American Influence

This city allures you with cute cafes and a relaxed, bustling atmosphere. Copenhagen welcomes you while the people beckon you. Danish culture is not saying hi to every stranger, but I feel the Danes will most certainly help anyone in a pickle. Any inconvenience or recommendation I need help with is answered earnestly by anyone I ask. It only took me about three days to forget I was in another country entirely. Ironically, I think a big part of that is how much American culture permeates Denmark’s. My favorite burger shop has a painting of Samuel L. Jackson eating the burger from Pulp Fiction and Muhammad Ali drinking Coke. That’s some pretty American stuff. 

Completely Danish Café. I like that Marilyn Monroe is Jesus.

Americans should find Denmark quite familiar in that way. I can’t even point out too many similarities because so much feels the same. It all seems like an American city with a heavy biking population, and minimal capitalism (not many chain shops). But the main thing I want to focus on is how Danes seem to view and interact with me.

On the first day, I asked my Danish roommate what the stereotypes were about Americans. He named the obvious “dumb” or “ignorant” American stereotypes, but he said those aren’t taken too seriously. He did, however, say that he believes you could hold a camera up to most Americans and they would “be ready to perform.” Now that is interesting. And honestly, I think I hold that same sentiment. He said it comes from goofy internet videos on the street and our politics in recent years. I was shocked at how much everyone at our first-day dinner knew about American politics. I couldn’t tell if it came from how much American politics affects the world or how we forcefully broadcast all of our news. And it’s night and day on how politicians are visually. Their politicians here seem full of young, vibrant men and women when compared to our situation back home. 

This woman is gorgeous, but her party is cutting ties due to her Russian connections.

Every Danish man I’ve met has been so excited to meet an American, including one who proceeded to name every single state. Every single state in under two minutes. He even knew Nebraska. I think I would forget about Nebraska. He told me he’d been practicing for no reason. He doesn’t have a trip planned or anything, he just wanted to know them. That was extremely impressive and odd to me, as I’ve lived here for three weeks and I can only name three parts of the city.

A Dane also might, after telling them you’re from the South, start singing “Country Roads Take Me Home.” Seriously, I think everyone knows that song. It’s happened four times. Two men in a bathroom sang that entire song for me.

I think all of this comes from America being such a large exporter of media. My roommates here watch The Bachelor, and when they threw a get-together with their friends, they almost exclusively played 2010s American pop. If you think about how much your favorite movies, shows, and music affect you, it’s cool to think about how connected you are to everyone around the world when you share that common thread.

Lastly, some recommendations for you in Copenhagen:

  • Lagkagehuset, Lille Bakery, Café Nanis – good cafes
  • REMA 1000 – grocery store, very cheap
  • Gasoline Grill – burger shop dressed as a gas station
  • Picollini – Pizza
  • McDonald’s – obviously
  • Farfars
  • Fredericksberg Gardens – nice park

MCC – 9 (down week)

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