11.5.09

Not so wonderful Copenhagen








On Friday night a party organised in the centre of Copenhagen got way beyond out-of-hand. Parked cars were smashed and shop windows were covered in graffiti and broken, as around 300-400 people went on the rampage. I took some photos on Sunday morning of the after-effects. Unbelievable. 

This isn’t the first incident of its kind in the city and I’m sure that there are many reasons for such behaviour. It’s hard however as a foreigner to avoid making some connection with such anarchy and the ready, cheap supply of alcohol in Denmark. It surprises me everytime we go there. People seem to drink cans of Carlsberg and Tuborg as if they were Cola (I think they might be as cheap to buy) – on the Metro, the train, filing up their cars with petrol, on the streets, on boats sailing along the river at midday. Beer is very, very cheap and there seems to be no restriction on drinking it wherever you want, whenever you want. 

While I often get frustrated with the obstacles to buying beer and wine in Norway – price, availability, opening hours - each time we arrive in Denmark, I find myself nodding my head like an old woman at the more sensible Norwegian approach.  

As I said though, we had a lovely time.

6 comments:

Simply-Mel said...

Ha! Sounds like just another Saturday night in Joburg.

I wish alcohol was policed more effectively here. Seriously, it is the root of so many of our socio-economic problems.

Joanne said...

I am with you and Mel on this although interestingly my friend that has just passed away was a wine expert/sommelier of sorts but she specialised in champagne and spent 2 years living on a farm in france studying anyway... she said they the S.A. students could tell the Norwegians students (when they were out of their own country) a mile off anywhere they went because they were drunk! Booze is also expensive in the UK and it doesnt stop them. Availablity could be the problem?

Michele said...

That's horrible about the damage that was done to the downtown area. Totally inexcusable.

I puzzle over the connection between cheap booze and violent behavior. I know it's a huge problem in England (of course, they have a lot of problems over there in any case) and, as you say, it could be a problem in Denmark. I was just in Berlin, though, where beer is ridiculously cheap (loved it!) and the drinking age is 16 but they don't seem to have these problems. Ditto in France. I think Scandinavians, in general, have a horrible relationship with alcohol. They just don't handle drinking very well. Terrible shame, that.

Batgirl said...

I can't stand the Norwegian drinking culture. Since alcohol on a night out is so expensive, people tend to have a vorspiel where they tank up as much as possible before heading out to the bars/night clubs. Once there, they're so drunk they drink loads more. Unfortunately, when faced with cheap alcohol, they continue to do this, but in even more excess.

OSLO said...

Very interesting comments from you all. I've heard of Norwegians getting absolutely sh**t-faced whenever cheap alcohol is available. Work nights out in particular seem to be a license for ridiculous drinking into the small hours. Michele - I wonder what the German's secret to good drunken behaviour is?

Leah said...

Wow! That is crazy. Our new Norsk neighbor told us yesterday after my husband was complaining about the beer store hours and such here that you can get liquor at the 7/11 in Denmark and beer is super cheap. Dom of course responded, "Well, nice to meet you. Honey, we're moving to Denmark". This though, is disturbing and sad.