If the past forty days abroad is any indication of how quickly time will pass, there is absolutely no doubt I will soon reunite with my beloved Subaru, comfortably travelling around (hair and clothes completely dry), eating a Golden GayTime, listening to the radio and isolating the use of my legs to the workings of my right foot to press the gas and brake pedals only. In the past fourteen days, I have cycled more than I ever did at home and over the last twenty-one years of my life, although surprisingly, I am really enjoying this new mode of transportation and I may consider purchasing a bike upon my return (but before I make any life-changing decisions and start to cycle everywhere in Sydney, let us wait for Winter to arrive first).
Copenhagen is an extremely attractive city and due to its impressive and well-established biking culture (cars always give way to cyclists and the allocated bike paths are larger than the sidewalks), individuals are able to travel around with ease. Posing as an alternative to taking the metro, train, bus or car, it is also in my opinion a healthier, prettier, relaxing and fun way to see the City, given there are no gale force winds and it is a beautiful Summer’s day in Copenhagen. Through cycling, I have recently accomplished the following:
- Six successful trips to Føtex, our local supermarket store, in which my front basket and backpack have come in handy. This is notably less strenuous, more enjoyable and quicker than walking and carrying my week’s worth of groceries to and from my apartment.
- Numerous trips to the city, including a visit to the City Hall, Torvehallerne (one of Copenhagen’s many food halls where I ordered GRØD’s famous porridge), PapirØen (Copenhagen’s street food market, located on the paper island in the harbor, where I ate the most delicious pulled-duck burger) and Central Station (where I embarked on a spontaneous, thirty-minute train ride to Malmö, Sweden).
- Countless trips to CBS to attend class, study, catch up with friends and most importantly, to purchase affordable coffee.
- Increased fitness and endurance, as I attempt to burn off my daily consumption of Danish pastries.
Also, I have quickly learnt to limit my faith in the weather forecast and the “promising” (yet almost-always intermittent) sunshine. In Copenhagen, it is possible to experience many seasons in a day, by which I have already witnessed the transition from a glorious morning sunshine, to thundering hail stones, emerging blue skies with powerful strong winds, disrupted by rain to see the return of the sun just before the closing of the day. Unfortunately, I have been caught twice in the rain whilst cycling and as much as it reminded me of being a kid again (prompted by puddles and ponchos), I returned home soaking wet, hungry and cold, in desperate need of some tea and comfort food.
As I approach my two-month anniversary of leaving home, I can’t help but still feel and act like a tourist in this impressively charming and impeccably designed city of Copenhagen. Sadly, my shopping addiction hasn’t eased (many thanks to my discovery of & Other Stories) and I can’t resist trying Nordic cuisine and desserts (think cinnamon scrolls, pastries and vanilla soft serves), I am putting all my efforts into establishing a meaningful yet effective routine to sustain my lust for travel, exploration, learning and growth. Knowing there are only a few more months of 2015 remaining, I hope to make the most of every moment abroad, approaching each day with the perspective that there is something new to be learnt, either from friendships, experiences and opportunities in Denmark and beyond.
Kimberly Ong, 11712179