Things are finally starting to come together in Copenhagen. I have a 9-to-5 job related to my degree to keep me occupied every day (and it provides me free lunch and candy!), after a lot of stressful searching I now know where I’ll be living starting next month, and I even had my enrolment confirmed for a course I’ll need if I want to study my masters here. Soon I can really start treating this city as my home.
Even so, I’ve been feeling incredibly homesick since I got here, especially since I’d had an enjoyable day-to-day routine in Germany for most of 2015. It’s probably the routine I’ve had the longest in my life since it involved no changing class schedules or major travelling, so it has felt weird adjusting to something new again.
During my time in Germany, I was a little more than critical about things. Of course, going from what was the highest point in my life during my wonderful university times to the lowest point in my life as an unemployed, friendless foreigner in a small town had more than a little to do with that. I started this list a few months ago and now that I’ve left it all behind, it’s become much easier to add to as I reminisce about the good times.
1. There is a wide variety of languages on the radio. I’ve never had so much appreciation for Spanish or Italian music before. They may be several years old now, but nothing got me pumped in our hot summer like Michel Telo’s “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” or Juanes’ “La Camisa Negra” thrown in with my usual electronic summer jams. There’s just something about hearing music and singing along because you know the general sounds the singer is making, but you have no idea what’s actually being said. That being said, I still get excited when Stromae’s “papaoutai” comes on and I actually do know all the words.
2. The Autobahn. Okay, I probably don’t really need to elaborate on this, because anyone who’s ever heard of cars and Germany knows about the Autobahn. Sure, the lack of speed limits and variances in the comfort level of drivers makes me feel a bit unsure at times; having someone pull into the lane in front of you doing 30 km/h less can be terrifying if you didn’t anticipate it. But when I’m cruising along doing 150, it’s hard to believe I spent all of my time in Canada driving nothing more than
130 the speed limit of 110.
3. Football love. I’m not gonna lie, I really, really, really, really miss hockey. But Germans are also pretty fanatic when it comes to sports, namely football (I live in Europe now so I’m allowed to called it that without sounding like a twat okay?). During the World Cup or Euro tournament everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, becomes about the game. Buy all sorts of chocolate in German colours, go to a public viewing in even the tiniest of cities, grab some chips plastered with Bastian Schweinsteiger’s face – pretty much anything can remind you that you should be supporting Die Mannschaft right now. Watching Germany win the World Cup and then celebrate in Berlin during my first month there got me feeling seriously patriotic.
4. Das Perfekte Dinner. I developed a serious addiction to Germany’s version of “Come Dine With Me”. I used to watch it in French (“Un dîner presque parfait”) when I would visit my grandparents while they still only had basic cable with half of the stations coming from France. Basically in a one-hour episode each day of the week, a different average joe cooks a three-course meal for four guests and gets graded on the evening, with the contestant with the most points taking home 3,000 Euros at the end of the week. I don’t know why I love it so much. I get jealous of the food they’re eating while I’m having a smoothie or a piece of toast. But I seriously miss watching this.
5. Food is inexpensive. I didn’t do much grocery shopping in Canada so I didn’t know what to expect to pay for food when I studied abroad. I did know that my mom always marvelled at how cheap the food is when we would travel to Germany, and when I briefly lived there after my exchange I was pinching pennies so much that anything that wasn’t free seemed expensive to me, so I didn’t really ever appreciate the price of food in Germany. Until now. I miss getting ten eggs for 99 cents.
Naturally I have personal ties to Germany as well, so I could go on about how my family is there and that I miss being able to understand everything. But it wouldn’t really be an adventure in Denmark if everything was comfortable for me, right?