I suppose the conceded belief that someone somewhere might be interested in my opinions was what initially drew me to writing. Even after fifteen years of doing it, I still enjoy – and genuinely appreciate – having a forum to express my views. From my beginnings as a columnist at the Northern Iowan (I hope to get around to digitizing those some day), to my time as a contributor to the Des Moines Register and through to the monthly column I wrote for the Copenhagen Post, I have enjoyed the discussions spurred on by my columns, even the ones in which I had my convictions seriously tested.
In defense of the Danes
Though I am quick to make some of the same generalisations about Denmark and the Danes as other foreigners, I know that they aren’t entirely true.
For instance, it may be true that Danes aren’t overly friendly towards strangers, but those that I have at least a surface interaction with are quite friendly. I can even admit that those often interminable hours-long sit-downs, one of my other favourite topics of scorn, aren’t always as unpleasurable as I let on. And despite my constant complaints that Danes can’t understand me when I speak their language, I admit that I’m able to make myself understood in Danish. READ MORE
Battle of the bests: Copenhagen vs Fort Collins
Everyone knows by now that study after study has declared Copenhagen the best city in the world. We’ve racked up distinctions like ‘smartest city in Europe’, ‘best quality of life’, ‘best city for cyclists’ and, of course, Copenhagen is the capital of the ‘happiest nation on Earth’, to name but a few.
But Copenhagen doesn’t have a monopoly on ‘best of’ tags. What happens when the Danish capital goes head-to-head another ‘best of’ city: Fort Collins, Colorado, which was the 2006 pick for best place to live in America? READ MORE
I discovered love of Iowa while living overseas
A funny thing happened in my relocation overseas: I came to appreciate my upbringing in Iowa more and more. I proudly tell anyone who will listen that I am from Des Moines. I expound on the charms of the land and its people and point out that Iowa is more than just another red state in the middle of the country. I tell them that Iowa is home to some of the kindest, most down-to-earth people in the world and that we are fiercely proud of our beautiful land between the rivers.
Although I am making my home elsewhere, I know that my path will always lead me back to Iowa. READ MORE
Courage, common sense, cannabis
Cannibis prohibition has failed massively, both worldwide and here at home. A European report from 2012 shows that at 32.5 percent, Denmark has Europe’s highest proportion of people who have smoked pot. The Netherlands – a country with much more liberal cannabis laws – didn’t even make the top five.
Acknowledging the reality of the nation’s cannabis habits and keeping money out of the hands of the gangs have been key arguments in Mayor Frank Jensen’s (S) attempts to carry out a three-year trial of legalised cannabis in Copenhagen. READ MORE
Back off, rugbrød fascists
After seven and a half years of marriage, my wife has learned that when a certain mumbling arises over the morning newspaper, she should brace herself for an angry diatribe.
Such was the case a few weeks ago when I read about a study conducted by University of Copenhagen researcher Martha Sif Karrebæk that detailed the public shaming that young, immigrant-background children received at the hands of their ethnic Danish teacher. The small children’s offense was daring to eat a lunch that didn’t consist of that staple of the Danish diet: rugbrød (dark rye bread). READ MORE
The great green swindle
Like most of the outside world, I came here having bought into the notion that Denmark was a green paradise. Why then, was I throwing things in the trash that back home were recycled? “Bare rolig du,” I was told. In Denmark, everything is burnt and the energy is then used to heat homes. It’s a beautiful system, can’t you see that?
Actually, no. A study by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) last year revealed that Denmark’s carbon dioxide emissions were double what was originally thought and the nation was exceeding the carbon dioxide goals under the Kyoto Protocol. READ MORE
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