I don’t know about you. I would have thought that for once in your life, you’d tell me the truth, especially after I’d traveled so far?
We were walking on a large sand dune in the Northern Part of the Jutland Peninsula, when I asked, “Where in the world did all of this sand come from?”
and you replied, “Sahara”.
“We are in Denmark. The Danes are perfectly capable of having their own sand from the North Sea. North Sea on the west, Denmark in the middle, prevailing wind from west to east! How in the world can you tell me a lie like that?”
“The ships sail on the North Sea, right? On the western side of Denmark it is called Jammerbugten- The name is derived from when ships sank on that windy coast, causing people to jammer – cry and weep. The people along the shore would then gather up the spoils from the shipwrecks. When they saw how easy it was to run aground, they decided the best way to transport sand, was to put it on the western side, and let it blow to the eastern side. Lower transport costs = Greater profit.”
You really think I’d fall for a lie like that? You probably thought, I was born yesterday? A young girl like me, being so impressionable on her first trip to Denmark, and all! How many other lies have you told me, while I was here?
“You know about burial mounds, right? They are found all over the country. The usual story is that they come from the Iron and Bronze Ages. They are actually missile silos! The Americans always have secret bases around the world, and this one has the perfect disguise. You can even go into some of them, but even there the deception is complete. It takes a trained mind to be able to hear the hum of the guidance system behind its fake walls. In the old days, there would be an American behind the wall, using his periscope to observe the world around him. They were much more effective than those concrete bunkers from WWII. They even found that Californians were the best suited for the job, allowing for their cunning and ability for deception!”
I was really getting ticked off. My dream vacation was being taken apart, bit by bit with these lies. I just wanted to know that the last time that we spent together, would be the most special of this whole vacation. It all culminated when he invited me over for dinner, together with his family.
“Hello and welcome. This is my wife, Helga. My daughter Freja and my son Ragnar. They have been looking forward to your visit, and have prepared a traditional Danish meal. We will start with Lebanese Pizza, then Italian pasta. The Dessert is a nice American pancake topped off with Sirop d’érable pur direct from Québec. All traditionally made in Denmark. Afterwards we will entertain you by having our Dog, Viborg try to flip over backwards, landing on his feet again! Not just once, but twice. Viborg times 2. I will then drive you home, by the long route, describing the content of my collection of etchings. You won’t forget it, I assure you!”
More lies. Lies upon lies. I knew all of those things were false, even down to his wife and children. The dog even looked rented. “Rent your own dog today”. I read that ad in the local newspaper. I really thought for once, he’d tell me the truth. Just once for old time sake. Just once for our friendship. I guess, I deluded myself in thinking that.
I longed for the sights and sounds of Montréal once again. I couldn’t wait to tell my mother of my travels, but hesitated telling her that she had been right. That my so-called friend over here just wanted me for one thing, and he got it as well. I should have listened to my mother. I know if the truth comes out, my days will be like those of too much red wine, ending up with my father mowing the lawn outside my window. The constant noise of the lawnmower, pounding in my head. Pounding and mowing…pounding and mowing….
I guess, I deserve everything, I get. It was my choice to visit Denmark and I knew of his lies before I left. I just thought that this one time, it would be different. The last thing that he said to me still haunts me today:
“Don’t take it so hard. Remember what we have shared together and tell yourself, Things could not have been better! The weather was perfect as well as the Potato Chips! I treated you to no less than three large and expensive meals, and showered you with handmade gifts. I not only drove you around the country, but I drove you crazy as well! I treated you as good as I treat myself, perhaps even less so? I’m sure that Helga, Freja and Ragnar would agree to my words. God bless you, if you sneeze that is, and remember that we don’t say Goodbye in Danish. We say på gensyn, which is just like in your native French – Arrivederci!”……..