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Chapter 6. Experiences of 15 interviewees

This is an excerpt from the Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark.
The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark

This chapter summarises 15 interviews that I conducted with other expats to broaden the wealth of impressions and experiences of life in Denmark. The number of participants obviously doesn’t constitute a representative sample, but the responses provide a wide range of different views. It should be mentioned that the opinions expressed do not necessarily coincide with my own.

My interview partners came to Denmark from nine different countries: Austria, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, South Africa, Spain, Turkey and the USA. Most of them live in and around Copenhagen, but some have settled down in southern, central and northern Jutland. A few of the interviewees have moved to Denmark permanently (emigrated) but most of them are only staying in the country temporarily.

I asked all the interviewees the same set of questions. The answers are summarised below in separate sub-sections.

6.1 What do they like / dislike?

+ The country offers enough space, has relatively little traffic and hustle, little pollution, and the air is clean. Being environmentally conscious is a natural part of everyday life for many people.
+ Everything is within easy reach and you never have to travel far to get to beautiful spots. There is easy access to the countryside and the sea and also many opportunities for hiking and strolling. Going sailing and swimming can be easily arranged. The Danish countryside and the naturally preserved beaches are very beautiful.
+ Tap water is drinkable. It is tested regularly, and in most areas it tastes very good. You can also order tap water (poste vand) in restaurants and cafes.
+ The climate is OK, and a nice Danish summer’s day at the seaside is just about the most beautiful thing you can experience ...
... in winter, however, the weather is depressing and the days are short and dark. Ideally, you should be active. Go to the gym, for instance, and to the sauna afterwards. Or use that time of the year to go travelling, thereby escaping the grey. Many Danes do the same.
+ Expats learn to appreciate good weather and to make the best use of it when it is there. As soon as the weather is good, people go outside, while “things that can wait” are duly put on hold.
It is disappointing that Denmark – although a member of the EU – didn’t introduce the Euro – especially since the Danish Crown (DKK) is tied to the Euro.
Danish people seem to understand time differently. If you expect assistance or the immediate execution of a task, Danes seem to consider things on a first-in / first-out basis. This means that urgent matters often need a longer period of time to be completed. So timeframes need mentioning.

Copenhagen has all the facilities of a metropolis, but is still comfortable and small enough to get around on a bicycle.
+ It is a very beautiful city. It is harmonious, and the style of the buildings is maintained, giving the city an almost nostalgic atmosphere.
+ The city is international, and gives easy access to a large international community.
Copenhageners are perceived as somewhat rude, egoistic or “know-it-all“.

Contents of Chapter 6. Experiences of 15 interviewees
6.1 What do they like / dislike?
6.2 What do they miss in Denmark?
6.3 What would they miss from Denmark?
6.4 What would they have done differently?

Previous: Interaction with Danes          Table of contents         Next: Getting started - first steps

Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark

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