Danish weather, pragmatism, and the magic of letting go
Want to know one thing you can never count on in Denmark? The weather.
It can literally go from glorious sunshine to biblical hailstorms in a matter of minutes. When I first arrived here, I thought I could cheat it, time the periods outside with dry spells, that sort of thing. But I swear that the Danish Mother Nature has made a pact with the gods of 9-5. Almost every time that an unexpected deluge has hit I’ve been either on my way to or from work. The minute I arrive? The flash floods stop and the sun appears.
No matter which way you spin it, soggy jeans are a terrible thing. Soggy jeans combined with water logged socks? Disaster. I can tell you from experience that even if you manage to dry said socks and jeans, you’ll spend the rest of your day smelling like Dr Damp. It’s a sorry state of affairs for everyone involved.
In my quest to embrace life here to the full, I spoke with some Danish friends about how they cope with the rain, only to be met with incredulous looks - “But surely you own waterproof clothes??”
And there I had it socked to me in true Danish style: stop thinking about how it makes you feel, and just get on with it. And so, armed with some tips on what to buy and where from (brand: Rains, shop: Sportsmaster, in case you’re wondering…), off I went one evening after work, smelling like a wet dog, to buy myself the things I needed to take the Danish rain in my stride.
Now I truly feel invincible. I’m almost willing the rain to come at me, give me the best it’s got, safe in the knowledge that I’ve always got my ridiculously unattractive waterproofs & wellington shoes (yes, you read that right - shoes) by my side to see me through.
The magic of the Danish mentality is that no rain, no matter how torrential, will put an end to your plans. I kid you not, I’ve seen people going for morning runs in the midst of a thunderstorm. RUNS. Using the two legs God gave them to exercise their hearts and minds whilst the streets are literally turning into on-land canals.
I love that about the Danes. I love their pragmatism and no-nonsense approach to just getting the job done, no matter what gets thrown their way. Hailstorm hits on your cycle to work? No biggie. Pull over, put your waterproofs on and be on your merry way.
I’m so used to the UK, where a minor drizzle is duty bound to put a damper (pun intended) on your plans. Now that I’m here I’m learning that things you can’t control - like the weather - are things to be taken in your stride, nothing more than tiny, little, knobbly bumps in the road.
I’m used to uncontrollable events seeming (and feeling) gargantuan. I have a tendency to get very anxious about them. I have a deep rooted need to control things that I know I can’t - but being here is mellowing that compulsion out.
In the few short months I’ve been here, I’ve learnt so much from the Danes about letting go. The devil-may-care, laissez-faire attitude these guys have is intoxicating. The expression ‘giving less fucks’ has cropped up many times in my posts, and I think it’s largely because I’m surrounded my people who’ve mastered the art of it. If rolling with the punches was a sport, I reckon Danes would glide to gold.
So next time you find yourself out in the cold, mascara running down your face, sopping wet locks of hair whipping you in the wind, remember this - “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. When you have a touch of life’s lemon juice stinging your proverbial papercuts, remember you can always put on your waterproofs to soften the blow. That’s one long metaphor to say that living in Denmark is helping me to realise that there’s no storm you can’t weather. Truly. You can do it, just keep pedalling...