I arrived in Copenhagen for the first time on Wednesday the 12th of August 2015. The sun was slowly setting in the city as 150s bus from Nørreport made its way over the lakes and turned on what was to become a very familiar road, Nørre Alle. From pictures, I had a brief understanding of what Egmont looked like and before I knew it, I was standing outside the big brown building and my new home. After a while and a lot of confusion in the lobby I figured out that “GL.2” was an abbreviation, meaning second floor of the old building and so I made my way up the stairs and through the heavy hallway door for first the time. Mille and Martin smiled as I walked into the kitchen. ‘Niall, the new Irish guy?’ questioned Mille. I had made it.
I began life at Egmont on the first day of the Egmont Festival, and I had no idea what I was in for. I expected my first couple of days to be about settling in and getting used to my surroundings but the three day festival was quite intense, from having “snaps” with my breakfast for Peter’s birthday to dancing on my kitchen table to Robbie Williams with Danish people I had only met 24 hours before hand. I had also met so many new faces from other hallways and it was hard to keep track of who lived on Gamelen and who didn’t. In the end it turned out to be the perfect time to arrive. The festival was a great way to meet my new neighbors and by Sunday morning it felt as if reality had kicked in.
As the weeks went by I began to feel more and more at home at Egmont and indeed Copenhagen. I explored the city by bike, indulged in new food and experienced the Danish nightlife. Back at Egmont I ate at Madklub most evenings and always tried to get involved with social events. I quickly came to terms with how Egmont focuses on social life and by participating at Egmont I noticed how the Danes were very appreciative. If you allow yourself to fully immerse in the Egmont lifestyle, it in returns looks after you like a mother figure. The kitchen soon becomes like a part of your family with every member bringing something to the table whether it be great cooking skills or great at cleaning or even great at conversation. I began to feel a strong sense of comradery and comfort at Egmont. I did not have to prove myself to anyone or act differently; I could be myself and feel right at home.
After a couple of months of living in Denmark I began to feel like it was one big holiday. I was having such a fun and exciting time it didn’t feel like real life. Up until this point I was quite content on partying and meeting new people and just hanging out in the kitchen on weekend nights. However I didn’t want to return to Dublin and look back at Copenhagen as a 5 month holiday. I wanted to look back and say I “lived” in Copenhagen for 5 months. I sought to push the boundaries and soon got part time work in a Café. I also joined the football team. The combination of the two quickly gave a structure and responsibility to my weeks and before I knew it Christmas was on the horizon and this experience would soon become a memory.
The New Year’s Eve party sparked the end of my time at Egmont. Seeing the fireworks fill the Copenhagen skyline was a fitting way to leave behind such a wonderful place. As Cliché as it may seem the best way to describe my time at Egmont was that it was Hygge. Copenhagen has become my home away from homes, a place full of great memories and great people.