Perhaps it was then, perhaps it was before that. But for some reason I have a particular relationship with the whole experience of driving at night. I feel relaxed, woozy almost, and very sleep prone. I rarely actually fall asleep, but I can drift off for a minute or two at a time…
Maybe something to keep in mind for when I’m finally get around to getting myself that drivers license?
Anyway, back in ’98 – and primarily because Nielsen was a great fan, the music of choice was by and large U2. I would bring in some of my somewhat eclectic music from time to time (you try and convince a farmboy like Holtegaard that despite it sounding like opera, 1492 is not going to rot anyone’s brain…)
Then when I moved to Scotland with Bjørn in 2001, we met some people over there whom I still count as my very good friends, even if the distance isn’t letting us meet as often as I would like. One of those people is Pete.
Pete is a super nice bloke with a great taste in electronica and more consoles than you can shake a wavebird at. And is from him that half of my current electronica collection stems. Another thing about Pete, is the fact the he was the only one of us lowly university students that could afford (or drive) a car, making him the natural designated driver (in particular to and from the cinema, which is worth noting as Pete is sometimes slightly slow at getting out the door, so we would often find ourselves getting there just in the nick of time).
Anyway, Pete also had the dubious pleasure of acting as the airport transportation for us foreigners, which often led to early morning drives to Prestwick (and in one case Aberdeen). And so, with the glove compartment filled to the brim with MD’s, we would venture into the early morning mist of Scotlands countryside listening to soothing lounge music. Pete in the driver’s seat, me in the passenger’s, dosing off now and then.
I’m telling you all of this because I was brought back to those experiences while we were in the bus; the light low, the iPod tuned to Aquanote (and from time to time Close Encounters, a surprisingly Christmas-like soundtrack) and my eyes getting heavier.
And here we finally are, a typically small countryside village, the likes of which are spread generously across Denmark. Not a bad place to spend Christmas. Not a bad place at all. Even if we did miss the snow covered ferns by only a day or two.
As you might know, we Danes celebrate Christmas on the 24th, in the evening. This year it’s Rikke’s family’s turn to enjoy our exquisite company, we switch back and forth every year, between my mom and Rikke’s mom.
The 25th will be spent partially playing with our presents, and partially catching up with Danes from abroad (Scotland), who like everyone else in this part of the country, no longer live here, but still call it home.
The 26th will be spent with my family, again stuffing out bellies full of the juiciest Christmas food, and on the 28th we go back to Copenhagen again. Then it’s two days of work and New Year’s eve with good friends.
And then it’ll be 2005. Another year spent; and what a glorious one.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.