05 September, 2014

The Weather Is My Nemesis and Cashew Cheese

Monkey Baby and Viking Man walk in the rain
I just lived through the coldest August I've ever experienced. My fight with the weather is a big sign that Integration is still struggling to gain a point against Denmark. I do not see myself EVER accepting that wearing a down jacket and gloves in the middle of August is normal. On the up side, I can cycle into town wearing full rain gear and rubber boots and not feel like a complete loon. The Monkey obviously has not lived long enough to know any better, for she actually seems to like the cold and rain.

Fortunately for my sanity, September has been kind with blue skies and lovely warm afternoons.

Language class is finally falling into a routine, and my relationship with the Danish language is turning into one of alternating love and hate. I love studying. I love discussing points of grammar. I love being part of this little group in which we are all fighting for the same thing. But I hate speaking. I hate being misunderstood, hate having to repeat myself, hate not yet knowing how to say what I want to say. I hate the feeling that people are just waiting for me to 'become Danish'.

I went into a Middle Eastern grocery the other day. It was packed floor to high ceiling with spices, specialities, and imported goods of a great variety. Every spare surface and corner had been utilized. It was cramped and colorful and chaotic, and I was surprised by how comforting I found it. It was so--not Danish. It was the feeling of Asia, which I will admit to missing on occasion.

So it then felt very surreal to interact with the Middle Eastern employees in Danish. Talk about worlds colliding. But I successfully found out the price per/kg of sweet potatoes, that lemons were three for something, and that I should purchase cashews from the bulk boxes at the register.

Speaking of cashews, I fail to see how anyone can convince themselves that they are in any way a passable replacement for cheese. Just google 'cashews as cheese' and you will see it's actually quite a thing.

Anyway, the other night I decided to make raw 'alfredo' sauce served over zucchini noodles. 'I can honestly say that I like this alfredo sauce more than standard alfredo sauce. HONEST!' gushed the recipe author. My feelings about it were not quite as effusive. I failed to pick up on the cheesy, creamy, 'oh so alfredoey' aspect of it that was being sold to me. It was more like cashew hummus, which is actually how I think I'll use the leftovers. But we did like the zucchini noodles.

Now I need to get out and enjoy the sun while I can.


camilla staack said...

Hang in there dear Margie.... Yes it is difficult to fell at home when culture, weather and peoples behaviour is so different from what you are used to! Don't remember if i said it the other day, but tou are always welcome to pass by my house, or we can make a playdate on the playground near you!

Anonymous said...

My comment was lost... I wanted to say that we just have to find a a plan B in case of rainy days. Problem solved ;) let's think positively :)) I just have to find out what plan B should be :-/ - an other foreigner-

Potato Woman said...

Definitely, always have a plan B!

Thanks, Camilla, we would love to have a playdate when we finally recover from the sickness that is going around right now!

Wissli said...

Reading this brings back so many memories!! There are positives and negatives in every culture, and it is frustrating to not be understood. The first year of our marriage Peter thought I was shy because I never talked much in group situations. By the time I had a sentence formed in my head to contribute to the topic of discussion, the people were on to another subject! Once I was fluent I was a different woman. Then my husband knew I wasn't shy!! :)

Potato Woman said...

And I am actually shy! Maybe with fluency I'll find out I'm really gregarious.