From tourist to citizen…

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February 28, 2013 by Matt

Since Christmas, time has really flown by, in a blur of flat hunting, language learning and settling into a new job (in a new industry!). It’s been a challenging way to spend a Danish winter, and hasn’t always been conducive to me finding lots of interesting things to write about here, but things are looking up now. 

Weather, CPH in February style

The sun’s out more often (although it remains around 0 degrees), work’s going great and with lots of cool people (both Danish and from elsewhere) and Dorte and I have found a flat that we’re soon to finish the complicated process of buying. And it has a balcony! Perfect for summer lounging, and cooling wine in the winter.

The upshot of all of this is that I have much more of a sense of ‘living’ here. And by that, I mean that I now consider myself a fully integrated member of society, whereas before there was always a lingering feeling of being an interloper, someone on an extended holiday who could get whisked back to London at the drop of a hat.

Maybe that was in fact the case – certainly in some respects Dorte and I slightly hedged our bets just until we were 100% that Copenhagen was the place for us for at least the next few years (for example, we rented here rather than buying a flat instantly, and we left some practical things in place in the UK, such as bank accounts).

Some rather attractive metal work on a bridge

But as we suspected, wonderful Copenhagen won us over, and our roots will be here for a while to come. For me, it’s really telling that we made that decision in the winter, when I think it’s fair to say that Copenhagen life is at its least attractive (not that it isn’t still great, but if you’ve ever lived through a Scandinavian winter, you’ll know what I mean).

It’s all quite a far cry from a lot of the thoughts I had (and mentioned on the Tips page), but it seems with effort and willing, you can make where you want feel like home. So what are the absolute essentials that I’ve learned so far? Glad you asked…

  • Learn the language. Then practice it.
  • Ask people what you’re not sure about.
  • Do as the locals do – in Copenhagen, that means cycle.
  • Remember why you moved (assuming you came by choice).
  • Don’t ever, ever, ever regret giving it a go.
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