Close, but no cigar

The funny thing is that even though Copenhagen tried to make a bad impression on me with the wallet theft, it still hasn’t suceeded to become a real turn off to me. And it even rained all the time!

My reaction to Denmark is very peculiar. My brain is constantly trying to reconcile the fact that I can read most things and I can pick up some, but not really. It’s like my head is having a crisis meeting all the time, “Why don’t we understand this? It looks almost like Swedish!” That’s both slightly irritating and intriguing, the entire Danish experience for me is a close-to-the-mark-happening. It’s Scandinavian in its cultural practices but has its own eccentricities (hygge!), the weather is almost like in Sweden, some shop chains are the same, some food is similar but not quite, they say hei, which is almost hej, but at the same not at all the same pronounciation. Close, but no cigar.

Of course that spurs my ambition to improve my Danish knowledge and grasp of their culture. But really, I get so confused being with a German-Swedish-English crowd as my friends that I can’t even get my four words, hello, thank you, excuse me, goodbye in order in Danish but keep falling into Swedish. When I tried to read signs, it just sounded like I was making fun of Danish.

Copenhagen is somehow like a mixture of Stockholm and Amsterdam to me, maybe a tiny little bit less pretty but the people speaking Danish around oneself make up for it. (I love listening to Danish.) Something that I noticed particularily was that in all the cafés, restaurants and shops we were in, they played really nice music that exactly catered to my taste, a rather rare phenomenon. We stayed in a hostel that had the highly euphemistic name “Sleep in Heaven” and offered the charms of a prison cell. (Their bathrooms were quite okay, though.) After their beds, my bed at home felt like a five-star-hotel.

Here’s a collection of interesting things I observed in the Danish capital:

008-2

In one of the castles, they sell a card with lots of animals and their queen.

010-2

The Danish chain Tiger/TGR has changed its name to Flying Tiger and still has great ads. This one says, “Misunderstandings”.

011

Danes want their kids smart. So they sell educational books only, like this one about “The invisible world of microbes”

012-2

This store is called “Normal” and advertises with a person that refuses to shop there because he is unique. Let’s not question their marketing team.

015-2

If the Danish kids get tired of microbes, they can read about the housefly Astrid instead.

030-2

Maybe the Danes’ way to keep in shape is painting ceramic cupcakes instead of eating real cupcakes.

038-2

Danish interior design shops are heaven. Even their wrapping paper is worldclass.

039-2

048-2

On public transport, Copenhagen does not simply say, “Please be considerate to other travellers”. Instead, they make lots of, sometimes cryptic, statements. This one with the books reads, “Support the smallest one when things get shaky”. Another one said something along the lines of “Ping pong is fun”.

054-2

Because you always need a door painting warning you of colds.

Of course I also had to go to Borgen! You can hardly have missed my obsession with this brilliant TV show that is all about what happens in Christiansborg, short Borgen, the center of Danish politics. We took a short walk there on the way to the Black Diamond.

img_3063-2

PRESS RELEASE – On October 22, the government of Denmark signed an agreement with the Farmers Union of Sweden to grant further support to the dairy farming industry.

The agreement states that the Danish government will from now on sponsor the Swedish dairy industry in order to lessen the financial burden on the Swedish state. Danish Prime Minister Helen and Farmer Union Leader Malin signed the agreement at Christiansborg.

World leaders welcomed the news from Christiansborg, Denmark. “We appreciate the Nordics solving their issues without European financial support”, Jean-Marie Ducart, spokesman of the EU parliament said. “Today’s signing marks a significant development in the two Öresund nations’ collaborative efforts.”

Yes, we had some fun playing politics! The next fun, or rather impressive, stop was the so-called Black Diamond. It’s the Royal Library of Denmark and they chose to house it in a magnificent new building, the Black Diamond. Talk about appreciating literature!

img_3107-2img_3104-2img_3105-2

I was also recommended to look at Copenhagen’s Notre Dame, their cathedral. Man, these Danes sure have fancy churches! Their benches were luxuriously padded and they had small speakers at every seat. Some benches were even in communicative setting, facing each other instead of facing the altar.

031-2

Opposite the church were lots of to-die-for interior design stores. I was recently asked if I was “one of those interior design girls” and I guess I am? But who does not get excited when a store sells super pretty small boxes, adorable stickers or original clocks and cozy plaids?

028-2

Michelle and I taking a break after lots of walking

077-2

Copenhagen’s famous postcard motif

076-2 On Sunday, we went to a Escape Room Game. I’ve always wanted to try that and it was smart that I tried it with my friends because I would never have gotten out of that room again. The game was a lesson for me in how bad I am at solving puzzles. But it was still quite fun! You get locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. The room usually consists of a locked door, objects to manipulate, and hidden clues or secret compartments. The players must use the objects to interact with other items in the room to reveal a way to escape. In our case, we were in a monk’s room and the monk had disappeared. It was in a basement and I was busy being scared by the noises while my friends elegantly solved one mystery after the other. I was impressed! Once we had gotten out (it took us 57,5 minutes and the guide said we were not bad), our minds were set on finding codes and keys to open locks as you can see on the photo above where we inspect the love locks at Nyhavn.073-2

On Sunday morning, we had some time and while the others went to see the Little Mermaid (Tabea: “I’ve heard so much about how disappointingly small it is so I actually had such low expectations that I did not get disappointed!”), I took to the Swedish Church. You have to take the few opportunities you get! It was very interesting because I’ve only attended mass in Swedish Churches in Germany and Sweden and it was a bit different here in Denmark. It was much more traditional and Catholic, but at the same time the pastor (the oldest female pastor I’ve encountered) had a Lion-King-simile in her sermon and explicitly welcomed the noisy children (“The children may be heard, we will manage that.”).

062-2059-2

013-2

One of Denmark’s legendary kings was Christian IV. He is called Christian the Conqueror in Denmark and Christian the Tyrant in Sweden. Go figure. He also put “C4” on everything he built, like this tower. It reminded me of CR7.

Closing comment: I wouldn’t mind if one of my friends moved to Copenhagen and I had to regularily visit.

Del I-think-I-lost-track i citatsamlingen

Snart kommer julsångarna.

– Jag har redan börjat!

Det finns inget normalt läge med dig när det gäller sång. Det är inte det här, nu börjar vi sakta kicka igång julstämningen. Det är fullt ös medvetslös direkt!

Egentligen är vi som ett band ihop. Du är jukeboxen och jag är dansaren!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s