Reasons I would make a terrible Dane

Danish Flag © 2004 by Tomasz Sienicki, - GFDLHaving spent the last 48 hours in Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen, albeit most of them on a commercial set, I’ve come to the conclusion that as magical as this city is, I would make a pretty poor Dane.


1. I have had Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen stuck in my head for weeks. I imagine this would continue for life.

2. Danes are happy all the time. Smiley and happy and nice and generally delightful. As my colleagues joked, “watch out–piss someone off and he might give you a stern look.”

3. Bikes. Everywhere. Grandparents riding bikes with kids in the back; students riding bikes with satchels jauntily flapping behind the; moms on bakfiets pushing adorable dads holding adorable babies. How the heck you supposed to have an excuse for not exercising when every single person in the entire town is riding around on bikes?

copenhagen cycle chic blog

Check out Copenhagen Cycle Chic, a street style/biking blog recommended to me by Miguelina. Except it turns out it’s not the chic people of Copenhagen, it’s all the people of Copenhagen. Who all happen to be chic. Speaking of which…

4. Skinny pants everywhere. On skinny legs and skinny butts. One look at me in my A-line skirts and they’d revoke my visa.

5. Delicious draught beer. How can one be reasonably expected to get work done with the distraction of Carlsberg at every turn?

6. Gorgeous men. How can one be reasonably expected to get work done with the distraction of prominent cheekbones and strong jaws and foppish blonde hair at every turn?

7. The stores all close at 6PM sharp. Hello? What is this “work life balance” BS, Danes? Some of us need to go shoe shopping after work, you know.

8. Then again, with such pretty money, I might have trouble spending it.

Danish Money

Hearts. On the money.

9.You cannot buy drugs here. The legal kinds. The illegal kinds are evidently not a problem if you know the right people, but if you need some Sudafed for a cold or really, much more than a throat lozenge you’re SOL. Try an herbal remedy and call me in the morning.

It’s almost like they care about your health or something, which is totally the government getting INVOLVED IN YOUR BUSINESS which as we know is the downfall of society. The downfall straight into perpetual happiness and frequent exercise and skinny butts. Shameful, really.

10. Same sex marriage is legal nationwide. What do the TV pundits even have to fight over, then? No wonder everyone is out riding bikes and drinking Carlsberg instead of watching 24 hour news networks. Bo-ring.

11. With all this Nutella all over my clothes, the dry cleaning bills alone would kill me.


44 thoughts on “Reasons I would make a terrible Dane”

  1. OMG, thank you for this! What a great way to start the day…..laughing out loud. I now also must visit Denmark. I miss when stores were closed at 6pm and on Sundays here in Canada. I’ve also totally just dated myself.

  2. I’m so jealous you got to spend time in Copenhagen! It’s the one place I’ve visited that I thought if I couldn’t live in the US for some reason, I would like to live instead. I wouldn’t fit in ever, but it all looked so pleasant.

  3. Man, I’m jealous.

    I’m pretty sure I walked around Copenhagen with my mouth agape, staring wide-eyed at all of the ridiculously beautiful men and women. At every turn. Tall, blonde, smiling, as you say.

    Have fun!

  4. I, for one, am glad you would make a terrible Dane. I’d miss you terribly if you fled the states for good. Who else could I rely on to provide thoughtful (sane) political commentary? This post? Comedy gold. Also- skinny pants? *shudder*

  5. I visited in July for the first time and really liked it. I would never fit it — I don’t even ride a bike! The stores all closing early was really annoying too. I found the city to be very expensive. Copenhagen & Stockholm are the first cities that I’ve ever found to be truly more expensive than NYC.

    1. Oh you’d want to go. Trust me. Did I mention the chocolate? Make that the missing one on the list.

  6. Now I’m singing about wonderful Copenhagen. While I’m on my way to Scranton. So close!

    1. It just has a more lyrical cadence than “wonderful wonderful Scranton.” With all due respect to Scranton.

  7. I just returned from Copenhagen and I LOVED it there! I was so impressed by the bicycles…I could be in good shape, too, if only I lived there! 🙂

  8. In an alternate life, I own a bakfiet and never sit in hours of traffic just to get to the damn office. Yes – that alone would have me smiling all the time. Too bad I live in LA. One ride on a bike like that = 45 minutes of inhaling smog only to be smashed to smitherines by a driver on his cell phone. I will never move out of the states, but do hope to leave LA for a smaller, quieter town that is still very liberal and then finally buy that bakfiet.

    1. I wish you luck with that Joanna. After this trip I can see why that would be a very appealing dream.

  9. My grandfather emigrated from Copenhagen when my dad was wee. I still have family living there. It’s on my life list to get back there, drink their beer and take pictures of people riding their bikes.

  10. Denmark is one European country still left on my Must Visit list. I’m half Danish and, with the exception of skinny jeans, your description of the motherland sounds divine. Maybe if I rode my bike everywhere I wouldn’t hate skinny jeans so much…

  11. i don’t know where you were in wonderful copenhagen, but if you saw smiling people, they must have been swedes. the danes never smile. not at anyone they didn’t meet in kindergarten, anyway, in fact, they generally don’t acknowledge the existence of people they don’t know. tho’ strangely they come out on the top of all those happiness lists year after year. it’s undoubtedly down to the carlsberg.

    i’m with you on the men tho’, gorgeous. which is why i followed one home 14 years ago and haven’t looked back.

  12. I want to go!

    I’ve spent weeks and weeks in Norway on business over the last two years, which was mostly conference rooms . . . rah. But then on the last trip, I made it out to see an awesome fjord and the midnight sun, plus catching of giant king crabs. Maybe Denmark next.

  13. Never been to Denmark (yet) and I heard it’s a bit expensive comparing to the UK. BUT – the bikes bit…I LOVE IT!! In bony Scotland, especially the NE part it happens quite often it gets harsh with over 30mph winds etc. My bike gets rusty in the garden while I’m dreaming I will ride it next week…
    To Copenhagen then!!

  14. See, clearly, I need to go back to Copenhagen because your description SO does not fit my impression from eleven years ago. Our mistake was going there after visiting a dear friend in Stockholm where we enjoyed beautiful, sunny, warm (for Sweden, mid 70s?) weather. When we stepped off the train in Copenhagen, it was easily in the upper 50s, drizzly rain, and everyone was either stoic or frowning. We even cut short our visit and spent more time in Germany, just to escape the dour Danes.

    Maybe we just caught them at a bad time? Perhaps they’re like Gremlins–don’t get them wet?

  15. Liz, Thank you thank you thank you, you are THE BEST, I love so much of what you write but this is such a cherry topper. You are hysterical and I still am unclear as to why you’re not a stand up writer, or a writer for a comedy show. Everything write here, with your blend of sarcasm and wit, is just enough fuel to get me through this last day with kids home. I have gone through my wish-I-lived-in-The-Netherlands phase. I have a friend who is married to a German guy and they live in Copenhagen and of course have gone through the I-wish-I-were-my-friend-Molly phase. But now I read this and I don’t feel so bad, especially with the A Line skirt reality check. Yay for Mom101 the best since since a vintage Velveeta slicer which makes cool designs and that I broke and my mom is still pissed about.

    1. Oh my goodness Rachel, you might be new new best friend. Mostly because you owned a vintage Velveeta slicer. Thanks for a comment that made MY day.

  16. Okay, so now I know where I want to live. Jesus, that sounds civilized. But I might miss my hoarder neighbor, the stench of the subway, and the crazy guy sitting on my stoop as I write this. Oh, wait – no I won’t.

  17. OK, I have to say it: The gov’t doesn’t care enough to make that dude wear a helmet! Sheesh. How optimistic he is.

    (I’ve been to E. Europe but not Western. Copenhagen sounds lovely! Hope you’re enjoying your time there.)

    1. Darnit, no. I only had one free night really and we tried but…waking up at noon that day after a 3AM bedtime kind of put a damper in the plans.

      Good reason to go back!

  18. Always, always wanted to visit Denmark! Judging by the Danish national football (soccer) team alone, I can imagine the male hotness over there. I’m not sure I’d survive it!

  19. Finally catching up and reading this. I did a study abroad program when I was in college and lived outside of Copenhagen (and went to school there) for 5 months. It was really wonderful 😉 There is so much to love about Denmark and the Danish culture. I even learned some Danish, even though it was totally unnecessary because everyone spoke English. Alas, I haven’t been back for many years. Thanks for giving me a little peek into the current state of that beloved city/country.

  20. I hear you lady. I was in Sweden last month.
    The pharmacies aren’t even open on Sundays. At all.
    And the restaurants close at a humane hour.

    Don’t Scandinavians get desperate for Pho or Pasta or pregnancy tests at 11pm on a Wednesday?

    What’s wrong with those people??

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