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How I met this old, gorgeous and patient lady – my Copenhagen!

On the 26 August last year, I met this old, gorgeous, patient and silent lady, who introduced herself as Copenhagen. In the beginning, I have to say, she seemed rather cold.

Column |   19. May 2017

Marco Bennati

Student Reporter

I’m not referring to the low temperatures, but rather her behaviour towards me. However, in a strange way, I fell in love with her. She made me believe that I could get to understand her feelings and her thoughts. But our love was not going to be easy, and my time with her turned out to be a challenge.

The thing is Copenhagen did not show affection easily or demonstrate her feelings towards me, even if she in fact thought that I was a nice person, who deserved her attention. She would always try to challenge me and test my limits. She was trying to make me a better person. She wanted to be sure that I deserved a place in her arms, so she tested me to gain her trust.

Italian women & bike jams

As I come from a country where women are warm blooded, I did not get a good first-hand impression of this reserved Nordic lady. In my culture, I’m used to expressing my feelings and showing hospitality. Smiling is on everyone’s agenda in Italy. This did not seem to be the case with my new love.

The very first thing I noticed, when I took the Metro from the airport into the city centre, was the incredible number of bicycles that filled the streets, bringing inhabitants from A to B. During my first months, I discovered the concept “bike rush hour” and the enormous traffic jams this creates. I was very impressed by the Danes’ healthy and environmentally friendly attitude to transport, riding bikes rather than driving cars.

Feeling lazy, I tried to use the city bikes. It all went very well until I reached a traffic light. Having forgotten to raise my hand and indicate my stop, a Danish woman started yelling at me. After giving up on trying to make sense of the terrible, unknown and unpronounceable words that came out of her mouth, I sentenced my biking career to be over before it even started.


The above-mentioned incident introduced me to another aspect of Copenhagen: the Danish language! Every word is practically impossible to pronounce, and many Danes told me that they speak as if they have “a hot potato in their mouth”.

I had been disrespectful and impatient, because Copenhagen did not treat me differently from all her other admirers

Marco Bennati

I was a bit scared about the language barrier prior to my arrival in Denmark. Luckily, most people spoke English fluently, which was good, as Danish is so much harder than English or my mother tongue Italian. Nothing seems to be pronounced as it is written.

I really had fun when I tried to order something to eat in a café, as I watched the expression on the waiter’s face grow more and more puzzled as he politely asked me to repeat my order – for the fourth time!

Even to this day, I don’t know a single word of Danish, but I would really like to learn and discover this language a bit more (if Copenhagen allows me).

The expensive lady

The overwhelming experiences seemed endless, but after having done my first grocery shopping, I experienced a shocking incident: Copenhagen was an incredibly expensive lady.

I will never get used to paying DKK 120 for a regular bottle of wine or DKK 60 for an ice cream. And I’m still in shock that my morning espresso costs DKK 35. After eight months of living in Copenhagen, I finally understood that I would have to stop thinking about the exchange rate. Otherwise I would never have bought anything during my stay.

Pink skies over Copenhagen

As time went by, I decided to devote more time to the city, and I did not regret this decision. The more I felt rejected by this beautiful lady, the more I was attracted to her. But when everything seemed to be dark, and I started to feel uncomfortable and sad, something changed.

It happened one day, when I was walking home after a very hard day at university. It had been raining for days, and I felt like I’d not seen the sun for ages. Suddenly, a ray of sunlight touched my face and the sun rose into the sky, painting the grey clouds orange and pink.

This amazing view left me speechless, and looking back I can only recall that I had never seen a sky like the one over Copenhagen that day. It was burning like a wild fire. But what impressed me even more was the way it just suddenly appeared. Completely unexpected.

Marco Bennati has after some time in Copenhagen finally fallen in love with the city. (Photo: Marco Bennati)

It was at this precise moment that I felt like all the pain and all the negative first impressions I had experienced with this great lady changed, and I began to think of her in a different way. If I had just ignored my initial frustrations and convinced myself that this beautiful lady was not angry or upset with me, then I could have experienced her beauty sooner.

I had been disrespectful and impatient, because Copenhagen did not treat me differently from all her other admirers. But I was too immature to accept and embrace all her differences. That day, I felt celebrated by her sky. I felt her welcoming me like never before.

“She stole my heart”

It dawned on me one morning, while I was running near the lakes, that this old lady spent most of her time watching me and everyone else surrounding her. The water around me allowed me to see her deep and enormous blue eyes through which she was observing her inhabitants, living out their daily routines. These eyes were all over the city and reflected the wonderful sky that had lured me closer to her.

I like to think that Copenhagen was observing me, waiting patiently without judgement and testing me to see if I was strong enough to handle difficult situations and if I was ready to grow up.

During my last few months, I finally heard her voice. Blowing away completely unbothered, the wind of Copenhagen was always whispering in my ears.

In the beginning, I was not able to understand what she was saying, although I tried to listen carefully several times. Walking around the city, all alone with my thoughts, these noises would turn into sounds and then into melodies and songs. I was fascinated and attracted by her voice. The wind would become the soundtrack of my walks, bike rides and endless adventures with Copenhagen.

What I’m left with is a clear sensation that this lady stole my heart and changed my life. It took some time to get close to her, but the truth is that nothing worth having comes easy. Great things in life will take time, and therefore I would do it all over again.

The hurting, the effort, the time, and the sacrifice it took to make this old, gracious lady warm my heart and soul. So if you find yourself flirting with Copenhagen, don’t get scared of her challenging ways. Be patient, and I promise you that you will not regret it. My Copenhagen is definitely the love of a lifetime.


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