Posts Tagged ‘England’

Hygge in Copenhagen

May 5, 2012

Denmark has come and gone and I find myself in London. It has been great to see my brother and his girlfriend and explore one of the worlds great cities, but the dominating feeling here is of being cold. Maybe it’s due to not being acclimatized, or maybe I’m just being a panzy but man, it’s so damned cold! Jumping back across the North Sea, I really miss Copenhagen. It surprises me that England can be so dreary in the weather department while just a short distance away, Denmark is enjoying clear blue skies and sunshine.

Copenhagen was just such a surprisingly nice place to spend some time. The Danish notion of ‘Hygge’ – spending quality time with friends and just relaxing, permeated the entire city. From the food to the beautiful old lanes and streets, Copenhagen was an amazing introduction to Europe for a first timer. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring London yesterday, but the weather had me more focused on my own discomfort(again, panzy!) rather than my surroundings. Perhaps we just got lucky in Denmark, but regardless, the beautiful weather allowed us to really enjoy the experience.

I made every effort to sample as much of Denmark as was possible within a mere few days. From devouring delicious pickle covered hotdogs to ploughing into Godzilla sized traditional Danish pork sandwiches. Each day we’d set off from our hotel which was nestled in the dodgy red light district and hit the cobblestones. We capped off our trip with a beer in the fading sunlight in one of the many little squares.

As we wandered around, it still spun me out to see different nationalities speaking European languages. I’d see Asians and Indians walking around speaking Danish and it’s always interesting to hear how their entire voice changes depending on their native tongue. For now it’s off into the English countryside in the dreary grey. I’m sure it will be interesting but my mind is still lingering on Denmark or moreso, Monday and Italy.

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Free Tibet!

February 2, 2009

Chinese PM Wen Jiabao is currently in Britain for economic talks and of course his visit was met with protesters regarding Tibet. This is an issue I am sure the Chinese government wishes would simply crawl away and die, but it won’t. I am not sure if I agreed with the protests that took place during the torch relay in the lead-up to the Olympics. I agree that China is wrong to simply close doors to the world on such an issue as their invasion and assimilation of Tibet into China, but I think that perhaps there could have been better avenues to stage such a protest.

I think with China being such a prominent player in the modern world, it’s time they took steps to becoming more open about their internal issues. Simply banning anything that mentions the two T’s; Tibet and Taiwan is ridiculous in this day and age.

So who is right? Who is wrong? Is it right for protesters who support Tibet to dog the Chinese government members wherever they go? The talks are economic in nature – with the world economy obviously being a hot topic at the moment. Many nations such as England would only jump at the chance to forge firm partnerships with China moving forward – who wouldn’t want a slice of that most lucrative pie?
But where does it become right to ignore ethical issues as as the repression of Tibet in favour of economic ties? I do know that China is more open about the whole Tibet issue now as the Olympics showed just how damaging to it’s all important global image the problem actually is. It’s funny that it takes something of that magnitude to force their hand. Perhaps the protests did work some good. Perhaps they did choose the right outlet. Perhaps if they didn’t, the issue wouldn’t be so well known throughout the world and the Chinese would continue to do what they were doing with absolutely no heed to what anyone else thought – of course, it’s not our business is it?


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