After as a young man having emigrated from Denmark to Oklahoma City and lived here for three years, I had saved enough money to take a trip back to visit my parents. Took the train from Copenhagen to my home town.
When you grow up in a town the size of Horsens, you know, of course, that half the population knows that 'Aage went to America'. During the three hour train ride I was thinking of all the people I was going to see again. Former class mates, friends from the soccer club, tennis club, colleagues, kids I grew up with, girls I knew, etc., and it dawned on me, that my time of arrival would be perfect. Saturday noon. Everybody would be on Main Street, which, in Horsens, is like a shopping mall. (During the week all shops closed at 5:30, Saturdays at 2:00, Sundays everything was closed. It's only recently some genius in Government told his colleagues: "Hey, you know what? I've been thinking. Maybe it's not too smart that the shops are only open while everybody is at work!").
Serious shopping was done on Saturdays. There would also be the Saturday open market at the town square, where farmers and fishermen were selling their wares. Everybody would be on Main Street!
Instead of taking a Taxi I could just walk through town. Even if my suitcase was a heavy monster. Figured I wouldn,t take many steps at a time, before I'd have to set it down. Shaking hands, hugging, kissing. We would probably end up being a whole gang over Carlsberg at one of the sidewalk cafes. Everybody would want to hear about my life in Oklahoma. Would take hours to walk through Main Street.
Got off the train and walked up to Main Street. I had been right about one thing. A bunch of people. My suitcase got heavier and heavier. Dragging it through the crowds. Never saw one person I recognized. Continued my walk to the other side of town where my parents lived. I was just about to enter the building, when I saw Egon on his bicycle. Coming my way. Egon and I grew up in the same neighborhood. When we were little, we played Cowboys and Indians together in the neighborhood park. In elementary school we sat next to each other. All through high school Egon and I were in the same class rooms. Egon and I played on the same soccer team. Later on, during our tour of military duty, Egon and I were both stationed at the Danish Kommando in Germany. At the same time.
Egon saw me too.
Finally. I put the suitcase down.
While he passed me, 25 miles an hour, he said: "Hi Aage. Going on vacation?"
Oh, well. My mother was glad to see me. I think.