So, Indie and I were at the vet today, waiting for a vaccination appointment. She’s being boarded next week while we are in Ghana, but her bordetella (kennel cough) was out of date.
Into the little office walks a blonde mom and barefoot boy, a typical sight in Pretoria, especially among Afrikaner children. Shoes shmooz.
To my surprise, however, I heard not Afrikaans, but Danish. Always eager to get myself in trouble with my 16 words of various foreign languages, I introduced myself in Danish and asked where they were from. Just after we reached my lingual limit, which in Danish is somewhere between “Jeg læste på Københavns Universitet” (I studied at the University of Copenhagen) and “Jeg skal slappe af og se fjernsyn” (I will relax and watch TV), I learned that she had been in SA for 17 years, having “found her husband here.” He, somewhat disappointingly, is also Danish.
Anyway, it reminded me of the last time we lived here. We met a young Danish couple at the vehicle registration office. They, like we, found that whole process to be a fate worse than death.
But my point is this: while I always think it’s great to meet Danes and dazzle them with phrases like “Toget ikke standser i mellem Herlev og Vanløse” (The train does not stop between Herlev and Vanløse), I often wonder what will happen to tiny Danmark if everyone emigrates to South Africa or other places where there are no words for dark, miserable, or winter.
Pretty soon, it seems, Denmark will have more pigs than people. Oh, wait…
Whatever the ratio of humans to non, I’m thankful to have had that experience in Denmark, way back in nitten hundrede seksoghalvfems (1996). It was definitely the seed of this crazy magical beanstalk we’re climbing now.
With Indie safeguarded from whatever pertussis prevails in Pretoria, or at least at Menlyn Kennels & Cattery, we’re gonna climb on up to Ghana. I’ll keep one ear open for Danes; they’ve helped make this life great.