To continue my last post, here are some other things I’ll miss:
The Danish school system
I love how the system is made to inspire, invoke and reward innovation, discussion, creativity and responsibility – we are taught to think in new ways, say what we feel, and take everything up for discussion – at least to a certain degree. The Taiwanese school system, and the majority of the rest of the world’s school systems, has discipline and memorization as core values, at least from what I’ve heard, which might suit some people… Just not me.
I’m not a heavy drinker at all (I have a lot of blood in my beer), but I am Danish, and a cold beer on a warm summer day is great. Beer is a part of the Danish cultural heritage – water used to be too poor quality to drink, so people, even children, drank beer instead! Rotary has four main rules for the YEP, the four D’s: Driving (insurance doesn’t cover), Drugs (duh), Drinking and Dating, so I can’t drink any alcohol this year. I’m sure it won’t be a problem at all, but seeing a cold Carlsberg (they have those in Taiwan) on a hot hot day will probably still make me want one…
There’s nothing quite like speaking in your mother tongue; it is so effortless. Even the vaguest facets and details in the language are understood, and words don’t have meanings, they are their meanings. Learning Chinese is cool, useful and very very demanding. I’ll miss speaking Danish more than anything else on this list.
That first week, when the trees start coming into leaves and all of Denmark is the most beautiful light green, the flowers starts coming up, everything smells like wet earth and you see the sun for the first time in months is nothing short of magical.
Of course not everything about Denmark is perfect, and there’ll be some things I won’t miss. Among them are:
Janteloven/the Law of Jante
There’s many positive sides to the Danish mentality, but one that bothers me is ‘Janteloven’, the Law of Jante. Humility is a good thing, at least in moderate doses, but in Denmark it’s seen as outright appalling for a person to have succes and – god forbid – acknowledge it. Influence from the US has improved the view on being successful, but talking about it, bragging, is still a cardinal sin.
I might not escape from this though; humility is also very important in China, where you generally answer a compliment with ‘shi ma?’(do you really think so?) instead of ‘thank you’ – because thanking someone for the compliment means that you agree with it. I’m not sure how it is in Taiwan, but my guess is that it’s rather close to how it is in China.
The geography of Denmark
A field, a tree, a field, a forest, a field, a farm, a cow, a field… That pretty much sums up the Danish landscape, especially seen from a car. No mountains, no cliffs, not even a lot of hills. Really boring and monotonous. Denmark is flat as a pancake, unless you’re riding a bike. Then it’s suddenly nothing but hills! I definitely look forward to living close to the mountains in Taiwan.
Sure, the first day of snow is beautiful, but after a short while it turns into annoying brown muck. If there isn’t any snow then it’s raining, and it’s pitch dark when you go to school/work in the morning and pitch dark when you go home again. Last winter,I felt like I was permanently freezing cold from November to April. I’ll cherish the Taiwanese winter which is roughly the same as a Danish summer with less sunshine and more clouds, but better (I hope) all the same.
What have I forgotten to mention?