2014-05-25
The Danish Connection

A couple of months ago I started a project in Denmark, and decided to stay a while in a cottage, in the beautiful countryside near the sea and large potato fields.

The idea was to see the other side of Denmark, not just the urban settlements of Copenhagen. If things would get boring after a while, I still would have my Internet connection to keep me company, right?

Path through potatoes

Potatoes, potatoes…

The only problem was that the cottage didn’t have an Internet connection. Coming from Finland, I’ve been spoiled with unlimited fixed fee mobile data. Certainly I’d get Netflix soon up and running, I’ll just grab a prepaid SIM from Roskilde and I’m ready to go!

Not So Fast

Little I knew as I traveled to Roskilde, and started to hunt down the connection. Here’s the condensed list of steps I took:

  • Visited a couple of mobile operator shops
    • Got advised that the duration for a typical contract is at least six months.
    • Got offered some kind of a package, but the cost for mobile data was 450 euros for 1GB. Insane!
    • However the clerks were very helpful, and advised me to buy one of the pre-paid SIM-cards from a kiosk.
  • Visited a kiosk
    • There’s no pre-paid micro-SIM cards available in Denmark”, said the clerk.
    • Let’s get a second opinion”, I said to myself.
  • Tried to find one of the many Seven-Elevens
    • Noticed that navigation with Google Maps is kind of hard without Internet connection. Doh!
    • Asked few persons for directions, and got advice to go to the train station.
  • Visited Seven-Eleven
    • There is indeed pre-paid micro-SIM cards in Denmark!
    • Bought one (Lebara) for 49 crowns, containing 10 crowns for usage.
    • Wondered how to actually use it, got instructions to check from the Internet.
    • But how do I get into the Internet?” - “Try the public library”.
  • Visited the public library
    • Again, asked a few persons how to get there.
    • Damn! Library is closed!
    • Yay, library WIFI works also outside!
  • Opened operator web pages
    • Everything is in Danish, and my Danish sucks. English, please!
    • Ah, there’s a dropdown… which might work in mobile too… yes, after fifth try.
    • Looks like I can “top-up” my SIM using credit card. Now I just need to sign up.
    • Entered my new phone number, received a secret code via SMS and placed that into the form. Managed to get it right after third try.
    • What’s your address?”, asks the form. No, not your home address in Finland, but here in Denmark. Now where do I have that?
    • Yes, in my email inbox. Multitasking with my phone, I eventually find it.
    • Too slow, sorry - session expired. All your information is lost, go back to the front page and start again.
    • …Now here the second time, this time with my danish address.
    • Proceeding to the last page, I read the statement “we will send your password via postal mail”.
    • Too bad the cottage doesn’t have a postal inbox.

Despair

The Fix

Next morning, I visited another Seven-Eleven explaining the problem. The clerk on the other side of the desk laughed warmly, and explained that I can buy a top-up also directly from the kiosk, activate it via phone, and send an SMS to select the data package I want to buy. After fifteen minutes, I’m online again.

Now if I only have had that guidance at the first place.