I had the privilege to attend my first Danish house party yesterday evening. The dorm that I live in is divided into identical sections – 10 rooms, one community room with couches and a TV, and one state of the art kitchen. You are categorized in the dorm based on the kitchen you are a part of. I am a proud member of 12 – 2. Last night, a guy from 16 – 6 was throwing a going away party, since he is leaving for the summer, as do a lot of the residences that live here.
When a kitchen decides to have a party, all the rooms are open and people just hustle, bustle, sing, and dance throughout the section.
I was pretty excited for the chance to meet a bunch of real Danes. I love the international students that I have met here, but living in an all Danish dorm has really given me the best of both worlds. I anxiously awaited the party while watching Modern Family in my room. I figured people would show up at my kitchen between 9 and 10 to pregame and then we would all go up together. But as the night went on, my kitchen stayed quiet. I kept finding excuses to go into the kitchen to check if people were around – such as filling up my water bottle (and dumping it out 10 minutes later to go fill it up again…), cleaning a spoon, grabbing one chip…but the place stayed dead.
All dressed up with nowhere to go, I recruited my Badger buddy Ali to go get a drink with me at a pub. Seems even 10 PM is too early for pregaming in Denmark (party animals…). But not for us Badgers! We found a tiny bar in the center of town and ordered “beer.” Just beer. We couldnt read the menu, nor the sizes. What the hell is a cubic liter? And how much is 50 of it? The waitress understood our confusion and just said she’d take care of it.
Apparently the Danes drink their beers by the bucket. This “glass” of beer was no joke. But oh my, it was delicious.
I arrived back at the dorm a little before midnight. Still no one in sight. I figured I had missed the pregame, if there had even been one. I hesitantly went up alone, hoping and praying I would see at least one familiar face. I was feeling like a freshmen again – crashing any rumor of any party, hoping to know anyone.
The section had been transformed in to a Mobil Mini Mart. They don’t do kegs here apparently – just Full size glass fridges of bottled beer. The kind you find in a gas station where all the beverages are kept. And I didn’t even need a speed pass for it. IT WAS FREE. Music was blaring and the common room had been turned into a karaoke room. The section was filled with wall to wall people, in and out of every room, with all the floor to ceiling windows wide open. The sixth floor view was breathtaking, and I probably could have just sat on a couch all night and stared out the window.
The only time I felt awkward was when one girl recognized me and said, “MELISSA! What are you doing here?!?!” Um…same thing you are…? I was immediately worried that I had crashed a party I was technically not invited too.
But then I found my other kitchen-mates and well…you know how the rest goes. Somewhere around 2 AM, I was feeling pretty cocky and made the Danes hand over the karaoke machine. Frankly, I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t think Danes are known for their singing voices. Equally as funny, they all sing English songs! AC/DC, Aretha Franklin, Britney Spears. I somehow got coaxed into singing Tina Turner. No easier way to make new friends than attempt to embarrass yourself on a karaoke machine.
The rest of the evening consisted of the Danes telling me to walk up to strangers and say silly things in Danish. Cuz it is just soooooooooooo funny to listen to an American girl say things she doesn’t understand…thanks guys. Thanks…
Around 4, I realized I was one of 10 people left dancing in the kitchen. And i was the only one that was really sweaty. I decided it was best to excuse myself.
And then my alarm went off at 8 AM for my first day of classes. Two classes. 2.5 hours each. Back to back. Solid life choice Melissa. Solid…
I’ve been told the next party is Friday. It may take me the next three days to recover and prepare. Mentally, physically, emotionally. I consider it a personal challenge to keep up with Danes, so I have no choice but to show my face again on Friday. I just want them to like me.