Week 2 in Denmark is in full swing. I'm still loving the city and waiting for the novelty of this incredible experience to wear off. Somehow I don't think it will.
Some news as of late: My Danish Language and Culture class gathered recently for a hyggelig dinner at Den Franske Café in Østerport. I arrived a bit late but managed to find a seat next to a nice boy, Phil from Alamaba. I had an excellent chicken-tomato-mozzarella sandwich and ordered a Sprite to go with it. When my teacher noticed, she joked with me about ordering a non-alcoholic beverage. In Denmark, there are only 3 reasons why a person would not drink with their meal: (a.) liver disease, (b.) treatment for alcoholism, (c.) pregnancy. Clearly I am suffering from option C.
Drinking in Denmark is much more important to culture than in the U.S. - kids begin drinking on "Blue Monday," the day after their confirmation around age 13. There are no open container laws and alcohol can be legally purchased at age 16. Day drinking is common! Most Danes will opt for a Carlsberg or Tuborg with their lunch and dinner. Yum.
That word I used above, Hygge (pronounced HEUOOH-guh), is another important aspect of Danish culture. It's translated as intimate coziness, warm tranquility, peaceful well-being. When you're gathered around a fireplace with your friends drinking a bottle of red wine, this is hygge. My friend Eleni & my host sis Bolette introduced me to a cozy bar here called Vela, where I'm sure I'll spend a lot of time over the next few months. On weekends, girls dance at Vela until about 5 am. Vela is hygge! I have this bar to thank for my new love of Swedish pop music. :)
This one by Robin is a serious favorite.
What else? Grocery shopping is teriffically difficult. I stood in the aisle over 5 minutes trying to decipher if the bottle I was holding contained maple syrup or whiskey. Danes also don't have pre-made cake frosting – in fact, it’s considered quite lazy to buy something like ranch dressing or microwave pancakes when both can be made at home. I’ve come to love frikadeller, my mom’s Danish meatballs. (Yes! Even the fish ones!) I also tried a sandwich on Rugbrød, Danish rye bread. Next stop pickled herring.
Time for class! Venlig hilsen,