some observations about copenhagen.

So I realise that it has been quite a while since I updated, particularly on what life has been like. I’m nearing the one month mark, so I thought I would write a little bit about what I’ve been up to, and a couple of things that I’ve noticed. It’s a pretty dry post in terms of pictures (there is one at the end, I promise!), but more will be coming soon for sure!!

After my first day I wrote up a couple of things that have been sitting in a document on my computer, and I’ve added some more now that I’ve been here a little longer.

  1. Bilka does not stock Skittles. I am not sure if this is a prevalent attitude in Denmark, or if Bilka just has something against Skittles. They have M&Ms aplenty, just not Skittles it seems. (And yes, of course, this is very important.) Good thing I brought one packet from home! I still haven’t found a place that has sold Skittles! :( Thanks to Mum and Dad who are bringing me some more. :)
  2. While Australian powerpoints consist of a little on/off switch that we flick to know whether the powerpoint is on/off, in Copenhagen (and I am assuming throughout the rest of Copenhagen), the switch that serves the same function takes up an entire panel on its own. At first, my inexperience thought that it was in fact a light switch…
  3. Danish pillows are square. While a little bit strange to me, used to my rectangular pillow, and with my rectangular pillow case, this has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because all of their square pillows are quite soft. Crammed inside my pillow case, and problem solved. The smaller case has ‘densified’ the pillow, making it absolutely perfect.
  4. Something that is not so much an observation, but more a failure of my adjustment skills, is that, as you may be aware, cars on Danish roads drive on the opposite side of the road as to what we Australians are used to. For me and my lack of adaptability thus far, this is has led to a lot of anxiety when crossing the road, even when there are no cars present. The stress of remembering which way to turn my head before I step onto the road will no doubt be my eventual downfall… :P I’m still working on this one! Just today I looked the wrong (right?) way…
  5. I have mentioned this before, but I shall elaborate. The guidebooks made me quite aware how long days were in the summer. However, I was not prepared for the balmy conditions that greeted me. The sun at 5pm is like the sun at 1pm during an Australian summer, altogether quite a nice, yet confusing experience. While the heat is somewhat offset by the breezey-ness, there are no windows in my room and there is only a door that leads out on to the balcony, which we are not meant to leave open, without propping it open wth something. Contrast that with the warning not to put stuff on the balcony, and therein lies a problem. The weather has certainly become more interesting. The past week has been a bit cloudy and rainy. But it’s strange, because there are some moment of sunshine, like this afternoon, after a particularly cloudy and windy day, the sun came out to play for a little while.
  6. THERE ARE WHEELY BASKETS. I think this is genius. Shopping baskets are by no means the most comfortable of things to carry, particularly when it starts to get full. Also, you never usually carry more than one, right? But wheely baskets solve every problem. 1) You don’t ever have to really feel how heavy it is, except that it takes that little bit more effort to pull it along; 2) If you’re a ninja, you could ideally push/pull 2 baskets, giving you more space to load up your shopping. And sometimes you kind of need that!

As for living here, I’m getting quite settled. There are a lot of things that I had to do upon arrival.

  • Registration: Getting your CPR number is pretty much the first thing that you have to do. Everyone in Denmark has one, and a lot of services require you to produce your CPR number.
  • Bank account: I went with Danske Bank, and had to pay 300 kr. Other people have told me that it should be free and what not, but for me, I think it was better to get it done, so that I could get money transferred over. I’m still waiting on my PIN though for my MasterCard, and that is something that I shall be chasing up tomorrow…
  • Moving in: Sure, moving in seems quite simple, but the difficulty is trying to feel at home in a new place. I am going to be living here for almost 6 months, so I have to get a little bit comfortable. It’s strange trying to get used to putting things in the ‘right’ place, and trying to figure out where exactly that right place is. It’s difficult trying to work a washing machine and dryer different from your own, where everything seems to be in Danish. Feeding myself has definitely been an interesting one. A few days go by when I can’t be bothered to try to cook, and I just eat sandwiches. Then some days, I spend a while trying to make something, with the result being 10 minutes worth of eating. As a student, it’s hard to go to the shops and look at things and struggle to decide what is really essential, and what I can do without. What are the things that I can just… figure out another solution for, without having to buy things for it? Yesterday, I changed up the layout of my room, moving my bed and the small table around, because it was just not feeling right. And I have to say, I did a little bit of shopping today, but now I feel like everything is finally in order.
  • KU stuff: I have started Danish classes (more about that later) but we’ve also had our first taste of an orientation. On Monday 9th August we headed over to sit down at a huge Orientation Meeting, seeing (mostly) the entire exchange cohort for the first time all together. They gave us an introduction into all the things that we should be doing as exchange students, as well as an introduction to some of the activities and things that the university offered. While it was somewhat informative, it was information that we probably should have already known, and was readily available already on the international office website anyway. We were also given the chance to pick up our ID cards as well as the invite for the Matriculation Ceremony in September. Invite I got, but my ID card did not appear to be in the pile. When I headed to the Admissions Office today, I was told that it was still not ready. I am apparently waiting on an email to tell me to pick it up…

As I mentioned before, I have started Danish classes! It’s a three week intensive course, 9-12.30 everyday, but it’s been pretty good so far. Danish is definitely a difficult language to learn, both in terms of pronunciation and grammar. Luckily, we have a good teacher, Anna, and she’s pretty patient with our repeatedly horrendous pronunciation. Unfortunately, this does mean having to do homework, which is something that I should be getting onto right now! I’m enjoying it though, and even considering taking it on for the semester… although I can imagine that it could only get more difficult… It’s been a good chance to get to meet people though. My class has quite a number of Aussies, a lot of them from USyd, and pretty much everyone is in their final year, which makes me feel like rather a young’un. Also, a number of people from my class actually live at the same kollegiet as I do, at Signalhuset, so that’s kind of cool too. :)

Anyway, while I could launch into an essay about the composition of our class (in Danish too, if you’d like!), I really should get on to looking at infinitive and present tenses… >< Wish me luck!

københavns universitet, city campus, main hall at frue plads.

As the Danish say, hej hej!
Which actually means bye.
Even though hej means hello.
I did say it was difficult, didn’t I? :)


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  • Comments (5)
    • rach
    • August 17th, 2010

    lol that was interesting! :)
    dude u do know that some supermarkets here have those wheelie baskets!??! hahaha. :)

    • shanaya
    • August 18th, 2010

    ohhh ive been waiting for this kind of post. the day today stuff that you dont expect.

    lol at your lack of skittles!! atleast they have m@ms =)

    if theres two powerpoints, are there 2 panels of switches? or 2 switches on one panel? or one switch that turns both powerpoints on or off?

    YEEAAHHH!!! like square pillows. thats the kinda stuff you have to experience when you get there and not just read about from travelbooks! also lol at you shoving them all in..

    if you need 2 wheely baskets, cant you just use a trolley?

    “Moving in…I am going to be leaving here for almost 6 months, so I have to get a little bit comfortable.”
    leaving here? freudian slip?
    also does html work on this..

    see thats why i hate cooking! so much effort. and then its eaten so quickly..

    yay for meeting people in class who live around you. have fun with that homework =)

    the hello goodbye thing is stupid. it reminds me of that miss congeniality scene where shes asking miss hawaii about aloha being used for hello and goodbye and not being able to shut someone up with it..

      • misselty
      • August 20th, 2010

      no, there’s only one powerpoint. but i have two, just on different sides of the room.

      well apparently they do sell normal rectangle ones, but they’re less common….?

      you need to deposit for the trolley. and that’s just annoying.

  1. You can buy skittles in 7-eleven ;) since you probably won’t find it in any supermarkets.

      • misselty
      • September 2nd, 2010

      oh reaaaaaally! this is good to know. i will definitely have to check it out!
      and yeah, no supermarkets like skittles. i wonder why that is….. :(

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