I love Denmark, reportedly the world’s “happiest country.” I could live there. I could die there. In fact, for years I had truly hoped to marry a Danish woman and become part of the extended Danish family.
Well, not all of these happened. I clearly have not died, and I have not married a Danish woman, though I have known many amazing Danish women who impress me by their linguistic abilities, intelligence, dry sense of humor, warmth, and worldliness. They have good schools in Denmark, and Danes have some other quality I cannot fully explain that always has charmed me. They also are very humble despite, overall, being extremely capable (take for example the promotion of wind energy). They also like cozy, or “hygge,” which can mean enjoying each other’s company over an after-dinner coffee and sitting in a living room without any hurry to dash off anywhere. I felt it there, particularly with my friends in Copenhagen and Aarhus.
I was very fortunate to have spent about a month in the summer of 2000 living in Aarhus, the second largest city of Denmark, on the Jutland. It is a lovely city, with a world-class university, a great transportation system, great white sand beaches north of the city, and generally very friendly residents. (I just discovered they have published a plan to turn Aarhus into a world-class biking city, with a strong local investment in public spending and planning.) My host, a wonderful Danish pediatrician I had met in Greenland in 1999, took me to some very out of the way places and gave me a place to call home base while I worked on photography projects that summer in Greenland and on the European continent. After 12 long years, I am finally publishing some of those photos here. Hej hej.