I've been living in Copenhagen for three months now, and getting accustomed to a new place and culture is generally super overwhelming. However now that I'm used to living here, I've started to notice the weird quirks that Danes and Denmark have. Over the semester I've been compiling my observations, so here's a list of 7 #JustDanishThings I've noticed.
1. 7-Elevens here are from a better parallel universe
There's a 7-Eleven at literally every block in Copenhagen. And that's not even it, the 7-Elevens here aren't the questionable kind like in the states, they're a whole different level. These are respectable places to get food, pastries, and snacks. They also look so nice! Most of them are lined with white tiles and are super clean. It's gonna be weird going back to the US 7-Elevens.
2. Impeccable Sneaker Fashion
Almost every Dane you see will be wearing insanely cool sneakers. I really never thought much about sneakers before coming here to Denmark, but now that I'm here I see I've been missing out on a whole world of fashion. I've now learned that sneakers are a *statement* piece that can be paired with a button down shirt, dress, chunky sweater... literally any look.
3. Weird sound?
So I don't really know how to explain this one, but when Danes talk, they have this habit of making a particular sound in agreement to things or to just fill the space when thinking in the middle of a sentence. It's this really breathy inhale "yeah" sound that is hard to explain but when you hear it, it's very noticeable. It's a super cute thing in my opinion, and people use it in so many different contexts, probably involuntarily.
4. The one and only Netto.
Ok so let's talk about Netto. Netto is a grocery store here in Denmark that is the best/worst thing that could happen to you. It's suuuper cheap which is amazing since buying food in Denmark is generally very expensive. However, Netto also just gives off weird vibes. It's one of those places that I think could totally survive in the apocalypse and just eerily live on *forever*. It's a really convenient and cheap place to shop, so we all go there a lot, but you also generally don't feel good about the stuff you buy. Like, I'll buy vegetables there that look fine and then get back to the kitchen, look at them, and almost cry a little at how sad and dreary they look. It's not bad food, just not happy food, ya know?
5. Mysterious lack of water fountains
There are no water fountains anywhere in this city, I swear. For a place that is super big on being sustainable and all, they really don't do a good job of supporting the reusable bottle! I always have to try and fit my big water bottle into tiny sinks to fill it up when in not home, so PSA if you're coming here bring a small reusable bottle.
6. It's already Christmas
Christmas in November!! November 1st brings around the Christmas season! Since there is no Thanksgiving here, once Halloween is over it's full on Christmas spirit!! There are already so many Christmas markets popping up all around the city. There are also a lot of Christmas stores that seemed to have materialized out of thin air that are filled to the brim with decorations, goodies, and gifts. It's so much more than I could ever ask for, two whole months of Christmas joy is AMAZING! (Bonus awesomeness, it is already socially acceptable for me to listen to Christmas music!)
7. A City with Small Sidewalk Syndrome
Copenhagen has probably the smallest sidewalks of any city. I swear I think I've walked down the smallest sidewalk, and then I stumble upon an even narrower one somewhere else. The worst part is that there are so many bikers so you can't really just walk into the street when you need to pass someone walking in the opposite direction. There's this moment of awkward eye contact when both of you know someone is going to have to risk their life and step into the bike lane because there's just no way both of you can pass on the sidewalk.
Stay tuned, I'll probably post another installment of #JustDanishThings as I notice more stuff.... :)