What's a nice Japanese guy like me doing in a place like Denmark?

This is my personal blog page where I "occasionally" write some short stories of my seriously unserious perspective towards Denmark. Please don't read them seriously. Biases, heuristics, and errors are pretty much guaranteed in them. I hope you laugh at the cultural differences that I come across. Plus, don't expect me to update this page frequently. My main job is here.

Table of Content

  • Farvel to my KonMari-ed Mobile Home Screen (August 5, 2021)
  • Tour de Denmark (July 14, 2021)

  • Farvel to my KonMari-ed Mobile Home Screen (August 5, 2021)

    These days, cell phones (or called mobile phones in your country) are essential for our life. Obviously, I'm feeling symptoms of nomophobia - the fear of not having a cell phone. Indeed, I'm constantly checking emails, news, weather, YouTube, and Instagram of celebrities and corgi butts on my phone. Probably, so are you. Particularly, when I travel, Google Maps becomes my best buddy. No Google Maps, no more travels.

    Nonetheless, I was actually trying not to use many mobile apps in the U.S. My iPhone was able to display all my apps on the only home screen without any folders (see here if you're unsure what I'm talking about). That being said, not many mobile apps were essential in the U.S. or in general in my life before Denmark.

    Now, if you're thinking of visiting or moving to Denmark, be prepared that your KonMari-ed home screen is over. Many Danish local apps are happy to join your cell phone! I was a little bit culture shocked that many services in Denmark take for granted that customers use certain Danish mobile apps. For example, MobilePay. It's a payment service app where you can send and receive money with friends and companies, similar to PayPal and Venmo. But, it's super crucial in Danish life - almost mandatory to have unlike PayPal and Venmo. A few weeks ago, I went to a barber to have my hair cut for the first time since I moved to Denmark. Up until then, I paid everything using my U.S. credit card. So, I assumed that I could do the same at the barber shop. However, it turned out that it only accepted either cash or MobilePay. Neither did I have cash nor MobliePay then. Consequently, I decided to run away from the barber without paying. No, just kidding, even though I thought of it at the moment. Instead, I texted a friend who previously told me that her boyfriend's hobby is collecting bank notes and they are one of few Danish households who holds cash. And, I borrowed cash from her and paid the barber. Phew.

    Denmark is a cashless society. In fact, until the barber's cash moment, I hadn't seen people using cash nor Danish bank notes at all. And, MobilePay plays a major role in the cashless society. You can use it anywhere, for instance, at farmers' markets and probably 99% of Danish services. So, your decision to make in Denmark will be either having cash at all times or installing MobilePay.

    If my story ends here, the title of this entry would be "How Mobile MobilePay is" or "I've sold my soul to MobilePay over cash." Anyway, as a result of facing other inconvenient events, I've downloaded many other apps since I came to Denmark. Here is my list:

    All of them are not really optional, especially for those who move to Denmark. Wolt, a food delivery app, may not be essential if you don't need to quarantine. But, in my case, I had to quarantine for the first four days in Denmark. Wolt was my lifeline to get food. Also, if you move to Denmark, you must download NemID code app. You don't want to keep using a physical code card unless you improve your hand-eye coordination skills. Moreover, I found this app list super useful for surviving not thriving. Selv tak. Now, you know what to do in Denmark. Download disse apps.

    Tour de Denmark (July 14, 2021)

    This is a moment of every year that all the cyclists are excited and watch TV instead of cycling. Tour de France. It's an annual bicycle race in France, including 21 different stages over the course of 23 days. It's notoriously challenging. And, the leader of the race wears a yellow jersey.

    Danish people seem obsessed with cycling. They are proud of bicycle-friendly cities - bike lanes everywhere, at least in Aarhus where I live. So, they care about Tour de France, not all of them though.

    However, the most important inspiration Danes get from Tour de France seems to me the yellow jersey. If you live in Denmark, probably hold on a second, "We don't wear the yellow jersey." Yeah, I know. Here, I'm no longer talking about cycling. I'm talking about Danish second obsession - drinking.

    I was a bit shocked with Danish drinking culture as soon as I moved to Denmark. This was partly because my timing of the move collided with Danish high school graduation. Just give you a bit of extra information. I'm from Japan, which is infamous for a workaholic and excessive drinking culture. Even from my perspective, drinking in Denmark is extremely wild. Just be clear for the U.S. people. The legal purchase age for wine and beer in Denmark is 16 years old (although the legal drinking age at bars and restaurants and for hard liquor is 18 years old). You see, young people are drinking at public parks in Denmark day and night.

    The culmination of this drinking culture is, in my opinion, high school graduation. If you have seen Another Round, you know what I mean here. After graduation, high school graduates rent a truck together and go on a drinking tour with their fellow graduates for three days. They stop by each person's house and eat and drink each time. Can you imagine if your house is the last stop and your parents are there? That's what I call "Tour de Denmark." It seems torture for your liver. If you are in Denmark during this period, you hear all the noises from the truck and graduates. Also, each truck selects the winner each day by counting how many units of alcohol graduates drink. The winner gets the yellow jersey: Godt gaet, Danes.