Tales from an American girl living in Denmark
I completed my first full week at work, and I already have projects to start on. I’m so happy to jump in right away and have something to dig into. The office we just moved to is a great space, and I really love that we all eat together in the big kantine (cafeteria) that we share with the other design organisations. The food is fresh cooked, nicely presented, and different every day. It is important to note that Thursday is cake day. I was telling my workmates how I feel like I’m eating at a restaurant each day. I’m going to get fat.
Spring is springing here, and I think we’re just days away from this tree blossoming fully in our office courtyard.
On Tuesday Jens and Kigge gave a presentation on gaming design trends in education to a group of top Danish business leaders. Our guests got to try out some of the games, and it was fun to watch a distinguished group of people in their dress clothes start to laugh and play as they engaged with the demos. The presentation part of it was all in Danish, and even though I can’t follow along very well yet, I’m starting to be able to pick out more words and frequent phrases.
Speaking of language learning, I went to my Sprogcenter (language center) interview this week to get placed in Danish language classes. I begin twice weekly classes in May. I was warned that the homework load is considerable. I really like learning languages, though, so I remain undeterred.
Some words are more essential than others. Look at this very important sign. The urgency of it would have me believing this was an ER if not for already knowing what øl means.
You can tell what Danes value by the signs and prominent shops – Øl (beer), Frisør salons (hair salons), and light. I’ll save further discussion of these observations for a dedicated post on the topic.
This is interesting. A Danish “mail truck:”
Over the weekend I decided to revisit a bar I remembered going to with my classmates in 2012 called Temple bar. It’s everything you imagine a neighbourhood bar to be – smokey (I could do without this part), low-key, default hangout. There are soft couches and an area for live music downstairs, reasonable drink prices, and game tables and a good view of the street below from upstairs. It kind of has a university house party vibe, but with people of all ages, more hipsters, and less frat boys.
You know how when you stare into a window for a long time you start to kind of imagine/create a story in your head of what the world inside that place must be like? Maybe you don’t, and I’m just a creep. But my point here is that there is this very strange discrepancy between what you imagine it’s like on the other side versus what it’s really like once you’re sitting on the other side. I think this is becoming a tangent. I’ll get to the story now: From my bedroom window I can see the back door/window to a cafe/bar that backs up to our building’s courtyard and faces the street on the other side. All I can really see is different coloured glass bottles in the window, faint candles, and employees dipping in and out.
I kind of pictured a small, dim, cozy room with a few coffee-stained wooden tables. I was mostly wrong. I went there on Saturday night with my roommate and a friend of hers, and it’s actually a relatively large, two-room space with high ceilings and lots of natural light mixed with the comforting candle ambiance that I expect in almost all Danish places. It did get really crowded later in the night, but for the first hour there it was open and airy with live jazz musicians playing. Serious hygge*. My roommate commented that it felt like a family holiday gathering or something, and it really did.
*Hygge is most basically translated to cozy, but there really isn’t any direct translation. When you’re sitting with your legs pretzel-style on the couch with your three best friends laughing at inside jokes under wool blankets during a blizzard you’re probably experiencing hygge. Hygge auto-corrects to “higgle” EVERY. TIME. I. TYPE. IT. What is a higgle!?
That’s all for now. I will try to make next week’s post a little more coherent.