If given the opportunity, I would be a Dane…or at least half Dane. Copenhagen, Denmark has been one of my favorite cities ever visited, not only because of the beautiful architecture and lovely people, but because the city and I have compatible personalities.
I would be a Dane, because women wear sneakers as fashion statements. People look presentable and well dressed, but in a neighborhood-casual type of way. A pair of jeans, short-sleeved shirt, Converse sneakers and pashmina scarf provide both comfort and class in this city. My stiletto-loving friend, Rachel, would disagree, but I love this type of practical attire.
Copenhagen radiates a big city vibe mixed with a small town feel. The locals don’t generally display outgoing friendliness, but they are extremely helpful and accommodating when approached. The city is crowded, but people respect space. Tourism is evident in Copenhagen, but shop and restaurant owners do not aggressively push for business. For the most part, people keep to themselves, but maintain a kind and pleasant demeanor.
Everywhere we visited appeared well maintained. The beaches were clean, the roads well-paved and the metros reliable. The use of computer systems kept places like the airport, train stations and Tivoli Gardens running efficiently. For lack of better words, the city really seemed to have its shit together.
The city’s architecture has a comforting embrace. The beautiful buildings stand just tall enough to feel powerful, but rest short enough to not feel overwhelming. The colorful buildings and waterfront views kept me feeling cheerful on the rainy Copenhagen days. While it gets cold in the winter, the abundance of ethnic food would keep me warm. So would the homemade bread and Carlsberg beer.
If I were a Dane, I would shop at H&M and Zara several times a week and likely find something to buy during each visit. This would be bad for my bank account, but I would save money on gas by biking everywhere in the city. Of course, I would take the day off of shopping on Sundays. Stores in Copenhagen close on this day.
I would be a Dane because I appreciate sustainable lifestyles. Danes pay high taxes, but they receive free health care, free education and paid maternity and paternity leave from work. They even receive stipends while working toward university-level degrees. The government-maintained bike paths save money on gas and keep both the people an environment healthy.
Airport security stopped me for an additional bag check on the way out of Copenhagen. The guards needed to inspect the bottles of sand I had collected throughout my journey. Before walking through the metal detector, one guard motioned for me to leave on my shoes. “Nahh,” he said. “It’s okay!” He said the same thing when I attempted to separate my computer into its own plastic bin.
“Denmark sand?” another guard asked as he removed the sand from my tote bag. He admired the bottle, smiled and waved us through.
As we began to walk away, another guard yelled something after us. We could not understand his Danish, so we stopped and looked at him confused. “Bye!” he yelled in a loud, cheerful voice. He waved at us, smiling happily as we walked away.
It was the friendliest group of airport security guards I had ever encountered. I would have no problem flying in and out of this airport for the rest of my life.
Besides, the airport also has an H&M.