I lived in Denmark for two years
One thing I learned and loved about the Danes is that many have a few life long friend
tight knit bonds forged from being together since kindergarten.
They are efficient and practical and don’t bother to make new friends unnecessarily
I respect this. I like this.
I feel like I really fit in there despite the obvious paradox of being a newcomer.
There are of course Danes who like to travel and are more open to new friendships with a foreigner like me.
I found a yoga class to take with a Dane who studied in the US and Central America who advertised that his classes were taught in English.
Turned out, eventually, I was outnumbered and he switched to teaching in Danish. I had been learning Danish and enjoyed the challenge.
I learned some very yoga specific vocabulary – like blanket = tæppe, which sounds a lot like the word for loser = taber ( to my American ears anyway)
I wondered who the loser was we were supposed to sit on.
One day after class, I was walking to the train station with the teacher and a group his friends, chatting in Danish, very proud of myself.
And nearly fitting in…
They invited me to have a drink with them.
I wanted to go. I knew the significance but I hesitated and declined.
It was my chance to break in to the group
It was my one chance, they only offered once…
Like the clerk in a Danish shop who asks you if you need help. They won’t stalk you or fall all over themselves to offer their services.
If you want it, you have to say yes right then.
I was offered a rare chance to be folded into the group…missed it.
The teacher waved and said, maybe next time…
He was just being nice. The offer was finished. I felt it. I knew it.
I walked alone to the train station. The doors of the train slid shut.
The train pushed out of the station and the chance of another offer whooshed past with the trash swirling in the wake of the train.
I wish I had said “yes”.