The other day I gave a friend a hug when I arrived at their house and then proceeded to do so when I left. The first hug was welcomed, the second was also welcomed but I could tell they thought it slightly odd that I wanted to hug so much. And then it hit me – we don’t double hug in NZ. Continue reading
“It is easy to underestimate the importance of the societal structures that regulate belonging. As a foreigner you are by definition the intruder, who is only accepted as a temporary guest. We can feel we need to earn our right to be more than a guest here and in that process, we sometimes lose a little of ourselves, and become a little disconnected from who we are.”
If I was to ask a Dane if they’d prefer a life of comfort and security over a life of passion and risk what once do you think they’d choose?
New Zealand isn’t a wealthy country in the same sense Denmark is. We have the highest growing rate of inequality between rich and poor of the OECD countries, our healthcare isn’t fully free and we have to pay for university education.
But in my opinion, we’re far richer than Denmark in many other areas. Perhaps the primary one being passion.
Exactly one year ago today I took my 3rd attempt at moving to Denmark. I arrived on an overcast morning to a rather empty Copenhagen airport, trying to contain my excitement at being spoken to in Danish by airport security and at the same time fighting back thoughts of ‘what I have I done’.
I’m sitting at my desk in my apartment in Amager overlooking a stunning snow covered tree. I have a mound of photo images from work on my desktop from my new job as a social media editor. I have a diary full of exciting adventures and Christmas parties with some of my favourite people.
It’s a well known fact that the Danes have no time for petty forms of etiquette- they say it how it is and they expect others to do the same. Either you’re friends with someone or you’re not. Either the shop has the product you’re looking for or they don’t.
And if someone asks you a question, even something a Kiwi would consider ‘personal’ as ‘what size bra do you wear?’, then you’re expected to give an honest answer. Continue reading
There’s an old saying that goes ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.
This is the first time in my life I disagree with that statement. If I don’t die from this winter I’ll certainly come out the other side a lot weaker, more feeble, with a fresh dose of cyclephobia (fear of riding a bike), with snow bitten fingers and toes that I fear will never fully recover. Continue reading