Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hair - A Cross-Border Affair

After a brief hiatus due to a much-needed visit from my mother, I have returned from a daytrip to Sweden with this observation. Hair is apparently a cross-border affair. This Swedish newspaper had an article of various men's hairstyles to try depending on length, texture and how much time you wish the world to percieve you spent grooming yourself.

Seeing this article did give me a little pause and a moment of concern. What if the things I am noticing and commenting on aren't so Danish as they are more European? What if they are just a function of my so far measly mall-based existance and not so representative of the population at-large?

Something I heard the other day at an English-speaking mom's playgroup also highlighted this newcomer syndrome, though in a funnier light. (Many thanks to "L" for borrowing your tale...) We were all talking about being a new foreigner in this country and one mom, who is married to a Dane and has lived here for a few years now, said that at first she thought all Danish people were a bit odd but then later realized it was mostly just her in-laws. Her story continued as she related an incident involving a certain "salad" whose components were so bizarre that to this day she continues to search in vain for a recipe that would justify its existance in any country.

I welcome the day when I am fully "integrated" enough - more on Danish integration later - to come back and make revisions or reassessments. For now, I am excited about going to a Danish church spaghetti dinner tonight with some new American friends. I feel like a cross between a CIA-operative infiltrating a new network and a naturalist about to embark on a survey of a new species, which is to say I am excited for this opportunity to interact with Danes in a normal setting that doesn't involve me trying to take their picture without them noticing.