I didn't really want to complain AGAIN about life in Denmark - but I'm going through the integration process (read: assimilation process) and it is not pretty.
I'd really like to compare how things are here with how things work in the states, but as a citizen I don't have to go through US immigration. I know of someone who did... I'll email his wife later and ask.
Anyway, Danish Integration services were invented/put together/hatched like devil spawn in order to give Danes the illusion that dirty foreigners would quickly and efficiently be absorbed into the great white north that is Denmark and also to give jobs to a lot of Danes with liberal arts educations.
There is nothing you can say to convince me otherwise. I have Danish friends who agree with me.
"Integration services" has to be the most un-service oriented of all the so-called services in Denmark. Forget what you think "service" means. Think of it like having your car serviced. After dealing with Integration, my body feels drained, sandblasted, rotated and pumped full of air.
It's not just that the letter is in Danish. I mean, I'm a new immigrant for crying out loud, how on earth am I supposed to read this? (Okay, so because I've been here so damn long I can read a lot more Danish then you'd think, but it's the PRINCIPLE!) I then get a letter from JobCenter, which I *thought* had something to do with jobs. No, I think it has something to do with the biblical Job. As in, you need the patience of Job to go through integration. In the letter, again in Danish, it tells me I have to meet with a person for an hour and a half, but not to worry, as this meeting can be conducted in English.
What do they do when newly arrived immigrants don't speak or read any Danish - like asylum seekers? I'd like to think that there is a different, kinder, system for them and I'm just stuck in the "you married a Dane, you idiot" group. I know they have it worse, however. I've seen the camps.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm being punished for taking a pure Dane out of the inbred gene-pool. How are they going to maintain Danish purity if Danish men and women keep marrying dirty foreigners??
Anyway, I went to the JobCenter as instructed only to find out that my meeting had been cancelled. The overly cheery woman (you know you've been in Denmark to long when you instinctively distrust happy smiling Danes) said they tried "every means" to contact me. As my husband dryly pointed out, well, we do live right around the corner, they could have walked over and knocked on the door, so not EVERY means. I never did get the letter they SWORE they sent. Asshats.
This perky bouncy woman proceeded to tell us that well, it wasn't really necessary to meet with anyone because really the most important thing to do is sign up for Danish classes. Okay. Yes. Fine. But I am trying to get a job and I want to be able to work my class schedule around my job and this IS the JobCenter....
Oh, don't worry about that! She says. You'll get a job in no time and you can tell the language school about it when you go in for an interview.
Um. Okay. Yes. Fine. About that job?
Oh, they don't do that here, there's only one guy who does that and he's really busy and it's no problem to get a job in Denmark and at this point I see her lips moving and all I'm hearing is blah blah blah Danish blah blah blah Danish blah blah blah bunnies blah blah blah cupcakes blah blah blah rainbows emanating from my ass blah blah blah.
Of course she's not worried! She has a job! And she *knows* that no one is poor in Denmark! Everyone says so! Certainly no one is constantly facing foreclosure on their home because in Denmark, these things don't happen! Everyone can get a job, even a person with no skills and no Danish because in Denmark, people fart happiness!
Though I was one floor above the language school, she decided to sign me up for Danish class. So helpful. Thanks. I tried to tell her that I've done this before, but she just sort of kept talking and talking and talking. I don't think she trusted me to go and do it myself. I am after all a dirty foreigner come here for the free health care and welfare that I'm not qualified to get because I'm still breathing.
So today I got my letter from the language school. IN DANISH! Seriously? Are you kidding me?
I'm reminded of a billboard I saw once: "Want to Learn to Read? Call 1-800 (something something)"
Dude, if I can read the sign, I obviously don't need your help and if I need to learn Danish, how on GOD'S GREEN EARTH am I supposed to be able to read the letter???
The up side is that my husband, the Dane, is more pissed off about this than I am, so I'm feeling loved and supported by a six foot tall enraged Viking. The down side is that he's really gunning for me to get a job back in the states so he can emigrate.
One immigration at a time!