First Summer in Denmark? How to spend your 18 Hours of Daylight

Abby Wambaugh is a writer and comedian from the United States who co-hosts the podcast Coping in Copenhagen

Get woken up at 4am by your children. Tell them it’s not morning yet. Cower with fear before the day ahead when they respond “Then why is the sun up??”

Spend the next hour covering every window with newspaper and masking tape. Use towels and pillows to plug gaps in the “black out curtains.” Rue the day. 

Draft a complaint letter in your mind to Ikea. Put a pillow on your head, imagine the thrill you will feel when you slam the receipt down on the customer service desk and demand a refund.

Know that there is no way you will find that receipt and if you did there is no way you would subject yourself to Ikea on a summer Saturday.

Awake fully. Consider installing better curtains. Be aware that by the time you have completed this project there will only be four hours of daylight every day and you will try to get enough Vitamin D each morning by looking directly at the light in your fridge.

Play lawn games with adults. There are many options including: throwing a ball at a trampoline made just for throwing balls at, throwing sticks at other sticks, throwing beers at other beers.  

Burn some coals in a disposable lasagne pan and call it a grill.

Brightest day
Celebrate the longest hottest brightest day of the year with a huge bonfire in the light of day in which you burn the effigy of a witch. Huh? What? Why? Ask too many questions and they might wonder how you’d look at the top of a well-lit pyre.

Follow a studenterkørsel around and watch some drunk teenagers in sailor hats barf in their classmate’s parents’ bushes and then be moved to tears when the drunk teenagers spend the rest of the stop trying to clean up the bush with some paper towels and a Føtex bag.

Enjoy a gorgeous, pristine Danish beach, unmarred by permanent signs of tourism or hoopla because who’s gunna put all the effort into permanent hoopla when it’s only warm enough to swim 3 weeks a year?

Cool off with a nice bowl of Koldskål: Cold buttermilk with lemon and broken cookies. Mmmm wet dairy crunch soup, refreshing!

Go to a Loppemarked and prepare for the next six months of Julemarkeds.

Fall completely and head over heels in love with this city in any park, on any bench, with your legs dangling over the side of any canal. Gape at how everything is crisp and beautiful and glimmering in the most brilliant sunlight on the planet.

Forgive the false claims that hygge and duvets and candles and nisse stories and really good cookies can make up for 10 months of cold and darkness and not enough pretty snow. 

Have a drink
Acknowledge that winter sunsets at 3pm are actually a fair trade for this perfect five minutes of warmth and birds and blooming trees and smiling strangers.

Let the fleeting but absolute perfection of Danish Summer turn you instantly into a buddhist monk until you have to get up to keep one of your kids from pushing her brother into the canal.

Bike home and feel that monk thing again with the wind in your hair and your kids asleep in the cargo bike for a 10 minute nap that will somehow have the same effect on their tired bodies as snorting coke off the back of a nightclub toilet.

Admire the masses of these smooth golden people you are gliding by. They look like the statues on the covers of the Ayn Rand novels you had to read in high school.

Have a drink in your shared garden and watch the kids pick flowers and say they are going to make juice out of them. What is it with these people and flower juice.

Make a pact with the other parents that you will break up the water gun fight and enforce a building-wide cease-fire/bedtime after just one more glass of something cold in the 8pm sun.

Tell your children that it’s past bedtime at 10pm. Consider whether a move to the equator is worth the hassle when they answer “THEN WHY IS THE SUN STILL UP?”