I don’t speak danish.
Except for « jeg tak » and « hyggeligt ».
That means, ”yes thanks” and a feeling that I more or less could define as warm and cozy. If you picture sitting by a fire with some hot cocoa, a cat, and maybe some snow falling, that basically embodies the sentiment of hyggeligt.
Copenhagen started great because my best friend from high school met me at the airport instead of me having to take the train and find her. I was so excited to see her I almost wanted to cry for no particular reason other than it had been forever since I’d seen her. And its good that she was there because she told me how to get to the train, but then we got lost anyways…but no worries, we made it into downtown Copenhagen and stopped for a coffee (because I had been up since 4:30 or something and now it was 5pm…) and then walked around the city a little bit before taking a bus back to her apartment to make some dinner.
Wednesday night was Halloween, and at first we were just going to go to a small party and not dress up, but I’m not even sure how it happen but we just said, okay we can dress up and go to a bigger party. I had clothes that were all black, and she had clothes that were all white, so I cut out an “S” and “P” from one of my midterms study guides (don’t need that no more!) and we went out as salt and pepper. It was easy, it was fun, everyone thought we were adorable.
Copenhagen is now on my list of one of my favorite cities. Other than the bitter cold, it is gorgeous! There are so many different types of architecture and different things to look at, it was amazing. I was pretty much on my own Thursday because my friend had class, but I walked all through the city and then met up with her during lunch and breaks (and to take a break from the cold).
Some things about Copenhagen and Denmark in general:
- Bicycles win. There are bicycles everywhere, everyone has one and they have priority on the road. There are bike lanes between the road and the sidewalk and you will get run over if you walk in them. It’s cool how they ride bicycles everywhere because it’s so energy efficient, but I don’t understand how they can do it when it’s so bitter cold there practically all the time…
- Salted licorice. My friend made me try it. I hate licorice anyways. It was gross. I don’t understand why it exists.
- Legos are Danish.
- There’s at least 5 H&M’s just in Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a big city, but not that big. And they’re big H&M’s. I got lost in one of them. And there’s separate stores for kids and men also.
- The Little Mermaid (the statue not the movie), is actually pretty small. But in a very pretty area of town.
- J-Day. We didn’t know about this until just before, but November 3 is basically a national holiday for the release of the Christmas beer. Most of the pubs empty their taps and then at 8:59pm or something trucks drive into the street and start handing out free beer. It’s a little bit of a joke because they say that the formula changes every year but no one knows because no one can remember what it tastes like…to me it tasted like dark beer, which I don’t really like, but I got a cool Christmas/ J-Day hat, so after that I didn’t care about beer
- Denmark is even more collectivist than France. They pay at least 50% in taxes, and don’t care as long as everyone is equal, and by equal they mean more or less the same.
- There are some schools than don’t have homework. Or tests. Not so much for university but there are high schools that people can live at and they just sit in classes apparently but don’t ever need to study.
- Copenhagen is expensive. And the conversion is something like 6 Kronar (Denmark currency) per dollar, so the whole time I had no idea how much money I was spending
- Everyone speaks english (probably better than me) but I still hated not being able to communicate in the language of the country. I started looking forward to being back in France where I can more or less understand the signs and communicate in the language.
To get back to France I had a 26 hour train trip, complete with a ferry ride and a 4 hour stop in the Hamburg train station (where there was absolutely no where to sit other than a cold stairwell). The train literally got on the ferry and the ferry took us across the water to Germany- I didn’t know such a think existed!
All in all I loved Copenhagen and didn’t want to leave, and I had a great week off traveling around Europe- and I didn’t lose anything! Yes I had to purchase a few extra tickets…but I made it back in one piece with all my belongings and then some, and experienced some cultures other than the French, so I would say it was a successful vacation.