My overwhelming response to my weekend in the Danish capitol can be summed up pretty briefly. It goes something like, "I like this. This is right. I want to stay." So while I contemplate which Danish name I'm going to change mine to, I'll leave you with a few words and a few photos from my first journey to Denmark.
Copenhagen is a remarkable place – one that I never expected to connect with quite so much. A few fairly minuscule yet telling details to illustrate my appreciation: Denmark is the top consumer per capita of candles (they're everywhere). Danish people are at the very least bilingual (When I asked a server at a restaurant if she spoke English, she looked at me kindly and a bit quizzically and said, "of course, everyone speaks English here"). The queen's residence has no gate in front of it because "this is a culture of trust and she wishes to be seen by the people of Denmark as a member of the community," said a local (You can literally walk up and knock on the queen's door, though I'm told the guards would not appreciate it). There is such a strong dedication in Denmark to creating a comfortable, cozy atmosphere in which to enjoy the company of others (hence, candles) that they have a specific word for this: "hygge" (which delightfully sounds somewhat like the word "hug"). There's also an area in the city called Christiania that decided to become independent from Denmark in the '70s; the small, self-declared free state (unrecognized by Denmark, though seemingly accepted) created their own legal system, the most noticeable component in this peaceful, hippy-ish area being the green light district: an area of abundant, legal weed (they ask that no photos be taken, a request I cooperated with despite my desires). I could go on, but the last reason I'll mention now for liking this place is this: the people here are genuinely, beautifully happy. It may sound cliché, but those of you who have been here know what I'm talking about, I'm guessing. There's just a vibe. And it's good.