I'm an idiot. Most of the foreigners here in Copenhagen are learning Danish thoroughly to make friends with Danes, marrying a Dane, working the exact hours as stated in law, and learning its history and culture to have a Danish citizenship and benefit from the great economic advantages Danish Government gives for its citizens; I, on the other hand, pay 10,000 euro/year and cover my living expense without any scholarships, and yes, with no thought of becoming a Dane. Here the education, nursery and health-care system (except Dentist) is free for Danes [Obama just made USA follow the same system], and every student gets paid to study (called SU): 5,000 kr/month, which is approx equivalent to 1,000USD a month [which is enough to cover your 2,500kr room rent and rest for food]; elders get their pensions happily, and the unemployed and homeless people also get free money as well. Everybody's 'happy' drinking Carlsberg/Tuborg and living here - in fact, Denmark is known as the happiest nation in the whole world!
Yes, how is this possible? Well, these crazy Danes pay almost half of its income to a tax, because they (well, most of them) believe it's completely worth it and they believe they get a lot out of it. Amazingly, i think the same now. At first i thought: whoa how did the Danish Government manage to brainwash the whole nation and make them pay these huge amount of tax! Well, here in Denmark, people are in love with the tax, and vice versa. Tax is the reason there is a free edu, health care (if you get cancer, all your surgery and pills will be free!), SU, unemployment and homeless insurances. Plus every year, people get a holiday money from the tax amount they've paid, and everybody likes to travel abroad and get out of this tiny peninsula once in a while and when they have the time. Danes travel a lot. I would say Danes are very nomadic. And btw, I just got my own holiday money as well, because yes, i pay tax too.
Tax was one of the big cultural shocks i faced. Biking was another for a taxi lover like me. In Mongolia, i used to bike at my summer house for fun. But here, businessmen, housewives, teachers, students, old grandparents and well everybody bikes daily in the city. It is without a doubt, the reason most of the population are very fit and healthy, besides the healthy food and cigaret bans [Danes are obsessed with organic products]: you would see a lot of people running near the parks and avenues, and most good dormitories have gym, etc. Plus, having a car is a complete luxury, since the petroleum is expensive and it is so hard to find a parking space in Copenhagen. Students rarely have their own car, if they do, well then it's likely to be family shared or he/she is ridiculously rich.
But being rich is no big deal in Denmark, people actually PREFER to be average and humble, surprisingly humble, and very un-American. Majority of the people are middle class, so the gap between the rich and poor are small, compared to the other unequal developing nations. I really feel like in the 1900s Mongolia wanted to build this kind of society through socialism, but sadly we failed. Anyways, i am really enjoying living in Denmark, even if it rains every 2 days and yes it's always windy, because there are no mountains! i feel it's a very safe place to be, even though i lived in a street for a half year where several shootings and bombs took place. Ofcourse it can never be PERFECT: The "cartoon drama", "failed COP15" and "war in Iraq" etc darkens the Danish image and reputation on the world stage.
However, Denmark is a very green country, and i mean very green. There are grass, trees and so many parks every where. People live happily next to the cemetery, because its gardens are very beautiful, and I was once very shocked to see people have a lunch and 'picnic' there. Anyways, technologically it's very green too, like the Netherlands, they have offshore and onshore windmills producing electricity, district heating homes and buildings efficiently, but a bit petroleum too, they own a bit of oil in the North Sea, besides the Norway [Danes joke and say that Denmark only gave away its oil in the North Sea to Norway, because the Prime Minister at that time was drunk when signing the deal]. But people really prefer biking, because they love everything environment-friendly (cars pollute the air, remember?) and they even worry about cows polluting the air! Let the cows poop and fart, you climate freaks!
Being a foreigner is an experience you shouldn't miss. Everybody's blond and blue-eyed, but i, on the other hand, have a black hair and yes very Asian face. People would ask me whether i'm Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Thai,etc and say Nihao and Konichiwa! Some even ask: what on Earth are you doing in Denmark from Mongolia? How come you don't have no accent?Your English is so good! Did you live at states or something? Do you ride horse? Wow you're the first Mongolian person i've ever met! etc. I once promised myself i would hug and kiss anybody who says SAIN BAINA UU? But sadly, that time might only come to my kids generation, maybe even my grandchildren's era, where Mongolia may get developed and be in the same stage with other developed nations.
I'm a very patriotic girl, it's in my blood and family. My grandfather fought in the WWII and Khalkh Goliin Battle for his homeland; and my mother is an idiot too, she came back to Mongolia, although she could have stayed in Germany and work, but she chose her homeland over her lust in wealth [money is only paper, dear, she says to me] and now she has developed the first micro-financed saving credit union, which benefits many of its members still after the saving credit unions' crisis.
I never understood really why we failed to employ our own people in Mongolia till i came here and worked. There are so many young people who are willing to develop and see Mongolia succeed no matter what - so patriotic that sometimes, they are bit scary and stupid. Well, there ARE great minds being educated in and abroad Mongolia. Brain drain and brain gain is a major issues right now, yes, but we need to see actions; empty words and talks are not enough to attract back the educated people abroad. But now i understand. Who would go back to Mongolia and get paid approx 25$/day, when abroad we can earn 25$/hour at least?! This hesitation is scaring me. I would feel very sad to receive such a low value for myself and my work; and i believe this is a great cause of brain drain, besides the working environment, corruption, pollution, etc.
I don't want to hesitate going back home. and i believe the only way Mongolia can shine and develop is through the individual success. First educate myself, then my family, then my bigger family and friends, and then help the governance. I do not wish to enter politics. it's dirty. it's too dirty for person like me. I see so many of my respected politicians threatened or killed, it's scary. I believe there is another way for a clean pure hearted students like us: help our nation economically, socially and educationally!
See you next time, and i'm looking forward to see feedbacks and i'm looking forward to read interesting blogs too. Suggestions, very welcome, thank you!