Tuesday, July 9, 2019

STUFF HAPPENS—READY OR NOT

by AB Plum



STUFF HAPPENS—READY OR NOT


Everyone would probably agree:  travel requires flexibility.

Moving to another country for three months demands a lot of flexibility.

As I am learning during my three-month great adventure in Copenhagen. (It's not all about the pastries).

The first big flex point for me came as soon as we reached our apartment.

As a walker, I always check out places to walk. Quiet streets, little traffic, and sidewalks on both sides of the street appeared promising.

Until … I realized bicyclists had their own routes running parallel to the sidewalks. And cars could park halfway up on those same sidewalks. Which, by the way, were blocks of two rows of cement blocks side by side, separated by three-by-three cobblestone squares running down the middle. Grates, front steps, and boutique displays occupied the space next to the buildings. Another walker coming toward me left about two inches to navigate. Damp or dry, those cobblestones were treacherous.

Time to flex.

Luckily for me, a cemetery is about a quarter of a mile from our apartment. I figured out if I walked early in the mornings, I avoided most pedestrians, bikers, and parked cars. When I walk to and from the train—about half a mile from the apartment—I still clench my teeth a lot. Nonchalance comes with time and practice.

Another flex point came with settling into an apartment without a dishwasher in a kitchen about half the size of my own. Hey, I grew up with my sisters as co-dishwasher. I could cope. Hands in sudsy water might even generate conversations with several stubborn characters.

Cooking with a minimal number of utensils (as in 1 skillet and 1 sauce pan) tapped some ingenuity as did a refrigerator with frost on the walls. (Yes, I contacted the apartment owner. He suggested turning the temperature from 2 to 1 not worry). Okay …

Elevators have never appealed to me. In a building over a hundred years old, they creep me out. On the other hand, the two days the elevator stopped operating and I climbed sixty-six stairs to my penthouse apartment, I could hardly wait to test my claustrophobic fears.

Now, I step into my vertical coffin, compartmentalize my terrors, and bend my knees each time we lurch to a stop. Flexibility is good for the body and the soul.

My biggest challenge?

My new laptop. The touchscreen drives me crazy. I realize this technology has zip to do with living in Denmark or anywhere else. But … I feel as if I’m in hell every time I try to access my email, touch the wrong note, and end up looking at something I intended to delete. I have seriously begun to doubt that I do, in fact, possess opposable thumbs. Flexibility only extends so far.

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AB Plum aka Barbara Plum is spending the summer in Denmark, putting the finishing touches on her latest romantic comedy, Crazy Daze and a Knight, due for release in mid-August.

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