I’ll have a post coming out soon on my first week in Denmark, but first, here’s a post of all my first impressions.
- The clothes here are made to fit tall, slender people. This makes clothes shopping a whole lot easier for me.
- I can pass for a Dane if I only have to say minimal Danish. This can be interesting, as strangers will automatically speak Danish to me. When I was in Koldinghus, the police came up to me to let me know that I could take pictures with my phone, unprompted. I could figure out what he was saying, but it’s a different experience having the police coming up to you without you asking when you are in a foreign country.
- All Danish chocolate and ice cream puts American sweets to shame. This goes name wise (Holly bars are a thing here), but mostly as far as how they taste. The chocolate is less sugary and tastes more like chocolate, which I am not complaining about.
- The whole less sugary and more flavor thing applies to the rest of Danish food. I never liked ketchup in the US, but the ketchup in Denmark takes more like tomatoes and less sweet, so I can handle it. Rugbrød is actually quite good, especially with Pikant – a better version of vegetable cream cheese – and hamburgryg. I also highly appreciate Pålægschokolade, or thin slices of chocolate that is eaten with butter on bread. I tried herring, and it was interesting. I am not brave enough to try leverpostej yet, though I may have that adventure some day. Already, I do not know how I will go back to American food.
- Biking here is hardcore. I truly mean hardcore. It’s such a big deal that my Rotary club has gotten a bike for me to use as an exchange student. My first time on a bike was quite interesting, as the seat was much higher than I am used to. However, now that the seat is at a good height, I can handle it now and bike everywhere like the typical Dane. There are special bike lanes, and I am anticipating having to bike a lot in the future.
- All of the Danes I have met so far are nice and helpful, and I am grateful to see a little bit of Minnesotan nice on the other side of the world. It’s one of the ways that Minnesota and Denmark are pretty similar.
- Speaking of Minnesota, I have a theory (that may be completely wrong) about how Minnesotans got their accent. I have noticed that when I speak English after speaking Danish, I sound more Minnesotan than I ever have. Minnesota has deep Scandinavian roots, so I think it might have to be something with that.
- My host families are wonderful! Right now I am staying with the Jørgensons, where I have my host parents and sister. They are all very nice, and I already feel at home. The also are willing to help me out as I go through the first stages of adapting to the Danish culture, which I am very grateful for. Also, they have two cats named Jersey and Rasmus, and if you look on my Facebook you might be able to find pictures of them sleeping in strange places. My second family is the Birk Jensens, who I just met with. In that family I will have four brothers and one sisters, as four of them are quadruplets! I know I will have a good time staying with them.
- Denmark is very flat, and quite rainy. It’s not bad for me temperature wise since I am used to much colder in Minnesota. It is going to take a while to adjust to all the rain, but it’s definitely an easier transition than if I were going to a warmer climate.
- My school is larger than Frazee High School, which had 72 students in our graduation class. In contrast, Haderslev Katedreskole has a little less than 1,000 students, and a total of fifteen exchange students! There is at least another exchange student in my class, maybe two, which is Math-Chemistry-Biology. That track was given to me because that was basically my entire high school experience. I am happy to be studying something I am more than familiar with, and am quite excited for school on Monday.
Farvel for nu!