With the exception of a short “detour” during our one-year journey, where I had to go from Auckland, New Zealand to Denmark and back within just a week, it is almost 2 yearssince I spent any time “back home” in Denmark.
I often wonder if I miss it. My home country. Sometimes I definitely do. When I see the posts from friends on Facebook with their summer photos. When I see danish news with reports from “Denmark in summer”. When I feel like eating one of the typical, danish summer-dishes...
At other times I am quite happy that I can keep everything on a distance. When our politicians argue in the medias. When I hear about my friends struggling with stress at work. When I experience the characteristic, danish pettiness. And when Brussels sprouts are in season. With the exception of the danish pettiness, we have everything here in Germany as well, but when I am surrounded by a different language, not my mother tongue, it feels different. I am not exactly sure why.
It might have to do with my view of my fellow danes. It has changed since I have been living and traveling abroad for a longer period of time. The danes, my self included, have a “different” view of many things. We like to hear that we are affable, “cozy” and welcoming towards foreigners.Immigrants as well as tourists. But is it really so? For instance, I think that the germans are doing a better job at that. They, on the other hand, are quite stiff and old fashioned when it comes to their professional lives. Privately though, they are much more welcoming and open than the danes.
The danes use humor as an important ingredient when they communicate. In order to understand the danish “mentality” you have to understand the danish humor. This is often difficult for germans. They do not have that same “self-ironic” insight that is the very foundation for the Danish humor. I often miss that. Ironically, this is often the first thing a german will mention, when they explain why they like the danes so much. But from there to use the self-irony themselves is apparently a long way.
We will be spending a few days in Copenhagen. The city that was our home for 7 years, before we embarked on our journey. I don’t know if I really look forward to this. We had some hard years before we left and somehow I still connect parts of Copenhagen with this phase of our life. Perhaps it will be good to come back? If the weather is good we will certainly eat some great ice-cream in the sun while strolling down Islands Brygge.
We will be meeting with good friends and a great part of the family. So no matter what, our stay in Denmark will be positive. But I am wondering how I will be feeling when we start the car and begin our journey back to Munich. Previously I would be filled with sadness when a holiday came to an end. But I guess that had more to do with the fact that I was generally dissatisfied with the thought of heading back to the office, and felt absolutely no urge to do so. Now it is different. Now I enjoy my life with my family and I am not going back to a daily life where I have to drag my way through the week, only looking forward to Friday afternoon.