Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gadefest - IN WHICH Leah attempts to socialize with her neighbors...

Last Saturday was the yearly "gadefest" (block party). I had been looking forward to socializing. I just always forget that all the socializing is done in a language I don't quite understand.

The plans always go something like this:
3:00 - Coffee and cake (it IS Denmark)
4:00 - Family fun
6:00 - Bring meat to grill, a dish to share, wine/beer and eat, drink and be merry
9:00 Bonfire including burning a witch in effigy for Sankt Hans

(The bonfire ready to go)

(The tent where food is consumed)

Our house, along with 2 others, were supposed to provide the family fun. My husband tried to delegate this task to me. One, half English/half Danish, almost entirely misunderstood, conversation with my neighbors relieved me of that responsibility.

Instead, I spent all afternoon making food. I made a pasta salad, marinaded some chicken and decided to give a crockpot chocolate cake a try. (Which went horribly, horribly awry.)

This should NOT have taken me all afternoon. But somehow it did.

I also thought that our children are somewhat, possibly, very nearly, almost able to have fun on their own. I was wrong.

There aren't any kids near the same ages at the party. In fact, most the kids in the neighborhood seem to be teens who use English profanity with impunity. (It's not their language, so it doesn't mean anything to them.)

So, I thought the party was a bust until dinner. It was then that I sat across from a neighbor who was very comfortable chatting in English. We talked at length about the plight of the working mother, since that's what we both are... the wine was flowing and the conversation engaging, so when they asked who would volunteer to plan the party next year, my hand went up. Note to self: no more wine at block parties.

Dina and I couldn't manage to stay for the bonfire. It had started raining with no end in sight. We went back to the house, got in PJs and promptly fell asleep on the couch watching Barbie Island Princess. (How could I fall asleep during that movie, you ask? It's a mystery.)

Lars and Emma stayed to burn the witch...

...and I need to get started planning next year's party.


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