Friday, 11 January 2008
My Danish Friend Died...
Yesterday I got an e-mail from Denmark, saying that the last of my Danish friends, whom I wrote about in December, has died. He will be buried next week in the church yard where his parents and brother, who drowned in the Netherlands, are buried. He has very loving and caring relatives. One of his cousins I met in 2002 when I was in Denmark with my sister.
She works at and open air museum, not far from Copenhagen, where all kind of old trades are demonstrated. My Danish friend was a member of the organization that supports this museum. After the funeral there will be a funeral meeting and a meal in one of the buildings of the museum. I can't go as it's too far. Besides I think I should have gone to him when he was still alive.
I shall always remember the many times he and his parents met us, either here in my house or at their farm. The first time I stayed at their house, it was three years after Bent drowned in the Netherlands.
I was hitch hiking with another Dutch girl through Denmark and we were invited at the farm. The Danes are very hospitable. I remember that we had six meals a day. A few hours after breakfast, when the farmers had been working in the field, we were called for "Kaffe" and we had pancakes with of course lots and lots of other lovely cookies and".smørrebrød". Smørrebrød is a thin slice of bread with a lovely salad on it, consisting of a slice of tomato, a piece of lettuce, a slice of meat and all kind of herbs.Anyway we had coffee too and we liked it all very much for we too had been working with the farmers. One of them asked me:" can you drive the tractor?", and without giving it a thought, I said :"Yes". Mind you the only thing I could drive or ride was my bike. Anyway I sat on the thing and drove it. But when I had to stop it, I didn't know how to do it. The farmers ran after the tractor, shouting at me, while I was going round and round until at last one of the Danes jumped on the tractor and stopped it. Afterwards there was a lot of laughter and the story was told over and over again. Between lunch and dinner we had another meal of smørre brød and coffee. After dinner we had coffee and before turning in we got something which was called "rød grød med fløde", a kind of red porridge with red fruit, like cherries or plumbs with double cream or sour cream.That was my first impression of Denmark and since then I often went there with my husband and children and the Danish family stayed with us in Holland. I tried to prepare six meals for them and made coffee for them. The Scandinavians are the greatest coffee drinkers in Europe . They taught me how to make smørrebrød, to say "tak for kaffe"or "takk for maten" (Norwegian) and "tak for mad"(Danish). I shall never forget this Danish family!