Friday, August 27, 2010

Last Day in Copenhagen

The trip, like my previous ones for this project (and what a great project it has turned out to be), was successful.  I learned a great deal about the Danish effort in Afghanistan and about Danish politics and the relationships between the two.

What else did  I learn?
  • Cobblestone streets/sidewalks are bad for one's ankles.  
  • One of my few complaints here is that the museum hours are mighty short, so I had to figure out other things to do this morning while waiting to go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Another complaint (other than paying for ketchup) is how price french fries are--like five or more bucks!   
  • Given how the Danes have performed versus Norwegians in Afghanistan, Thor (new movie coming out soon) would clearly identity with the Danes. 
  •  Wearing a suit while doing the tourist thing through a counter-culture commune area (Christiana) is probably not a wise idea.  Nor is climbing to the top of a very tall church tower smart either.  But I was in that part of town for the MFA meeting...
  • The Brits can be mighty annoying.  Went to the Danish Navy Museum today and was reminded that the British Attache had a big picture of the burning of Copenhagen in his office.  Does the DC-based British Defence Attache have a picture of the Brits burning the White House?
    • Oh, and the Danes have the oldest navy--exactly 500 years ago.  Ceremony for it was apparently recent.
  • Danes are not that patient--if you don't turn right when the green arrow is lit up, you will get honked.
  •  A few last thoughts on the whole bike craze here.  
    • I am amazed that I have not seen any crashes.  Heaps of traffic weaving in and out.
    • I found smoking while biking (seen more than a few times) is kind of amusing in a healthy-death craving kind of way.  But texting while biking seems like even more stupid.
  • I forget if I mentioned this before, but the Danes bravely got rid of their subs in 2004, since their cold war mission was not longer existed.  Hard to make such a big step, but they realized they could not afford every capability (listening, Canada?) and dropped a lesser need.
A few questions:
  • What is the deal with the elephants?  I have seen elephants more than would expect given that they are not native to Denmark.
  • Do the kids really get out of school around 5pm?  or do they just hang out for a long time?
  • What does hanky panky mean?  I stumbled across their red light district and some guy kept saying to strangers: hanky panky?  
  • Why is there CNN on the TV in the breakfast room of my hotel but not on the ones in the rooms?  Instead, the only foreign language tv is sports in German.  
    • And what is the deal with CNN international edition?  Seems like the morning programs are all fluff pieces and no real news.
    Overall, I have enjoyed the sights, the food, and the people.  Everyone has been most helpful, and I have gleaned heaps of good stuff for the book.


    Mrs. Spew said...

    Hanky panky is an old slang term for sex.

    iago18335 said...

    Did you stumble into the red light district or did you 'accidentally stumble' into the red light district?

    On a more serious note, there's some interesting dynamics between the Scandinavian countries when it comes to the idea of a coordinated Nordic defense posture.

    Seaside Sue said...

    A medieval Norse saga has a son asking his father, "Other countries use sails; Why don't we?". The (proto-Danish) father answers, "Real men row".

    I guess submarines are just another form of 'cheating'.