It was an early January morning. It was Saturday, the rain was purring down and it was still dark. We were all awake to say goodbye to our beloved Kiwi exchange student Mary. She had been out all night, so even though we had made a lovely Danish breakfast (we even added balls of goodness [æbleskiver]) the atmosphere was slow and slightly sad.
Because of the hangover and lack of sleep there was a mess-up with the taxi and couple of us went downstairs to sort it out. That was when we met Drew – an American exchange student. Right there locked out by the massive bars of the gateway, in the dark at the entrance of hallway 10, he was standing with a pile of all of his luggage looking puny and very tired from the flight. He asked politely if he could borrow my phone – no one answered his call. Right at that point he seemed to almost give up on Denmark. It turned out he was supposed to live in Tietgen, only he had been delayed and hadn’t been here on Thursday to pick up his key.
Since we had plenty of balls of goodness left and had to say goodbye to a dear friendship it seemed the exact right moment to invite a stranger up for breakfast. Drew seemed overwhelmed but willingly followed us to the kitchen. We had half an hour of quiet and hyggeligt hang over/jetlag breakfasting before we sent Mary of to the airport. Drew told us how he had been warned that Danish people were not very open or welcoming but reserved and hard to get to know. With a big smile he stated that that did not seem to be true and proclaimed us his Danish friends before he crashed the couch – and thus a new international friendship had started.