Monday, October 10, 2005

The lure of the perfect teatowel and toy train

I've heard from several people that Copenhagen makes them want to be domestic for the first time because there are just so many beautiful dishes and linens and kitchen gadgets. My father's cousin actually decided that she needed to get married after visiting a Copenhagen department store because it made her want to set up house.

I've had the setting-up-house urge in full swing for years, but Denmark makes me want to have children and raise them here. The toyshops are amazing. Not like Toys R' Us, not full of plastic soldier figurines and emaciated dolls. Toyshops here are full of brightly painted wooden train sets, castles, cloth dolls, Legos, wooden swords and shields. When I walk by the bakery windows with the really fancy pastries on display, the big heart-shaped ones with chocolate and strawberry stuff, it makes me want to have kids so I can take them there on their birthdays and get them the biggest, most beautiful pastry in the window. (Unless we live in the country, in which case we'll go to the iron age burial mounds, of course.)

You can barely get on a train during the day without running into a class of schoolchildren with their teachers - they must go on an amazing number of field trips. And their teachers aren't the aged disciplinarians with the pumpkin sweater for October and the snowman sweater for January, either. Last week I saw a young elementary school teacher leading her class across Town Hall Square wearing cowboy boots, a denim miniskirt, and a white shawl. Their manner with the kids is so much more like that of an equal than what you see in the US. It's the one place I know of where I would feel ok about putting my kids into the public schools.

I won't, of course. If the US doesn't need me as much as Mexico, Denmark needs me even less. But it's a lovely fantasy.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

but roomie...there are toy shops like that here too you just have to find them---and bakeries as well. I'm inclined to think that any place anna blinn works at is bound to be lovely and sunny! The schools not so much---unless it's an imaginary school like Plumfield or something.(I've been rereading Little Men.) But you can't have everything. I'm sure Denmark isn't perfect.