First reminder of this for the past week: Arrived at Kalundborg train station last Saturday and was confronted with a restroom that required payment (just 2 kroner, if I remember correctly). I hesitated, reassured myself that I knew what I was doing, and inserted the requested coin. Sure, the door successfully opened - but, in doing so, revealed a somewhat overweight middle aged fellow already making use of the room.... ahem. Yeah. My face turned bright red as he started cracking up to himself, still standing there and looking over at me, and a woman walking by joined the laughter and reassured me that I had done exactly as I was supposed to - he'd either snuck in without paying or simply failed to lock he door. ...Welcome to Kalundborg! Oy... I managed to work out how to close the door again (thank goodness), he laughed and patted me on the shoulder as he was leaving, and I double checked the lock after reattempting my original efforts. Phew.
Oddly, it was exactly a week later, upon my return to Hillerød on Saturday evening, that I was again reminded of the necessity of keeping up a sense of humor, this time stepping it up a notch to pull in a near run-in with the local police. Yep, I kid you not. In an attempt to lighten my baggage before walking the half hour back to my room from the train station, I stopped at the office en route with the plan of dropping off Lars' sleeping bag (which I'd borrowed for the week, though never used). Successfully used one key to get into the building and another to open the office, then promptly forgot the PIN code for the alarm system, of course setting off a terribly loud siren throughout the office as less-than-ladylike words joined the noise now infiltrating the previously silent room.
When you've spent a week running on 5-6 hours of sleep per night and have just arrived from a somewhat lengthy train trip, the last thing you want is to be setting off an alarm system in a foreign country on Saturday night. Called pretty much everyone from the office and Lars' daughter for good measure, leaving somewhat-less-frantic-but-still-concerned voice mails for each when no one answered, and began apologizing profusely when Lars ultimately appeared on the scene, having received a call from the alarm company. He reassured the silly American girl, turned off the alarm, and called the company to call off the police, who were (theoretically) en route at the time. (Even in the midst of slight panic, I couldn't help but wonder at the use of having an alarm system when no one appeared to be reacting. heh) We laughed it off, and I received both a ride home and an invitation to brunch the following morning. ...Success, though not as I'd have planned.
Moral of the story: don't take yourself too seriously, and always lock the door behind you when you enter a restroom.