I’ve started getting pop-up ads in Danish and being sent to Danish versions of websites. It’s like the Internet knows that I now reside in a different place. Still, I instinctively type in google.ca and not the Danish version. I also receive an abundance of junk mail in Danish — as if they haven’t figured out that my housing is at least half international students who have no use for the heaps of flyers we receive.
I am surprised that Danes tolerate this amount of junk mail given the high level of environmental awareness that is generally around. Within view of my housing are several wind turbines — the area I live in is close to the airport and the ocean. I found these a weird sight when I first arrived, but you can’t hear them and they are not very noticeable.
The other thing I have noticed, and I was warned about this before leaving, is that Danes are an efficient and curt people. As a Canadian this can sometimes leave me feeling cold. When asking for help with something people — especially at the university — will only help you if it is specifically within the capacity of their job to do so, if they can’t they politely say they are unable to do so. Every time I say have a good day after making my purchases at the store my “have a great day” is met by confused looks and has not been reciprocated. It is my goal to start consistently saying thank you in Danish (tak).
I feel bad for speaking in English to everyone but I know that everyone speaks excellent English and I have been having trouble remembering thank you. I am only here for four or five months and know that I will never learn enough Danish while in classes to communicate anything worthwhile so I am sticking to English.
I haven’t gone out and taken any pictures yet, but I am starting to really want to. I have been mentally bookmarking cool places that I want to go back to. It is hard when you are usually just out exploring with friends, which usually means feeling rushed and not taking enough time to get the right shots. Every day life and classes also get in the way.
I also haven’t been to any of the touristy areas yet. Those shots of the colourful houses in Copenhagen’s harbour feel far removed from my experience of the city. I haven’t gone to a single museum either. Those shots feel like they belong to groups of tourists, like the ones I saw back home wandering around downtown. But after all that is the point of residing somewhere. I don’t need to go to museums — not that museums are bad but that is my typical experience as a tourist — and the landmarks that I’m building up are the grocery store across the street, and the student cafe.