There’s been some discussion in certain circles lately about Danish social interactions—the etiquette and such of hanging out with Danes. Mainly, the topic revolves around spontaneous plans. For me, it would be quite normal to leave work one evening and make impromptu plans with a friend for dinner that night—or even the next day. But that’s not the case in Denmark. The reasons for this are complex, and summarized nicely: here.
But just to share an example of how
i called a friend to invite him to a spontaneous dinner plan.
This particular friend is Danish, and in response to how are you, he says:
well, i'm good except that when you called me just now i dropped a bag of trash on the kitchen floor, so now i have to clean it up.
ME: oh, i'm so sorry i called you right at this moment then to cause you to do that.
Friend: you should be.
Ok, so up until now, this is a normal contemporary friend-friend interaction.
But, read on:
me: Well, I would like to invite you to another VERY spontaneous dinner event in frederiksberg. and i know it's awfully rude of me to assume you don't have plans, but we just decided to go and would feel rude not asking you. so feel free to say no.
Friend: well, that is true, and i can't do it today. i need a quiet sunday. but next time….[thinking pause] well it's really better to give me some head notice, but then i do appreciate the invitation, so just keep trying
------Callie interrupts: Friend, really, it's ok. I promise i will plan something 3 weeks in advance just for you.
Friend: [sigh of relief] that would be good.