Denmark: the country of victorious common sense

    It's been half a year since I live in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. In this article I want to show why I consider this country a kingdom of adequat.

    “Trust, but verify” - this is about Denmark.

    The trust

    In the shopping center under the strange name “Magasin” I asked how they control theft - after all, surveillance cameras are not visible at all. The answer was simple - but there are no cameras. At some stage, they came to the conclusion that the level of thefts does not exceed the permissible threshold, and it is more profitable for them to abandon surveillance and simply trust people.

    Somehow I decided to rent a boat to ride on the canal. To my question, what documents should be brought, they answered that there were none, “we in Denmark trust people” was the answer. It is understandable - you can’t swim far away on oars anyway, but you’ll bribe you, you won’t say anything.

    If a taxi driver says that “Well, it’s possible to get about CZK 200,” then 150 can go out.

    There are no turnstiles in the subway - you just board the train and go.

    The control

    Trust does not mean licentiousness. The Danes are very clearly in control.

    On the one hand, the police are almost invisible - there is no annoying police squad / police, as we have at each metro station. GAI I have never seen.

    On the other hand, there are testers. For example, the fact that there are no turnstiles in the subway does not mean that everyone strives to drive a hare. Just the opposite. A special inspector walks and attentively, not forgetting to smile and give thanks, watches tickets. Those who have run out of tickets, or those who have forgotten to pay the bike, are displayed on the platform and they are issued a considerable fine - 700 kroons ($ 125).

    My colleague was somehow given a fine to ride a bicycle at a red light - 1000 CZK ($ 175).

    The subway ticket is designed in such a way that you won’t dig in: it’s such a plastic book, on the one hand - a permanent coupon listing the available metro zones and your photo, on the other - a replacement coupon for the current month, and the control number for both parts is the same.

    I saw how 2 people in uniform and with a flashlight walked along my street in the evening - they checked parking tickets under the windshield.


    As you know, in the USSR there was neither sex, nor prostitution, nor homosexuality, nor drug addiction. Of course, everyone understands that they were present and that those in power, using statistics and fraud, tried to make a good face in a bad game.

    Not so in Denmark. In the evenings, black women stand in the evenings, gay parades take place in the city every year, and in the central quarter, and at the same time the self-proclaimed country of Christiania, you can freely and cheaply buy a joint. However, the authorities do not pretend that this is not the case - they preferred to localize the problem: you can stole in Christiania, but it is desirable only there.


    A standard Russian rich man is, as a rule, a brazen, pot-bellied guy in a jeep. The standard rich Dane is in very good shape, smiling, rides the subway or taxi. In the string of my bosses and investors, everyone runs 10 km in no more than an hour, many ran marathons. In general, sport is very popular - on the way home I meet up to a dozen runners, even now in January.

    Most Danes, from teenagers to old women, speak English.

    Everyone on the drum, how you look and what you do. I saw girls in a fur coat and in heels riding a bicycle (we would somehow not fit in our heads). In addition to ordinary bicycles, adult uncles can ride semi-recumbent bicycles, scooters, and a hybrid of rollers with a skateboard and even with ski poles in their hands.

    Let me compare Russian and Danish programmers. From my experience, the bosses can play on the sense of responsibility of a Slavic engineer, and when an important bug is found, our person can decide to stay after work and finish it with an emergency. And the Dane will responsibly start tomorrow with a fresh mind.


    What struck me: students of the Department of Architecture do graduation work not on abstract topics, but design real architectural forms that will be in Copenhagen. They can point a finger at the map of the city and say that, they say, here at the central square there will be a parking for bicycles, the sketch of which I am now drawing.


    In general, such an urban legend is indicative : in World War II, Denmark surrendered without a fight, but when the Nazis ordered the Jews to wear stripes with the "Star of David", the Danish king was the first to put on it in public, and simple Danes followed.

    I remember how a motorcade of some bump passed. No traffic jams for several hours - 4 motorcyclists drove up, blocked the key intersection points, showed with signs with their hands to those who did not understand or did not see, stop. A motorcade passed, and in front of them was another four motorcyclists who went to block the next intersection. Filmed - let's go. The whole procedure took 1.5-2 minutes.

    I was impressed by this photo at the exhibition (sorry for the quality). It depicts Jens Otto Krogh, who at that very moment took over as prime minister. At the same time, the erased sole of his shoes is visible in the foreground. Maybe, of course, PR is like Obama's cheap watches, but it’s impressive.

    About the army. I once spoke with a Dane who served in Afghanistan. This cheerful guy remembered the contract service as a resort - yes, they shot, but they had everything - the best provision and food, good housing, a big salary. He wants to go again.


    Metro - one of the best in the world, unmanned, that is, front and rear - windshield; the tunnels are brightly lit, so the front seat has a great view.

    You can buy an underground ticket by SMS.

    S-Train commuter trains have wi-fi.

    Well-organized queues. Approach, press the button on the device, take the appeared ticket with a serial number and wait until it lights up on the display (usually quickly). This also begins to appear here, and here it is everywhere - both in the ministry, and in the exchanger at the station, and at the post office, and in the confectionery. A technique like “I only ask” loses its meaning.

    Another sketch of an established system. I didn’t get the planned payment in the client bank. To let me know about this, the bank sent me a notice by paper. I received this letter the same evening.

    Speaking of letters. When you send a letter to the post office at the post office, the sender's address is crossed out with a pen - in order to save time on the sorting machine by “parsing” the recipient's address.

    Water saving

    In Kiev there is such a place - “Museum of Water”. So, it was created with the support of the Danish Ministry of the Environment to improve public awareness of the value of water resources.

    There are practically no bathtubs in Denmark. The bathroom is usually very small, combined with a toilet. In this way, the Danes save water.

    Drinking water flows from the tap here - this is not a sin to save.

    Electronic money

    Then they somehow gave me a cool wallet, but the irony is that in Denmark it is not needed. I only get it when I fly to other countries. As a rule, I only have to carry a bank card with me, well, plus a travel card. You can pay with a card almost everywhere - not only in shopping centers, but also at the post office, in a sandwich shop, and in a taxi.

    You can’t pay with a card only bus travel (the alternative is the metro and S-Train) and everything that is sold by hand is a thing on a flea market, gifts of Christiania, etc.


    The transport system is so well-established that there are special sites with which you can get directions from point A to B with transfers up to a minute. These include: metro, S-Train commuter trains, buses and river trams.

    The S-Train has a special wagon for bicycles.

    Bicycles are generally the whole song. I won’t tell you for the whole of Europe, but it seems to me that there are more of them than, say, in the Netherlands. And single, and tandems, and with a cradle in front, and with a saddle for the baby in the back, and reclining with pedals in front. Of course, there is infrastructure for this - everywhere (not only in the center) there are wide bike paths, markings, special traffic lights, free hoses with compressed air.

    "Tax on luxury"

    Beer in a supermarket costs 8-10 crowns ($ 1.5), in a bar - 50-70 ($ 9).

    The tax on the purchase of a car is 100-200% (yes, one hundred to two hundred percent).

    In general, the salary tax is 36-40%, and it is clear where this money is spent. For example, foreign children who go to the preparatory class of an international school are taken by taxi at the state expense, and taxis are very expensive here.

    In general, Denmark made an indelible impression on me with its sanity. I’m learning this from the Danes while I’m doing my educational project .

    If modern Peter I decided to send students to study in Europe, I would wish him to choose this country.

    1. " Language Learning System in Denmark ",
    2. " Moving to work ."

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