It’s time for an expat portrait again! You guys have already met Melanie, a fellow Copenhagen blogger who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during The Hive Blogging Conference in May, when I introduced her in the writers’ blog hop last month.
If you’re an expat in Denmark and would like to be featured, just drop me a line!
Melanie, 39, is originally from the UK and pretty much a Copenhagener by naturalization by now - she’s been living here since 2008. She lives in Østerbro with her family, and if you haven’t done so yet, you should stop by her lovely blog, Dejlige Days. You can also find her on Facebook.
What is your favorite thing about living in Denmark?
I think it is the outdoor nature of my life here. I cycle everywhere and really take in the world around me. I love living close to the sea and green spaces.
What do you miss most from your home country?
There is very little I miss from my home country, but I do miss living closer to my friends and I also miss great steak and kidney pies.
If you could describe Denmark in 3 words, which would you use?
Friendly, relaxed and healthy.
In your opinion, what is the weirdest or funniest thing Danes do?
I have lived here a long time so most things I thought were strange have become normal for me but at the start I thought single duvets on double beds a bit strange and now we have them too. (editor’s note: You should read her post on becoming Danish which has a lot of funny anecdotes!)
What is your favorite Danish food? What is the worst?
I love smørrebrød, all pastries and herring but what is up with the obsession with flavouring everything with liquorice? I also can’t stand the smell and taste of meat frikadeller.
Which Danish tradition would you like to keep even if you move away from Denmark in the future?
We did live in Germany for a while and we still ate a traditional Danish Christmas dinner, a tradition we adopted the first Christmas here. I love it, so much tastier than a traditional British Christmas meal and it leaves you nicely full and not excessively bloated.
What are your favorite three places in Denmark or the Danish city you live in?
That is a tough one but I think it has to be the Landbohøjskolen Have, for relaxing, Christiania, for its vibrancy and peaceful parts by the water and the Round Tower, for amazing views of the city whatever the season.
What is the most important thing you have learned during your time as an expat in Denmark?
To relax and make time to enjoy life. People in the UK rush around too much and seem to have no time for just being. I used to be like that and when we first moved here someone said living in Copenhagen is like living life in third gear and I understand what they mean. My life is much more relaxed here.
Which advice would you give someone considering to move to Denmark?
Don’t listen to the negative voices about Copenhagen and get out there and find places and people in the city you enjoy. Don’t expect to make best friends with Danes overnight but expect a lot of trust and respect from others, which should be returned and not abused. Finally don’t look back and compare Denmark with your home country but enjoy what is new here.
Finally, we all have a love-hate relationship with the Danish language. What is your favorite Danish word, and what does it mean?
I love most words with Ø in them simply for the challenge of pronounication.
Do you have any questions or comments for Melanie? Post them here, and I’m sure she’ll be happy to answer them!