Ok, so another sleepless night at our DK ‘palace’. I have been having them for some time now… Well, I guess that means there is a lot on my mind and it all needs de-junking.
Guess what top of the list has to be…? – The damn Danish language! I can’t see the light at the end of this tunnel. I’ve never struggled to learn something so badly before. There are a lot of things against me – my age, lack of ‘real’ help, my feelings of uselessness and insufficient confidence – to name a few! I will plod on here but can’t ever imagine being fluent. There is also another obstacle, which effects my mentality here, and that is the way my attempts at Danish are perceived. I either get an over abundance of exaggerated praise (which is embarrassing, and trust me – doesn’t happen too often) or there is the more common reaction, which consists of impatience/intolerance about my wording/pronunciation. In comparison, I am always wary of criticizing anyone’s English, from wherever people are from – it’s just accepted/tolerated and not laughed at, annoyingly snubbed or irritatingly corrected. I am always going to have an accent and people are going to have to get used to it. I just wonder, is it because there are still so few foreigners speaking Danish that it’s such a joke when a foreigner tries? Or is it to do with the sense of humour here?
This topic haunts me so much, because it also affects so many other areas of life. My inability to speak Danish is having an enormous impact on my job situation. I have gone from being totally employable to scraping the bottom of the barrel. It’s lucky that I have a supportive partner, who is doing very well with his work (on the flip side, that also makes me feel guilty as hell and a little like shit in comparison). I never thought I’d like being the little woman at home who enjoys ‘doing lunch’ (no offense), but I was right to think that – it’s mundane as hell, for me personally. However, the job search is futile and I am stuck not knowing where to go or how to proceed further.
Simple, everyday things (normally taken for granted) have turned into an assault course of obstacles. Seeing the doctor, dentist, opticians, speaking to repairmen, dealing with random Danes in the street (if they do speak to you), sorting out bills, travel, bank forms etc. The list is endless. I don’t even have the courage to pick up the phone to deal with most stuff – thank goodness for emails and the internet!
It is no fun being in a country that seemingly has no need or desire to have you and barely recognises/acknowledges you as a decent citizen. I can see why other partners/spouses moving here, without a job, want (and do) return to their country of origin. And, if/when you have a fall out with your partner/spouse (naturally we all do sometimes), then it’s not just the relationship you have to think about – there is always the thought that you are potentially dispensable to the partner/spouse, and also the country – then to top it all off, could face the added stress of deportation… You can have the happiest relationship in the world, but if (like me) your glass is prone to being half empty then you imagine the worst case scenarios which plant their seeds subconsciously in your silly mind.
It is tricky to complain about Danish life without causing too much offense. But to me, it’s natural to want to bitch about stuff now and then. It does not mean I don’t appreciate the good stuff about being in another country. I just think that I should be able to point out the stuff that can affect foreigners like me over here.
Sadly, every gathering or event has become a nightmare to bear, particularly if there is a shortage of other expats or foreigners. I can’t remember ever having so many battles with my nerves to attend events or parties. Plus, I’ve never felt as dumb and stupid in all my life as I do right now. But I’m still trying here – it just feels like I am losing the battle 😦
Maybe I should try and sleep now!