I realize that I recently wrote a post on how I was not experiencing culture shock, but for the first time today I had a literally jaw-dropping moment of it.
It actually came from reading a few blogs here. I’ve recently mentioned that people here tend to use baby carriages more often than strollers, and while I think this is adorable (and practical) there’s something I missed. Apparently, mothers here will leave these carriages outside (winter and summer) while they go in to say, have a coffee with some friends, or do a little shopping. To me, a dumbfounded American, leaving a baby unsupervised, outside, in the cold, with other people roaming around is against every motherly instinct (of which I have many), but here, it’s just a way of life. It’s not only permissible here, but promoted!
While reading up on happy Danes, one really good point was how trusting, and trustworthy Danes are. I’ve noticed this time and time again in my own personal Dane, and until now, I never thought of it being a national phenomenon. When I first came to visit here and went to the neighborhood Netto with Andreas, he was inclined to lay down our hand-basket full of groceries (and sometimes my purse!) in an empty aisle and go off on a hunt for ham salad. I would nervously hover around the basket, bouncing between him and our groceries until we were ready to leave. Now, I’ve become a bit more used to it, and can generally submit to leaving our unattended groceries around, but…a baby?
Maybe it will come with time. Maybe by the time I have a baby, I’ll be grateful for the chance to leave it outside to nap in the “fresh air” while I go get coffee with the friends that I will hopefully have made by the time I have a baby. Maybe.