This is my very first and very late post. If you know anything about me, my tardiness on this endeavor will not surprise you at all, as procrastination is one of my favorite pastimes. But, this point is actually a good place to start my introduction to Denmark. I have learned so much about this society already and am always finding new norms to follow. One of the first things I learned is that Danes hate it when people are late (oops! Maybe I should move). Even the public transportation is perfectly punctual! As many know, I have a silly nerdy obsession with public transportation and I am in love with the system here. Funny thing is, the buses and trains are SO quiet. A loud conversation with your neighbor or on a cell phone is normally looked down upon. Needless to say, when a group of American students hop on, it’s… kind of apparent. It’s a different story on a Friday or Saturday night though, where you will find some very “talkative” Danes on the train.
Other than that I have learned how delicious all forms of carbs are here. Every sandwich, pastry, or simple slice of bread I eat is phenomenal. We have even found a favorite bakery with a great student discount :) Mmmmm
And, if you don’t have a bike, then you definitely don’t live in Copenhagen. It’s a whole bike culture where everyone rides everywhere and in any kind of weather. Getting run over by a bicycle has become a legitimate fear of mine.
So, the town I live in is called Helsingør and it is absolutely adorable. It is actually about half an hour outside of the city (yay, train time!), has a great view of Sweden (yes, really, I see Sweden daily), and is known for the best “is” (ice cream) in Scandinavia. Oh yea, and Hamlet’s Castle is here!! Go Shakespeare. I mean, why would you want to live anywhere else? The castle is called Kronborg and rests right on the beach. After an amazing afternoon exploring it, we climbed the tallest tower and got a great view of the city and the water. Definitely one of the best experiences thus far.
Exactly where do I stay while in Helsingør? Well, it’s called a folkehøjskole, and we don’t have anything like it in the states. They were founded by this bigwig philosopher/poet/priest in Danish history named Grundtvig. He believed in creativity, compassion, and cooperation between cultures. That’s what is embodied in these Danish folk high schools. Young people come here before or after university or mid-career to explore their interests or just take a break. They study language, art, history, or whatever suits you! Mine is called Den Internationale Højskole, or International People’s College. There actually aren’t any Danes living here, but we make up for with people from all over.. literally. I don’t know how many times in my life I will be able to say that one of my neighbors is from Ghana and the other is from Slovakia, but it can’t be many, so I just want to throw that out there and hear how cool it sounds.
Okay, I promised myself that I wouldn’t make super long blog posts, so I will end this one here. In the future they shall be short, sweet, and maaybe more frequent. Much more to tell about Denmark, school, and a hell of a birthday weekend, so stay tuned..