Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Traveler's Guide to Copenhagen, As Interpreted By Someone Who'd Never Been Out of the U.S. till 13 Days Ago.

Alright. So, you're traveling to Denmark but you don't know a thing about the Danes. I'm here to help. Call me an expert, an authority, a specialist, whatever, but I know what I'm talking about. See: I've been not in the United States for nearly two weeks, so I'm pretty much what you'd regard as an aficionado on this kind of stuff. So, without further ado, I present to you:

The Danes

The Danes are kind people. They will give you one of their spare guitars if you engage them in conversation about being sad that you don't have a guitar for an entire semester abroad.
Danish people literally give you guitars.

Literally all of them smoke cigarettes. If you don't also, you're not going to fit in here. Note: I don't fit in here. Also, about 40% of them bike everyday. Like me at Miami. Like everyday. And everywhere. Everything is pretty much flatter than something really flat, making it easy to get around. They also smoke cigarettes while they bike.

This is typical on many streets, and it's also February.

Alcohol is pretty much part of every social function and/or meal after 4pm. Carlsberg Brewery, the 4th largest brewery in the world, is headquartered here. That's their joint.

So modest.

They are punctual people. Be on time or be scrutinized privately because they're too nice to scrutinize you publicly. One of the only rules I have with my host family (aside from water the plant in my room once a week and keep the window open five minutes a day) is "be home at 6pm for dinner, or tell us the day before if you won't be home for dinner the next day."

This is a picture of a clock symbolizing the importance of being on time.

Socially, the Danes don't interact. If someone is sitting you in on the bus, you don't say, "Pardon me, friend, but I need to get off here, would you excuse me." You instead rustle your bags as to passive-aggressively alert them that they need to vacate their seat so you can get up. My kind of people.

Also, you don't acknowledge strangers as you pass them on the sidewalks. Just keep looking forward.

Furthermore, there isn't a Danish word for please, and their word for "excuse me" is rarely used. I feel awkward when I accidentally let either phrase slip in English. Pretty much everyone speaks English, by the way. Except for bus drivers who usually just get angry if you approach them with questions regarding being lost/finding your way to anything familiar or recognizable.

Don't you dare say please to this man.

Well, there you have it. You're pretty much a Dane yourself now. Or at least you would be, like me, if you visited Denmark for almost a half of a month. Man, I'm so cultured. You're welcomed.

Till next time,

Pretty much Danish
Copenhagen, Denmark Expert

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