You know you’ve been in Denmark too long when…

Lest you feel I haven’t posted anything substantive in a long time. This will give Danish readers a good laugh while at the same time educating non-Danes on Danish culture and the wacky behaviour of these crazy people. I have added some brief comments in brackets.


1 You think there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing (learned this the hard way last night!).
2 You don’t think it strange that no one ever comes to visit without
being invited and you never show up at any one’s place unannounced either.
3 You understand why not every type of meat can be put together on top of
bread (more about this in a later post on Danish cusine).
4 You wouldn’t dream of coming even 10 minutes early to a party (this would kill my father).
5 The word “yes” is an intake of breath.
6 You find yourself lighting candles when you have guests – even if it is
sunny outside and 20 degrees (completely true! Danes are the largest per capita consumers of candles in the world).
7 Can’t remember when to say “please” and “excuse me” (unless you have physically harmed someone, apologies are not necessary).
8 The first thing you do on entering a bank/post office/pharmacy etc. is to
look for the queue number machine (true!).
9 You accept that you will have to queue to take a queue number.
10 You can tell the difference between a Grøn Tuborg and a Carlsberg beer (the two primary Danish beers)                                                                                                                          11 When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume that
a. he is drunk;
b. he is insane;
c. he is American;
d. he is all of the above.
12 Silence is fun (must say that I haven’t noticed this one so much).
13 It no longer seems excessive to spend 800 kr. on alcohol in a single
night ($160; apparently it is even more expensive in Sweden)
14 You know that “holiday” means “let’s get drunk” (sad but true).
15 You use “Mmmm” as conversation filler.
16 You go to the supermarket and buy three good beers and 10 not too good
17 You have only two facial expressions, smiling or blank
18 Traditional dinners may not necessarily mean a cooked meal (they like a lot of raw and cold dishes, these Danes)
19 You forget how to open canned beer.
20 You honestly believe that the distance between Copenhagen and Aalborg is
long (about 250km/150 miles; the other side of the country for Danes!).
21 You will leave a pub if you can’t find a seat.
22 Your wardrobe no longer has suits but blue shirts and mustard colored
sports jackets and lots of denim (entirely true; their definition of “business casual” is jeans)
23 You don’t mind paying the same for a 200-metre bus ride as you do for
going 10 kms (more on this in my next post on public transit).
24 You don’t look twice at businessmen in dark suits wearing white sport
socks (never noticed this one).
25 You can open a beer bottle with almost anything                                                                     26 You are very surprised when you receive compliments about ANYTHING. When you do, you find it suspicious and start thinking they might have ulterior motives.
27 You’ve completely forgotten what a “date” is – no one ever comes to pick
you up and unexpected gifts are VERY unexpected.
28 You think its normal to pick up a girl in a pub, walk her to her bike
and ride with her back home (can’t say I have any experience with this one!)
29 You think it impolite to sit next to someone in a bus if there is seat where you can sit on your own (entirely true; there is a veritable “musical chairs” after each bus stop. Bizzare!)
30 You know the meaning of life has something to do with the word
“hyggelig” (see previous post on hygge).


About Canadianindenmark

A Canadian expat working in the biotechnology industry in Copenhagen, Denmark
This entry was posted in Danish Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to You know you’ve been in Denmark too long when…

  1. Kirstine says:

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to go to bed with a huge smile (read laugh) on my lips… the conclusion on this post must be that Danes are strange people!!!

  2. Line A. says:

    I’m danish, but i can see the truth in it.. 🙂

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