On our way home.
Now that we have returned and rested for multiple weeks- I would like to take some time to put closure on our trip in Denmark.
When I first left Vermont I felt as though I was swept away- without the proper amount of time to say goodbye. But such is my experience with much of my life; I ride the waves of happenstance, and work with what I have in front of me. That is not to suggest that being away from my home and from my normal everyday life was without frustration- being away from the world was like holding my breath- an adventure, but one with un-comfortability which exaggerates exponentially. The peak of this torment was in our fifth week in Copenhagen- at which point I felt a deep wish to return back to the safety and familiarity of the Green Mountains. After that the anxiety crept to the back of my mind- and I went on more or less unbeknownst to the lurking presence of my insecurity. But that’s enough of this melodramatic monologue of my personal discomfort- a much more interesting topic for consideration would be what I have learned from my experiences in Scandinavia.
- You can find some really good pastries in Copenhagen! Very buttery and delicious!
- The United States government does not have anywhere near the consideration of environmental issues that the Danish administration has… Also, bike paths are awesome and I am deeply saddened that you can’t find very many in Vermont.
- This is mildly connected to #2, but even so I shall continue. Instead of making huge garbage dumps- the Danish people have it burned in an incinerator in Copenhagen. A practice which would normally pollute the surrounding area horribly- a solution for this has been found though, and the incinerator has an extremely useful filtration system which cleans away all the noxious toxins and other bad stuffs which would normally be pumped into the atmosphere. Meaning that the only emissions from the incinerator are water vapor, and carbon dioxide. When I heard that they were pumping CO2 into the atmosphere I was a little disappointed in the Danish government; shouldn’t there be a way to clean that out too? As it happens- yes, there is a way to filter out (sequester) CO2, but it is so outrageously expensive that it costs over a 100 times more to filter the carbon than it does to buy it in pure form… That’s expensive. All the same though- I feel that as long as they can filter out the poisons, I have no problems with them burning their trash. In my humble opinion- I’d say it beats garbage dumps tenfold… bleh.
- In Europe they drink beer instead of soda, in Denmark at least. Or that’s the understanding I gleaned from our visit there. Previously I thought that all alcoholic beverages were evil- and that no one should drink them. Now I have a new understanding; as long as one does not drink alcohol excessively- there is nothing wrong with consuming it. This change of heart came from my realization that soda has many more depilating effects on one’s health than wine, for example. In fact, having a single glass of red wine each day (emphasis on single- as having more than that can be very unhealthy), actually can be beneficial to your health- while drinking a soda everyday would likely be extremely harmful to your physical wellbeing.
- They smoke in Denmark. A lot. And yet they live healthier lives than we do (perhaps caused by their willingness to bike and walk daily?)… As I understand it- this is directly connected to their more intense laws on what types of foods can be sold (as well as their preference of beer over soda as I mentioned earlier). My personal belief is that in the United States, the government works for businesses- whereas in Denmark the government works for the people.
As a whole, the trip was wonderful. And I consider myself very fortunate to have gone. It wasn’t the trip I originally imagined when I heard we were going to Europe, and I never did get to see Vincent Van Gogh’s grave- but it was an amazing experience, and I know that sometime soon I’d like to return to the other side of the Atlantic, and I know I will enjoy it when I do.