They always say that the tourist experience is different than the local experience, and I strongly believe that. I never experienced New York like I did with a New Yorker, and I’m sure Kiev would have been completely different had I been there without a native. Not only do you get to see the local dives and “live like the locals do,” but you often avoid the not-worthwhile tourist traps and experience the real value that a place has to offer. The interesting thing about my experience with Copenhagen is that I came here as a tourist, or at least as an outsider, and yet I have yet to act as one. Yes, I have done some sightseeing, been to a museum or two, and visited the most popular shopping areas, but I still fall very short of doing the things that every tour book screams are MUST-Dos in Copenhagen.
This being said, I find my way of culturing myself in Copenhagen preferable to lines at ticket counters, landscape paintings, and rooms full of old furniture. My approach has been to toe the line; I can’t exactly say I have been getting the truly local experience seeing as I have been exploring sans locals, but I haven’t been acting as the typical tourist might, either. Last week, for example, was jam packed with Copenhagen culture: a mix of high and low, chic and quirky, upbeat and relaxed. On Monday, Kanika and I attended the test screening “Love at First Hiccup,” a romantic comedy based on a Danish movie produced in the 90’s which turned out to be a Disney Channel movie gone wrong, to put it nicely. Tuesday I opted for the high culture and went to the Royal Ballet Theater with Caroline and Jessie to see the Danish Royal Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet. Although, it is hard to say whether or not the ballet was good; to say the least, if the ballet had a nosebleed section, our noses would have been bleeding heavily, seeing as we were in the last row of the top balcony and our seats resulted in us watching an empty stage for half of the 3 hour long performance. With midterms a-comin’, Wednesday was spent attending to my studies, but by Thursday, we were bringing in the weekend at Kulor Bar, dancing the night away to what seemed to be the same techno-pop song on repeat. Friday was a similar story, except this time the venue was LA bar and the musical genre was American classics. Saturday brought a change of pace with sleeping in until noon and a 3 hour breakfast consisting of eggs, toast, and banana pancakes drowned in Nutella. Stomachs full but hearts light, we had a girls date to see Slumdog Millionaire where we had a lesson in language barriers: Hindi dialog subtitled in Danish epitomizes the phrase “lost in translation.” A dinner of shawarma provided a nice intermission before heading off to a funk show at Christiania, very funky and very Christiania. And of course, no week of culture is complete without a museum visit, but a free visit to the Glyptotec on Sunday afternoon solved that, as well as any need to see sculptures from Mediterranean Empires for a very long time.
Local: not quite, tourist: no…I’m somewhere in the middle, but life couldn’t be better.