Monthly Archives: November 2013

Voting in Denmark

Being an EU citizen living in Denmark I get the right to vote in local elections (though not national elections) as soon as I get registered here. I really believe that if you get the opportunity to vote you should, as this is one of the (few) ways you can get your voice heard. Useless complaining afterwards if you didn’t bother to make an effort to vote in the first place.

Updating my Political Knowledge

I am used to a mainly 2-party system, so getting my head around all the different parties and all the different politicians was a bit overwhelming at first. I tried to read up, though most information was available only in Danish (and maybe in German). Luckily, the university organised a debate in English, so I took the opportunity to learn a bit about the parties represented there. Slowly I started to separate the parties out. I’m nowhere near clear what all the different parties stand for, but I have a much better grip on it than I did a few months ago. Watching Borgen and Michael telling me how real-life parties are similar to Borgen-parties also helped!

Election Day

We arrived at the polling station (the library) and was surprised to see a bit of a queue forming. Where I normally vote there are maybe 2-3 people maximum in front of me. Here there were around 20-25. Voting was held in a big room, with around 10-15 polling booths, unlike the 3 I am used to. Therefore, the queue moved quickly (less than 5 minute wait).

I was quite surprised a the informality of it all. There was no ‘proving of identity’. Since I wasn’t sure what was needed I took my driving license, my national ID card, and my passport – just in case. But they only asked me for my date of birth. It could have very easily have been someone else with my voting document as there was no picture. Didn’t feel that was very secure, but if it works and speeds things up, I will trust in their judgement. Another thing was that, unlike in Malta where you only enter the polling booth room when there is an empty polling booth, here you are given the voting document and then wait till a polling booth gets empty, when it becomes a free for all: whoever gets to the polling booth first gets to go in :D.

Another surprise was the length of the ballot. Having 17 parties for the local council election, with many candidates on each list, the ballot was LONG. Once you get the document and grab a polling booth you then get to vote. Having seen the length of the ballot, the tinyness of the tables on which to vote was, however, quite comical!

Photo by HelleHappy

How do I vote?

Once we got to the queue I realised that there must be a lot I didn’t know about what to do in the polling booth itself! In Malta there is always an information campaign telling us what needs to be done. I didn’t come across anything here. To be honest, the system here is much easier: You only get to vote for one person or party, and you just mark it with an ‘X’.

The Outcome

I am used to elections on a Saturday, where I spend the day listening to election news and keeping track of what is going on. Election being held on a work day meant that I missed out on this part, so it was only after work that I could keep myself updated by the progress.

Counted was completed for Sønderborg kommune around 11:15 pm, so that is around 3 hrs after polling booths were closed. We now have a Social Democrat mayor, which is a change from the Fælleslisten mayor we had after the previous election. The complete list of elected candidates can be found here.




Brunch at Cafe Figo

A few weeks ago Michael and I started our quest for testing out brunch options in town. The next opportunity came up when one of my friends suggested we do something together over the weekend. Managing the previous plans of all the girls meant that we opted for a Sunday brunch. Selecting the place was a bit harder, but we opted for the latest Sunday brunch buffet in town at Cafe Figo, since none of us had been there before.

Unlike most of the other places, Cafe Figo wasn’t super busy. This meant that even if we hadn’t booked a table, they would have easily found space for our table of 7. This could be as this buffet is quite new and is not advertised at all on their website, so people probably are not as aware of it as they are of the others. There is, in fact, very little information out there about what this brunch consists of, so will try to give a bit of details here.

The selection here is not super huge. On the day we were there (which I expect to be common) there was: Salmon and prawns, Cheeses, Eggs and bacon and liver pate, yoghurt, muesli and jam, some fruit, cinnamon rolls and pancakes (with maple syrup and honey) and bread. The buffet area is quite small, but items were regularly replenished when finished.

My favourites item from the buffet was the salmon. In fact, I opted for a second helping of this, rather than to taste the cheese. For those who know me (and my cheese cravings), this is probably quite strange. The prawns that were served next to the salmon were also really good. The bread was surprisingly (and, maybe, unexpectedly, for some reason?) fresh. The sweet stuff was OK, and was the yoghurt and jam.

Verdict: Not a very wide selection of food, but some of the items (salmon and prawns) were very good. Other items were OK, but nothing to write home about. One of the main downsides of this buffet is probably its price. At 115DKK per person, this is more expensive than the others close by and, unlike the others, doesn’t include any drinks. This could possibly explain why the cafe was quite empty.

Orkide – Thai food in Sonderborg

While living in London we were spoilt by a very good and very cheap Thai restaurant just round the corner from where we lived (check out Spicy Basil if you are in the area!). So I have been putting off visiting the local Thai place as I knew I had high expectations. However, when an occasion came up we decided to give it a go.


On the day we visited there was no one at the restuarant, though a guy did join us later on. This is, possibly, understandable, as we were looking for dinner around 4:30 pm – not exactly Danish dinner time! Since we had good weather, we opted for sitting outside. If you do like we did, do go check out the inside!


The person serving us, possibly the owner, was very friendly and open to giving suggestions. It was really service with a smile. However, considering that we were the only people in the restaurant, the food did take a bit long to appear.


Between us we had the spring roll starters, a pad thai for me and a beef curry for Michael. I would probably opt for something else instead of the spring rolls. The pastry was absolutely lovely – crispy, flaky, thin – but I was less impressed with the filling. I felt that there was too much filling for the pastry, and would have probably expected a bit more vegetables in there. The consistency of the filling was quite uniform (as though everything was made into a mince). This might be the right way of doing it, but it is not what I have had before. They were perfectly edible, but would be willing to try something else.

On to the main dishes. The first thing that you notice is that the portions are huge. They looked nice and colourful, which is also nice with the eyes being the first to eat and all that. My pad thai was good, though not as spicy as I am used to. However, considering the different neighbourhoods of this restaurant to the more ethnically diverse London one, I was expecting this. The curry was very good, however, and spicy – just as we like it!

Red beef curry at Restaurant Orkidé in Sønderborg


Don’t go if you are in too much of a hurry. The starter was a bit of a miss for me, but the mains were good. This meal, including drinks, came to around 400 DKK. And if visiting, don’t forget to check out the inside (and the toilets are not too shabby either!).

Enjoying the food at Restaurant Orkidé in Sønderborg