Forays of an Expat – Denmark Will Politely Eat You Alive

Forays of an Expat – Denmark Will Politely Eat You Alive

Franklin Streck, March 8th 2018

My kids were upset, arguing that they had to share the (1) precious package of PopTarts that remained, meaning they could only each have (1) warmed up Brown Sugar flavored PopTart (without frosting, somehow this is crucial) , rather than the (2) they would have each received had there been (2) packages left.
And quite importantly, they each felt that Brown Sugar was their own uniquely favorite flavor, their Thing, and that the other was lying when they claimed the same. Thus, they each felt they should have MORE than an equal share of the coveted remaining package of Brown Sugar flavored PopTarts, as they are extremely hard to find here in the Nordic, barbarian land known as Danmark.
So I, as a loving and diplomatic Father, did what I could to help these two sweet children I love so much:
I ate the (2) remaining PopTarts with a tall glass of cold milk, each bite better than the last.

And what made each swallow the better was knowing, in my heart, that my beloved offspring could now easily agree, without further argument, pointing fingers or raised voices, that they both finally had an equal measure of the same thing:  regret.

“Hi! Taler du Englisk?”

Yes, of course I do!
“Godt! I am calling about the Free Danish classes, I get them with the type of Work Visa that I have. I guess, for like, (3) years?”
Oh great, I can help you with that today sir, what kind of Visa do you have?
Oh yes, I see. Indeed. You are correct, you get (3) years of Free Danish classes with that type of Work Visa.

“That’s so great!”

Where do you live in Denmark, the city and city number?

Ok, yes. Well, there is a school right near you, you can go there, the classes are (2) times a week.
“Awesome! My whole family is going to take them.”
Oh, that’s wonderful, how many kids do you have?
That is great, sir. I am so happy all of your family will be learning Danish together! Like I said, the classes are Free, but as a part of our new program, it costs only 1,500 Kroner a person, so, 6,000 Kroners. And all of you can start. I can schedule your orientation now. Will you be paying with a Credit Card?
“Umm, I thought you said the lessons were Free?”
Oh, they are Free, sir.
“But…you said…”
Yes, oh, it’s just a small thing. You see, the classes ARE Free, however, our new policy is for you to give a 1,500 Kroner deposit for each family member taking a class. Then, when you’re done taking all (5) modules and pass the test for each, the Danish government will reimburse you each deposit!
“Ahhh..well, how long will it take to finish the tests for all (5) modules”
(5) years, if you pass each test the first time.
“My Visa is for 4 years.”

“I’ll give you a call you back.”

A Cheeseburger.
A hot, thick, almost-too-salty, greasy burger drenched in cheddar cheese and a butter toasted bun.
Fuckin’ perfection. Delicious incarnate.
I’d kick my own kid’s turtle just to have one, right in front of him, right in front of everyone,
kick it as hard as I could.
“Fuck You Tommy Turtle, with your fucked-up shell!
 I am EATIN’ this here cheeseburger, It’s MINE. It’s been SO LONG.”
Then I shake my head, and realize I am in a McDonald’s in Copenhagen, near Norreport Station. Standing in line and staring at the poster of a Double Quarter Pounder Burger with Cheese.
I am startled.
What am I doing here?
I hate McDonalds. Their fake cheese, their non-meat, their non-organic-what-the-shit-is-this-grease-on-my-burger?
What am I doing here?
 “I’ll take a Double Quarter Pounder Burger with Cheese, plain.”
 The man in the McDonald’s uniform nods at me, and takes my Kroner.
He is very nice.

Franklin Streck