Thursday, April 05, 2012

Ice cream

My first elementary school was in Elsinore, the setting of Hamlet.  Elsinore had been the capital of Denmark at an earlier period in time due to the city's strategic location.  It was only a few miles across the ocean to Sweden--a distance much shorter than what you would have to sail if you started in Copenhagen--so this was a great place for a  Naval stronghold where fees could be exported from those who wanted to pass through.  (The Danish Vikings were rather aggressive.  During parts of the 11th Century, they had the audacity to invade and occupy Britain,  a country with some ten times the population of Denmark.  The British had to pay a steady tribute to avoid further incursions.)

In Elsinore, there was an ice cream parlor that we would sometimes visit after school.  One another occasion, my late grandmother brought my sister and me there for an ice cream cone.  She reflected on an ice cream parlor that she had patronized in her youth and commented on how much more expensive the ice cream had become.  I no longer remember the exact figure, but she probably said that an ice cream cone cost something in the neighborhood of 5-10 cents when she was growing up.

My grandmother then told us that the ice cream she bought in a similar ice cream parlor during her childhood  "tasted like cardboard."

I was curious why she had bought the ice cream given the seemingly unappealing taste.

"Oh, I wasn't all that finicky," my grandmother replied in a very defiant and self-righteous voice.

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