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Jensen vs Jensen. No sh*t!

This weekend’s news headlines hit me right between the eyes.  Not to mention my pixie ears.  Kapow! 8)

But first – a bit of background!  Jensen’s Bøfhus (a Danish steakhouse chain with branches in Norway, Sweden and Germany, let’s call them The Giant) brought a case against Jensens Fiskerestaurant (a man, Jacob Jensen, who owns three fish restaurants, let’s call him The Little Man).  The Giant didn’t like The Little Man using the name Jensen for his chain of restaurants.  Even if Jensen is the most common surname in Denmark.  The Giant loses the case in Commercial Court, but goes on to win the case on appeal in High Court.  And, along with the right to use the name Jensen in the food business, is awarded damages of DKR 200.000.

No prizes for guessing what happens next.  ”What? Goliath has beaten David?!”  A Facebook group, angry at The Giant treading on The Little Man, is born and thousands (and thousands and thousands… um, 110,000 when I checked this morning) of Danes sign up and swear that they’ll boycott The Giant’s restaurants.

I can appreciate both sides of the story.  Fair enough, go ahead and protect your corporate brand, bring a case.  But go after the principle, not the damages.  Will I be boycotting The Giant?  No need to – I’ve had ‘the pleasure’ of eating there a couple of times before and have absolutely no desire to return! :P  But my kids remember the ‘eat all you can’ icecream with fondness…

But I digress!  It wasn’t the case that made me sit up and almost spill my morning coffee.  It was the English urban slang which had divebombed into Danish radio and newspaper headlines. (And we’re not talking taboloids here.)

–  Sh*tstorm

–  Information: “Jensen’s Bøfhus: Vi sælger normalt under shitstormen
–  DR “Ekspert: ‘Shitstorm‘ kan blive alvorlig for Jensen’s Bøfhus
–  Politiken “Shitstormen rammer Jensen’s Bøfhus efter navnestrid”

Can’t the Danish media, please, pretty please, find another term?  Like “public outrage on social media”?  You all know how I feel about swearing!  (See my post “I swear I heart Denmark!“)

Sh*tstorm?”  For Pete’s sake – I’m trying to eat here! ;)

Have a marvelous Monday!

Diane :)


So you’re Scottish?

Unless you’ve been hiding underneath a(n exceedingly) large rock for the last week, you won’t have escaped the worldwide media coverage of the Scottish referendum on Independence.  And if you’re a regular reader, it won’t have escaped your notice that I’m from Scotland :)

“Oh, you’re Scottish?!”, exclaim the Danes.  Before launching into, “I studied there!/We’ve toured around the highlands!”  Or, “It looks so beautiful!/We would so love to go there!”  (On a sidenote: when I worked in Luxembourg in the 1990s, the first comment I always got from Frenchmen was, “Oh là là – the film – Braveheart!”)

Males Danes will then often make a joke about kilts.

Then straight after that comes the classic, “Well, hey, you must drink a lot of whisky!”  To be honest with you, I can’t stand the stuff…  Give me a g+t!

And then there’s the really weird stuff.  Like when people start serenading me with that “classic” (and I used that in the loosest sense of the word…) Shubidua song “McArine” about the mean canny Scots who brews his own whisky…  Cover your ears and run for the hills! :P

But back to the referendum.  Scotland said No (or “Naw”) to Independence.  Why? Well, you know, some things are just better together.  Like skinny dipping (vinterbadning) in the Danish sea.  Here’s a selfie from this morning with my two bffs – my tartan scarf kept us nice and cosy!  (Sea temperature was actually quite warm today, 16c/60f.)

And what did we have along with our cuppa (in addition to the usual cheeky banter) after our skinny dip?  Scottie dog shortbread biscuits.  Yep, got to love Scotland.  Land o’ (yummy) Cakes!

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend.  Together!

Diane :)


You know you’re in Denmark when… (Beds. Again!)

You know you’re in Denmark when…

Last month, I wrote about the strange Danish phenomenon of putting two single duvets on one double bed.

Today I was out shopping with my Danish BFF, who was looking for a new duvet for her daughter.  Now, Denmark has been my home for 16 years.  So I know – and have learned to accept – that the cost of living here is pretty high.  But can anyone tell me why, oh why, Danish feather duvets are so dang expensive?  Something to do with a special tax on duckdown?  Answers on a postcard, please! ;)

As we perused the racks in the shop, I could tell right off that this particular one was going to be pricey…  I mean, just look – it comes in a shiny gold bag!  One single duvet, Ma’am?  That’ll be DKR 2.500!  (Roughly £265 or USD $ 430.)

“The more you buy, the more you save!” What’s not to love?!  Two single duvets for [gulp] only kr. 4.499 (about £479 or USD $780).

But wait just a minute.  Here’s the bargain of the day.  One single duvet, normal price DKR 2.999 (roughly £319, USD $521), now a mere DKR 1.250 (roughly £133, USD $217).  Cheap at half the price!

And, no, before you even think it, we weren’t shopping in a fancy, schmancy top end department store.  We were in Jysk Sengetøjslager (“Jutlandish Bedlinen Stockist”) which – and let’s be frank here – is a pretty cheap n’ cheerful furniture and bedding store.

And my BFF?  Well, she wasn’t tempted by today’s bargains.  So back to (reasonably priced) IKEA it is, then!

Sleep tight!

Diane :)

Elephants or Danish kids in your house?

Do you know those ‘elephant’ jokes?  You know, like, how many elephants can you fit into a Mini?  Two in the front, two in the back!  How do you know there are elephants in your house?  There’s an empty Mini parked outside!  How do you know there are elephants in your fridge?  Footprints in the butter!  Boom, boom! :P

Which got me thinking the other day.  How do you know when there are Danish kids in your house?  A pile of shoes or boots at the front door!

Or…  You can’t get into your garden for bikes, helmets and rucksacks!

My own two (half Danish/half Scottish) little ‘uns have had a tough day today.  I’m off to give them a cuddle.  And tell them a few (bad) jokes.

Diane :)


Living life dangerously! Danish hop on, hop off elevators…

Before we get started, I just realised that – hey – my very first post – “Mind your language!” – here on this particular blog also featured an elevator.  The one at “Hovedbanegården” (Copenhagen Central Station) with the sign that says “I fart”…  Yep, always a cheap laugh and never gets old! ;)  

But today I want to share another whimsical, curious, strange type of Danish lift.  I first came across this type of elevator when we moved here in 1998.  But forgot all about them until this week, when I started a new evening class (Swedish, in case you’re wondering) at the VUC building, Vognmagergade number 8.  That’s the street just across from Rosenborg Castle, the one with the giant clock…

In you walk and there it is, in all its old-fashioned glory.  A hop on, hop off, continuous loop elevator!  (Or paternoster, if you want the official term.)

Not for the faint of heart.  Pretty scary stuff – you need to time things right, take a deep breath and jump on!  Though the clanging, banging noises are strangely comforting and hypnotic.  (Apologies if the video is shaky – I was a tad nervous, the last time I used one was probably at Frederiksberg Town Hall in 1999!)

And what’s even scarier?  Um, when you have to jump off…  It might help to think of Doctor Who and shout “Geronimo”!  But what if you leave it too late?  And the worst happens, and you miss your last chance to disembark?  Well, keep calm, stand still and wait for the darkness.  Because the elevator continues down, down, down and then moves…sideways!  Sort of like the one in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory :P After a pretty tense couple of seconds, you are back on your way up again.  Whew!

Aren’t they brilliant?  Three cheers for extreme elevators!  And three cheers for those crazy Danes, for preserving these beautiful machines and blowing a big raspberry at ‘health and safety’!

Have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend!

Diane :)