Things in Copenhagen that are better than in Edinburgh
1. Sausages from the pølser vans.
This is a bit unfair as Edinburgh doesn’t actually have sausage vans dotted about the place. However, just make this about fast food in general and Copenhagen wins. Actually, you could *probably* make this about food in general – Nordic cuisine is the shizzle at the moment – but let’s dwell for now on the sausages. For about £2.50-£3 you can get a hot dog with raw onion, dried onion, ketchup, mustard and gherkin. You can have red sausages, curry sausages, frankfurters, French sausage or Mozzarella sausage (no, I don’t know what that is either and I’ve no interest in finding out). When I lived in Copenhagen as a student, I ate about 20 a week. Yum! Also add: better baked things (I don’t even like baked things, but I love them here); kebabs, burgers and pizza.
The Danes and the Swedes (and probably the Norwegians too, although I haven’t checked myself) do this dead good. They are cosy and clean and it’s actually considered taboo to shit in the stairwell. Progress people, progress.
It’s a bit dull to point out I suppose, but when you’re standing in the pishing rain waiting 20 minutes for the number 25 bus, which then whizzes past without bothering to stop, you can’t help but envy Copenhagen’s shiny new metro system, it’s trains, and the accessibility of absolutely everything by bike. I spent half a year there as a student and loved biking around the city in those huge cycle lanes. Alas, my biking days are behind me, which made me even more grateful for the Copenhagen Metro, which opened around 2005 and operates 24 hours a day. The ‘ghost trains’ are driverless and operated by computers 😮 scary and ace!
4. The coins
Coins with wee holes in the middle! Brilliant!
5. Their Queen
I’m not going all royalist – IRL I don’t really care whether we have a constitutional monarchy or not, but I do quite like the Danish Queen. She’s brilliantly clever, well educated and errs on the side of polyglotomy (yes, I did make that word up). She’s an archaeologist and is, into her 70s, still out there on digs. She recently exhibited at the National Gallery in Copenhagen. She holds frequent meetings with her subjects in order that they can raise their concerns with her, and she writes her own speeches. Basically, she rules! (arf) The only downside is her arse of a husband – I guess that’s something she has in common with our queen.
Things in Edinburgh that are better than in Copenhagen:
Of course you can get crisps in Copenhagen, just like you can in other European countries. But these so-called “Lets” or “Kims” will never better Monster Munch, Nik Naks, Wotsits, Quavers or Hula Hoops. If I lived in Copenhagen, crisps are the things I would miss most after…
Yes, you can get that too, but the rest of Europe does tea differently. It’s all fruit and herbal efforts, with a slice of lemon(WTF?!) and, far too often, made with lukewarm water. This is a scandal! Tea should never contain fruit (or herbs), should always be made with boiling hot water and the milk should always go in after the water when making it with a bag in cup (different rules apply when making the tea in a pot).
Admittedly, I am influenced here on my inability to talk the local talk (Danish is well hard to understand) but I do love my telly, and if I were to move away from Edinburgh I’d miss the endless repeats of Friends, Channel 4 news and Dr Who. Although, thankfully (!) some of the things I love are available on BBC world. Whee!
4. The weekend papers.
Weekend Magazine in the Saturday Guardian, Caitlin Moran in the Saturday Times. Ah. How I miss thee when I’m away.
5. No smoking in pubs
Sorry Copenhagen smokers, but you stink. Not only do you stink, but I stink BECAUSE YOU MADE ME STINK. I don’t actually mind all that much if people smoke – life’s a drag (arf) after all and anything that gets you through the day is fine by me; as long as I don’t have to end up with a sore throat and eyes and a little fug following me around as a result. I think the smoking ban is one of the best things that happened in Scotland and I forget to be grateful until I visit a country without such legislation. Annoyingly, while smoking in bars isn’t common in Copenhagen, it’s all the rage in the fucking gay scene. Ah gays – we’ve always been good at killing ourselves slowly haven’t we?
Anyway – no smoking in pubs in Edinburgh (and the rest of Scotland) = yay! Not only does it contribute to better public health, but you don’t smell like an ashtray and can still actually speak the next morning.