Noon. It is the quiet part of the day, the time before they’ve woken up. With some exceptions: a few, now, have babies, and occasionally record signs of their early mornings on the internet. But for the most part, they are in their beds, still, arms flung over heads, covers bunched around feet, dreaming their third set of the night’s dreams.
America is a big country, and so I am six, seven, nine hours ahead. I no longer have to calculate what time it is, nine hours back. I know the conversion by heart. It is still disconcerting to be awake for so long before them, but I’ve learned not to dwell on it. I do, however, keep a kind of schedule of simultaneity generally present in my mind.
I am glad to wake up at this time. California friends are on the internet before bed, posting, liking, commenting. Sometimes we exchange a Good Morning/ Good Night.
The quiet hours. People here go off to work. Sometimes I do too, sometimes I stay home. Good thing I didn’t have any expectations about what life as a freelancer would be like.
Lunch time. Francis, my friends’ 2-year-old, wakes in the night, whispers something about trains, then falls back asleep.
My mom wakes up. Gets up, feeds the cats, makes coffee, turns on her computer. Sits in the living room with her feet on the ottoman.
Often I’ve waited for this time to make a call to the Eastern or Central Standard Time zones, then by the time 3pm rolls around, I’m busy with something else. Months go by in this fashion.
The sun has risen in California.
They think about breakfast, I think about dinner. If the day isn’t heavy with work, I’ll cycle home through the city about now. Past the main station. Past Tivoli and over the bridge. Looking down at the harbor. Then home, to snacking, beering, gauging whether the weather might be nice enough to have an evening stroll.
Sometimes I delay cooking dinner to make use of the prime chatting hours.
I’m winding down for sleep. It’s only 2pm over there.
Conversation in bed. A-Z of animals that live in the jungle, or books we’ve read, or things that are hard on the outside and soft on the inside (that’s a tough one, we’ve only ever made it to H before falling asleep).
Baseball game starts.
Jeopardy comes on.
The sky over Denmark lightens with the early summer sun.
In synch, out of synch. A new kind of synchronization. Displacement, hesitancy, necessary independence, loneliness. New lives, new experiences, new selves. The confusing, befuddling, and utterly simple reality of living abroad.
Megan Adie is a maker and musician and has had homes around the world, including Basel, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Austin, Texas. But it's through the streets of Copenhagen that she currently carries her double bass to rehearsals and concerts, and where she maintains Aviary Press, an imprint for fine art books and limited edition prints. Megan's Traveling Light is a real treat and we recommend sitting down to enjoy it alongside your most precious coffee mug. Her website, with more information about both her playing and press, is www.meganadie.com.