Sunday, June 12, 2011

Home Thoughts From Abroad, Part III: Small Scale

There are things about Denmark I had all but forgotten.

Things are small, here.

The country, itself, is small. At 16,641 square miles, the entire country is only a little bit larger than the state of Maryland. Which ranks 42nd of 50 US states, in terms of area.

Stores are small. Roads are small. Houses are small.

I was cooking bacon this morning, using a standard (well, actually TWO) package of Danish bacon. 140 grams (just under 5oz); 8 thin small slices. Here, probably considered "plenty" for breakfast for a family of four. As I stood there, I considered the three pound packages of bacon we sometimes get from Safeway.

Milk comes in one liter cartons. Period. That's about a quart. A few years ago, you could get two liter containers, but the trend never really caught on.

Cars are small. We rented a "large" car, by Danish standards... and could barely fit four people and their luggage in it.

Of course, gas here is over $9.00 a gallon, so driving a gas hog is a bit out of the question. You don't see a lot of Suburbans or Ford Expeditions here. Or large pick-up trucks.

Oddly enough, a Danish case of beer has 30 bottles, vs. a US case (usually of cans) having 24.

Maybe that says something about priorities. Who knows?

People, also, are not small. The average height of adult men in Denmark 5 feet 11 1/2 inches, vs. 5 feet 9 1/2 inches in the US. For Danish women it is 5 feet 7 1/2 inches, vs. 5 feet 4 1/2 inches in the US.

Makes me chuckle a bit, that... larger people having to use smaller things and live in smaller houses, and vice-versa.

"Making do with less" and "economizing" run as subtle subtexts through much of Danish culture. Having been away from here for seven years, I am perhaps noticing it more, this visit. It's neither good nor bad... just different.

1 comment:

  1. Denmark looks like a beautiful place Peter. Could you tell us more about the culture there? Such as customs et cetra. I would be interested in knowing more about that....I'm not saying that what you've written so far isn't interesting, if anything that is what made me ask this in the first place.


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