There’s the ones (the vast majority) that exclaim “Denmark?? No way!! That’s where my ancestors are from! Yes! My family is Danish! We have abelskeevers all the time!” – Cute. And hey! Good pronunciation!
Then there’s the next to largest group that immediately say “Oh Denmark is amazing! It’s so cute with the tulips and the wind mills!” – Bless them. Not much to say to that. … Then they turn to Marcus and say “Sweden looks beautiful too! I’ve always wanted to see the Alps!”
Then there’s the smallest group that seem so hard to find that you actually get as excited about them as they are about you. These are the people who have actually been to Denmark or at least have their facts straight. They may know about Hans Christian Andersen and his stories. They may know about Danish history and may express a desire to visit our medieval castles. They may comment on the Danish nature and even call it “idyllic” and “just like a fairytale”.
Well I’ve never given much thought to the fairytale part myself, but now that I’ve lived abroad for a year and have experienced coming back here.. I have to say Denmark has never seemed as idyllic or fairytalish to me as it does now.
I have taken the liberty to note down a few things that have really stood out to me.
So in Hawaii there were a lot of birds. A lot. And big too. My parents would often ask when we were Skyping whether we’d gotten a bird, because they could hear the big tropical birds just outside our window. So it’s not like we didn’t wake up to choirs of tweeting every morning this past year. But boy, when I came home. And I had to get up every two hours to go to the bathroom and opened my window to cool down the room… there is just nothing like the way birds sing at 4am here. Talk about the most peaceful happy sound you every heard! Like you’re right there walking through the forest with your favorite Disney princess.
After 8 months in humid Hawaii and 2 months in dry dry Utah, the very first thought that came to my mind when I stepped out of the airport in Copenhagen was how it felt like I was breathing fresh air for the first time in almost a year. I don’t know what it is… maybe the fresh ocean breeze that you can’t escape anywhere in the country… or maybe a perfect balance of humidity.. or maybe just because this is where I grew up. I don’t know, but it is really quite amazing!
I’ve noticed how a lot of tourists in Denmark comment on how incredibly green it is here. My mom still talks about how beautiful she thinks Denmark is because of this. Growing up I always thought that just made Denmark boring, but after – yes, even after – living in beautiful lush paradise Hawaii I must admit that Denmark is quite beautiful. I can’t quite describe it, but it’s almost as if Hawaii was a wild kind of green and Denmark is more like the King’s gardens compared. And then enjoying it while breathing that fresh fresh air and listening to the birds in the background….! Mmm!
Yes, I must bring this up as my last point. I’m sorry folks but Danish food is really the stuff. Oh and especially after being in the states! I thought it would be like Food Heaven in the US – but turned out I hadn’t tried living there yet. No matter what you say – no restaurant meal beats a homemade one made from scratch. It just doesn’t. High-five to Europe!
When people asked me as a kid whether I felt more Danish or American, I would usually answer American. In truth certain elements of the Danish culture do make me feel more American. I always expected and imagined I would get married and move away from here forever and not look back – and I was fine with that. But turns out I just missed being around reserved rough traditional danes that could never dream of uttering the word “whoop”. I have to say I am very surprised that I reacted this way as soon as I was gone.
I guess I love Denmark