Inside this month: The month when Denmark’s trivial lifestyle divider comes into play

Weekly Post editor Ben Hamilton can only assume he's attractive Weekly Post editor Ben Hamilton can only assume he's attractive
July 1st, 2015 7:00 am| by Ben Hamilton
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I guess I must still feel I’m attractive. How else do you explain why I clicked on a Facebook post entitled “Why women find older men more attractive”?

Truth be known, I was killing time waiting to kill time. The Women’s World Cup, an interlude before normal service resumes and, now it emerges, a showcase for finding future girlfriends.

A quarter of the way through the article – if you can call it that, because it felt more like an autopsy – I was feeling kind of chipper … if that’s a word you can use in this century.

But then I realised the headline might be more reflective of the piece if it read: “Why women find wealthy older men more attractive”.

And besides, it didn’t really specify “more attractive” than whom – like it could be more attractive than even older men.

My house is really … liveable
It reminded me of Monocle magazine’s most liveable city survey. On face value it sounds like an honour worth winning (Copenhagen held it for two years until early June).

But ask yourself: would you want to live on a liveable street. Or in a liveable house?

“How do you like your new home?” “You know, it’s liveable.” “No, really.” “Okay, if you insist, I must say it’s the most liveable home I’ve ever lived in.”

Most liveable city … you can keep that honour, Tokyo.

The lifestyle divider
No, I want to live in a city where I can live the wrong side of the railway tracks but not feel like a second-class citizen. Free of snobbery, materialism and self-appointed upholders of common values. In short, I want to live somewhere with a trivial lifestyle divider.

In most of the developing world, a lifestyle divider is a matter of life or death. It’s the people who have water and the people who don’t, the people who have guns and the people who don’t. Or it’s a source of extreme inequality, like the possession of land or oil.

And this can continue in the West. In the US, for example, it’s having health insurance, and the reality can be grim. And while it gets a little better in the UK, it’s no cakewalk. Either you can afford to send your toddlers to childcare or you live like paupers for three years while one of you stays home to look after them.
Second-class and happy

In Denmark, bless its cotton socks, the lifestyle divider is almost invisible. In fact, Danish people you know, who say they can never afford to go abroad like you can, strive their whole lives to stride this divide while you … well, you probably couldn’t give a toss.

I am talking about the sacred ownership of a summerhouse, or in most cases, a garden shed with a kitchen and a bedroom that sleeps five in somewhere like ghastly Gladsaxe. Every long weekend, middle Denmark will get into its un-necessary, over-priced car and tootle off to the sticks.

Tivoli pulling the stops out
Now, most months of the year, you won’t feel left out. But over the summer, increased mobility can be an advantage, whether it’s dropping off the kids at the Summer Yoga Club (G13) or taking them to the waterslides at Sommer Sjælland (G13); heading to Helsingør to sample the Shakespeare Festival (G10) or the puppet version of King Lear (G3) or to Humlebæk for Louisiana Literature (G11); or going on a culinary adventure, whether it’s part of Copenhagen Cooking (G11) or a visit to a pick-your-own farm like Vejborggaard, which is 30 minutes north of the city in Gorlose (vejborggaard.dk).

But there’s also plenty going on in the capital, including the Opera Festival (G3), Art Week (G4), Pride (G11), the Fashion Festival (G11), Summer Jazz (G11) and Jazz for Kids (G13), the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix (G10), the Trailerpark Festival (G4), the Metropolis Festival (G4) and a fantastic Tivoli line-up that includes Snoop Dog, Elton John Jamie Cullum, Belle & Sebastian, and Tony Bennet and Lady Gaga (G6-7).

It’s an attractive line-up alright, and it doesn’t need Facebook to subliminally tell it so.

 


 

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