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Congratulations on being an American today!

On the Fourth of July we went to Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world dating back 165 years. It brought back Independence Day memories from when I was a kid as we went to the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, California on the 4th a few times when I was young.

Tivoli Gardens Chinese Pagoda

My wife was reminded that it was the 4th of July at the grocery store earlier in morning by the clerk. Then, when we were getting ready to board our first ride at Tivoli, Vintage Cars, the ride operator heard us say something in English and he says to us, “Congratulations on being an American today!” I thanked him for his well wishes. What does one say to others on the 4th of July? The Danes don’t know any more than I, but I enjoyed his attempt.

Copenhagen City Hall from inside Tivoli Gardens

Later in the day we ran into the same ride operator on a different ride. This time he was running the Hans Christian Andersen stories ride (The Flying Trunk). He didn’t remember us from earlier in the day but did take another stab at wishing us a happy 4th. This time he said, “Happy Birthday to America!” I had to smile.

I asked him if he had been to America. He said, “No.” He had been to Canada once though. He went to Montreal so he used his French there–not English. The language ability of these Scandinavians is amazing. Some of my students here can speak four or more languages.

mini viking ships ride Tivoli Gardens

Above is the family on the Galley Ships–a ride in which the pirates in the middle fire on the viking ships spinning around them.

Tomorrow I’ll blog some more about Tivoli.

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