The local elections in Copenhagen are coming up soon, so you literally cannot stand within any given 10ft^3 volume in the city without being inundated by a smorgasbord of different posters featuring rather attractive Danes and their campaign slogans. Learning about Danish politics from my friends has been incredibly interesting, and has changed a lot of the way I look at politics in the US. I’ve mentioned in a previous post a bit about it.
The issues on the table are fascinating. Some may seem more minor, like whether the government should accommodate cars or bicycles more (definitely something that would never even be a question in California). Others are cultural, like the degree of immigrant integration into Danish culture. And then you have the standard questions of higher or lower taxes, job creation, legalizing pot, etc.
Copenhagen is most definitely not bipartisan. Almost all of the parties are more liberal than the American left, and the party names can get quite confusing: “Konservative,” “Liberal Alliance” (actually leans center-right, comparatively), “Radikale Venstre” which means “The Radical Left” (actually falls more in the middle), “Socialdemokraterne,” “Socialistisk Folkeparti” which is “The Socialist People’s Party,” and “Enhedslisten” which was formed out of a merger of socialist and communist parties. And those aren’t even all of them. There’s even a small communist party, “Kommunisterne,” something that would be so unheard of in the US. I’m quite lucky to be good friends with several politically-minded Danes, and we’ve had long conversations about all of this.
So in case all of this talk of politics is causing any tension or inducing any naps, we’ll now switch to a much more docile topic: Danish weather!
I think I was more or less prepared for the cold (and it’s only going to get worse!), but what I did not know is that Denmark is actually the Dementor-land of soul-crushing darkness! Okay maybe that’s an exaggeration, but seriously dude, the sun rises around 8 and begins to set around 16.30 (4:30pm). Soul. Crushing. And this is why the Danes have invented the concept of hygge!
Regardless, it’s still beautiful 🙂
And it’s not always cloudy; on the rare sunny days you literally run outside screaming with Vitamin D overdose and all the world seems bright again.