2016 oh dear…
I’m not going to do a full review of my 2016 as it would go a bit like this:
‘Oh God no, Oh no, Ahhhhhhh. Hnnnnnn, Nooooo! Not him too, Oh and him… This is depressing… This really is depressing. Oh no… Surely not. Bugger, bugger bugger…Ouch… oh not that….oh damn and now she’s gone too. Not that… NO WAY… not that, surely they won’t be so stupid, don’t they read…. it must all stop now surely… AHHRHHG HGHGHGHGWHGW. Pain, pain, pain, please no more… OH AND NOW HE’S DEAD TOO…. NNNGGGHGH HAGHGHS… BUT THEY’RE VOTING FOR THE THING THEY’RE AGAINST…. CAN’T THEY SEE IT….Blblrbblr lblrlblrlrblb…. ARRWOOOOOOOO…..nya,nya sob sob…dead, dead, dead… glug glug glug glug glug….’
Halfway through my review of the year, I’d stop burbling, dribbling and making random noises.
Therefore I’ll just stick to doing a review of the 6 weeks I’ve spent so far in my socialist, progressive, escapist paradise that is Copenhagen.
Here is my rundown of the top five good things and bad things I’ve encountered in Copenhagen thus far.
Good #1 My Fjallraven Jacket
My Fjallraven Jacket is awesome. I am by no means a person who knows anything about fashion. I have about 4 or 5 pieces of clothing that I have a relationship with. They are:
- My pair of Vans
- My pair of DMs
- My Slippers
- My Jaeger jacket
- My Fjallraven jacket
Previously my Jaeger jacket was my favourite item of clothing because it’s: a) warm and b) stylish and c) it cost more than a hi-fi costs so I look after it with the same reverence that I treat technological things.
Benefits of the Fjallraven Artis Jacket
Now my Fjallraven jacket is fast becoming my favourite item of clothing because:
- Its ridiculously warm…. I mean ridiculously… If you wear this jacket indoors for ten minutes you start sweating.. They properly use this jacket for arctic expeditions and stuff… I was actually drunk on ebay when I bought it for £200 (they cost £650ish new) but it’s turned out to be one of the best drunk decisions I ever made. It’s like wearing a duvet on you all day. When I go outside in winter, I can only wear a T-shirt underneath it and more often than not I have to leave it open or I get too hot. It’s so convenient to be out in the cold and then go indoors, take off your jacket and only have a t-shirt on.
Plus the guy they have advertising it, looks like a total dude. I mean look at him… He just shouts ‘I can light fires, hunt food and build shelters with my bare hands’, none of which I can do, but whenever I peel a piece of bark off a stick I get the fantasy that I am actually a true woodsman and I will one day build that cabin up on a snowy peak.
- Its indestructible… The fabric is made of kryptonite or kevlar or something. It’s perfect for someone who is a klutz like me. It is rainproof, snowproof, thornproof, punch proof… I’m pretty sure it is knife proof and I can’t claim it is bullet proof but it would definitely slow bullets down. When I go out, I feel like a superhero. Nothing scares me because I am behind a wall of goose feathers that nothing or no-one can penetrate. It’s the same feeling as when you dressed up in a Spiderman costume when you were six.
- It can hold well over 8 beers and counting… I’m a practical person. I like pockets to the point that I won’t buy a jacket with limited pockets (who makes a jacket without an inside pocket for your phone nowadays…? idiots…that’s who). Worse still are ‘fashion pockets’ where they sew them up and you can’t actually use them… “I’m really impressed with your sewn up pockets with nothing in them” said no-one ever. The Fjallraven artis jacket scorns such fripperies… It is an honest jacket. If it looks like a pocket it is a pocket. In fact even if i doesn’t look like a pocket, it probably is a pocket. What’s more the pockets are deep and fleece lined so you can keep your hands warm if you don’t have gloves. In each corner pocket (of which there are 2) you can fit 2 cans of Julebryg. Then they have these deep chest pockets meant for thermoses but they each can fit 2-3 cans of Julebryg too. That’s easily around 12 cans of beer and yes there are still more pockets… I am yet to fully explore the potential of how much beer this jacket can hold, but when the right winter festival comes along I will report back. Until then it is such a great feeling to know that this jacket has more capacity than I currently feel I could ever need. For a project manager this extra contingency really helps me to sleep soundly at night.
- The jacket understands the type of person I am. When I spilled one of the aforementioned beers in my pocket and didn’t notice until half the contents had poured out…. Did it ruin My Fjallraven jacket and then dribble down all over me? No. The liquid just pooled in the pocket allowing me to pull it out and then dry out the pocket. You see the Fjallraven Artis Parker understands what sorts of scrapes you are likely to get into when you are out in the tundra and it’s designed to deal with them with the utmost ease.
- If I zip it up all the way I become entombed in the furry collar and feel like a baby ice kangaroo. The only downside is that I lose all my peripheral vision and am at risk of road traffic accidents, but it’s a small price to pay for feeling super snuggly.
Bad #1 There’s No Apple Sauce
Denmark is a country with clear favourites:
- On the streets, the bike is king.
- Beer is the king of alcoholic drinks round here (Schnapps a firm Christmas favourite though)
- Coffee is the non-alcoholic fave
- But when it comes to food… The pig is the mighty ruler here
If you go into your local Fakta, or if you are posh enough to go to Irma or lucky enough to get to Meny (see further post), in the chilled meat section you will be treated to:
- Bacon… They sell it in double packs and triple packs… You can’t buy a single pack of bacon in Denmark, because the Danes don’t mess around when it comes to Bacon. (I want to say ‘f**k around’ but my mum has started reading my blog now and she thinks I swear too much). A Dane buying a single pack of bacon in Denmark is like a Brit taking only one Quality Street as the box is passed around – a pointless, ill-thought out and fruitless endeavour that will require a second forage to the shops/box within mere moments.
- Pork Neck
- Pork Fillet
- Pork Mince
- Pork Belly
- Pork Cheeks
- Pork Loin
- Various other pork things that my Google Translate app can’t work out.
- Big Fat Sausages
- Big Fat really long sausages
- Big Fat Sausages wrapped in Bacon
(you might find some beef, a few chickens and potentially lamb or duck as a seasonal special).
But the things I can’t seem to get are:
- Normal Pork Shoulder with bone in
- Normal sausages that aren’t hot dogs but are smaller than your wrist
- Apple Sauce
For a country that loves the pig, the fact that they haven’t discovered that apple and pork go together like tomato and basil, or beef and mustard, or smoked salmon and lemon is somewhat perplexing and distressing. To add to the pain, it’s extremely hard to find mint sauce for lamb, tartare sauce for fish or pickle for cheese. You have to go to the Meny Supermarket (I love Meny) and look in the weird foreign aisle for weirdo foreign people. I now feel far more empathy for Polish people trying to shop in the UK traipsing round trying to find smoked sausage, beetroot soup and sauerkraut. However, I feel I’m far more justified in complaining here.
An Untapped Market
It’s not about the lack of availability of British food it’s about the lack of knowledge of established culinary pairings…. I mean what the fuck Denmark (sorry mum) Pork and Apple is a classic. It’s known around the world. I feel apple growers in Denmark are missing a potential 20% boost in sales by not informing the Danish population that apple sauce goes extremely well with the most commonly consumed meat product in Denmark. I feel I should write to them and let them know. I could revolutionize the whole industry over here with one simple marketing campaign… but no one seems to get it here…. I’ve talked to people and they just don’t understand. It’s the same kind of ingrained cultural pig-headed attitude that causes French boulangeries to close for lunch and not realise that lunch-time is a prime sales window in which they can sell their main product to hungry bread-seeking customers.
Not to get all patriotic and ‘fish and chips’ about the whole thing… I mean I can live without tartare sauce but lamb and mint is a pretty basic pairing and the lack of knowledge of what constitutes a good pickle round here is severely distressing. Never mind advanced foraging and Nordic cuisine, the Danes haven’t got elementary food pairing nailed yet… Nil points Denmark, Nil points indeed.