100th Post!

I’ve been in a bit of a blogging lull recently.  To tell the silly truth, it’s because I was coming up on my 100th post, and wanted to do something special for it, and couldn’t decide what to do!  But I’ve learned that if you procrastinate long enough, your 100th blog post will basically write itself!

In my last post, I wrote about a letter we’d gotten from the Danish immigration office asking me to come to the service center with my passport (something you’re supposed to do when you hand in your application, but we mailed ours).  Since I didn’t have a Swedish permit yet (it’s still under consideration, six months later), I didn’t think I should go over the border.  We made several calls and no one really seemed to know what we should do, however, Andreas’s helpful forum came to our rescue again, and we were advised to just go, so we planned to go on Monday (yesterday).

The weekend was fantastic.  I had just recovered from being sick, we got to babysit a one-year-old on Saturday morning (best morning!) and we went out for leisurely shoe and grocery shopping on Sunday, and then remembered that we have a ping-pong table in the basement, and played for hours!   We kept our minds off of the following day, trying not to hope, fearing for the worst, and preparing for the mediocre.

Sunday night I got one of the worst nights of sleep.  I woke up what seemed like every few minutes, and when I woke up at 4:48 am I was just relieved that it was close enough to the time my alarm was supposed to go off that I could finally just get up.  I had enough time to get dressed, and even put on some makeup (which I mostly only do when I’m nervous or excited).  I made sure to pee before I left (which is priority #1, if you know me) and we left on time!  We took the train which was kind of fun for me still (although I’m sure I’ll get over it soon enough), and when we got to our stop, we had to walk about twenty minutes to get to the service center, so we arrived at about 7 am.

Here’s where the trouble started.   Andreas swore that it opened at 8, and that they let people in to wait half an hour early (at 7:30), but it turns out it doesn’t open until 8:30 and we can’t get in until 8.  Now it wasn’t freezing out, and I wouldn’t have minded if I didn’t suddenly have to pee.  That glass of orange juice I had chugged before I left suddenly sounded like a terrible idea.  Over the next hour, I progressed from being uncomfortable, to having to pee so badly that I had to sit on the steps and breathe through the pain.  However, I am proud to say that I made it through to 8:00 and left Andreas to take a number while I ran (literally) to the nearest bathroom.

Now, that was probably too much information, but the point is that after I finally (finally) got to pee, I felt so good, that I was prepared for anything.  If they scolded me for coming to Denmark without a visa, so be it.  At least I wasn’t bursting with orange juice.  We got number 11, so we didn’t have to wait long, which was fortunate as Andreas and I discovered that we have very different ways of expressing nervousness.  He likes to talk.  I like to not talk.

When our number was called, I showed the woman my letter and my passport and she rifled through some papers behind her, pulled out a packet, and gave it to me.  For a moment I thought I’d forgotten how to read, but soon a cautious smile spread across my face.  “Udlændingstyrelsen giver dig opholdskort efter EU-reglerne”  It was a yes.

So I got my biometrics taken, and we left, Andreas taking the bus to work, and me hopping a train back to Sweden (and losing my phone on the way…)

I don’t remember the last time I felt this giddy, this comfortable, this excited, and nervous in the best sort of way.  As soon as we can find an apartment in Copenhagen (not particularly easy) we’ll move, and I will get my card, start my integration process, improve my Danish, apply for jobs…start a REAL LIFE.

As excited as I am I’m also nervous of course, as is expected with any life change, but it’s finally in a good way, and I’m so excited.  I’m also enjoying these last leisurely weeks before we have to deal with paperwork and the business of moving, buying furniture, kitchen stuff, etc. of which we have basically nothing.  I can enjoy my time here now that an end is in sight, and I’m treasuring the friendships I managed to make in my six months of living here.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter, and hoping I’ll be able to find new friends (ones I can keep!) and stay in touch with the old.

Copenhagen, here I come!  Now I really will be an American Hermit Crab in Denmark!

So in the end, I’m glad I held off on my 100th post…worth it.

Dreams

I dreamed last night that my residence card came in the mail, but that I had to go be on America’s Next Top Model to get my picture taken for it.  Sadly, I also dreamed that my mom had another baby (17 years after the youngest) and named it Fab Yellow Submarine Moser, so I don’t think the residence card dream is a very trustworthy prophecy of what is to come.

However, when I called my mom to tell her my doofy dream, we also ended up talking about other things, and I mentioned how getting a KitchenAid mixer has been one of my “dreams.”  There’s something about a KitchenAid that represents more than just a kitchen appliance.  It means I will make bread every other day and my own noodles!  I can just imagine it whisking and beating frosting into a perfectly fluffy finished product, and warning my curious young children to keep their fingers away from it (and seeing in their eyes the desire to touch it, just to see what would happen).  And speaking of dreams, these curious young children are the most-dreamed-about-of-all.

The reason I mention all of this (aside from “because I haven’t done anything noteworthy in the past week to warrant a blog post”) is because I’ve been thinking a lot about things that are close to my heart, things I want.  A lot.  Besides a KitchenAid mixer and babies, one of the things that tops the list is a home.  Now,  I can’t claim that I never had a home and I moved around all my life and all I wanted as a kid was a steady place to live.  I had an awesome home.  I lived in a big farmhouse that I am so, so happy I can still sort of call home.  However, I realized that I have moved 5 times in the past year.  Five.  From college, to home, to Illinois, to home, to Denmark, to Sweden, and that doesn’t include all the travelling in between.  We’re moving again next week, but instead of a smooth across-the-hall move like we had hoped, things got bumped around a bit, and we’re going to end up moving all of our stuff down to the next building to live with my sister-in-law for a few days before we move it all back up again a week later to our new place which we’ll have until August somethingeth when we’ll have to move.  Again.

Besides hating the tasks of packing everything and moving over and over again, it’s beginning to take a pretty solid emotional toll on little old me.  Moving from my college town of Green Bay back home was bittersweet (the bitterness of leaving friends and the city and campus I grew to know, the sweetness of knowing I’d be getting married soon and starting a new life with my husband).  Moving from the Wisconsin farmouse to a stinky Illinois apartment in a sketchy part of town was a bit heartbreaking.  Moving to Europe was amazing (knowing I’d not have to have a long-distance relationship with Andreas) and horrible (saying what felt like an awfully permanent goodbye to so many people, places, and yes, things.).

I guess I’m just “over it.”  I’m not a young restless soul with a thirst for adventure.  I’m a crotchety old soul with a thirst for a cup of coffee and a place to plant my roots.  I want to buy a bed, and plates, and not say to myself “should I really get this, if we’re just going to have to lug it around for the next _____ amount of time?”  I know that this, along with my KitchenAid mixer and my longed-for babies, is just on the horizon, but the many moves in the meantime sort of cloud my view, and I’m left feeling a bit helpless, a bit homesick, and a bit detached.

Anyway, tomorrow is my first International Knitting Group meeting, and I have pretty high hopes!  Wish me luck with my nerves, and all this home-wanting angst.  Why am I not 45 yet?!

Escaping America

In my early-morning wandering of the internet, I stumbled upon this semi-facetious article concerning how little support our president has from some Americans.  He ends the article urging idiots to flee the country.  The article was harsher than I’ll ever be, but it got me thinking a bit.

Now, the actual reason that I left the states was because I fell in love with a Dane, married him, and actually want to live with him, but the fact remains that we could have lived in the states.  Once we were married, we could’ve applied for a greencard, most likely gotten one, and gotten Andreas a fine job in America.  We could’ve lived there happily, had our family, and gotten old and wrinkly.  People often ask me why we’re not living in the states.  Why we chose to live in Denmark (especially since the road to eventually living there has been rocky).

The most basic answer to this is: our babies.  While we live here, it doesn’t matter if Andreas is laid off.  It wouldn’t matter if he was disabled, or I was disabled, or if we both had very menial jobs for our entire lives.  Our children would have healthcare.  They would be able to go to the dentist every year.  They’d be able to get a good education without heaping debt on their heads.  Andreas does have a good job, and chances are, we could have taken care of everything our family would need, and then some. But I still feel better living in a place where everyone else is also taken care of.  Where Andreas will pay higher taxes, if he gets a higher-paying job.

I feel like we could trust ourselves to “give back,” and make sure we never got too rich, and always helped those less fortunate.  But sometimes, it’s hard to know exactly how to do that, and honestly, I don’t trust everyone to do the same (How could I, when the gap between the rich and the poor is so wide and sparsely populated?).

One big reason, besides security, that I moved to Europe is because I agree here.  Things make more sense here.  We should take care of one another, and give everyone an equal chance.  Isn’t it a bit funny that here, in the most “atheistic” country is where I see some of the most “Christian” values?

The US could be a great country.  It is, in many ways.  But the need for change is enormous.  The best thing about the states is that it is allowed to push for change.  It’s not easy, by any means, but it’s allowed.  It’s sad that in a country that could be so progressive, people who want security, fairness, and equality feel the need to “escape.”

Another sad part?  That I was always too lazy, and too chicken, to ever invoke any of the change I always wanted in my community.  But maybe I could have if I didn’t have to work a couple of jobs while going to school full-time just so that I could have things to eat.  (Just kidding, I’ll always be a chicken).