Hej med jer!
Google told me that means hello there! I’m not sure how often that phrase is actually used by the Danes, but I suppose I’ll find out!
After a few travel delays that lead to my plane not taking off until after 1 a.m. on Saturday (as opposed to 11 p.m. Friday night, so it could definitely have been worse), I made it to Denmark Saturday afternoon. Here are a few of my impressions so far:
1. Bagel shops are EVERYWHERE. As a Long Islander, this makes me very very happy but also very skeptical because, if you didn’t know, (pretentious American alert) the only bagels worth eating are New York bagels (it’s the water). But who knows, maybe Copenhagen bagels are incredible and amazing and I’m excited to give them
a (many many) tries.
2. HELLOOOOOO VEGAN RESTAURANTS!!! While wandering the streets around my house I found not one, but TWO all vegan, raw, healthy, etc. etc. restaurants each less than two blocks away. I can’t wait.
3. Løs Market! It’s Copenhagen’s first, and as far as I know, only packaging free grocery store. It’s about a half hour walk from my (house? apartment? dorm? I’m not totally sure what to call my housing) and on Sunday my housemates and I all trekked there together. They’ve got everything in bulk and you can either buy cloth bags for pasta/spices/grains/tea (whatever you want, really), bring your own glass jars, or buy their glass storage jars for cost. I’m trying to shop zero waste for groceries, so I’ll be buying (plastic packaging free) essentials at one of the three Netto’s (discount grocery store) near my house, but for specialty spices and other goods I’ll venture back to Løs Market.
3a. Housing! I’m living in the Green Living and Learning Community (henceforth referred to as LLC since I’m a lazy typist) and it’s been amazing so far. We share a house in the middle of Copenhagen with the Visual Arts LLC. They’ve got the first floor (which would be the second floor in the U.S.) and we have the two above that. Each floor is like it’s own massive apartment, with eleven/twelve of us per floor. We share a kitchen, bathrooms, common area, and laundry area. My floor-mates and I have been becoming oriented thanks to DIS programming the past few days and have done a bit of exploring on our own. We’ve got dinners and events planned throughout the semester for our LLC and I’m excited to be living in a community with other sustainability-minded humans. It makes it a bit more difficult to meet Danes / other international students, but I’m hoping that hot yoga (which I’ve decided I’ll be signing up for this semester), Kirtan and maybe some other activities will be a way to meet people.
3b. The farmer’s market! Torvehallerne is an indoor glass market, with permanent stalls selling bread, spices, and all kinds of prepared foods along with meats and cheeses near my house. In between the two glass buildings, they’ve got a few vegetable/fruit stands where the produce is mostly loose. They’ve got dates and avocados at 3 for $3 kind of deal – which, if you’re from New York, is about how much you pay for a single avocado. So not all groceries are more expensive in Denmark! It’s only about a 10 minute walk from my house, so I’ll be heading there quite a bit to check out all of the stalls and stock up on fruit and veg.
4. BICYCLESSSSS!!!!! I got a bike yesterday. I’m pretty excited about riding it, also pretty nervous because I’m not the best biker and Danes are pretty serious about their biking. They’ve got lots of bike laws and you can get fined if you break them… here’s to hoping I don’t get fined. It worked out to $80 for the whole semester (thanks DIS for the deal!) and I’m planning on biking maybe not everyday (since I live less than 10 minutes walking from class) but definitely often. I also heard that there are bike trails outside the city – and I think the best part about that is that Denmark doesn’t really have hills – because mountain biking is fun and all but also HARD.
5. You know how they say all Danes speak English? Well, so far I can confirm that yes, all Danes speak English. Which is great since my Danish currently consists of “Tak” (thank you) and “undskyld mig” (which means excuse me and sounds nothing like you think it would) and that’s about it. I’m planning on downloading the Duolingo app in the next day or so because I’d like to be able a bit more proficient than just that.
I’ve got early classes tomorrow I’ve got to finish preparing for (my first one is at the same time as sunrise…. the lack of daylight hours is something I’m still adjusting to) so I’ll end this list here.
Farvel for nu!