Denmark is such an inconspicuous country. You don’t really hear a lot about it. Then you come here and discover many interesting features.
When Denmark appeared in my wondering about the next emigration destination, I knew only that its capital is Copenhagen. Afterwards, I started to read more, only to find out that Danes are one of the happiest nation in Europe and they use bikes a lot. Finally, I arrived here and I was totally drawn into. Now it’s been 5 years and I got some perspective.
- Bikes, bikes, bikes.
Bike lanes are almost everywhere, bicycles are in many different types like awesome Christiania bike (the bicycle with a box in front very useful when you travel with a child or a dog or with a big thing like a chair or table etc.) I truly recommend to hop on the bike and watch the city from that perspective. (I wrote a bit about that here). There are plenty of advantages of using a bicycle. And Copenhagen is small enough to visit it all on two wheels. Naturally, there are some disadvantages like the wind, always blowing against you or thefts. I’ve lost 3 bicycles in 4 years. Anyway, the bike in Copenhagen is a must!
Yes, I know. I am a bit strange that I really like this language. It is hard to learn, difficult in pronunciation, with many exceptions or no rules at all. But it is great that there is a possibility to learn it for free. And I used it. Still, I do not understand everything and sometimes it puts me a little aside, but I am able to communicate in Danish. Unfortunately, Danes are very sensitive about their language and often shift to English.
This word has recently become terribly popular. People seem to think it is the recipe for happiness. What does it mean? Well, you can’t literally translate it. You can feel it because hygge might be everything that makes you feel cozy, warm and safe. To feel the good atmosphere Danes light candles everywhere or wrap themselves in blankets in restaurants’ gardens. Just hygge.
- Cut loose.
You just go out and be yourself, you can do whatever. No need to worry about clothes or hairstyle. If you hear music in your head you are allowed to dance to it! But seriously, after few times in the city you get used to it and stop paying attention to any weirdo you are passing by.
It is allowed to drink in public places. And I think it is nice because a beer in the park tastes different than in the pub. Both are ok, it depends on occasion and mood. So you can have a picnic with wine or drink beer by the water in Nyhavn without paying so much for it. Additionally, bottles and cans aren’t scattered around because there will be always somebody to take them from you. In most shops, there are recycling machines. One small can is 1 DKK back in the pocket.
You arrive in Denmark, you got your CPR and a yellow card and you are in. In the system. They will know all about you! But the big advantage is that you can get so many things done through the Internet. For example car registration, insurance or divorce…
- Health service.
I am satisfied with it. Sure, there are better and worse doctors everywhere, however, my experiences are positive. I met kind and professional doctors. In short, their attitude is not to worry too much, take some panadol and relax. About pregnancy in Denmark, I wrote here. And again, everything is in the system. You do not need a paper referral, prescription nor sick leave. Moreover, you can check your health diary online.
Bytte and loppe markets demand another post. But what is it? Loppemarked is a flea market where people sell their stuff. Byttemarked is an exchange market where people bring what they no longer use and take what they might need. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
- The sky.
Maybe it’s just that I didn’t pay attention to the sky in Poland but sometimes I just stop and admire. Maybe it’s because of different latitude and longitude. The sky can be really amazing, red at sunrise, dark blue during a storm with clouds hanging so low. Or with a clear rainbow over the horizon. Magnificent.
Those are nine main points that came to my mind. I am sure I could think of more. Or maybe you can add something to my list? In conclusion, Denmark is a country you can enjoy. But every sun has its shadows. Next time I will write about them.