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2014-05-11 15:43

A return to Danmark

Sometimes it is good to have a change, so we are now back from a week in a small, tolerant (but xenophobic) country located next to Germany and with more than something of a complex about that, where the natives speak an obscure dialect of Germanic among themselves but are willing and able to speak English to anyone else (and generally unwilling and fastidiously unable to speak German), and where a mediocre lager is a globally exported brand and the food is mostly pork.

Narcissists in search of small differences will remark that Danmark still has a non-German currency, of which you need an awful lot if you are hoping to trade it for goods and/or services, and that the uniformity of the Danish landscape is based around almost, but unlike the Netherlands, not quite entirely flat.

We were mainly there because Legoland, which it has been a cherished (but unfulfilled) dream of the Countess's to visit since her own childhood. It did not disappoint, and more surprisingly neither did the weather. (That is, the weather on Legoland-day, when we had to be outside a lot and the rain graciously paused to let us enjoy it. The rest of the week it varied from light drizzle to bucketloads.)

As is traditional, we spent our time on a quest for the newspaper Information, which is spectacularly hard to come by in rural Danmark.

(Danish periodicals can be divided into two(2) groups: the scandalbladet Se og Hr, currently the centre of a scandal itself, and Donald Duck ("Anders And") comic books.)

In the process we discovered a discovery of staggering proportions: Lydavisen. It contains much of the content of the weekly newspaper Weekendavisen, read aloud by actual Danishes. And even more staggeringly, it has a usable free edition.

This means that if you have the paper edition (which we do) you can listen and read simultaneously and finally start to build up a map of Danish phonology as she is phoned. (And with the best will in the world, we haven't been able to do this without such a Rosetta Stone.)

There is now a non-negligible chance we will one day be able to understand rudimentary spoken Danish, which is of roughly no significance to our actually-existing life, but would be a very gratifying tying-up of a loose end.

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