My Top (and Not) Three for October

Another month in Denmark! The weather is getting chillier, but I’m actually enjoying the crispiness of it. It’s not in my top three though. My top three things about Denmark this month:

  1. Its (relative) proximity to Poland. – I mean, Poland itself is close. It’s only 250 km (155 miles) between Copenhagen and the most northwestern Polish town of Świnoujście, but there’s also that Baltic sea to cross… And my family lives next to the Czech border, so getting there isn’t as snappy as I’d wish. But still, much closer than Seattle!
  2. The overall gentle chill of Denmark. – I’m referring to the people here. Danes are so relaxed! I’m saying this now because I’ve just been to Poland. I wouldn’t call Polish people ‘stressed out’, but they’re definitely more reactionary! In Poland, people drive like maniacs, cut each other off in queues, yell at complete strangers, and comment on other people’s outfits and behaviors out loud. Danes are chill and reserved. They might not be overly friendly to strangers, but they’re polite and helpful, and – unless they’re drunk – quiet.
  3. Men with baby prams. – Again, my trip to Poland has me thinking about gender roles. In Poland, women are still expected to behave like traditional women (child-rearing, housekeeping, looking pretty), while men let themselves go and comment on every skirt that walks by. They definitely don’t push baby strollers around. In Denmark, I seem to notice more men than women taking care of their kids. I love it.

The top not so great things about Denmark this month:

  1. How long it’s been taking for me to get my driver’s license. – I applied in August, was told it could take up to three months, and I haven’t heard a peep since then. Dave, on the other hand, applied in September and got his license the next month! Hey… I thought Denmark wasn’t sexist.
  2. Off-leash dogs. – I always walk my dogs on a leash, because they’re crazy and I don’t trust them. Also, there are strict leash laws in Seattle. But here in Denmark, most people let their dogs run free as soon as they enter a park. This makes me nervous. All the dogs so far have been friendly (some a little too friendly), but I’m worried my dogs are extremely jealous when they see other dogs running around while they’re expected to stay on the leash.
  3. The pickled herring. – Might seem a bit random, but I’m seriously disappointed with the pickled herring selection here in Denmark. One of the reasons Dave and I chose Scandinavia to move to is because of how much we both love pickled herring. But, after sampling about five different kinds, so far we haven’t found one that’s not sweet. [If anyone local has recommendations, please send them my way. I’m fond of the vinegary, not sweet, kind of herring you can get in Holland and in Poland.]

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