Friday, 3 June 2016

On more matters Danish

Firstly there was a slight let down over breakfast. I was already to start the day with a delightful European  Breakfast that would surely include an Apricot Danish as a sweet treat. Is that a not unreasonable expectation? However Apricot Danishes  might be standard breakfast fare in France, Belgium and Holland but not in DenmarkI am afraid. But there is still tomorrow  so all is not yet lost. 

But firstly about today. We stop at an average sized town - a little bit off the beaten track - for coffee. Just next to where we park the bike is an interesting sign on a shop front as shown below A Syrian bazaar in a small, and presumably conservative,  rural Denmark town. 


We meet Arif who is a Syrian refuge and who runs the bazaar. He is a refugee  from 5 years ago and he tells us a little about himself. One hears so much about the Syrian refugees in places such as Scandinavia but this really sheets it all home. Arif still wants to return home. He is Kurdish with all the complications that are part of that. It was an interesting and sobering conversation. 

Then we head up for a small ferry ride. Now going back to yesterday I raised the delicate subject of flatulence and I apologise in advance to those Kiwi's who happen to read this blog over breakfast. But my attention on the ferry was totally diverted from where the ferry was going by this sign as shown below.  


It all seems very contradictory to me.  What is a bloke supposed to do? So I do my impromptu best to pop out a " mid  range" number and hope I have done the right thing by Denmark!  Actually in some ways I guess we should not make fun of other languages and it might be considered as culturally inappropriate. However many many peoples of foreign lands must often laugh loud at seemingly incorrect English words when seen thru the eyes of a foreign language. And surely we do need more laughter in this mad world of ours. 

Anyway the ferry got us across the harbour 


Diana is talking to Heidi from- would you really guess it  - Switzerland !

Now I must make comment on the question of road speeds in Denmark. At first I did not believe it. Here we were yesterday on a nice flat Danish two lane road in the countryside with no hills or sharp bends in sight.  But the GPS was telling me the max speed limit was 80km/hr ! Something was wrong with the GPS! Anyway it is absolutely ridiculous as 100 km/ hr is a perfectly reasonable speed. I chafe at the bit!  I sort of do 90km per hour with the occasional burst up to 100 km/ hr. No one passes me but I do pass a lot of cars. I wait frustrated behind others. 

Come today I now see it all somewhat differently. I keep at 80/ hr ( with the occasional lapses). Hey,  I am starting  to enjoy it. No one is in a hurry. My riding is a lot more relaxed. I take more in. Even the nature of roadside smells change. Yesterday at 100km/hr all I could smell was a generic animal manure smell. Today at 80km/hr I think I can now distinguish between cow manure and pig manure! I am sure that with some more 80km/ hr driving I may well be able say " I think that particular manure over there to the left is 6 days old and comes from a north facing Friesen cow herd grazing on a sandy soil".

So I think the Danes might be on to something here  with their slower speeds and it will be interesting to see if their collective blood pressure figures are below international averages. Certainly their accident rate and their fuel bill must be proportionally lower.

And with all of that milling round in my head we arrive in the port town of Hirtshals ( pronounced Hrgdrffsiegdsv or something similar I think ! ). Certainly the correct pronunciation of the  town's name with all of its glottal stops would appear to make a good advert for  throat medicine. 


And tomorrow we board here on our good ship for Iceland. No, not the boat in the middle of the picture! 

1 comment:

  1. Dick and Di,
    As we too fly to Northern Europe for a month in the Baltic we just wanted to bid you continued safe travels. The sights you are seeing and the people you are meeting are beautiful. You both indeed are making the world a better place. May sound corny...but oh so true. God Bless and stay safe. Hi to Orlanda...we fly from her home city today.