Eating Danish Style

Andrew Wentworth - Copenhagen, Denmark

Andrew

The very first day I arrived in Copenhagen I figured I would walk around the city and get as much of a feel for the culture as possible, before the jet lag set in.  Copenhagen Business School partnered me with a girl who was to show me around. It was my first time being in a big city and, lucky for me, it just so happened to be a beautiful European city with a lot of history.  After walking for three hours, I finally admitted that I was tired and needed to at least sit down for a break. We decided to stop at a little café that served a typical Danish food, which translates to "open-faced sandwich".  The Dane easily persuaded me into giving one a try.  As I was served my meal I was sure embarrassment was soon to follow.  I was staring down at a single slice of rye bread with a combination of shrimp, hard-boiled egg, pepper, mayonnaise, and tomato all piled on top, looking as if it was going to fall apart with the slightest breeze.  To make matters worse, I was handed a fork and knife and proceeded to watch my "tour-guide" begin to eat without letting any of the toppings fall off the bread.  I gave it an honest attempt for my first two bites until I noticed her starting to giggle.  I just looked at her with a smirk of defeat and told her that I was going to have to eat it my way.  I had clearly never seen such a meal and the Danish girl had clearly never seen such an eating performance as I started slicing at the entire plate and mashing my food together.

This very first experience defines exchange for me.  You are putting yourself in a different situation and you are constantly learning/teaching, sometimes without even knowing it.  I began to enjoy open-faced sandwiches and made up a few of my own variations before the end of my stay in Denmark. The most ironic part of the story is that I became very skilled with a fork and knife while abroad, and then when I came back I received the same confused looks from my friends while I ate a burger with silverware!

Andrew

Andrew
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