Ten first impressions of Denmark
Agustin Millan · 29 Jul 2015, 17:04
Published: 29 Jul 2015 17:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Jul 2015 17:04 GMT+02:00
- Ten tips for surviving a Danish Christmas party (27 Nov 15)
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- 6 reasons it’s great to be a mum in Copenhagen (08 May 15)
Summer weather in Denmark is incredibly fickle. Photo: Toshifumi Kitamura/Scanpix
The grill is a must at every Danish park. Photo: Thomas Rousing/Flickr
Keep an eye on your bank account. Photo: Nadir Hashimi/Flickr
I miss the Euro. As everybody knows, Denmark isn’t a cheap country to live in. But switching to kroner makes it all even more confusing, because you’re not quite sure how much you’re actually paying for something. I ended up paying 105 DKK at a kiosk for a six-pack of King beer (not the best beer you can find in Denmark) and a bag of chips, thinking that surely that wasn’t more than €10. Turned out it was €14. Being able to pay with your credit card anywhere makes it even harder to keep track of the money haemorrhaging out of your account.
Danes know how to relax. Photo: Anna/Flickr
It’s probably because I arrived in Denmark during the holiday season, but I didn’t see any stressed people in the street or shoving their way onto a bus. Instead, I only noticed calm and steady flows of people strolling towards their destination, studiously avoiding physical contact with one another. There doesn’t appear to be any formal rules behind it either; everyone just walks around in their own little world, minding their own business.
Eating a carrot and maybe some green peas for lunch is a thing here. Photo: Sophie&cie/Flickr
I’m not one myself, but I’m not surprised that there are so many vegetarians in Denmark. It’s so easy! There seem to be vegetarian and vegan restaurants everywhere you look and nearly all restaurants in Denmark appear to have at least a few vegetarian dishes on the menu. In every supermarket you can also easy find products for vegans like tofu and soy milk, as well as a lot of totally animal free alternatives to meat dishes. Copenhageners generally seem to be really concerned about what they eat. And I have to admit that green peas, which can be bought everywhere, are definitely a good snack. I could get used to that.
They may not be Vikings anymore, but Danes still love to travel the world. Photo: Patrick Rasenberg/Flickr
The vast majority of Danish people I’ve met so far have lived abroad, and I don’t mean Germany or Sweden; I mean spending years in exotic places like El Salvador or Cambodia. One of my colleagues even told me about the Danish word ‘udlængsel’, which translates as a longing to go abroad. Some people have said that they travel abroad because there’s really not much else to experience in Denmark if you’ve lived in one part of the country. In any case, I think that’s one of the reasons why Danes seem so cosmopolitan and open-minded.
Am I supposed to laugh now? Photo: Thomas Hoyrup/Flickr
Danes, there are so many other things to eat for lunch than this – honestly! Photo: Eugene Phoen/Flickr
A classic Danish lunch that no one besides the Danes can pronounce - smørrebrød. I can’t really understand how they don’t get bored of eating it. It’s a different kind of sandwich everyday - but it’s still a sandwich everyday. I don’t want to argue about the huge variety of sauces, pork, cheese and other toppings to put onto your sandwich – or in what order! – but I’m just saying that it’s a piece of rye bread with stuff on it. I don’t expect Danes to be foodie experts or obsessed with Master Chef like people in Spain are, but surely there must come a point when even they get tired of eating this?
When Danes hop on a bike, they do it in style. Photo: Colville-Andersen/Flickr
There’s something about the ease with which a Dane rides a bike, which may be part of what makes them look so elegant. Especially the women have it down to an art. I mean, how can you manage to simultaneously keep an eye on the traffic, avoid hitting other bikes, while also texting a friend with one hand, and still look so graceful?
Do you agree with the author? What were some of your first impressions in Denmark? Let us know in the comments below.