People, rightly, have so many questions about how things work in a new country, even some months after they have moved there. I have published tons of information posts here but as the nature of a blog means they get replaced by newer posts, I made all the resources posts into downloadable pdfs over on my Dejlige Days Welcome website. As I write new posts here that are relevant they will be added.
Pop over and have a look, I bet there is the answer to a question you have there. Also if there is something you would like more information about either send me an email, comment on Facebook or post below in the comments.
Pharmacies in mainland Europe can seem very different to those in the UK and North America. One thing that many people from outside Denmark observe is that there are a lot fewer OTC (over the counter) remedies available. I often recommend to clients to makes sure they bring a few month’s worth of both prescription medication and the OTC meds they regularly take. It is also advisable to have your original packaging and the know the generic name for the medication as this can help both your doctor and the pharmacist in finding you the right stuff here.I thought I’d do a quick run down of what is available in the pharmacies (apotek in Danish) here.
- Dental care products include for dentures
- Feminine hygiene products such as intimate soap and sanitary products
- Sun cream
- Baby products including breast pumps and accessories, nail scissors, washes, zinc cream, nappy cream, dummies, formula and bottles etc but not nappies.
- Dressings, bandages and plasters (band aids). If you need a special size dressing say for a surgical wound ask at the counter as they often keep these in the store room and if they don’t have them they can get them in for you.
- Sports injury remedies such as heat cream, heat pads and supports
- Bug repellents and bite remedies including devices to remove ticks
- Head lice hair washes
- Pet medications
- Pregnancy test kits
- Health screening test kits such as lactose intolerance, ovulation and clamydia.
- Vitamins, minerals and health supplements
- Fancy French and Scandinavian beauty products but not make up
Behind the counter there are a number of OTC medications but nowhere near as many as in other countries. The pharmacists are very knowledgeable but there are many medications you will need to see your doctor for.
The main groups of OTC medications include:
- Throat and cold medications
- Nasal sprays for various ailments (these are popular and effective)
- Hayfever and allergy medications
- Stomach and indigestion remedies
- Pain relief – for children there is both liquid paracetamol and also suppositories
- Smoking replacements such as gum and patches
- Weight gain products
- Travel sickness tablets
- Antiseptic creams
General rule of thumb, if you can’t see something just ask as they may still have it.
When you arrive at the pharmacy there are usually two buttons to choose from to get a ticket – Recept for prescriptions and Handkøb for other purchases including OTC medications. You wait for your number to come up on the screen (you can read more about queueing in Denmark here)
You won’t get a paper prescription from your doctor but it will be on the system. You present your CPR card and they can see all your current prescriptions. If you have no preference of the pharmaceutical brand you can ask for the cheapest one and this may not be the same one each time but will be the same active ingredients.
You will be charged a subsidised price for your prescription. The more you spend of prescription medications in a 12 month period the greater the subsidy. I take a regular and expensive pain medication and now my all prescriptions are free. You always have to pay a set amount for contraceptive pills.
If you are on the not for profit Danmark Sygeforsikring insurance system (see here for more information) you get greater subsidies if you are a member of the above scheme.
You can find our local pharmacy by putting in your postcode here (the box saying døgnapotek means 24/7 pharmacies).
You can also return any unused medicines to the pharmacy for them to dispose of responsibly (you don’t get any money back).
We all know these days that Twitter is where you see breaking news first but as it has been shown a lot of this is misleading or downright untrue (this is a great podcast about this). The internet is chock full of untruths and well as facts and it is important that we are savvy and critical in how we consume what we see online especially in places such as Twitter and Facebook where there are many fake accounts, bots and trolls out there ready to mess with reality and democracy.
Forums online can be brilliant sources of information and resource sharing but they can also spread fake news or information, either intentionally or accidentally. If you are looking for concrete information going to the source is the best way. This may sound obvious but it is not. Recently there was a thread about the forthcoming strike and lockout here in Denmark. There was information being given willy nilly based on things people had heard rather than what the facts were. When asked for a source of one of the inaccurate comments, the original commenter was silent. If you are planning to share information you have, especially about current affairs etc it is always a good idea to share a link to the original source so readers can decide for themselves. If you find it hard to find that link then perhaps the information is not accurate.
There are organisations all over the world working to combat fake news, raise awareness of how to spot it and push for people to be much more discerning about what they read and share.
Here in Denmark I would say the best sources of news are DR.dk, The Local Denmark (if there is an error in their information by mistake (which rarely happens) it is always acknowledged and amended) and Politiken.dk. Yes, two of these are in Danish but that is what Google Chrome is for. Of course news outlets have editorial policies but this has always been the case, but they also have codes of conduct to adhere to in relation to fact checking
If you are looking for information about any aspect of bureaucracy or public information – go to the source as your question is unlikely to be unique so will be addressed via websites or by telephone or email.
Above I shared a brilliant infographic produced by The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), which the public libraries here have been displaying and it is the perfect guide to dealing with fake news. Here is the link to it in English and Danish in case you fancy printing it out to display.
Over the Easter break, my son and I went to the SMK for the children’s workshop and to take in a little art. I had also heard that Frederik Bille Brahe, the restaurateur behind Atelier September had recently opened a new cafe in the museum called Kafeteria. Looking at the pictures on Instagram I wasn’t immediately sure where in the museum it was but it wasn’t in the location of the previous cafe. We arrived and found that the shop and ticket office had moved sides and Kafeteria was in its old spot. A genius plan as it means you can come to the cafe without paying the entrance fee for the museum. As the area is billed as Museum Park, with tons of other museums, many without cafes, it is the perfect place to be.
It goes without saying that the appearance of the place is spot on; very Scandi but also very different to Atelier September. The menu was a little confusing at first as they offer weekly specials so the wall menu is pretty generic – for example it simply lists vegetables, meat, salad and soup etc. You need to check the printed menus for the details. The prices were reasonable but not super cheap but if you have an SMK year pass you get 10% off. However once we saw the food and tasted it, the prices make more sense. I had the cauliflower soup and bread, which was delicious, as my son chose the organic, slow cooked beef and root vegetable ragout (pictured below) and I suspected he wouldn’t managed the whole plate. Sadly I was left with very slim pickings as he loved it. I can concur that it was superb! We later found out, when I spoke to the chef to rave about the food, that we could have got a half portion for children, which is good to know if your child has a less robust appetite. The cakes looked lovely too and the coffee smelled great. We had planned to return for coffee and cake later in the afternoon but the place was packed with nowhere to sit so we decided to leave that for another day. I’m definitely coming back!
It is hugely expensive to own a car in Denmark. Over the last few years the idea of delebiler or car shares have become very popular. I expect you have seen the little white electric BMWs all over the place? The schemes are great for many people living in urban areas only need cars for casual or occasional use. There is a variety of subscription services available depending on your needs and location. You need to ensure you have a valid drivers’ licence to drive in Denmark.
This is the one we use and we are very satisfied with it. We tend to get a car if we need to go to a DIY store, Ikea or for a day trip that would take a long time on public transport for example a class party on the other side of town.
Drive Now are in Copenhagen and use electric cars. There is a registration fee (at time of writing this is 89dk) and they have a variety of options – hourly package, pre paid minutes or a monthly package. Insurance and parking fees are included in the hire.
You use the app to see the location of your nearest available car and how much charge it has. You can reserve it for a short time whilst you get to its location. There are some restrictions about where you can park the car during your rental time but the app explains it all. Half the cars also have booster seats in them for children (you can see this on the app or in the window of the car) and they also all have ISO fix so you can bring your own baby seat if you wish.
See their website for more details.
This car sharing scheme has cars in Copenhagen, Århus and Odense and offer both fuel and electric cars. There are various subscriptions from a free one (only pay insurance) up to monthly ones. See their website to see what suits you.
This scheme also offers a variety of packages which all include insurance and parking fees. A plus point for this one is they offer a 24 hour package as well as casual use. They run electric cars. See their website for more information.
This is a portal to connect people with people rather than a car sharing site like the ones above. You can rent a private car or get a lift (or offer them to others)
If you have been travelling around Copenhagen this last week or so you will no doubt have spotted a huge advertising campaign by Arla called Mælk uden mælk or milk without milk. With limited Danish this campaign can seem a little baffling – in fact I was a little confused so headed over to the Arla website to find out more.The slogans on the campaign is Milk without milk, free from calcium, protein and vitamin B12. Another says Lose the milk beard and the rest of the goodness. They will be running ads in real life on the metro and bus stops (amongst other locations), via social media and their own website.
Arla is Denmark’s largest food business and their research says that 7 out of 10 Danes think it is a good habit to drink milk but they want to open the debate about food myths and pseudo science and how this impacts on what people think is and isn’t healthy and at the same time promoting milk. They say that every third Danes gets their health information from ‘Dr’ Google and 52% of Danes think it is hard to keep track of what is healthy as there are so many health ‘trends’ on line and in social media. They believe (as I do) that the best way is to eat a varied diet and to use your common sense. The company are quoted as saying that ‘facts are under pressure’. We all know that in the time of alternative facts (thanks to Trump) and suspicion of experts (with a nod to Micheal Gove), it is hard to keep track of what is fact or not.
If you are interested in reading more about the campaign pop over to Arla’s website for the campaign and also their press release about it. There are also loads of useful and interesting article about milk. Google Chrome does a decent translation of the information.
I want to say this is not a sponsored post and the campaign does not necessarily reflect my own views but I thought as I was curious about the advert others may be too.
The food scene here can seem dominated by a handful of places but as Copenhagen really cements its position as a foodie paradise, then it is great to hear about the rest.So I was delighted to hear that Mad about Copenhagen are writing a book. It will tell the stories of 50 culinary characters of Copenhagen, the spaces they inhabit, and the food and drink they make. The list includes a delicious mix of cocktail bars, bakeries, high-end restaurants, greasy late night munchies, hole-in-the-wall kinda places, breweries, beekeepers, coffee connoisseurs, brunches, traditional Danish eateries, and more.
This is what Mad About Copenhagen write about. They do not leave out the top new nordic restaurants but do their best to uncover and expose the more underground delights of Copenhagen’s food scene.
Hazel told me that they want to capture the essence of Copenhagen’s dazzling food scene, circa 2018. The book will not remain up-to-date forever, but it will preserve the current era of foodie Copenhagen, and the stories, essays and recipes in the book will be relevant forever.
Sounds amazing, yes? But they need our help to make the book a reality. They are publishing the book together with a small local publisher (Blændværk) and they aim to
print the first edition in September/October 2018. For this they need to raise some money, and thought what better a way to make it happen than to give people a chance to
pre-order the book (with a discount) before it gets printed.
You can pre-order the book and other Mad goodies via their kickstarter campaign, until 12th April. One of the options includes having your name in the book as a supporter! (That’s the option I took, like to see my name in print!) You can see all the options on their Kickstarter page.
You can read a brilliant article about the campaign and book here
Yesterday this was our view as we enjoyed a warm(ish) walk on the beach near where we live. It was a sunglasses, coat open kind of day and we even saw some brave kids paddling bare-chested in the sea (this was a bit of a stretch as far as I was concerned). We have been wearing winter coats for the last six months and for the last few months it has been sub-zero and snowy. We woke up on the first day of the summer term with more snow coming down and actually settling, in April! My son summed it up this morning when he said that yesterday at the beach was the trailer for the forthcoming Spring. A ‘look what you can win’ glimpse into the future. At least I hope so.
I read somewhere that instead of jokingly asking what is up with the weather, we should actually consider what is happening to the climate and think about actions, big and small, that are impacting on the changes in our climate and those actions we can take to try to make positive change.On another note we had a lovely relaxing Easter break, although I think I indulged more over this holiday than Christmas. My husband loves to cook when he has the time and we enjoyed a homemade beef and ale pie, homemade hot cross buns (which were amazing and as they are something I really miss from the UK, very welcome) and a sous vide leg of lamb, which finally converted me to enjoy this meat. Easter holds a lot less expectation than Christmas and therefore seems much more relaxed. Unless your expectation is that the winter will be over!Anyway, we are into April and hopefully warmer days are ahead. I have been feeling a little disconnected with the city so I have a long list of places to explore and share once it warms up so watch this space. Finally I invite you to join my mailing list, I usually send out a couple of emails a month; one is a newsletter type one with lots of interesting stuff happening around the city, news etc and then the odd one through the month if there is something relevant to share. I don’t use your information for anything other than this purpose and you can, of course, unsubscribe at any time (but as I have said before, hopefully you will find it all useful stuff that you want to see in your inbox).
To subscribe click here and follow the instructions (if it seems a little onerous that is so I can make sure I protect your data), I look forward to welcoming you!
Easter is quite a big deal in Denmark and it almost feels as if there is spring in the air finally! Most work places are closed for five days and the city empties out as people travel to visit family or spend time at summer houses for some påskehygge! Most shops close from Thursday to Monday opening for a short day on Saturday so it is best advised to stock up before Easter or check the opening times of your local supermarket.
As I have come to expect there are a lot of Danish traditions around Easter so I thought I would share some of them with you today.The Danes love to decorate for Easter and the shops start selling decorations such as eggs, natural and colourful, napkins and candles, predominantly in green and yellow a few weeks before Easter. Påskelilie or daffodils are everywhere from workplaces and homes and can be picked up either cut or in pots with the bulbs very cheaply from florists and supermarkets.The month before Easter bars and supermarkets start selling påskeøl or Easter beers. The main breweries produce popular versions but there are many to choose from produced by smaller breweries. They are delicious and light in flavour but still pack a punch alcohol wise. These beers and snaps are enjoyed with a big traditional meal on Easter Sunday. Chocolate is a big part of Easter with eggs, big and small and also Easter layer cakes in the bakeries.
My favourite Danish Easter tradition is Gækkebrev. From February people start sending elaborately decorated teasing letters or cards without a signature. Instead, the letter holds a number of dots that corresponds with the number of letters of the sender´s name. If the one receiving the letter guesses who has sent it, he or she will get an Easter chocolate egg. But if the receiver does not guess who has sent it, then he or she gives an Easter egg to the sender.
Easter is such a time of celebration and fun here in Copenhagen, most importantly as it signifies the end of the dark winter time.