During my time in Denmark I was often mistaken as a Danish girl (due to my blonde hair and blue eyes) and was asked for directions and translations. Flattered by the mix-up (psh there’s no way I’m Danish; they’re too tall and sophisticated) I would smile and just watch the surprised look I got when I explained that I’m actually American. However, after spending more and more time amongst the Danes, I began to wonder if I could have more in common, other than my hair and eye color, with a Danish girl? Could I figure out how to be Danish without, of course, actually being Danish at all!? Hmm… that’s going to be tough.
|We could totally be sisters right!?|
Before I begin, a quick disclaimer – I’m not trying to make generalizations of ALL Danish people because, obviously, every area and family is different. These are just my personal impressions as an 18-year-old American girl living in the Copenhagen suburb of Hellerup for three weeks. What I think may be completely different to someone else’s experience, that’s why I encourage you all to travel and see things for yourself because who knows I could just be making all of this stuff up! Mwhaha just kidding, I’m not. Or am I!? Go to Copenhagen and find out for yourself ya fool!
|My friend Kaylin (the American who goes to college in Rome) came to visit for a weekend!|
|Fish market! mmm|
|Love the national pride in Danish supermarkets|
|Runnin on the Baltic sea in the morning :)|
|The sunrise was definitely worth waking up at 6 am!|
|No this isn't a 5 star restaurant, it's dinner in a Danish household|
Last but not least, Danes know how to have fun. As I wrote about in an earlier blog post, a Danish night out begins at 6 pm with a “warm up” and ends at around 3 in the morning. And Danes don’t just casually sip on a beer or glass of wine for a couple of hours, the way Italians do. Danes chug, play drinking games and bong beers (just like Americans, except Danes can handle their alcohol). At all of the Danish parties/clubs I went to, everyone was tipsy if not totally drunk. Beware though, if you’re handed a shot of something black, don’t drink it. Seriously, don’t do it. Danish people love this black licorice flavored liquor. It’s disgusting. No matter how much I want to be Danish, I’ll never drink that toxic liquid again.
Most Danes are laid back but Danish nightclubs are not. My friends and I went to this club that was supposed to be offering free entrance until 11pm. We got there at 9, waited in line for 2 hours only to be let in right after 11 just so that we’d have to pay entrance. My friend told me that there are people who work at the clubs called “pickers” that choose the most attractive people and let them in first (so apparently, I’m ugly but whateva). Or if you’re willing to buy a bottle of liquor for 60 euros, they’ll also let you in. So stupid. And drinks cost around 10-15 euros, which is just plain ridiculous. Eh I guess I can’t really bash Danes for these types of snobby nightclubs, though, because they exist everywhere. “The most exclusive night club” my butt. I discovered I’m more of a bar person than nightclub person.
Some quick random, irrelevant facts about Denmark. Gender-neutral public bathrooms exist, which I think is really cool. Also, when you buy a bottle of something to drink, you have to pay an extra 20 cents or so but you get that money back when you recycle the bottle. But most people just leave their bottles on the street so gypsies can collect them and make some cha-ching. It’s a good idea, keeping the streets clean, helping the environment and the homeless.
|Danish senior classes get to take one crazy picture for their yearbook and each class chooses a theme, Victoria's class chose yogurt so they poured yogurt all over each other in the picture!!|
I had an advantage that helped me become Danish; I lived with a Danish family so I got to spend time, up close and personal, with a bunch of Danes. By the last week, life almost began to feel normal, like I really was a part of their family. Personally, I love this type of traveling much more than staying in a hotel for a couple nights with a fellow American, seeing the best sights, eating the best food and leaving. Staying with a family allows you to really immerse yourself beyond the surface of a country. Not only do you get to do all the tourist stuff but you also get to experience daily life and understand the culture. However, I know chances are that most of you aren't as awesome as me and don't have friends living around the world welcoming you into their homes ;) But don't worry; even if you don't have international friends, you can still easily live with a Danish family! No, I’m not going to invite you to my friend, Victoria’s home (although I’m sure she’d love having a bunch of strangers show up on her doorstep). Instead, you can look into being a workawayer (I’m actually doing a workaway right now in Germany and it’s awesome!!) or an au pair (I’ve never done this before but really want to one day and know a lot of people who’ve done it). I’ve mentioned both of these options in earlier blog posts but I’ll refresh your memory real quick, Workaway is a craiglist-style website where budget travelers can find hosts (families, farms, hostels, etc.) and work for them in exchange for room and board. Au pairing is when you work as a live-in nanny in exchange for room, board and spending money (depending on the family).
|Victoria's cat gave birth on my second day in Denmark!|
P.S. I took a little day loner sightseeing trip to Roskilde, one of the oldest cities in Denmark and once the hub of viking activity. I went to the viking museum as well, here's some pictures! :)
|The Roskilde cathedral; a UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|The remnants of an actual viking ship from the 11th century!|
|The museum attempts to recreate viking ships using the same, original techniques|