Monday, June 9, 2014

notes from Scandinavia

I suppose before I head to Haiti and Cuba, I should put up my notes from Denmark and Sweden.
  1. People address me universally in the local language, more than in any other non-English speaking country I've been to (Germany is close). Probably has something to do with the fact that the plane from Amsterdam to Copenhagen looked like it was full of my relatives.
  2. I'm not sure I understand Copenhagen. It has 1/3 as many people as Berlin but 1/300 as much going on, and everything costs 3 times as much. Not an un-nice city, but how does this imbalance survive the free within-EU migration?
  3. Despite necessarily inelastic demand, it's hard to find food items that meet my reservation price. Mostly diet coke and beer, the former because I have truly inelastic demand for it and the latter because it's truly cheap.
  4. What they don't tell you when comparing obesity statistics in Europe versus the U.S. is that northern Europeans are on a diet of incessant chain-smoking. I think I actually prefer the notorious scentscape of the Mission to the clouds of tobacco smoke.
  5. I even moreso don't understand the fetishizing of Scandinavia I seem to be surrounded by. Sure, if you happen to fit like a glove into a society so homogeneous and tiny that it can basically agree on a way of life and then regulate/subsidize/nudge the population collectively to it, then by all means, move there. I'll stay here move to Australia and do my own thing.
Yep, that's all I can remember. Scandinavia isn't exactly an exotic locale or significantly different from other European places I was earlier in the year, so not much to report.


JohnRaymond said...

Most interesting comparison between Berlin and Copenhagen. I would never have suspected that.

JohnRaymond said...

Oh, one more: How was Go∂enburg?

Vera L. te Velde said...

the real question might actually be why berlin is the way it is, not copenhagen. Berlin seems substantially underpriced to me.

Gothenburg was nice; quiet, low-key, pretty, not a whole lot going on but about what you would expect given the small population. The highlight was the archipelago off the coast that you can take a ferry to and walk around these tiny villages.