New in Denmark

A KopAmok and Cake #5

Does this beautiful cake from Kop Amok tempt you? It does me!

Kop Amok

 Ved Vesterport 7

1612 København V, Denmark

Phone: +45 33 36 33 46

A KopAmok and Cake #4

Wouldn’t you like a macchiato with your apple tart? KopAmok in Copenhagen is serving it up!

Kop Amok

 Ved Vesterport 7

1612 København V, Denmark

Phone: +45 33 36 33 46

A KopAmok and Cake #3

Perhaps a hot cup of Jasmine or Darjeeling tea with this rich chocolate madness from KopAmok in Copenhagen?

Kop Amok

 Ved Vesterport 7

1612 København V, Denmark

Phone: +45 33 36 33 46

A KopAmok and Cake #2

A café latte would go nicely with this tasty homemade treat from KopAmok in Copenhagen

Kop Amok

 Ved Vesterport 7
1612 København V, Denmark
Phone: +45 33 36 33 46

Searching for the Golden Dane (Denmark and Aristotle’s Golden Mean)

When writing a post for a blog like this it is very hard to stay away from generalisations, especially generalisations about all Danish people. The problem with generalisations is that they are statements on or about a broad topic from a relatively limited source. Yet we accept generalisations as they give us a platform to discuss things we have noticed maybe from when we have taken a trip to a foreign country. From my limited source of the Danish people I have met or spoken to, I have noticed a quality that seem to run throughout at least most Danes. Here come the generalisation:

Most Danes are very laid back and don’t seemed to become stressed easily. This is quite counter-intuitive to myself as I grew up in England where a lot is worried about and people are easily stressed. I once knocked over a bottle of milk when I delivered newspapers to people’s houses when I was a child. I worried about this bottle of milk until I knocked on the door of the house the next day to check that everything was okay. The weird thing is that to the people I told about this bottle of milk it did not seem like an over-reaction. It definitely was an over-reaction! Danes don’t seem to have this problem. There seems to be an air of ‘everything will work out in the end’ as you walk through the streets. I imagine that being laidback is generally considered to be a good quality. Yet, the laid back approach when dealing with something important can be enough to give other people, who are not used to this easy-going demeanour, a heart attack. The Danes make ‘laid back’ look as though there is too much effort even though stuff is getting done.

My partner and I have experienced this recently when trying to pay the deposit for the flat that we will be renting when we move. We knew when the deposit had to be paid. Yet, we had not received an invoice to know exactly what we owed. This was the case until the day before the deadline when I emailed and called the relevant people to get this sent through. When it came to paying we realised that there were a lot of details for the bank transaction that we needed but did not have. I emailed the relevant people again and there seemed to be no urgency at all. The person who had been dealing with the flat from the start was on holiday and was not back until after the deadline. It got to the point where I had to call the company through Skype so that we could get some kind of answer as to what we could do. The answer…. It is fine, don’t worry about it. You can pay when the guy is back off vacation. Right! Meltdown over. The laid-back approach in this instance was not a good experience and I have been thinking about how I can be better next time something like this comes up.

This is where I believe that Aristotle could help in finding a balance.

 

I am not giving a critique on Aristotle’s ethical theory… Just taking an idea and applying it to Danes and myself. For Aristotle, a virtue is in the middle of two opposing states, one state of excess and one of deficiency. The virtuous person aims for the mean of those two states. This mean has sometimes been labelled as the golden mean. A crude analogy would be to say that you come into a large some of money. The excessive state would be to go and blow all the money on things that are not needed. The deficient state would be to never spend the money at all. The best thing is to not waste the money but actually make good use of it.

I think that we can agree that both parties (myself and Danes) would be happier if we could both interact in a calm manner but obviously making progress. For this to happen the Danes and myself need to take Aristotle’s advice and aim straight down the middle. I am not sure if it is just me that thinks this way. I would like to know if Danes consider themselves as being extremely laid back?

 

The Laid back Danish——————————    Calm State   ———————————– Stressed out Dan

 

For myself, that means being more laid back and taking in the ‘everything will work out’ air. I am guessing that will happen the more I live in Denmark and interact with people on a daily basis. For most Danes this means not being so laid back that you are basically lying down in important situations. If this can be achieved then I may be able to prevent going prematurely grey. This is what I mean by searching for the Golden Dane. Calm, collected and gets the job done when it is important… Like Peter Schmeichel

 

 

Dan.