Upon arriving I found myself being extremely compatible with Danish culture. People here are generally prompt, kind and friendly. The food (Denmark is a meat-lover’s paradise) I will speak about later in more detail, but there are so many great places downtown København (Copenhagen) to eat and spend a leisurely afternoon. The weather has been beautiful, the architecture amazing, and the people neighborly, making this area the perfect destination for a summer excursion.
Coordinating with my host, Thomas, for a few weeks prior to arriving I knew we would get along great. We shared many interests such as working out, critically analyzing the world around us, and enjoying new and different foods and places, among other things. However, I had no idea that we would hit it off so great from day one. The same night of my arrival I was introduced to many of his friends, who were very friendly and welcoming, and soon forgot how far away from home I really was. Not surprisingly, everyone I have encountered so far has been extremely warm and friendly and has truly made me feel a part of their community. Thomas is a personal trainer at a local gym and has quite the sporadic schedule. Therefore, I spent a lot of time in my first few weeks navigating the streets of Lyngby and Copenhagen nearly every day after leaving the office to become more acquainted with the area.
Over the first few weeks I thoroughly enjoyed exploring downtown København and learning how the train and metro systems worked. By using them on a regular basis, I found them to be very reliable and timely, which was great for when I had meetings at other offices. Although the public transportation system in Denmark is fantastic, nearly everyone has a bike and cycling is quite the fashion here. It is not unusual to see important politicians riding their bike down the street saying “god morgen,” or good morning, to friendly faces around town.
Throughout my first week here I have discovered places that really inspire moments of tranquility and self-reflection. The wider København area is littered with lakes, ponds, parks and gardens and I soon found a park in central København to be my favorite to spend some lazy afternoons with a nice book.
Before arriving, I had often heard people refer to Denmark as one of the happiest, yet more expensive places to live. I soon came to realize this was true on both accounts. In general there are higher taxes on the products you buy in Denmark, however, the food has been relatively affordable. And delicious! Danish cuisines are very intriguing as well. They certainly love their red meat!
Their signature dishes usually have very flavorful sauces and creams and it has been quite an adventure discovering new dishes and exploring which cuisines I liked and disliked.
The Danish food culture was quite apparent within Mærsk Drilling as well. Every day the company opens up a canteen for all the employees twice a day for breakfast and lunch. The different assortments of food laid out each day varied, and there were a few occasions where I was certainly surprised when biting into an unknown dish! Although I have been with Mærsk Drilling for only a few weeks and am still learning my way around, I am slowly assimilating to the environment and culture and I definitely look forward to my next two months here with this great company.