One of the biggest differences between my life in the United States and my life in Denmark is the day-to-day use of public transport. I sold my car when I graduated high school, knowing I couldn’t afford to keep it during college. But living in the South generally means terrible public transportation, so I borrow cars from friends and family and continue to drive everywhere, actively participating in car culture. I’ve grown up with a lack infrastructureHere I probably spend about an hour and a half on the train every day, about forty minutes of commute each way. Initially, I dreaded the concept of being far from the city, but my experiences at Krogerup in Humlebæk have been more than worth it.
Everyday I ride my bike through the woods to the train station, and hop on the train to get to my classes in Copenhagen. When my classes end at 2:30, I generally try to head home right away to avoid rush hour trains, descending darkness, and make it to dinner.
The long commute has definitely been a huge influence on my lifestyle, I don’t go to bars and clubs nearly as much as many DIS students because during the week the train I would catch home stops running at 1 and doesn’t start again for a couple hours. This brings me to the story of my first “adventure.”
A couple weeks ago, on a Tuesday night, Michelle and I decided that we needed to the DIS social scene, for the experience of it. We decided to go to Kulør Bar, a terrible bar in the city with free beer after you pay a 60 dkr ($10) cover. It’s overridden with Americans, and I’m relatively sure that 99% of their customers are DIS students. We ate dinner, checked train times and even set alarms on our phones so that we wouldn’t get stranded. We caught the last train home, and everything went as planned. Until we fell asleep on the train. Comfy seats, late nights, and a long commute make train napping pretty easy. After sleeping past our stop, we got off at the next one, thinking we’d just wait for another train to come back and take us back to our stop. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way on a weekday. After waiting an hour, we realized that there wouldn’t be any trains for a while. Luckily, Nathan hadn’t wanted to come out with us, so when we called him, he looked up at cab number for us (something you should always have in your phone if you’re studying abroad) so we managed to wander home at around 3 am.
In hindsight, the story is pretty amusing, and definitely not the worst thing that could have happened. I’ve heard stories of people falling asleep and ending up 5 hours away in Sweden, or getting their phones taken right out of their hands while asleep on the train.
Despite my public transportation misadventures and the long commute, I’ve undoubtedly become accustomed to the mode of transport, and dread having to return to the shoddy bus system in Nashville when I go home in May.