Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Jenifer and I made our way through the National Museum today and then hit one of those afternoon lulls. I can't say I'm ready to come home yet, but the pace lately has been perhaps a little too lackadaisical, the city a mite too crowded, and the Danish theater system a bit too efficient.

The Danes are orderly folk. They, along with their Nordic brethren, take pedestrian right of way literally, which means that you'd generally have to try to get hit by a car while crossing the street. You'll come to an intersection, the cars will stop, you'll hesitate, the cars will wait, you'll lose your footing on a cobblestone, the cars will wait, and then you'll get the idea that maybe you should start walking. At least that's been my approach.

As for the movie theaters, as we discovered last time, you get assigned seats, like you would for a play. And so for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, we had a choice of seats in center of the front row, or off to the side in the second row. Not so great. So we reserved some center-center seats for Friday night (tomorrow we'll be visiting the island of Møn). We wanted to see it today, goshdarnit!

So, with nothing else to directly occupy us until the jazz starts up, I decided to continue my ethnographic study of Scandinavian pants. You see, the folks up in these parts have some different ideas about the nature of pants and how to wear them. The predominant style, especially in Denmark and Sweden, is the variety known as Hobbit pants. In some parts of the Western world, these go by other names, such as capris, pedalpushers, or even clamdiggers, but here the Hobbit pants reign supreme for both male and female members of the species. I am not sure whether this particular innovation is due to a chronic shortage of cotton in the region, or whether the raising of hemlines was meant to facilitate the rampant use of bicylcles. It's even possible, I suppose, that shorts are deemed ineffectual in protecting one's knees against the ravages of chilly summers that rarely exceed 30 degrees Centigrade.

In Sweden, a growing minority of young men favor extremely tight black jeans that are worn very low. They give the impression that your legs make up only 1/3 of your total height. Add to this the fact that the wearers are invariably buttless wonders, and you have a disturbing vision of Burtonesque puppets somehow walking under themselves. No, it doesn't make any sense.

The Finns include both styles in their national fashion repertoire, but the most striking sartorial element of the culture is actually the large population of neo-goths. In my American arrogance (I haven't jettisoned all of it), I thought to myself that these kids weren't quite getting goth "right," but then I considered my own estimable goth background (essentially one day back in 1997 when I wore my October Project T-shirt, black Levi's, and critical theoryappropriate Dr. Martens all at once) and let the matter drop.

And so, dear Readers, it is now time to track down some Faroese music and find a new battery for the camera, so until next time I bid you hej hej.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I nearly pee'd myself thinking of you in Goth attire- you will no doubt be receiving a care package from Goth central (aka Hot Topic) just for my own entertainment.

"...and let the matter drop." How very you.


1:53 PM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

It's probably a good idea, then, that I refrain from mentioning your long-standing fascination with KISS, hmm?

3:56 PM  

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