Elderly Couple Living in Different Countries Share Daily Socially Distant Dates Across Border
Love knows no bounds when it comes to one elderly European couple — especially when those bounds are a plastic barrier set up between the border of Denmark and Germany.
Inga Rasmussen, 85, and Karsten Tüchsen Hansen, 89, found love two summers ago, and though they’ve spent much of their time together since, the coronavirus has recently forced them to separate: him in his home country of Germany, and Rasmussen at her home in Denmark, according to The New York Times.
Despite the fact that the couple lives just a 15 minute drive away from each other, coronavirus restrictions have closed the border between their countries — though that hasn’t stopped them from finding a loophole.
Each day, they meet up at the border — which is blocked only by a flimsy barrier — and talk, laugh and drink together while sitting about 3 feet apart, the Times reported.
Rasmussen drives there from her home in Gallehus and brings coffee and a table, while Hansen rides from Süderlügum on his electric bike, bringing chairs and schnapps.
“We’re here because of love,” Hansen told the Times. “Love is the best thing in the world.”
One of their daily meet-ups was captured in a photo by a local Danish mayor named Henrik Frandsen, who wrote on Facebook that he’d passed them at the Mollehusvej border crossing while taking a bike ride.
The couple takes care to keep their distance, but still exchange gifts and food each day, like wine, cookies and cake.
“The worst thing is we can’t embrace each other. We can’t kiss. We can’t make love,” Hansen told the Times. “[But] if there’s respect and acceptance, then sex is not so important.”
The couple reportedly met in Denmark two summers ago while waiting in line at a strawberry stand.
Hansen had been on his way to bring flowers to a widow he knows in the area, but after striking up conversation with Rasmussen, her gave her the flowers instead.
He then invited her to dinner in Germany, and they grew close; both were recently widowed after having been married for more than 60 years, according to the Times.
“I never dreamed this would happen,” Rasmussen told the newspaper.
Hansen said that Danish police have threatened to fine them if they cross the border, though they’ve reportedly become something of an attraction, with residents and journalists dropping by to say hi.
“I think it brings people some hope, a little bit of light in the darkness,” Frandsen told the Times. “You have these elderly people who’ve found a way out.”
As of Tuesday, there have been at least 8,851 cases and 434 deaths attributed to coronavirus in Denmark, and 156,337 cases and 5,913 deaths in Germany, according to The New York Times. The number of global cases has topped 3 million, while there have been more than 208,000 deaths.
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