7 Quirks of Danish life

Moving to a new country means there are plenty of unexpected quirks to discover. I thought I’d share a few that surprised me when I moved here.

Half loavesDanes love their bakeries and there are a number of different breads you can buy, however they are all pretty big. For ages I didn’t know (and speaking to a friend who has lived here a long time who just discovered this) you can ask for a half loaf. So goodbye to food waste and also arguments about which bread to get.

Animal noisesIn Denmark even the animals speak differently as you may discover of you have a younger child in a Danish daycare or school. Dogs don’t go woof but vov vow, pigs don’t oink but øf-øf. No cock a doodle dos here but kykyliky (good luck with that one). Rap rap goes the duck. Of course this isn’t unusual (see this fun article here) but still comes as a surprise.

Chocolate pålæg

These are the thin chocolate slices you find in the jam and spreads section of the supermarkets. They are laid on the top of a piece of bread in the same way you would use jam and not just a treat for kids. In France and other countries it is usual to find chocolate and bread combined such as for French children as an after school snack (see here)  but still not something you would see in the UK or US.

Address layout

This one isn’t unusual if you come from many other mainland European countries but the number of our houses or buildings comes at the end after the street name and the postcode (which is simply four numbers) comes before the city or town. And then there is the other funny addition for people at home, the 1tv. or 1th. (for example) after the house number. People are never quite sure if they come after the house number with a comma between or gets its own line in the address. So an example – Bulowsvej 38, 1th, 1870 Frederiksberg.

In case you are reading this and don’t live here that designates the floor number and which side of the hall (left or right). In many cases there are only two apartments on each floor.

Comma and not a dot in numbers

This one scares me still when I am transferring money online. In Denmark we would write 75,00dkk not 75.00dkk. I’m still terrified that the number will default so it thinks I mean seven thousand five hundred not just 75. I am something of a number dunce but I doubt I am alone in this one.

Sanitary bags in public toilets

In the UK you will see big bins with strange one way trays to dispose of your feminine hygiene products. First time in a Danish public loo I was surprised to see a plastic bag positioned on a giant hairclip type thing attached the wall. This is where they go. A practical solution as the cleaners just take the bag off and put it in with other rubbish for incineration. No need to a big smelly, overflowing bin to stick around whilst they wait for the truck to take it away and replace it.

Light fittings

When you move to a Danish home you will not have lights already fitted in as the previous owner/tenant will have taken them away. You may find a small plug type socket in the ceiling with a round hole in it. This is where you connect your own lights with their own fittings. Danes often use very long cables and position their lights for optimum hygge. It looks hazardous but isn’t. There is no need to get an electrician to fit them either although you may need a tall step ladder.

I am sure there are tons more….post below if you have one to share.

Also don’t forget to get your hands on my guide to Christmas in Copenhagen – just click here for your free copy

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