The Danish language cracked us up. Part “IKEA-German” (Jack and I made that up), part French, and mostly incomprehensible. The -er suffix was applied liberally, too: butikk-er, parkk-er, toilett-er…you get the idea.

Tog!  Makes you smile, doesn’t it?

And some French, just for fun.
Go ahead and chuckle. We did.

About that happiness. Because we’d had an early flight to Copenhagen we were a little too tired to go out for dinner on the first night; plus, Jack wanted to study a bit, so we decided to order delivery from Wagamama, a British-born Japanese noodle restaurant that I have loved ever since my first visit to London over ten years ago. I went to the reception area, and the bartender stepped in to offer assistance as the reception clerks were busy with other guests. I don’t think this happens outside of happy Denmark. The online delivery service required an account; the bartender, Kim, allowed me to use his account to order our noodles! Unfortunately the restaurant refused to deliver to a hotel. Sadness, but not for long!

Kim suggested we try take-away from a Vietnamese street kitchen just a block from the hotel instead, proclaiming the food, in his beautiful Danish-accented English, to be “the best.” He was right! Our rice noodle bowls and shrimp spring wrappers were indeed “the best” Vietnamese food we have had since moving across the pond.

The following evening Kim saw us return to the hotel and asked where we were going for dinner. Being in the mood for good Italian fare, once again Kim came to our rescue with the suggestion of Mother, a Naples-style pizza place just a short walk away. It turns out that Mother is one of Copenhagen’s best restaurants. (When my request for a small side of anchovies did not appear, our wait staff exclaimed, “Oh, dear. They must have swum away.” Happiness!)

On our final evening Kim asked about our day, was pleased that we had toured Kronborg Slot, and that Jack had selected a Bøfhus (Beef House) down the street for dinner.  He offered that Jack would not be disappointed with the ribs, and gently cautioned that I may find the food “a little bland.” We both enjoyed our meals. I don’t know about Kim’s bar tending skills, but he certainly should apply for a concierge position at his next opportunity.

This happiness was everywhere. The 7-Eleven clerk (Yes! Slurpies!) cheerily explained the flavors to Jack. The grocery clerk happily helped us count coins for our snack purchase. Vehicle drivers waited patiently for cyclists. And on and on. Just as I believe the Czech Republic could dominate the world with their cuisine, the Danes could do it with contagious happiness.

Even public housing was of a cheery color.

A cold Carlsberg at an outdoor table at The Fisken Pub in Nyhavn is good for one’s happiness.

 

Speaking of Carlsberg, this is Ludvig, one of the brewery’s Jutland horses that “works” on special occasions. He has a happy life, I am sure.

Two small points of unhappiness were the only blemishes on our short holiday. The first, we missed being in Copenhagen for the Eurovision finals by a few days, though we did see an advance team for a contestant at the hotel near ours.

The second? Copenhagen is expensive. More expensive that over-inflated Washington D.C., more expensive than uppity Zurich, and more expensive than even Imperial Vienna. A postcard? €3 equivalent (the currency is the Danish Krone); a single ice cream, €5; a pint of Carlsberg, €7,50. Restaurants, too, add an automatic 25% VAT to the already costly meal tab!
But, still. Denmark? A happy of happiest, “Yes!”