My name is Eriko (she/her) and I will be writing to you about my session in Copenhagen this summer! To tell you a bit about myself, I am from Japan and a rising Junior at UC Berkeley studying Sociology. It was a big decision for me to come to Denmark amid the residual global pandemic and all the fuss around the Olympics back home, but I realized it was the right one when I took a stroll in the first morning.
Due to jetlag and my early bedtime the day before, I woke up at 7 a.m. and didn’t know what to do to kill time. But thanks to the Nordic summer when it’s bright from early in the morning till late at night, and the fact that the city is pretty safe to explore alone, I decided, why not take a walk?
The first thing I noticed is the number of people who bike, and how fast they are! It was quite odd to encounter a situation where pedestrians become the minority.
I carefully walked along the pedestrian lane not to get run over by bicycles, I reached the bridge where you can see the majestic view of colorful buildings along the river! Though I did not want to look like a tourist, I couldn’t help but getting my phone out and take a snapshot.
Another impression I got was that the city of Copenhagen is filled with cute cafes and bakeries! I already found a place to get a nice latte. You can either take outside seating when the weather is good, or you can just get it to go and enjoy it yourself on one of the benches along the river or in parks.
Getting a sip of my latte, I somewhat felt safe and relaxed, though I had only spent few hours in this strange city at that point. With morning runners, bicycle commuters, and the strange, but blissful sound of the Danish language, I knew that I fell in love with the city. With that realization, I was already daydreaming about moving here someday and seriously learning Danish.
I also observed that the weather here has quite a personality. It can get hot and cold, humid and dry within a day. It can be quite changeable as well, from getting cloudy to sunny and then to rainy within a day.
The reason why I decided to spend a summer here at DIS Copenhagen is that I enjoy making those small observations every day, and you can only do that as an outsider, not a tourist, who has the privilege of spending a long time in a strange land. With my Tasting Culture: Nordic Food, Tradition, and Nutrition class that I’m taking this semester, I am excited to approach Danish culture from multiple perspectives, and that’s possible through classes as well as daily activities like taking a walk and going shopping.
Luckily, I am here at the right time as well — Thursday was the semi-finals of the EURO 2021, and the city was filled with energy and red jerseys. I can also report on that special occasion as well.
Whether my first impression remains untouched or transforms, follow my next post!