Episode 08- Keeping Active
It’s been a little while since our last post on here. I wish we could say it is because we have been relaxing in Danish saunas and drinking Jule øl (Christmas beer), but alas that’s not the case.
Although you have been drinking plenty of Jule øl!
As they say… when in Copenhagen!
This post will be a little update on life in the North, our most recent trials, tribulations, discoveries, and the competition that has kept us busy! So, let’s start with the weather… it’s COLD!
And unfortunately it’s the worst kind of cold- not quite cold enough for snow, but too cold for my beard to provide adequate face-warmth! Today is comparatively warm with a top of 7° and low of 2°, but it has been getting down to -2° at night, with a wind chill of something around -500°!
And there’s plenty of wind here. We bought an umbrella… it lasted 1 day! If you’re thinking about moving here, invest in a good rain jacket.
Housing is the next big issue here in Copenhagen. We had to move out of our first apartment in early October, and had 2 weeks between moving out of that one and into the next place. Air bnb is a real problem here because a vast majority of the vacant apartments here are rented through the website at extortionate prices, meaning there is little by way of affordable rentals in the city, and competition is high! As such, we discovered it was cheaper to fly to London and stay with family than to stay in either Copenhagen or across the bridge in Malmo (Sweden).
Ryanair flights cost us about $50 per person return, compared to the $50/night we would be paying on Air bnb. And youth hostels aren’t any cheaper!
We ended up with a 2-month rental of a small apartment on the edge of the city, which is around 40m2. It is a typical old Copenhagen apartment where the toilet was retro-fitted into a pantry in the hallway, and has a shared shower in the basement- on the other side of the courtyard. Running across the courtyard in a towel isn’t much fun when it’s 1° outside!
The other major development is our undertaking of Danish language classes. Free education in Denmark is a big thing, and this extends not only to schools and universities, but also to language schools. Once you are registered in the system with a CPR number, you can enrol in Danish language classes. Classes are run 3-4 times/ week and either in the mornings or evenings after work.
Nu kan vi tale lidt dansk, og forstå lit mere!
WARNING, Danish is a HARD language to learn, which is intensified by the fact that it is notoriously hard to practise, given that Danes will often switch to English when they realise you are not native.
What’s worse is that despite the fact that all Danes speak English, most offices tend to be wary of hiring foreigners unless they can speak Danish. This has been our biggest hurdle to date. Although it’s frustrating, it’s also somewhat understandable that Danes want to speak Danish in Denmark… If you are thinking about moving here to work, we strongly suggest taking some Danish classes before you leave. Knowing basic Danish will make your job search considerably easier!
But despite the challenges, it is always important to keep focussed and active. We decided to enter a competition: Jacques Rougerie, architecture for the sea. The brief was to design ‘Ports of the future’, so we researched the future shipping trends. As with cars, shipping is headed down the path of becoming electric and autonomous, which led us to the question “what happens when oil is no longer needed or mined?”
Our submission that you can see below took the 60,000 oil rigs in the ocean that are to become obsolete, and repurposed them to create ocean battery charging stations, enabling global shipping using electric battery power. The ocean structures also provided opportunities to harness the photosynthetic power of ocean algae to ‘scrub’ CO2 from the air and produce oxygen, while providing means for sustainable cultivation of food, biofuel and medicine, providing further economic incentive and sustainability of the ‘Power Lung’ structures.
As always, spread the love by liking and/or sharing our blog with the buttons below, and stay tuned for our next post soon!