Denmark Or Southeast Asia? Differences I’m Noticing After 10 Months Abroad

Denmark, Southeast Asia

Being back in Denmark has honestly been a bit of a ‘culture shock’ in some ways. This country is so different from countries in Southeast Asia – in good ways and in bad ways.
The differences also mean that there are things I now need to get used to again. Here are some of them:

• Toilet paper goes in the toilet.

In Southeast Asia the plumbing is so awful that if you put toilet paper in the toilet bowl you’ll have a disaster on your hands eventually. It will block the toilet and nobody wants to witness that.  In SEA you’ll find bins to put the paper in. Gross, but that’s just how it is.
It takes a few days to get used to putting the paper in the bowl again.

• Denmark is cold!

I don’t care what my fellow Danes say. 13-15 degrees Celsius is not warm!
My Mum has just announced that she’s gonna start wearing sandals from now on. And I’m sitting here with socks on, cardigan on, a scarf and a blanket wrapped around me. I’ve been used to 30-35 degrees for over 10 months. 13 degrees is not warm and it’s not BBQ weather.

• But the air is clean in Denmark

It may be cold here, but at least the air is so fresh and clean. I could feel it the minute I stepped off the plane in Copenhagen. It’s nice not having to worry about air pollution for a while.

• No more $5 massages

One of the things I enjoyed the most about Southeast Asia was the cheap massages. I had one several times a week just because I could. So I’m sad that I won’t be having another one for a while. You won’t get one in Denmark for under $40-50.

• Has Denmark always been this expensive?

I nearly turned around at the airport to get a flight back to Asia when I saw how much a train ticket was from the airport to my Dad’s house. For the amount of the train ticket I could get by in SEA for two days just fine. Including wine! 
Everything is expensive here compared to life in Asia, but if you make an effort you will be able to get by on a budget here in Denmark. 

south east adia

• But there’s less of a chance for me getting run over in Denmark. 

I got used to the traffic in Asia, but I didn’t like it. It’s chaos over there – but controlled chaos, as they say.
In Denmark it’s much easier to cross the roads and I don’t fear for my own life when I walk around on the pavements here. Motorbikes and traffic jams on the pavements isn’t really a thing here. 

• I can walk in peace in Denmark.

It’s difficult to walk around in peace in Asia. The minute you step out of your hotel, someone is next to you, in your face, trying to sell you something. Sure, you get used to it eventually, but it never stops being annoying. The minute they see you with a backpack on, they’re up there trying to sell you whatever they can. These things just don’t happen in Denmark. 

• The nature just isn’t the same. 

Yes, the nature in Denmark is pretty. But for me, it isn’t anything compared to the nature in Asia. Everything is so lush and green over there. I love the rain forest, I love the jungles, I love the smells, I love the sounds of the animals that you can always hear. You can walk around, bump into a monkey and it’s so wonderful (unless it tries to steal your stuff), but if I bumped into a monkey in the woods in Denmark I’d be like: “The fuck are you doing here?!”
The nature is what I miss the most. 

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• I can drink water from the tap again. 

It took me a day or two to get used to again. Finally, I can drink water from the tap without having to worry about dying! 
I don’t think I appreciated it enough before, but I certainly do now.

So which one is better? Denmark or SEA?

Well, you’ll never get an answer to this question from me. And for that simple reason that it’s impossible to say. You cannot compare a country in Europe to countries in Asia. 
They’re so different. There are good and bad everywhere. Pros and cons. I love Denmark and I love Southeast Asia. 

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What differences did you notice after you returned from a trip abroad? Let me know by leaving a comment. 

5 thoughts on “Denmark Or Southeast Asia? Differences I’m Noticing After 10 Months Abroad

  1. I was in Denmark last week after visiting Nepal/Vietnam/Malaysia for one month. I agree with all of that… now WHY is Denmark so damn expensive ?!? I’m from France and even Paris seems cheaper to me than Copenhaguen !!!!

    Among other stuff I’ve noticed: people are very tall, the streets are huge, you can find some 7/eleven (but it’s so expensive), and everybody speak english.
    Mat recently posted…Croatie: le palais de Dioclétien à Split (Avis)My Profile

    • Zascha

      Mat, I agree with you! I’m taking the train a lot when I’m home, to visit family. My bank account is not liking it!

  2. I could totally relate to your experiences here. Wherever one goes, one tries to compare. I moved to the states from India, and I kept finding my life in India much more comfortable (although, a lot wouldn’t agree to that). Basic things like laundry facilities, home deliveries, food, tipping, driving made me crazy here coz the system is completely different.
    Do read through about my experiences, whenever you get time –

  3. This is one of the things I love about travel! It gives you new perspective to appreciate things in your everyday life and re-think what is “normal.”

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