If, somehow, you didn’t follow Part 3 to the letter, and can still recognize the outlines of the skyline of Copenhagen (from the inside), then you are now ready for Danish for Beginners – Part 4.
Just think how far you’ve progressed with language learning, what with drinking, dancing with the Royals, and getting pummeled by boyfriends/husbands/wives/girlfriends of those lovely people that you’ve chose to accost! I can’t think of another website that has taken its visitors/learners so far as this one. You deserve a pat on the back for making it so far!
Part 4 deals with “Dining with the Danes”. Some of you are already looking for the form to get you “Money Back”, in thinking that eating Danish Beer Nuts at the bar, or grabbing a Red Hot Dog on the street has qualified as “Dining”, but I beg to disagree. Dining encompasses the finer points of the aforementioned things, and yes, there is much, much more.
We’ll start out by forming a line, or a queue, if you feel better about that? On the table in front of you will be a knife and a fork, but don’t gather them up as yet, because there are conditions which need to be met.
- Right handed participants
- Left handed participants
- Those that can go both ways
For those that can go both ways, I would remind you that this is chiefly about Dining in Copenhagen, while the other meaning of that phrase will be covered in my “Rainbow Flagging in Copenhagen” course number 69.
Now then. Start by taking the knife, and placing it in the hand you use the most.
…Some of you are either left handed, or have purchased the wrong course and are really Europeans in disguise!
If you are right handed and have placed your knife in that hand as well, you may sit down on the seat behind you……
Well, I must say that I am impressed, that there are so many cultured participants on this course. The rest of you must now take the knife out of your left hand…..humor me on this one….and place it in your right hand. How does that feel? Good?
Some of you are shaking your heads, suggesting that it either doesn’t feel good, or it does, and that worries you?
You see, the Danes will be expecting you to use your knife in your right/left hand as it applies to your usual right/left hand usage, but the knife must remain in that hand, during the course of the meal.
Yes. Someone has a question. What? Why would you use your fork in the left hand? Well, don’t ask me why, as I am as uncouth as the rest of you. Now, Now. It wasn’t meant as an insult! I would advise those of you, who feel that the knife feels pretty good in your right hand, and could strike the nearest Tour Guide at the drop of a hat to relax a bit and take a sip of your complimentary Danish Beer.
Now then. Here is how I would tackle this situation. While everyone is talking about their ruptured spleen, arthritis, or other maladies, then you need to use your knife to cut all of your food, before the Danes discover you doing so. Now you need to switch your utensils, keeping the knife in your right hand, showing the others that you are ready to use it in the proper way. The fork is placed in your left hand, where you might just be able to stab some of your already cut food, and…concentrate now….move it in the direction of your mouth.
The trick is keeping an eye on your knife, making sure that is remains in your strong hand, while the fork remains in your left hand. When drinking it is allowed to place your knife on the plate….no not on the table, or napkin (serviette for those uncomfortable with “napkin”) and responding with a resounding “Skål” to any-,or everyone who expects you to do so while in their company.
When you have mastered this first part of Dining with the Danes, you’ll qualify for the next lesson, “Dining with the Danes” part 4b! Some of you will scoff at the idea for paying more money through your noses, at something so simple as that, but believe you me, it isn’t as easy as you would think. I’ve dined with my wife’s family for over 25 years now, and even though the knife has resided in my right hand, I might have felt tempted to let it fly in the direction of any one of my wife’s family members, during a heated discussion about my inability to raise my own Children, or why I was born an American in the first place.
Controlling your emotions and your knife are two things that this course attempts to teach you, thus stopping you for being deported to your Home Country, where you will be serving 20 years to life for manslaughter!
Never underestimate Danes + Knives……A word to the wise…….