So this is it. The plane is touching down and you are actually landing in Copenhagen. This thing that started as a vague idea and an article from Monocle that was pinned up on your bulletin board is actually happening. It seems crazy and surreal.
The first point of contact is the airport, which doesn’t leave the best impression. This is partially because I spent about seven hours at Heathrow today and am tired, and also because terminal five is a shiny palace of international travel and by comparison CPH seems small and dingy. I do not miss the endless loop of perfume ads and the boutique stores that no one who is not flying first class can afford to shop at that kept me company earlier in the day.
My next thought is that people here speak Danish and I do not. This seems all too obvious but doesn’t really hit me until I arrive and hear sounds I don’t understand all around me. Buckle up. For a second I think to myself what are you doing here? Why didn’t you work harder to learn this language? Then I say no, that is the point of moving to a foreign country.
I clear customs — another bad place to make a first impression — and things are looking up. The airport looks slicker and more modern — there are identical looking clocks everywhere — and the people are friendly . This is what I imagined Scandinavia would be like — modern but somewhat more modest.