How to Avoid Public Transport Fines – Through the Zoetrope

It was another Monday morning when I was studying abroad and driving to class from the suburbs of Denmark. The sky was gray but too bright to be viewed from my place on the S-tog platform (i.e. relatively sunny) and I was on time for my morning class; So far, so good. The train arrived on time and I settled into a comfortable seat by the window to continue writing my bullet journal. We rode out of the station with a soft electric hum, gently vibrating the bikes on board, and fell back into silence.

A few stations passed and out of the corner of my eye I saw commuters pulling out their phones and wallets – oh no – my life flashed before my eyes, and I saw myself opening a reminder to renew my transport card and thinking “I’ll do it later when I’m free. The conductor of the train asked to see my ticket and of course I didn’t have one, nor was I allowed to buy one on place (the DSB app was glitchy anyway) As I was filling out the inspection ticket – my 750 DKK (~$100) fine – he said “it’s your responsibility”, which pissed me off. really stood out. I spent the rest of the train ride breathing, trying to hold back my feelings and mild anxiety loving ~conscience~, and thinking of ways to turn things around, like writing this blog post!

One of the books I brought with me to Denmark was The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra because his writing is effective in changing my perspective on daily and most unpleasant events. In Chapter Four, Chopra writes about responsibility:

What does responsibility mean? Responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. Having accepted this circumstance, this event, this problem, responsibility then means the aptitude have a creative answer to the situation as it is now. All problems contain seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take the moment and turn it into a better situation or thing.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (pp.58-9)

In The Seven Spiritual Laws of Successresponsibility is something we can do in the present moment: we have the aptitude at answer and find a creative solution. In my experience, it sounded like the conductor was talking about Zoe’s responsibility and organizational skills.

My travel companion.

This whole week has been an eye opener about Danish values. In my Health Strategies course, we learned about the Danish prison system which respects human rights and dignity (with the exception of the common practice of pre-trial solitary confinement, but that is for another position). One of the main purposes of prisons in Denmark is to teach inmates responsibility by placing them on a work or education schedule, having them cook their own meals, etc.

Although I’m not a prisoner, this lesson was a bit too close to home after being fined. In America, independence and self-reliance are national values ​​while Danes seem to grow up thinking about their responsibility to society, not just to themselves. If you also forgot to renew your transport card and you received a fine, it does not matter, you are not the only one and that does not make you a bad person. This hygge the snail still loves you.

A character I invented in textile design class.

Thanks for reading and without further ado, a few tips:

How NOT to get a ticket on public transport in Denmark

  1. If your transport card is about to expire, renew it now! You can actually buy a transit pass for a future date in the next 2-3 months, so it’s possible to get a head start!
  2. Remember that the human brain is great at thinking, but not at remembering.
  3. Set up alerts on all possible platforms: your diary, homework planner, on the DSB app, your wall diary (if you still have any, you’re very cool), etc. to maximize the chances of you seeing the reminder. It’s that simple.

Good luck and enjoy your fine-free and relatively sunny stay in Denmark!

– Zoe

Snail Hygge and I finishing this post at the beach.

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