Living as a foreigner in Denmark, one of the world's most homogenous countries, isn't always easy. In this podcast Kay Xander Mellish, an American who has lived in Denmark for more than a decade, relates her thoughts about Danish current events, as well as offering tips on how to find someone to talk to and how to find something to eat.
Saving money on food in Denmark
Anyone who has spent time living in Denmark knows that it’s one of the most expensive countries around. That’s true when it comes to food shopping, too.
But there are a few creative ways to save money on food in Denmark.
Danes hate food waste, so the prices of some food in grocery stores actually drops near the end of the day or right before the item's expiration date.
Books about Denmark from the second hand store
I love old books. I love the kind of old books you get at antique bookstores or on the Internet Archive. And I have a good collection of old books about Denmark.
I like old travel guides, most of which are still pretty useful because Denmark doesn’t tear a lot of things down the way they do, in say, Los Angeles or Hong Kong. In Denmark you’ll pretty much fine most castles and monuments right where somebody left them hundreds of years ago.
Practical tips for moving to Denmark
While I’m not an authority on the Danish visa or immigration systems, I’m often asked for practical tips about moving to Denmark.
So here are a few things to think about when you’re packing your suitcases or, if you’re doing a corporate move, packing your shipping container.
Number one, make sure you bring money. Denmark is an expensive place to live where you will own less stuff, but better stuff.
Gender Equality in Denmark
Denmark has had two female prime ministers, and about forty percent of the people elected to the "Folketing", the Danish Parliament, are women. But when it comes to private industry, Danish women have one of the lowest participation rates in management in Europe. According to the OECD, only 26.5% of managers in Denmark are female, compared to 39.8% in the US. Is Denmark's generous maternity leave policy a factor?
Danish beaches in winter
It might seem like a counterintuitive time to talk about beaches, in the middle of a long, very cold winter.
But in these times of COVID, beaches are one of the few places in Denmark you are currently allowed to meet up with family and friends.
Beaches, parks, frozen-over lakes: these are the big social meeting points at time when cafés, restaurants, bars, shops, gyms, schools, theaters, museums, places of worship, and hairdressers, barbers, and nail salons are all closed.
Driving in Denmark
It’s frequently said about Denmark that it’s not a car country. You hear a lot of well-meaning internationals say that in Denmark you don’t need a car that you can bicycle everywhere you want to go.
That is true in the big cities - I don’t own a car myself. But most of my Copenhagen neighbors do. And cars are pretty much a necessity in the countryside. There are now 2.5 million cars in use in Denmark, roughly one for every other resident over age 18.