As I’ve mentioned in my previous entries, I am thoroughly enjoying myself in Copenhagen. It is such a great, interesting city that it makes me sad I am almost 1/4 of the way through my time here. I went away to Edinburgh last weekend, and I genuinely missed Copenhagen (even though Edinburgh was awesome). As I said, I have not had too much trouble adjusting to cultural differences. Another one of the new cultural differences I’ve realized here is how much more blunt and open about certain things Danes are than Americans. They are not as afraid to discuss more controversial topics, or sexual topics, which is a little surprising coming from the States. Although it has not caused any issues, it is definitely an interesting cultural difference I have noticed.
This past week, I traveled with my core course (European Business Studies) to Western Denmark to places like Aarhus. It was really cool to see more of the country. Although the cities look a lot like Copenhagen in a lot of their architecture, they are definitely much smaller. Copenhagen is the largest city in the country and most of western Denmark is very remote. One of the most beautiful scenes I have seen in Europe is a 15th century Danish manor that belonged to noblemen that has recently been restored and turned into a restaurant (see attachment). We got to eat there with our class, and it is potentially the best food I’ve had since arriving in Copenhagen. The Danes are famous for their pork, and the chef did not disappoint. We had a delicious meal and 3 different desserts, all made of different combinations of chocolate and carrots (none of which were carrot cake).
Another great part of my core course week was getting to see the Lego headquarters. We got to learn all about the Denmark-based company that is so popular around the world, and how they spread their message of creative play. The company is extremely well run, and it was interesting to learn how much goes into creating and maintaining the high quality lego brand association that the company strives to uphold. Furthermore, one of the most interesting things about seeing the Lego headquarters was seeing the town that has developed around the headquarters. A majority of the people living in the town work for Lego. In their huge, new building erected in the middle of their town as a sort of meeting place, they have a Lego store, Lego cafe and a giant Lego tree creation in the center of the building made of more than 6 million Lego bricks. The building itself was even architecturally designed to resemble Lego blocks, and for that reason the huge building does not a have a single pillar in the inside. It was so interesting to see how much of the culture of the town revolves around the company, and how proud the members of the town are of the brand. Overall, everything is going great after about a month in Copenhagen. Can’t wait to see how the next 3 months go!