Oh, Danmark!

Scandinavia, as a wag in The Economist once put it, is a great place to be born — but only if you are average.

Nailed by the New York Post, or for those of a more literary bent, Janne Teller. In my case there’s a tad of the over 35s about it as well, I’m prepared to admit.

I moved to Copenhagen in January 2006. I’d never been attracted to Scandinavia, but thought heck! it can’t be that different. How wrong can you be. From February 2008 to January 2011 I posted links about Denmark on Tumblr, and looking at the 400 plus entries reveals my pet peeves haven’t changed much. I’ve reached the resignation stage in the expat curve now and no longer feel the need to tumblr the latest DK record or cycling story. Incidentally, the lifetime of the Tumblr was largely before the UK’s love-in with Denmark started. See the growth in interest: Nordic Noir, hygge

One thing I’ve learnt about living overseas is the polarising nature of expat/international life – it’s all about context, whether we’re talking about class, food, tax or whatever. What you are used is the right way to do things, but it’s not really about good vs bad. A binary choice is too simplistic.

I’ve deleted the Tumblr, although there were some corkers in there. Here’s just one, a perfect illustration of two phenomena: the Danish style humblebrag and Dansplaining:

EU statistics put Denmark at the top of the list when it comes to the amount of trash produced per person. ‘We have good garbage collection systems, which means more of it gets registered’ said Christian Fischer of the Danish Topic Centre on Waste.

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