Danish Lesson of the Week: Jeg heddle Ashley, Jeg bor på øresundskollegiet på Amager. (This is how to say my name is Ashley, and where I live in Denmark. PRO TIP: it’s pronounced completely different from how it’s spelled … Ya hilla Ashley, Ya bow pa erssundskolleget pa Ama. That’s my attempt to write it phonetically, to give you a basic idea.)
Much like a traditional American dorm (ie. Seymour Hall at Knox) a Kollegium here in Denmark consists of one long asylum-esque hallway that leads to multiple rooms. Øresunds Kollegiet, where I live, has about 36 different “halls,” which are all attached to an even larger hallway and houses over 1,300 students — making it the largest Kollegium in Scandinavia. The Kollegium in general has a lot of amenities for us to use, most of what would be normally offered on a college campus, including a laundromat, a gym, party rooms and a couple random art and photography studios.
The floor that I live on could not be more welcoming. Instead of what would typically be the hangout area of a “common room,” each floor shares a kitchen/dining room where everyone gathers for the weekly communal “food club” meal on Wednesdays and then basically all other times of the day to watch old crime shows and episodes of the 90s version of Beverly Hills 90210 with Camilla and Adia (two of the five main group of Danes I’ve hung out with). Surprisingly, it’s one of the many American shows that Danes obsess with. In fact, a Danish musician, Johnny Deluxe, wrote a song alluding to the equally popular show, “Friends” The show reference is when he sings ”Du er min Rachel, jeg er din Ross … You are my Rachel, I am your Ross.”
My room is also fantastic. I share a “double” with my roommate, Therése, but instead of sharing a room we each have our own room and just share a bathroom, which is actually very different from American bathrooms. The thing is, you don’t just go to the bathroom to shower. The shower IS the bathroom. There is a nozzle literally hanging on one side of the wall that you turn on using a part of the sink, so by the time you’re finished showering, the entire bathroom floor is flooded and you have to squeegee the excess water into the drain. (I found this out after accidentally creating the perfect home for some mold spores my first two days here.)
Apart from the inconvenient bathroom situation, living with the Danes has so far been an amazing experience. I’ve been able to interact with them more than most other DIS students thus far, which is very exciting.