Before moving to Denmark, we lived in London. By the time we came to move, we were ready to leave the big city for somewhere new. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing I miss! Having returned for a short holiday a few weeks ago, these are the things that I miss the most:
Now, I think you will struggle to find a British person who extols the virtues of London transport. It is crowded, possibly confusing and, incorporating the oldest underground railway system in the world, often has breakdowns or big maintenance projects. However, when I compared my experience there with the experience I had in Copenhagen less than a week before my London trip, this is what I miss:
1. People wait for you to get off public transport before getting on
Copenhagen transport seems to be a free for all, with the idea of a ‘functioning queue’ far from most people’s in built concepts. It was a pleasure being able to get off the train without struggling against a flood of people, or being shoved by people from behind if you refuse to push in on getting on.
2. Stand to the right, walk on the left on escalators
Another concept that doesn’t seem to have reached Copenhagener’s inbuilt concepts. If you see a person on London transport that is standing on the left of the escalator, you can be pretty sure that that is a tourist. Otherwise people beautifully line themselves on the right if they don’t want to climb the escalators, or walk up on the left. If you’re not in a hurry you can let the escalator do the work, but for you who needs to get things done, you can power up at the same time.
Shops & Shop Keepers
I could always moan about prices. After all, I never thought that I would live somewhere more expensive than Denmark. But, actually, that is not my main gripe about Danish shops. It is actually the shopkeepers!
3. Do you need any help?
I have learnt that in Denmark you can go to school to learn how to become a shopkeeper. It seems that the one thing that all of them have learnt (besides how to wrap gifts beautifully!) is that ‘as soon as a client comes in go right up and ask if they need anything’. In the UK, they let you browse around, and then after a few minutes, after you have had some time to look around and think about what you need, come over and ask if you need some help. Unfortunately, by this time, the Danish shopkeepers typically have disappeared to somewhere where I can never find them. Much more useful for me!
We have been looking at houses recently in Sønderborg. Unfortunately, it seems, whenever a bathroom gets remodelled here, the bath is one of the first things to go. Our apartment is similar: no bath, just a shower. Being in London, this is what I realised that I have missed:
4. Getting properly clean in a bath
I struggle to believe that I can get completely clean by washing myself with a point source on top of my head. Unfortunately, unless we buy a house and remodel the bathroom, I don’t think I will get this here. The estate agents I have seen have looked at me as though I am completely bonkers for wanting a bath. And then remember a house with an ugly 60s-80s bathroom that is in desperate need of remodelling to offer us. It was utter bliss to be able to relax and feel completely clean for once!
What about you? What do you miss when you return to Denmark that you never thought you would?