Living like a local while still being a tourist

Firstly, sincere apologies for the long delay in getting this post out. I will make sure to add extra pictures for you in the next post. The past couple weeks have been about settling in with classes, finding a schedule to follow, and learning more about Copenhagen everyday!

With this post I want to talk about what I have learned about Danish culture so far and how that has affected my lifestyle. 

Danes commute — it is a part of their lifestyle. You may have already heard of this but experiencing it first-hand gives you the true meaning. My commute to DIS everyday consists of walking to the train station, taking the 20-25 min train into Copenhagen, and walking to class. This image is the same for Danes of all age-groups — from those going to school to those going to work. So far, I really like the idea of commuting since it helps me get away from the city and have a true sense of living in Denmark. The efficiency of public transportation is par excellence in terms of punctuality. Running every 10 minutes, the trains are a reliable means of transportation.

Independence starts young in the Danish family. I see middle schoolers commuting by themselves on the train. Parents enforce familial values in their children while still respecting their personal choices and privacy. This, I think, encourages kids to take responsibility of their actions and aids their intellectual growth. While my ten-year old host sister can bake a cake all on her own, my ten-year old self needed my mom’s help to crack an egg open without creating a mess.

Life outside of class is amazing, so is life inside. My classes at DIS have definitely stimulated my brain cells. Through the readings and discussions in my core class Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness have made me question my understanding of human consciousness, something that drew me to neuroscience in high school. That is what I like about the way classes are structured in DIS. The professors are not there to just give you knowledge but rather to encourage you to question it think beyond just textbooks. Next week is Core Course Week where my class will be visiting Aarhus and Aalborg (in Jutland) for three days with a lot of workshops and bonding with classmates. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences and photos from then.

Talking about traveling, this past Wednesday, a couple of friends and I went on a day trip to Malmo, Sweden, just an hour away from Copenhagen. (Yes, an hour bus ride to another country!)

The bus ride went along Øresund bridge, connecting Swedish coast to Peberholm, an artificial island built close to Amager island.

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A view from the Øresund bridge
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If you look far, you can spot the bridge

We walked around Malmo and visited the Malmo castle, Slottsmölan, and the Turning Torso (the tallest building in Sweden). After walking around for nearly 4 hours, we settled for lunch in Malmo Saluhall, an indoor market and food court.

 

The Turning Torso (pictured below) has a spiral shape and the structure is so that each edge turns by 90 degrees at the top of the tower.

The day trip was definitely exhausting but we ended it with visiting a candy shop Gottelisa to have some snacks on our hour-long bus ride back.

All in all, it was a great week despite having to wake up at 6 each weekday. Plus, this morning I went for a run with it being 1 degrees C outside and realized I have a long way to go to be a good runner! Hopefully I can improve on that in the next 3.5 months here.

The next time I write will be after my core course week explorations, so you can hope to hear some interesting stories with some good photos of western Denmark!

~Mrunal

 

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