What’s my life like in Denmark right now, you ask? How has your daily life been altered now that you’re living in a foreign country, you inquire?
Well, it’s mostly like being at home except that people assume I speak Danish and at night I don’t have to go polish silverware and try not to break glasses while cleaning tables (I’m very grateful for the job I had, it allowed me to save enough to be doing this, so…thank you).
This morning I woke up and wandered to Nørreport again, this time by myself. I arrived, wandered through one of the giant glass buildings that houses many little stands filled with food, spices, Christmas pastries and more until I found The Coffee Collective. It was one of the places Henry had highly recommended to me, saying it was expensive but well worth it—it was perhaps the best cup he had consumed in the months he had been in Denmark. I considered the stand, crowded with locals, and became overwhelmed at the thought of trying to speak English to some Danes to order coffee (probably incorrectly) in a country where I didn’t know how it was normally prepared.
Across the way was another spot, slightly less crowded and with a croissant half covered in chocolate that I could hear calling to me. I stood hesitantly in line and debated whether or not to try ordering in Danish. My turn came and, having not yet made up my mind on which language to speak, a somewhat mumbled version of “kaffen og chocolate croissant” came out. The woman working looked at me and said, “what?” so I asked again, in English, and she gave me a very convoluted sentence about how their coffee machine worked and why it was imperative to know if I wanted mælk or not. “No, just small, no milk, please.” “Okay.”
She got the coffee and pastry and came back, asking me while I was paying where I was from. “America,” I said shyly. “Really? That is surprising to me, because your English is not very good.” Stunned into a sort of silence, I took my spoils and headed to the window where I was quickly distracted by the perfection of the new moment. Rain poured outside; I was protected from the elements but graced with a lovely view of a moving city. The coffee was, much to my surprise and delight, a delicious brew and the chocolate croissant…well, perfection is hard to describe.
Later that evening I headed to meet Henry and the two of us journeyed to Props Coffee Shop (located on my favorite street: Blågårdsgade) which is also a bar, like many coffee shops in this city. The tiny shop was lit with candles, stacks of blankets were stationed by the door and the cozy atmosphere was completed with an acoustic version of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend”.
So far, I’m quite happy with the coffee scene here.
The parents of the child Henry teaches English to sent this lovely Christmas gift for the two of us. It currently lives on the windowsill, unlit as per the house rules. But it’s a lovely addition of hygge to a Danish home.