60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 1 September 1952

Morning came and was it was time for goodbyes. At 6 a.m. it was grey outside. I folded up the satin comforter and sheets with lace insert and dressed. My Aunt Carolina had already gone and Uncle Albin left soon after I got up. This was goodbye, maybe forever, maybe not. He was dressed for work and headed off for the day.

I said goodbye to Stig. Then Aunt Carolina came back about 7 a.m. or a little before and fixed breakfast for me, egg, hot chocolate, and the whole works. I thanked her for their wonderful hospitality. Majbritt and Aunt Anna came a little later. I finished packing but couldn’t find my Lund Guidebook. Shucks, I guess I left it in Bertil’s car.

I gave a pair of hose to Aunt Anna as we reached the bottom of the stairs. Almost made a mistake and gave them to Majbritt without looking. Aunt Carolina came down a few minutes later and I took a picture without benefit of sunshine. The dark figure of Majbritt’s boyfriend came running down the street waving. We waited for him to come say goodbye. He was dressed in fireman’s uniform.

With Majbritt’s bike and my suitcase between us, Aunt Anna and Aunt Carolina following, we made a brief tour of Lund. There was a big red Lutheran Church with clock in tower. I took pictures. We passed a nurses home and saw some nurses going into a dormitory. We saw men on ladders fixing roof edges. Majbritt explained that Uncle Albin does that kind of work. Uncle Nils works with fabric.

On the way to the Library we passed the University where I had taken pictures the day before. Arrived at Library with 15 minutes to spare, so we went across campus to Big Dome to get more pictures. Inside my Aunts were a little teary about my going in, but Majbritt took me inside. She showed me where she was confirmed. There was a beautiful altar piece of wood carving. It was a simple but magnificent church. Majbritt and Aunt Anna gave me 10 krome to buy something. It was time for Majbritt to go. So I bid farewell to my favorite cousin.

Finally I walked with my Aunts to the station. I tried to get in the bookstore to get another Lund book, but they told me I could get it at the station. We arrived with just barely 2 minutes to spare. I found the Lund book at a magazine stand. I accidentally dumped my many coins out trying to find the right change. Aunt Carolina had to help me with a little supplement to buy the book. Then I made a mad dash for the train. Had to say goodbye to my Aunts from door of train as it pulled off. That is the kind of goodbyes I like. The train was pretty filled. A minister pulled the seat down next to him for me in the passageway.

At the Hotel Tunneln, I left the kids raving about the wonderful meeting the night before. I put my bags in Betty’s room and we had until 10:30 a.m. to spend our money. Headed for the shops and spent my newly acquired 20 krome.

I caught a striking view of a church spire down side street so I had to take picture from middle of the road. I guess it was pretty dangerous but I got the picture during a break in traffic.

We found a handicraft shop that proved very interesting. I finally decided upon 2 beautiful pillow tops or doilies, whatever you want to call them. The clerk couldn’t speak English so I used my pocket dictionary. I didn’t have enough krome and they wouldn’t take my dollars so I had to find a bank. I ran into L.O. as she came out of the Milk Bar to let me know we had only till 10 a.m. instead of 10:30. The bank gave me 5.14 krome for my dollars. Clerks were overcome with amusement when I returned now wearing a long dress and sandals. I still didn’t have exactly the right change, so they took pity on me and gave it to me for 25 kr. instead of 26. Time was growing short, I found a men’s shop and some beautiful ties made in Sweden. I picked out the prettiest one and a tie clasp. Had just 10 kr. left so I got the 2 for 10. Finally I took my last look at the streets of Malmo as I headed back to the hotel.

Taxis and American Express transported us the long distance to the boat. It was all of two blocks. They are really efficient all the time. Especially when we could get along without them. Next was customs. The missionaries bid us goodbye. I got a picture of them just before the gang plank went up. We sang farewell songs as they stood on the shore and we on the boat with tears showing or almost so.

Coming into Copenhagen seemed like coming home again. I took pictures of a pretty white sail boat in the harbor. Our old friends from American Express met us with taxis and we scooted off to Hotel Cosmopolite. We were in the same rooms as before with different roommates, L.O., Margaret and V.A.. First off I headed for the opera across the Square. Everything was sold out for Monday. Upon inquiring at the window in a pleading voice for one ticket, I was directed to the Inspectioner who we found in a dark little office around a corner and down a corridor. First he said to come back again at a little before 8 for standing room. Then he asked to see my ticket. Showed me where it was and asked if I would sit below it on the next level with L.O. So he took my ticket and gave us a slip of paper on which he wrote the location of 2 seats and stamped it and signed it for which he asked no money. We couldn’t quite figure out the deal but decided if all turned out well and we got to see the Opera we would consider ourselves lucky.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent wandering through the main shopping district. I spent some time in the Magasin du Nord. The clerk I had met before tried to tell me it was the largest of its kind in the world. Couldn’t quite swallow it. We had gone in a different entrance but it turned out to be the same store as the one across from the Opera house. When we ended up in the same book shop with the same clerk, I knew we must be in the same store. Surely tempted by all the interesting books, but I remembered my suitcase and resisted. I bought a map of Skone. The clerk gave me his card so we could send for them.

I gave in and purchased a reversible amazon belt but managed to get out of the store without some gorgeous quilted ribbon which would have made a beautiful belt. L.O. resisted some copper lamps cause she couldn’t decided what to do with them if she got them and besides they wouldn’t give her American dollars in change.

After we broke away from the Magasin du Nord, we visited every silver shop along the street plus some that weren’t so silver. At the Town Hall Square we found the cafeteria and had long red wieners. We thought we asked for fish and that is what we got, along with soup and a big bowl of a kind of fruit pudding with milk. We split it. Took me 5 minutes to count all my Danish coins out but I finally got rid of them and only had to borrow 50 ore from L.O.

After lunch I had a last look at the town hall, then we wandered across the square through the pigeons and stands. Saw another typical tourist with camera and chuckled. Gee, we wondered why people stared at us. We were so obvious. We tried another street off the Square on our way back to Konig’s Platz. It turned out to be not so shoppy, however we found one likely looking store. We sure got the eye from three ladies as we went in, and when we came out they were still standing there. Perhaps we were conceited in thinking that they had waited for a second look, but that was just exactly what we thought. I had felt that we dressed and looked more like the Scandinavian people than any other but apparently we were still just as conspicuous here as elsewhere. Perhaps my broken sandal had something to do with it.

When we got back on the street, we came upon the silver shop where L.O. spotted the earring set which we hadn’t been able to surpass elsewhere in one afternoon’s wanderings. There was a delicatessen next door, and we purchased cheese for the next day’s journey. I also found a baking shop near the Hotel, and bought a loaf of bread. Because the shops were closing, I got apples and pears for a 25 ore in the slot machine.

Then we retired to the Hotel. The shops in Copenhagen certainly don’t stay open for the tourist’s benefit. They believe in having some time to enjoy life themselves. In typical European style, a separate shop for everything; fruit in one, bread in another, meat in another. It was hard to shop as efficiently as at our big super markets.

We admired our purchases until opera time. Went over a little early, as we were quite curious to see what would happen with the ticket situation. Besides Betty had lost her ticket so we had a problem there also. Surprisingly enough, however, everything worked out quite smoothly. Betty got in without a hitch. In fact, she just walked in without a ticket and our little scrap of paper worked like a charm. Our seats were next to some very English fellows who said something about our being friends of the manager. They informed us that the King and Queen were to be there in the Royal Box just across from us. The Opera House was very beautiful and varied somewhat from others we had visited. The balconies were continuous instead of being separated into boxes as they were in Paris. There was a goodly amount of gold in the decorations and a significant chandelier suspended from the ceiling. The Royal box extended almost the full height of the theatre with only one box directly above it. The King and Queen came in just before the curtain. They opened the door for themselves and bowed simply as everyone rose in respect.

All during the first act of Carmen, the King followed the score. If he looked at the stage at all it must have been very briefly. The orchestra was excellent as was the staging and singing. However can’t say that I enjoyed it more than other performances we have seen in the past three months. One very good reason may have been that I had difficulty staying awake. I can’t blame that on the opera but rather on my consistent lack of sleep for quite a lengthy time now. As we were getting ready for bed, Nola, Margaret’s friend came with her broken figurine. There were more tearful good byes.


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