I have been wanting to do a post like this for ages: A small collection of – in my opinion – the ‘must watch’ Danish film. I am of course biased, and absolutely love every single film listed below for various reasons.
Here goes, in no particular order:
1. The Celebration (Festen) (1998).
Dogme Classic by Thomas Vinterberg. Uncomfortable, gripping film about a family with unspoken secrets, which all appear at a 60th Birthday party. I love the realness of the film, how the handheld cameras provide a feeling of being right there at the party. It is a story that wants to be told, and no longer ignored.
2. Melancholia (2011)
Another rather strange film from Thomas Vinterbergs partner in crime, Lars Von Trier. Von Trier probably doesn’t need much further introduction. Like him or not, he does have certain abilities of making film that stand out. Melancholia is a gripping story where we follow a dramatic time in a family’s life. And if that wasn’t enough, a giant meteor called Melancholia is steering right at Earth. I loved the images and the time the film takes to tell the story. It is so much more than just another disaster film.
3. The One and Only (Den Eneste Ene) (1999).
A romantic comedy by Susanne Bier. Not exactly my preferred genre, but this one takes the cake. It is genuinely funny with a lovely storyline. It’s biggest strength is the amazing characters this film has, and how an impossible situation turns for the better for everyone involved. It also has Sidste Babett Knudsen in a leading role (aka Birgitte Nyborg from Borgen).
“If your relationship was a car, which one would it be?” (Saying a ‘van’ is probably not the right way to go).
No English subtitles on the trailer unfortunately, such a shame!
4. After The Wedding (Efter brylluppet) (2006).
One more by Susanne Bier, starring Sidse Babett Knudsen (again) and Mads Mikkelsen. A story that goes straight to the heart, the contrast between Indian slum and Danish welfare the battle between loyalty and love. This is one of my all time favourites, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching it.
5. Adams Apples (Adams Aebler) (2005)
A film written and directed by Anders Thomas Jensen, starring Mads Mikkelsen as a slightly disillusioned priest, who tries to guide and help criminal types to rehabilitate. When a neo-nazi joins the group, things start to get out of control. He is told to set a goal for himself, and he decides to bake a giant apple pie using the apples from the tree outside the church. Serious, hilarious and thought provoking, all at the same time.
I could go on almost forever, but perhaps there will be a sequel at some point.
So Denmark won the Eurovision!
I’m not exactly what you would call a Eurovision fan, and having watched it at home in the company of two English-men (sorry Bonnie) there was quite a big lid on the excitement.
I must say that Swedish TV did an amazing job, so Denmark has got a lot to follow up on in that department. I’m sure there are quite a few Danish producers already worrying about their work load in the months to come. I personally think it is a much greater achievement to host a great Eurovision show, than it is to win it with a song.
Congrats to Emilie De Forest (is that not the coolest name ever?) from a dane in the UK!
Exciting! Just received a bunch of CD’s with Joel’s new band Muthurship’s first full album on them. With image and logo done by yours truly.
If you’re into rock/indie/electronic check them out here. I’m completely biased obviously, but they are good!
I have certain revision rules. If I must procrastinate, the only legal reasons are running, cleaning, or baking. Today was baking. After reading this Guardian article about all the not-very-nice things there is being put in our food (human hair anyone?) I decided to try out bread. I’ve never been much of a bread maker, and therefore went into the project with slight reservations about the result. But it ended very happily, and I therefore thought I would share it with you.
50g yeast (I used dried, 1 level table spoon equals 15 grams)
8 table spoons of water
3 dl. milk
2 tablespoons of sugar
0.70g of salt
0.5 dl. olive oil
800 gram flour (I used a mix of white and wholemeal, but it can be done however healthy you wish to be. Would be great to add some seeds too)
-and one egg for glazing.
Mix the yeast with semi-warm water from the tap. Then put the rest of the ingredients in, but only about half the flour. Put the rest in gradually, until the dough is elastic but not sticky.
Make them buns into the shape and size that you wish (I made 12 round ones), let them rise for 10-20 minutes, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 220 degrees. And voila! Bread rolls with no human hair to be seen anywhere.
6 months ago I lived in Bethnal Green. Another 10 months before that I lived in Holloway. Right now I’m in Walthamstow, and in a month and a half I will be moving yet again, although still living in Walthamstow.
The past 3 years I have been a student with a part time job. In about 20 days I will be an ex-student, searching for a new job.
Everything is changing, but it’s definitely for the best. what’s not so great however, is having to show random excited, and prospective new tenants our current fla, starting tonight. Nothing quite so uncomfortable as inviting complete strangers in, and letting them judge your home. I’m going to think happy thoughts, and keep in mind that it is only a necessity on the way to a lovelier home (With a bathtub with lion feet. Yes!). It has also got a small real garden. And a cat-flap. Which immediately made me think of the possibility of getting a cat (obviously). I am in serious deficit in the pet department, having grown up with several dogs, at least 2 cats at any given point, at least horse since I was 10, birds and rabbits. Everyone need animals in their life to be a stable, balanced person.
Now, just to convince my man that this is a brilliant idea!
Chickpeas. Boring, small bean-like round things, you might think. But they are so much more. I’m recently finding myself loving those little things more and more.
Firstly, they are pretty healthy. According to this site they are high in protein, can lower cholesterol, keeps you full for longer, and can be used pretty much for everything. What’s not to love?
Almost every day at uni the past week my lunch have consisted of this simple, but awesome, chickpea salad. And it is really very filling – much more than an expensive sandwich from a shop.
1 can of chickpeas
about 1/3 of a cucumber
8-10 cherry tomatoes (or normal tomatoes)
Feta cheese (amount depends on taste i guess… And how healthy you want it to be).
Chop cucumber and tomatoes finely, add cubes of feta, season with salt and pepper and perhaps any other spice that you like – I personally think a bit of turmeric (which is also very good for you) fits in quite well. And voila! Lunch! Couldn’t be easier, and it is really very tasty.
Another use i’ve recently tried out, is making them into a healthy snack. It was a complete experiement, but turned out rather well. Even my boyfriend liked them despite being quite the crisp/peanut lover, so success!
1 can of chickpeas
2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 table spoon of pepper
1/2 table spoon of salt
1 table spoon of sugar
1 table spoon of hot chili powder (if you’re brave)
Mix it all together and bake on the highest level for 20-25 minutes. I’m sure this would work with some other combination of spices too.
They are hot, but not overwhelmingly. Can definitely recommend you to try this as an alternative to nuts and crisps. I’ll be making them again, that’s for sure.
I’ve bought a new winter coat. In mid March, where I should be buying dresses and sandals. But a winter coat seemed more fitting.
I bought it from my faithful fashion-pusher asos, and you can get it right here. Great price and on sale too!
Time is flying! Where did last week go? This weekend? Winter? Although the weather still thinks it’s winter, it is officially spring. Which means I am finishing my degree sooner that I like to think about (especially all those deadline that are squashed in between now and graduation), will hopefully have something to start job-wise during the summer, and probably another flat-move. Although it’s all very hectic, theres nothing in my future that is not very exiting. And I can’t wait to figure out what’s gonna happen! But, the present is also awesome, and this is a little bit of what has happened recently:
I went for my first run of the year (during those 2-3 hours where it actually felt like spring!). Had lovely evenings at home with a boyfriend who sometimes looked like a smurf in my hats. Went to Scandinavian Kitchen and admired their very cool posters with Lina (If you are in London and haven’t been there, go!). Also bought strong, salty liquorish which is the best in the world, but also something that English people don’t understand. And I went to my first unified communications expo at Olympia to meet the nice people from Shoretel.
I went to a goodbye party (buuh) where they had the best sangria ever (yay!), went to another after party in a house in Walthamstow with many floors and a great view over London once you conquered the stairs (Not easy while carrying a drink I might ad). Went to the Nags head in Walthamstow Village (on a few occasions) and wondered why Tetley The Famous Cat is so famous. And that its a bit much to pay £8 for a book abut a cat named after tea. I have been very tired of always beeing cold and worn big svarved, jumpers, boots and jackets, and dreamt about spring. Have also seen the biggest spider ever (Even bigger that the spiders that used to chase me out of the basement in my childhood home in Denmark) and I screamed so loud that the neighbours probably thought that it was at least at bear. But he was GIANT! No pictures, would not be able to deal with that size spider even in picture form. (Am sitting on the couch he was under right now, and I’m not happy about it. What if he has friends?).
I am currently creating an advertising portfolio for a subject at uni, and one of my favourite advertisers have got to be Lego. Simple, classic, with loads of messages. Their adverts speak to the children and the childish in the simplest way possible and with a great impact. It awakens nostalgia, childhood memories and happy thoughts. And, it makes me want to play with Lego!
My favourite adverts of all time. Cheesy and sentimental - yes. But also humorous and sweet and beautifully created with amazing visuals. In my opinion anyway. The 2013 Super Bowl was no exception. Not a bad way to advertise your brand, through beautiful, powerful, loyal horses.
Sunday evening. I’m watching Back to the Future 2, and trying to figure out which person in the whole world I would like to be for a week for a graduate scheme application. Turns out it’s a very tough question. Therefore, while thinking about it, I though I would round up my 2013 so far.
I have in a moment of insanity impulse shopped a skateboard for Joel. He liked it though, so good things comes out of insanity sometimes. Our living room is taking shape, and we got ourself an (almost) free, brand new futon – Gumtree can be a good invention sometimes. I took a sleepy picture of myself in an elevator (as you do) on way to a lecture, and we spend a bit of quality time a Saturday afternoon at our local pub.
I bought £2 flowers, we got a load of snow here in Walthamstow (which fed the Twitter hashtag “Awesomesnow”), a bunch of lovely friends from Denmark came to visit and sleep in our living room, and we got some more snow.
I made red velvet cookies with a butter/cream-cheese/vanilla filling (recommendable!) Joel made a lemon tart/raspberry creation as a lovely surprise, which I couldn’t eat (I know, I’m just as outraged myself – I can ALWAYS eat cake). Had lovely fresh mint tea and panini at the local cafe in the Village and went out early to buy pastries, cokes and orange juice for 2 hungover brothers.
Library, library and library. It’s all about studying, and sometimes that can drive certain swedes a little crazy. I have watched Denmark do very well in the World Cup in Handball, for then to loose miserably to Spain in the final. It was so painful to watch, that I had to stop watching halfway through the second half. The Tangtastics saved the day though.
Ah! I’m having a day. Yup, one of those days. A day where everything breaks, and nothing works, and it’s all just incredibly difficult.
Woke up. For the first 30 seconds every thing was great, until I turned the light on in the bathroom and the bulb burst. No problem, a few candles here and there, and it was all quite nice again. Although pretty dark. 30 minutes later when I come back to brush my teeth, half of my toothbrush has melted, because of the candle underneath.
Went to uni, was extremely unproductive. Word kept crashing, and Chrome kept saying the internet pages I wanted didn’t respond. Wen’t home again. Decided to unscrew burst lightbulb in the bathroom and go buy a new one. Had to stand on the edge of the bathtub, using one arm to keep my balance and the other to unscrew the bulb. Obviously (Obviously!) I drop the bulb, and it scatters all over the bathroom floor. Lots of not very nice words were said to myself at this point in time, but I carried on, wrapped the remaining piece of bulb and took it with me to find a matching new one.
So i went shopping, bought dinner etc., and probably overfilled the two tiny plastic bags just a slight bit. Both handles on both bags, as a response, decided to break when i was 1/3 of the way home. Managed to get home, squeezed in the front door with groceries everywhere.
And I obviously forgot to buy the lightbulb.
I shall touch nothing for the rest of the day. Hope the rest of you out there are having a less challenging Wednesday than I am.
When I came across this article the other day, I was in a mindset of feeling let down, being disappointed as well as realising some things, that I may not have wanted to realise previously. I was doing a lot of thinking, and came across this list from Time by chance. I found it quite inspiring. All the points are something that I personally forget once in a while, and I think they are worth a read. And a bit of thinking. No one is perfect, no life is perfect, but I can honestly say that I am happy. Deep down inside I am happy, and I think every person deserves to feel happy. If you are not, then maybe one of the points on the list is why? Who knows. Maybe it’s a flaw in you that you have overseen, maybe a flaw in the people you surround yourself with. Changes are positive, even if they might not seem to be in the beginning. Some people and places will be constant, others will come in and out of your life. But what counts, is right now, and the future.
People make mistakes. Employees don’t meet your expectations. Vendors don’t deliver on time.
So you blame them for your problems.
But you’re also to blame. Maybe you didn’t provide enough training. Maybe you didn’t build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon.
Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn’t masochistic, it’s empowering–because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time.
And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.
No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all “things.” People may like your things–but that doesn’t mean they like you.
Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.
When you’re afraid or insecure, you hold on tightly to what you know, even if what you know isn’t particularly good for you.
An absence of fear or insecurity isn’t happiness: It’s just an absence of fear or insecurity.
Holding on to what you think you need won’t make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will.
Interrupting isn’t just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to you so I can understand what you’re saying; I’m listening to you so I can decide what I want to say.”
Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better.
If something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you’ll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now.
Yeah, you’re the boss. Yeah, you’re the titan of industry. Yeah, you’re the small tail that wags a huge dog.
Still, the only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you’ve decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs.
Yeah, you’re more educated. Yeah, you’re more experienced. Yeah, you’ve been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons.
That doesn’t make you smarter, or better, or more insightful.
That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind, but in the end, just you.
Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging.
The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything–and to tell people everything you think you know.
The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.
Then let it go.
We’re all afraid: of what might or might not happen, of what we can’t change, or what we won’t be able to do, or how other people might perceive us.
So it’s easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.
A hop, a skip, a cab, a bus and a plane on Wednesday morning, and hello Denmark. It’s time leave London and coursework behind for a while, and head to a few days with family, Danish friends, peace and quiet and holidays. And hopefully snow! Contrary to popular perception, Denmark normally has no snow during Christmas, but the last few years it’s been more likely than ever before. Right now there’s about 15 cm of snow, which is pretty good considering the time of year. 2 years ago, in 2010, there were loads of snow and minus 18 degrees. So cold, that after spending 5-10 minutes outside your skin hurts and you can’t feel your nose. I like it
Christmas in Denmark is in many ways very different than in England. The basic values are pretty similar, such as spending time with family and eat loads of good food (and preferably gain a few kilos – otherwise you haven’t done it well enough).
The one thing that English people normally find the weirdest about a Danish Christmas, is the fact that we join hands and walk around the christmas tree on christmas eve (the 24th, red.). And sing Christmas songs, while walking. Granted, it is a bit weird. But if you think about it, this normally happens after a massive dinner and dessert, and is therefore a handy little way of burning some of all that duck and sugar potatoes and sauce that was just eaten. In the hardcore families you gotta sing ALL the verses of ALL the songs. It’s normally the elderly people who thinks this is a brilliant idea, while the children (and childish) could easily do with the first and last verse of some of the songs – And maximum one song choice per person. In my family the dog joins in too, and wanders around the christmas tree with a look on his face that we must all have gone bonkers.
After the christmas tree singing fun, some people (including one part of my family) like to run around the entire house holding hands forming a chain. Every room must be visited (first person in turns the light on, last person of the chain turns it off) and this fast tempo song is being sung (“Now it’s christmas again, now it’s christmas again, and christmas last until easter – Not it’s not true, no it’s not true, because in between is the fasting” – Yes, this makes no sense, and yes, works much better in Danish. Must be repeated until the entire house has been visited). After the exercise it’s time to open presents, eat more candy and chocolate, until everybody eventually passes out on the sofa. The 25th is mostly spend relaxing, enjoying presents, and eating some more.
I can’t wait! and I’m really hoping it will look like it did in december 2010 (featuring Buster the dog)
All pictures belong to me, do not use without permission.
Well, I guess that might depend on your definition of dead. Ever since we moved in on the 26th of October, we have been without broadband. Now you’re probably thinking – are there really people out there with no internet? And yup, there are. I’ve been one of those people for the past month. Well, we have had a ‘dongle’ which has been helpful but mostly just frustrating.
But in 4 days things will be different. We’ll be back in the group of people who has broadband, and it will be amazing.
In just a weeks time, Joel and I will be grabbing all our stuff, leaving our current homes behind, and moving in to a one bedroom flat in Walthamstow. Another new neighborhood to be discovered. Looking for places in London, it seems a bit random where you actually end up. This time around we have seen places in Tuffnell Park, Camden, Muswell Hill (of which all were either in a bad state, very small, no windows in the bathroom, or a weird little green sink in the corner of the living room). But we ended up with the smelliest flat we viewed. Smelly, because when we viewed it, the lady that was living there showed us around. And as the agent has warned us she had a ‘puppy’ in there, which was why she was moving. When he told us that I think we both pictured a tiny little, innocent, cute dog of some kind. But when she opened the door to the flat we were met by a 1 metre tall, drooling and extremely excited 9 months old mastiff (or something similar), who was obviously overly excited to have visitors. As we tried to view the flat he was jumping all around, and although the flat was the spaciest of the ones we had seen, it definitely wasn’t spacious enough for a dog that size. The smelly part came from all the dog breath, and the fact that I don’t think the place had been aired ever since she got the dog. He would probably take any chance to jump out of a window if she opened one to be fair.
So needless to say the flat needed a big overhaul. We were gutted after viewing it though, as the basics of the flat were exactly what we were looking for. Big rooms, bright, separate living room, etc. We told the agent about our experience, and he asked us to email over a list of improvements they would have to do, in order for us to be interested. So we did. A long list. And then we tried to forget about it, as we thought we were too demanding. But as it turned out the management company were happy to do all that we asked, and we ended up with a flat. Fingers crossed the ‘puppy’ doesn’t come with it!
As the summer comes to an end, I must say, despite the weather it’s been an awesome one. Not much travel this time around (yay to being a poor student) but lots of quality time spend with the best of people.
The last weekend with real hot summer weather was spend in a little village just outside of London, with the last barbeque of the year, and late summer evenings in front of a fire. In just 3 days I’m back to uni, which also means that Autumn is here, and soon winter. Thankfully, being a dane I guess, I am actually looking forward to cosy evening inside and the fresh, cold mornings.
I recently spend a few weeks with Ketchum Pleon as an intern. Apart from having a great two weeks and learning lots of valuable real life PR, I also had a few conversations with some professionals that challenged my future planning.
Ever since I started my bachelor degree I always though that I would do a master afterwards. An investment in my future, which would eventually pay back. I never decided precisely which one, or which precise area, but since I only have one year to go on my bachelor I started thinking and researching possibilities. But after my internship I’ve started wondering if a master is the right way to go if you want to work in PR. A few professionals told me it would be unnecessary and that it wouldn’t make a big enough difference to justify taking another year as a student. They mentioned that in the long run it is the experience that counts, and that considering my age (26) it would be wiser for me to get out there in the real PR world. They did mention though, that if I really want to do a master, at least work for a few years, make sure I like the work I do, and then possibly do one part time if it is relevant.
So yeah, my world and beliefs have been turned upside down a little, which is not a bad thing. Do you really need a degree to work in Public Relations? Opinions are of course different. Some employers will say that a degree is vital, whereas others will value creativity, experience and drive much higher. But even if a PR degree is not vital, surely the basic skills you learn during 3 years at university will be useful. Presentation skills, persuasion, self-motivation, team work and presenting ideas to others. Most people I’ve talked to have acknowledged this, but also said that 3 years is more than enough to learn the theory of PR – In fact most said that 2 years would do. The rest comes from getting out there and actually doing it, again, and again and again.
But getting a job is all about being different – Have skills that no one else have, have experience, been involved in relevant projects. I thought, maybe wrongly, that a master would do the same for you. Considering that tuition fees are now so high that it will put most people in debt by at least £20.000 once they are finished at university, it makes sense for many professions to offer alternatives – hence PRCA offering apprenticeship schemes. But is that more valuable than a university degree?
As I looked through LinkedIn and went through some of the professionals’ educational background it became clear that many of them didn’t have a degree in anything coming close to PR or Marketing. But they had experience. Some of the younger professionals did have degrees, and compared to the older people in the field, a much larger percentage. I guess this means a PR degree is becoming more common, but for it to be valuable it needs to be combined with experience and drive, and a knowledge of everything affecting the clients you might work with – not just dry facts of how to build a press release.
I have, right now, been 26 for 6 days, 9 hours and 23 minutes. In that time, I’ve shared a bottle of champagne with my love, been to a delicious Indian restaurant, had cakes with my housemates, spend an evening in Victoria Park with friends, chilled out on a terrace outside London, enjoyed the silence, slept a lot, worked a bit, been to 2 gigs, and generally just been a happy bunny. If this is what 26 looks like, I’m in!
But with birthdays comes questions. Panicky questions mostly, and rather existential, almost going as far as ‘what is the meaning of life’ sort of questions. When ever I tell people my age, the reaction I’ve had most times is ‘Ah, you’re just a baby!’, which, although nice, is also a bit worrying, as it must mean I still don’t have a clue as to what is going on. I’ve learned that it’s better not to moan about age, as there is always someone older who will shame you for it, or, someone will reply with the standard comment ‘Well, it’s better than being dead!’.
You can do a lot of things in 26 years. This guy for example, spend 26 years solving the Rubik’s cube. Although that’s quite an achievement, I’m quite happy I didn’t spend my last 26 years doing that. Looking back, I’m actually not quite sure what I have done. I guess I’ve spend most of the time growing up and doing things that everybody does. But every single thing, every small choice, every conversation, and every person who has been in my life in those years have shaped me into what I am today.
So what will my 26 year be like? It’s hard to say really. I do have a few objectives though;
-Finish my degree. This time next year I’ll be close to my graduation ceremony, hopefully with a result I’ll be happy with.
-Find out which master to do, and if I want to do one straight away, or if I want to do one at all. This is quite a big one.
-Stop living in a houseshare. This will be the end of an era, and I honestly cannot wait to share a flat with my love.
-Do more exercise. It just has to be said…. and done, hopefully.
-Possibly get a proper job. This depends on the master-thing though. I can’t wait to find a job that I actually like (Well, fingers crossed).
-Paint a lot more, which has already been initiated, and it feels awesome.
But really, anything is possible. Bring it on 26!
I have since October 2011 volunteered in the making of a short documentary/drama about 80′s Islington. I had it recommended from a teacher at uni, and it immediately caught my interest. The small theatre company Blueprint Theatre received funding from the national lottery, and decided to use the money to create a film involving their local area, and giving young volunteers a chance to take part in every step of the process.
We have been through interview technique training, scriptwriting, a film workshop with production company Mouth That Roars, interviews with local residents, research on the 80′s in Islington, and of course filming on locations with director Carlo Ortu and his crew. It has been a great experience, and definitely very interesting to see how a film is made completely from scratch, and being part of the creative process from start to finish.
Monday the 25th of June was the day of the premiere. The film was screened at Angel’s everyman cinema “Screen on the Green” to a large audience sipping cold white wine, and getting a peak into how life was in Islington in the 80′s, packed into a story-line of the missing Toni Sling (anagram of Islington), and the urban myth about her disappearing.
And should any of you be interested in seeing the film (I feature very shortly, walking away from the camera with a red bag, and on the end credits), you can see it here, from the end of June (It should be up later today) The Blueprint Theatre.
Please also do yourself the favour and check out Carlo Ortu’s short film “Last Man on Earth” – it is definitely worth a few minutes of your time.<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/25231263″>The Last Man On Earth (2011)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/carloortu”>carlo ortu</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
I grew up in Denmark, but have lived in London since April 2007. Although I by now feel very much at home here, and very used to the English way of life, there are still differences that spring to mind. Obviously there are the major differences, such as politics etc., but I have for long been wanting to make a list over the more everyday differences I have noticed since I came here. Get ready for stereotyping (with a smile).
This one is probably pretty obvious. The national English fry up is still a struggle for me. I mean, sausages, baked beans, eggs and -horror of horrors- mushrooms, at the crack of dawn. Yikes. If I’ve been up for a few hours I can perhaps deal with it, but on a much smaller scale than any proper Englishman. I don’t think I will ever learn it. The reason for this might be that I pretty much grew up on cold porridge with sugar and raisins. In Denmark kids are told that it will make them grow “big and strong”, just as rye-bread will. A typical cafe-brunch in Denmark would probably consist of yoghurt with muesli, scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh fruit. Slightly English inspired after all, but not quite as hardcore. I do know that most English won’t have a fry-up every morning, but I have a feeling that eggs are a must for many English. A traditionally Danish breakfast will involve a shot of sticky brown alcohol called ‘Gammel Dansk’ (Old Danish). Cheers!
If you counted all the words a mediocre Dane say in a day, and compare them to how many words an English (or possibly any other given european country to be honest) say in a day, I reckon the dane will only speak about half the amount of the English. Danes generally don’t say anything unless they actually have something important to say. We are good at talking about the weather though, just like the English, but that is about as far as small-talk will go. After that we just stand there and wait for the next important thing we want to say. The Danish philosophy seems to be that if you don’t have anything to say, why talk? If we do find ourselves being caught in awkward silence (Mostly only around people we have just met), a small ‘Mmmmm’ as conversation filler will be sufficient.
3. ‘Please’ and ‘Excuse me’
-Is not really existing in the Danish language. Since I’ve come to England I find myself feeling extremely rude whenever I go to Denmark, as there is no Danish word for please. So, if a Dane go to a shop and wants to buy a bottle of wine, the sentence would be “Can I have a bottle of wine?” and not “Can I have a bottle of wine, please?”. I realise this might make us seem rude, but we’re not really. We are just missing a word. ‘Excuse me’ is used slightly more, but it is not one of our preferred phrases, as it seems to be for the English (at least Londoners).
4. Going out
In England, as far as I know, going out mostly mean going to the pub or a bar. sometimes straight after work, or perhaps after dinner. Quite early, meaning that the English can also leave quite early and be home and to bed at a reasonable time (preferably catching the last tube around midnight). In Denmark, the night will often start with a ‘warm-up’ party. Meaning ‘get as drunk as possible, to save money once you go out’. Considering that a pint of beer can reach £6 in Denmark in some nightclubs, this seems reasonable. If you can find a pub in Denmark, it will often be used by locals and regulars only, and the regular dane won’t go there. If they want a drink earlier in the evening the choice is often a cafe-bar sorta place. Nightclubs (of which some are branded ‘pubs’ normally don’t open until 11pm, and they won’t be busy until 1am. On the other hand they probably won’t close until 7am, when the hardcore party goers will go to ‘morning-bars’ where you can get a drink while having breakfast before going home to bed while the sun is coming up.
Okay, this one is random, but it must be mentioned. An English hotdog normally consists of bread, a sausage and soft fried onions. The end. A Danish hotdog consists of bread, sausage, ketchup mustard, remoulade, fresh onions, crispy fried onions and pickles in a neat line on the top. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed when I had my first english hotdog. The place they are sold varies too. English hotdogs are mostly (In London anyway) sold at small street stalls. Danish hotdogs are sold on the street too, but from a so-called ‘sausage-wagon’. Yup. It’s like a small trailer that can be moved around, and where the ‘sausage-man’ (that’s what we call them in Danish, freely translated) can stand inside and serve his customers.
One thing English and Danes do have in common though, is the belief that if our respective countries didn’t exist…. the world would probably collapse.
After having finished exams, all you really want is to kick back and forget all about them for a while. A trip to Denmark was therefore much welcomed, even if I have seen it all several times before. I took an English-man with me, and it was great fun showing him around and seeing his reactions to “disgusting fish” (herring, which for the record, I can understand that non-danish people find really weird), Danish style bbq’s, tivoli, and loads of new people.
Despite a rocky start and a 3am wake-up call to catch a coach to Stansted, we made it to Vejle, where my dad met us in the airport. Quick drive to my dad’s little farm in the middle of nowhere (apart from fields and forests) and a quick danish breakfast (meaning rolls with cheese, jam, butter, etc.) followed by a much needed nap.
The next few days were spend taking the dog Buster for walks, visiting Vejle and the surrounding areas, some driving (yay!), going to the seaside, seeing my mothers newly bought boat (which she still can’t sail), avoiding awkward questions (my parents are pros), and eating lots of great food, cake, and drinking Tuborg. Not bad, hey?
Saturday we spend the day at my uncles 60th, with bbq, loads (!!) of cake, red wine and beer non-stop, and of course the Denmark – Netherlands match. What is it with people, who normally have no interest what so ever in football, suddenly becoming experts as soon as the national team is playing? Can’t imagine how it must be to be a non-danish speaking person at a danish birthday party, but as the day progressed and bottles of wine emptied one by one, more and more
questionable English was spoken. We went home feeling absolutely stuffed to the max, and probably quite a bit heavier.
The day after the Danish adventure moved to Copenhagen for a few days in the capital. It was a great time and the weather decided to treat us with some sunshine. I might be biased, but I find Copenhagen pretty amazing. I have never lived there myself, but if I was ever to move back to Denmark at some point, this would probably be the place I would go. Although being quite a big city (1.5 million) it is pretty relaxed. People sipping beers or coffee outside cafes, loads of bicycles and fewer cars, broad streets and fresh air, lots of canals and the sea nearby. What’s not to love? We spend the days seeing a few of my danish friends, touristing around, saying hi to the Mermaid, laying in a park watching the skies float by, walking around the streets, eating ice creams, and of course tivoli. Could easily have spend a few more days, but we’ll just have to return again sometime.