Friday, October 22, 2010

A place to call home in Denmark - I.

In a moment of madness at the beginning of last year I added up how much money we’d spent in rent since we’d come to Denmark. After a quick trip to Rigshospitalet for some critical coronary care, we decided it was time for us to check out the real estate market in Copenhagen.

Fortunately for us it was right down. Unfortunately for me, job security didn’t seem quite so positive. But, as we had decided to stay longer – indeed we had already overstayed our original plan by a year, we figured we would risk taking the plunge.

And so a most unusual process began.

In Australia anyone can buy property. So much so that most of the crème de real estate is owned by exceedingly rich, dreaded…foreigners!

In Denmark, a land not backwards in coming forward as far as rules and regulations go New in Denmark , aliens must apply to this place: Justiceministeriet for permission to buy a property.

As any self-respecting and law-abiding visiting alien would do, I rang justiceministeriet, expecting this call to be the first of many long, convoluted and frustrating conversations to the relative body who would, over the many months of squabbling ahead, finally become as close as kin. So I was quite surprised when I was given the go ahead to find a place during a conversation that lasted all of 83 seconds.

Next hurdles: Find a nice bank. Find a nice flat.

Ridiculous airfares from Copenhagen

I was considering going to Singapore for Christmas to see my family – until I checked the airfares. For CPH-SIN-CPH it is roughly 5,000kr if I leave before 9 December – can’t do. But wait there’s more! It’s just a paltry 12,000kr if I go after that date. More than double in price. You can actually find flights to Australia for less than 12,000kr.

Not. happy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dragør- Fl 101 on runway 3, clear for sightseeing

I’m thinking I might start carting visitors after their long-haul flight to see me straight over to the old fishing village of Dragør. There are two schools of thought on how it should be pronounced, so I won’t confuse it by adding another in my bastardised Danish. Suffice to say, neither is easy.

Anyway, Dragør is literally located next to the airport but surprisingly quiet. I suspect this is due to the aeroplanes taking off straight over the sea. There are also a couple of good restaurants and at least one smoke house.

You can walk along the coastal strip, which with a mini dyke running along it feels as if you’re actually walking below sea level. The track seems to go quite a way but I didn’t venture that far. I did, however, amuse myself at the image of carting jetlagged weary friends a kilometre or so along it from the airport to check it out before taking them home – with me impressed and them glazed-eyed and care-factor-zero interest.