The last two apartments in the row before the mail boxes are occupied by two families from Scandinavia. Husband, wife, two or three grade school aged children each. I'm not sure if the two families are related to each other or are just compatriot friends who wanted to live close together. Very nice people, the kids play outside in front of the apartment a lot and they seem like good kids. They don't fight much, they have fun on their scooters and plastic kiddie cars, and they are not the purveyors of wanton destruction which some of the kids I grew up with were. I have no complaints about these people, just an observation.
They all speak their native language. Even then kids at play. (I am not familiar enough with Nordic tongues to know which language it is, but it's definitely from the general area of Scandinavia. It is not German, I speak enough to recognize it). They are all blonde, slender and fair.
And their front yards are a constant display of Americana. The moment any holiday decorations are available in any store, these two apartments are decorated mightily. Halloween ghosts, witches, pumpkins and spider webs were wall to wall in late September. November 1 most of that came down and is now replaced by life-sized Pilgrim turkey cut-outs, maize, gourds, etc. The spider webs are still stuck on the hedges, but I chalk that up to how difficult it is to remove cotton strands from holly bushes.
Many of the other apartments sport modest token decorations for the various holidays, but these folks go all out. It makes me wonder, since they are so very Scandinavian, if this is camouflage. Are they just trying to educate their kids about America, or is this perhaps a cleverly disguised Nordic sleeper cell?
What this reminds me of is the week after 9/11, The World, our local Chinese language newspaper, ran a center spread American flag, with some Chinese text which said something like "proud to be an American". Last weekend in Chinatown I saw the ultimate conclusion of this - a mural of an American flag about 7 feet high, with some Chinese text below. I'll post a picture soon (thought I had uploaded it to Flickr, but I guess not).