After almost a decade of living abroad, I’m now back in my home city, Copenhagen. So much has changed through the boom-and-bust years that I was away, and although I’ve of course visited regularly along the way, living here again brings it home. I stepped out for nine years and suddenly every major street has acquired the obligatory set of gleaming juice bars with a barista fetish in a seeming effort to look like any other capital city in Europe. Plus rent has shot through the roof.
Much has stayed the same, of course, and Copenhagen is Copenhagen, but I find myself a little out of the loop on a lot of mundane knowledge — going about installing ourselves here has been really interesting and somewhat baffling. Poignantly however, I arrived here at the day of our general election where the Danes finally — and by the slimmest of majorities — got rid of the increasingly fatigued and dysfunctional right-wing coalition that has steered the country toward greater prosperity, militarization and dispassion through the boom years. The replacement, an uneasy center-left conglomeration headed by Denmark’s first female prime minister, has now been in negotiations for a week and a half. We’ll see what they can do, but let’s just say that so far most of the people involved haven’t been all that impressive. Still, we need a change.
And it’s good to be home.