The 5 Worst Things About Moving to Copenhagen

August 19, 2013  //  By:   //  GUIDE, OFF CAMPUS  //  No Comment

1.000 people move to Copenhagen each month. I moved here from Århus a year ago and sometimes that three-hour bus ride seems like it takes you to a different world. If you are on this page, you probably moved here from another country and will scoff at my problems, and so you should. But see if you can’t recognize a few of the worst things about moving to Copenhagen…


1.    Every conversation leaves you clueless

During my first weeks here in Copenhagen, it seemed like every other conversation I had was about something I had no clue about. It’s what I imagine starting at DTU must feel like.

But if you have no idea what DTU is, then that joke just passed you by. And that is happening all the time. Your life is now filled with sentences like;

“Oh, that’s normal, he’s from Vestegnen”

“She is such a RUC type”

“It’s kind of a Hellerup clientele at that bar”

To which you can only unconvincingly shrug and answer “Yeah, that’s really very goo.. Bad, I mean bad, really bad…”

2.    You get lost

Not so much in a philosophical way, but in a very literal there-should-be-more-school-and-less-hookers-on-this-street kind of way (also, you are on Istedgade).

You could use a map, but the only people who use maps in Copenhagen are middle-aged Asian men and I’m beginning to wonder if the mere act of owning a map doesn’t makes you at least one eights Asian.

You could use a map on your phone, but looking down all the time will absolutely get you run over by a pack of feral bicyclists (native only to Copenhagen).

Even if you manage to get where you are going, you are undoubtedly going to get drunk there and then you are lost again. Take comfort in the fact that soberly rediscovering places you’ve been before is a hobby here, like hiking or walking home in last night’s mini skirt.

3.    You lose your entourage

There are only so many people in a group that you like and that are going to like you. Statistically, it’s unusual to enthrall every single person you talk to.

That’s why, when you walk up to a person of interest and slur something semi-intelligible, you find out that Danes aren’t that nice and you.. What? What do you do? Usually, you’d go back to your group of old friends who would immediately tell you how nice you look and what an asshole that guy at the bar was.

Not so anymore. You’ve known the people you are out with for about five minutes and there is no easy confidentiality to your relationship.

Have this situation occur enough times and you start to wonder if maybe its you that’s the problem (I guess you could avoid this by being exotically foreign and attracting people like the foreign exchange student you are, but I wouldn’t know).

Word of advice: Don’t go to go to Kødbyen until you have sufficient self-esteem or an entourage worthy of Tupac. Hipsters are brutal.

4.    New friends are hard work

It takes time and effort to find new friends.  It’s not as easy to just arrange something and you get too caught up in thoughts about who to invite, who they might bring, what you should talk about and how to avoid dying if they decline. It’s infinitely easier to just spend the day alone, doing laundry and finding comfort in your tears.

5.    Copenhagen is hard

There are way more people than apartments in Copenhagen. That’s why it becomes almost a privilege to pay a rent so high it would make your grandma scratch out her eyes for a room in a concrete block in the outskirts of town.

But if you don’t feel sufficiently bent over and fucked after that, you also get to buy 50 kr. coffees, 90 kr. coctails and pay 24 kr. just to get to the place where you are ripped off. Just don’t expect a smile on any of the bus rides, Danes are notoriously distant to strangers. At least you get to live in a place where there is about two minutes of darkness in the summer and four seconds of daylight in winter. Get ready to be mocked for your accent, drunker/poorer than you’ve ever been before and completely helpless the first three months.

Welcome to the city. You’ll love it here, I promise.

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About the Author :

Maria Sølvsteen is the former managing editor of CBSLife and continues to write for the site. She is passionate about literature and travelling, her dog and drinking chai-tea with her friends. Maria is in the third year of her degree in BSc. International Business.

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