Sunday, April 26, 2009
Back to unreality
I had to get over my complete exhaustion before I could finally start processing my traveling experience. And it's interesting; I have realized that the things that stood out most were not in contrast to the United States, they were in contrast to Denmark. Maybe it was because the US is everywhere: in advertisements, in products, in language, in pop culture. Whereas Denmark, well, even Europeans sometimes have to ask where Denmark is. Here we are constantly reminded of how American we are, because anything outside of the Danish norm stands out, and yet while we were traveling, it was surprising to realize how Copenhagenized we had become. First of all, being from the US, we are all used to diversity in some form or another. But it was a shock to reenter a society not only full of diversity, but where people do everything they can not to conform. And it was almost hilarious to see how Danish we looked in our black leather jackets, boots, and scarves. And it was even weirder to go out and be surrounded by scantily clad girls and overly aggressive guys, which is almost non-existent here in Denmark. Even more, we had to relearn how to react to the dangers of big cities. Never once have I been afraid of pickpockets in Copenhagen or been worried to walk around late at night, whereas I had a death-grip on purse at all times as we wandered the streets of cities like London and Barcelona. In ways it was a relief to come back to the safe, sheltered bubble of Copenhagen, and in others, it was almost like falling back into a haze of unreality.