It’s 2014 and I am still in Denmark, unbelievable. So I came back to the højskole in January on the 9th.
I had training just before in Copenhagen which was very nice and I didn’t really know what to expect from the Danish when I would go back because well they have very different social skills right but it was a good surprise because they were so nice and some literally jumped on me (weird, you have to be away 3 weeks and people love you! good to know).
I also noticed that a lot of them aren’t scared anymore and talk to us ( maybe they weren’t scared of us but now they acknowledge our existence, it feels odd! but good) and the one we “knew” before are more friendly so that’s cool.
But some people were missing.
The class of International students is completely new. 18 new faces from Ghana, Nepal, China , Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, Turkey and Japan.
Communicating is always a challenge,so imagine now! For instance we have 6 Chinese here. Some have a decent English you can have a conversation with them, some….well it’s complicated. It’s funny because we learn Danish together and sometimes they try to use it but we don’t get anything because we don’t speak Danish either.
But what is odd is the “group effect”. All of sudden they forget everything they know of English and stare at you with a blank face, like you are an Alien from another planet! And you do silly moves speak slower, louder, eventually they will nod but you will have given up before they really understood anyway.
So when you have crucial information you realise you talk to them like you would to simple minded people, and it makes you sound very rude! I literally said once to them “Asian!!! Go there now!” how awful!
There is this one Chinese guy I love to talk with, even though I don’t think he ever understood me. With the girl from Hungary we asked him “where were you?” and he said ” I am fine”…. but at least he answered!
This girl from Hungary is pretty cool, we realize that it’s easier to bond with Europeans because we are similar in so many ways. But something we can’t beat her at is drinking vodka! Once I saw her sipping it like water, and I had pretty good training at the kibbutz but now I suck.
So imagine this weird combination trying to mix with the Danes. My dear Danish that I still can’t figure out but at least I have one good friend now so I can ask her, she is a bit like my guide here. For instance I come to her when I have all this stupid question, like why do you guys don’t say hello all the time like we do? Why don’t you confront and argue all the time like French? Why the word please doesn’t exist in Danish?
So it was pretty funny to see how the Danish girls reacted to the guys from Ghana asking “hey , are you married?”. It reminded me of all the wedding proposal I had in Zambia, even though Ghana is pretty different. So their Danish teacher made them a Danish session about how to ask out girls in Danish. Not sure it worked but it’s just beginning.
We also have new Nepalese but they are the complete opposite of the one we new before: the first group was loud, noisy, crazy, drunk, troublemakers and the most lovely guys on earth.
This new group is much more chilled, sweet and …behaved!
It’s good to realise that you can’t generalise about a whole culture just knowing some of them, like the Nepalese, we expected to have crazy boys. They are all different. My Danish friend keep telling me that this school isn’t Denmark and I believe her, the students here are “special” (not in this way…) and that I need to get out and experience Denmark differently…
And now it’s snowing it’s awesome!!! I realised I had one talent, maybe I can’t sing or dance or act but I am pretty good at snowball fight!