Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Humble people these Danes

It's hard to see the lineage from the "fierce rude" people of the 800-1200s who rolled over Iceland, Sweden and England in the current residents of Copenhagen who were unfailingly polite and mild. As I sat in the airport just after landing fumbling with a map written in Danish, a young woman asked if she could help and made suggestions of what I should go see. This was a pattern that repeated itself throughout the trip. At the same time we were touring forts and defenses set up along the Swedish coast aCheck Spellinggainst the wild men of Denmark, we were also interacting with these tolerant, self-effacing -- and unfailingly fit city dwellers.

My favorite sign of this modesty was the huge ad for Carlsberg Beer on the side of a building near City Hall. proclaiming: "Probably the best beer in town."

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