I moved away from Bremen almost 2 years ago and there are some things I simply took for granted back then. I recently thought about what I truly miss since I moved here to Denmark. Let me share a few thoughts with you, about little treasures from my beloved Germany.
First of all, everything in Denmark is insanely expensive, especially in Copenhagen. It hit me like a train, when I ran out of shampoo the first time and went to the supermarket to buy some new ones. Not even the cheap discount brands are what I consider cheap, nothing is under 25 Krones, which is almost 4 Euros. As a consequence, I buy my shampoos and toothpaste and basically every other kind of cosmetic in Germany and bring it back.
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Strøget in Copenhagen
I miss the German styled drug stores. We have a chain store called Mattas here in Denmark, which comes quite close to it, but the price is way higher. I sincerely miss the days, where I could walk into Rossmann or DM, buy some small things like shower gel and make up remover and paid less than 5 Euro for it. I didn’t know that it was a privilege, but now it feels like heaven everytime I visit my parents and go shopping. Of course, it’s not only cosmetic,which is expensive. Almost everything is double price compared to Germany.
On the other hand I have to mention that the minimum wages here in Denmark are way higher than in Germany. It evens out with the high prices – but of course the dream would be Danish salary and German prices 😀
Until then, buying nutella, candy or chocolate is a luxury, therefore some students go on involuntarily diets.
Anyway, did you realize that I used the word “luxury” in the last sentence and I wrote it with an “x”? I just want to point it out, before I go to my next point: Danish words mostly have ‘ks’ instead of ‘x’. Well, you could say that I am getting petty-minded now, complaining about the language while living in that country. It is not the language in general, but honestly, I miss the letter ‘x’. I never noticed it, until I saw my Danish teacher writing “luksus og ekstrem” on the blackboard.
It was a tiny, but still recognizable itch in my eye. It just doesn’t feel right and it looks strange to me. My brain wants to have an ‘x’, so it would look like this: “luXus og eXtrem”. I want some “eXtra” ketchup and not “ekstra”. However, it’s just a minor thing, which feels weird for me.
..Funny enough, they still call the movie X-Men, not Eks-Men. 😀
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A matter, I can’t laugh about are the parking fines in Denmark. I get a car through my work every now and then, and it happened that I got a fine higher than my salary that day. I sincerely, with all my heart, miss the German parking and speeding tickets. This is one of the major things I want to have back in my life. The tickets in Germany are a joke compared to what I have to pay here, when I get a fine. Similar to the first point, it’s basically about the expensive life in Denmark. For people, who are lucky enough not to know: a regular parking ticket in Copenhagen is around 600kr / 80Eur.
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510,- Parking fine
I got two tickets so far, once for parking at a supermarket lot without setting up my little timer on the wind shield. When I came back a few minutes later, I had a wonderful, bright yellow fine waiting for me. No mercy. My friends in Germany are complaining about their tickets, which is not even half of what the authorities in Denmark would take. I honestly envy them.. A German parking tickets seems like a fairytale to me. 15Eur for parking or speeding 10km/h in Germany is around 600-1000kr (80 to 125Eur) in Denmark – for the same faults.
The only positive thing is: most people will learn from that lesson and either be extremely careful to avoid another ticket or just use the bike next time 😉
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Last but not least, I miss my doctors and my dentist. I remember the days, where I felt so safe and secure. Years ago, when I could go to my general doctor to check my blood, my skin doctor to ensure that my birthmarks are normal and my dentist to look after my teeth – everything at least once a year and for free. Most of my friends in Denmark only have one doctor for all kinds of trouble. They go there, when they have the flu, stomach aches, headaches or when they need the pill. Only if there is a matter that the general doctor cant fix or isn’t specialized in, he or she will sent you to the specific doctor or to the hospital.
When I had the flu this winter and spend a week in bed, I had to visit my Danish doctor – the first time since I moved here. All she did was look at my throat and then sent me home, to drink more tea. I felt lost and insecure, because I was used to more tests from my past doctor. .
I was sure that my lovely Hausarzt (general doctor), who I trusted for years, would have taken greater care of me. During all these sick days and litres of tea, I deeply missed my doctor.
The one who checked up on me for years and whom I can’t visit anymore. Maybe I was over-reacting and dramatic because I was sick, or maybe I am still not over the loss of my Hausarzt.
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Fact is, Denmark has all these extraordinary things like good transport networks, the educational system and an entirely electronic communication between Kommune and citizen, but in my opinion, the health care system needs a few improvements.
Nevertheless I do not regret moving to Copenhagen at all, and like everything in life – happiness comes with a small price 🙂
Read here about what I have learned after living in Denmark for a while 🙂
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