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Anyone in Copenhagen area?

I was on here a few months back because DH's job proposed a move for us to Italy. That never came to fruition, and now Copenhagen is on the table. Nothing is definite, and if it does come about, the move won't take place until February 2011.We would be there for 3 years (with an additional 3 years optional).

I know nothing beyond what I've recently read online, but would love to hear positives and negatives about living here. We also have 3 children (ages 12, 22 months, and 4 weeks). If you have kids, or have friends there with kids, what's it like for them there? 

Are there a lot of resources for you there? How prevelant is English there? My understanding is that most people know English. 

 

Re: Anyone in Copenhagen area?

  • Lorry is somewhere in Denmark, but I am not sure of her exact location. Check back on Monday, this board tends to die on the weekends.
  • I live in Herlev, which is essentially a first-tier suburb of Copenhagen. I'm 8km from the city center. My husband is Danish, and we're in Denmark indefinitely. We have a 17-month-old DD and are due again in October.

    Negatives:

    Everything is expensive. And I do mean everything. There is 25% sales tax on everything, except liquor, cigarettes, and cars, which have a lot more. 180% on cars. Yes, really. This is THE most expensive place to own a car in the world, and you will pay taxes on your existing car if you bring it here, so there's no way around that other than not having a car. Which is definitely doable. We don't have one. Trains and busses are frequent and, at least compared to American transit systems, fairly reliable. Make darn sure DH's job is giving an appropriate cost of living adjustment.

    Danes are often seen as "rude" by Americans. I don't think this is strictly true. Danes love helping people, but you usually have to ask. So yeah, it seems like they all hate you when you're standing at the bottom of a flight of stairs with a stroller and a broken elevator behind you, crying in the rain, and everyone is just passing you by, but the moment you say "excuse me!" people rush over with a smile to carry the stroller to the top of the stairs for you. It's bizarre. The same goes for being 9-months pregnant and having no place to sit on the bus, and all sorts of other situations you'd think are so blatantly obvious they don't need stating.

    Mexican food in Denmark is a very sad thing. If you like Mex, learn to make your own. 

    Positives:

    There is a thriving expat community. You will have tons of friends here if you want them!

    Ladies' International Network K?benhavn - There is a small yearly fee, but IMO it's worth it due to all the subgroups, esp. for moms.

    American Womens Club Copenhagen - I'm not a member, but I know several women who are and love it. It also has a membership fee.

    American Expats in Copenhagen - Free to join, and has an active message board for asking questions. I put up a bunch of resources when I ran this group, and the new owner never took them down. :D I will warn you, though, that one of the assistant organizers (Larry) will likely hit on you if you ever go to a meeting. And he's at every single one. He's harmless, but can be overwhelming because he's so loud and excitable. (You can see on the boards he LOVES to talk.)

    Copenhagen International Parents - Free to join, semi-active message board. If you ask something, it will get answers anyway. :) This is my favorite group. There would be playgroups appropriate for either/both your younger kids, and they're not all held in the same place like the LINK ones. I like going to new cafes, parks, play areas, etc. 

    If you happen to be a democrat, Democrats Abroad Denmark is very active and has meetings at least every month. They're really helpful (even if you aren't a democrat) for getting info on how to vote from over here. For whatever reason, there is no chapter of Republicans Abroad here.

    Hellerup and Lyngby especially have a lot of expats living in the area. There's a grocery in Hellerup with an American and British foods section. It's spendy, but when you NEED a Reese's peanut butter cup, it's there for you. There are a couple of international school options in the Hellerup area as well. DD isn't school age yet, but there are several women in LINK and AWC who can tell you all about Copenhagen International School, Rygaards, and/or Bernadotteskolen.

    Everyone under about 60 speaks English, esp. if you're in the City. Even here in Herlev, people are noticeably less comfortable speaking English, but most people will still do it. 

    That's all I've got for 8 in the morning. Feel free to email me lorryfach at gmail if you want to talk Denmark any time. :) 

  • BTW congrats on Alec. He's so cute! :D
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