Wow, you really do get less for murder. I have been living in Denmark for four years to the day.
I remember arriving, it rained and soaked everything I had. I brought only two bags and lived out of them for the first few months. My first impressions were so positive and everything was going to be wonderful.
You know what, the only thing that really consistently upset me in those early days was sprogskole. Poor teaching, shonky “hidden” agenda and crappy learning priorities. If I had had a Danish partner in those early stages or if I had a better school, maybe things would have looked very differently around here.
Being an unaccompanied foreigner in Denmark is a nightmare. Honestly. It is a total nightmare. Put that unaccompanied foreigner in a small town in the middle of nowhere and it’s a wonder I made it at all.
There’s a blog out there about learning languages in three months and the guy says that all you need to do is get out there and practice! No one will make fun of you! People will be helpful! It’s easy to make friends using social networks! He is working his way around the world and I really hope he comes to Denmark. Not because I want him to fail (I want him to succeed), but because I want him to acknowledge that Denmark throws up challenges that Holland or France does not. I guess he will never see that a lot of what he says only really applies to males. Just showing up at parties where I do not know anyone, this can be dangerous or at least highly provocative as a single woman.
The guys who came over around the same time as me had girlfriends and liked sport. They were also guys, so hanging around the pub on their own wasn’t seen in the same way my hanging around in the pub on my own is seen.
In spite of all that, I have got pretty good at Danish. I’m not world class but I can communicate. I have learned how to make myself understood. I have learned how to make networks of friends from nothing. I have learned how to keep my head above water.
Honestly, if I knew then what I know now, would I have done it?
My social life is not enough. There’s not enough random shit going on. There are not enough opportunities to meet people. F-town is dead. Maybe if I had started in a bigger city, with more random shit, more opportunities, better language tuition, maybe it would have been different.
Who can tell? I feel ready to move on, either to a big Danish city (to accommodate the boyfriend I met after a couple of years of playing Nightmare Mode in the Danish dungeon of F-town) or back to the UK… or maybe even a country with people who let you practise on them.
Here’s a video I shot at my Mum’s house, inspired by the blogger’s comments on learning a language. I don’t think my accent has changed since I made my last Danish vlog…