The Summer of Jon

TSOJ: Final Thoughts on Copenhagen

Disposable forks, knives, and spoons made from wood instead of plastic. That's a good idea.

Disposable forks, knives, and spoons made from wood instead of plastic. That’s a good idea.

1. People vomit a great deal in Copenhagen. I did not witness any of this vomiting, but I did see the aftermath on the mornings I was there. Most often this mess took place near a trashcan. I have read a little about what is now a problem plaguing most European cities: Drunk tourism. With cheap flights all over Europe there are people dropping into a different cities, pulling weekend benders, and then flying home. If I lived in Copenhagen it would be something I would complain about frequently, but the Danes seem content to let idiots be idiots.

Bag of water used to slowly water a tree. Easy to fill up, easy to use, and smart.

Bag of water used to slowly water a tree. Easy to fill up, easy to use, and smart.

2. Innovation is a Danish thing. I like the Danish way of thinking: The little bike locks, the recycling machines in stores, the sanitizer for toilets instead of paper seat covers, the variety of cargo bikes, and the integration of the old and new with their public buildings.

Recycling machine: put your empties in the hole, the machine reads the bar code and prints out a receipt that can be used in the store.

Recycling machine: put your empties in the hole, the machine reads the barcode and prints out a receipt that can be used in the store.

3. There are no ugly Danes. I don’t know if it is just a genetic thing or if ugly people are not allowed to live in Copenhagen, but everyone is tall, elegant, and stylish. Young people, middle-aged people, old people all appeared to be models out of some hip fashion magazine. It isn’t just the clothing, there is something about the Danish way that makes them look like the coolest people on the planet.

Soren K, father of Danish "meh?"

Soren K, father of Danish “meh?”

4. Danes (be ready for a wild generalization) don’t judge people. There is a true live and let live attitude. In Denmark this lack of judgement is a two way street. You can grow your dreadlocks out and wear a purple tunic, but don’t get an attitude about my pointy-shiny shoes and business suit. I relate this attitude back the the writer/philosopher Soren Kierkegaard but I could be wrong. The attitude could predate Kierkegaard and he could be a product of the existentialist Danish way of thinking.

Old mileage marker.

Old milage marker.

5. Copenhagen is still my favorite European city. I didn’t think I could ever love a city more than Paris, but Copenhagen has something indefinably great about it. Paris has its museums, iconic buildings, and famous boulevards, but Copenhagen has swag. Copenhagen doesn’t care if you like it or not. It doesn’t try too hard. It just does its thing.

8 replies »

  1. I just had my first visit to Copenhagen, and I loved it as well. What really impressed me was the inherent fairness, for example, the idea that the waterfront should be accessible to everyone and not just those willing to splash out on an expensive restaurant. Oh, and all the good-looking people were nice too.

  2. I remember thinking the same thing about the people of Cuba. “So this is where we find drop-dead gorgeous models and movie stars . . . “

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