Ever since moving to Europe three years ago, and particularly since launching this male-objectifying exercise of a blog, I have been repeatedly advised – no, instructed – to go to Scandinavia. I’m talking about friends, coworkers, readers, you name it, all promising me some sort of cathartic experience in the land of herring and Ikea, complete with the discovery of my own 7-foot tall Bjorn Ironside with superpowers in the sack.
Finally, last weekend, I went. To be frank, I went at a time that I’m sufficiently satisfied with my love life (blame it on the new moon), hence this was more explorative research than Viking-hunting mission. And yet, my loyal Honeymoon Wife* and I gave it a fair shot, visiting both Denmark and Sweden, following all the recommendations we were given, and never returning home before 4am.
*Honeymoon Wife – travel companion extraordinaire, obligatory for every single girl. Must have common mission of visiting remote destinations, equipped with a low budget and high expectations.
Stop 1: Copenhagen
I’m certain that, if Oscar Wilde were to be alive in the 21st Century, he would agree that when good hipsters die, they go to Copenhagen. Never did I think it possible for one city to house this many good-looking human beings with an inherent penchant for well-cut Acne denim. My jaw dropped the minute I stepped into a breakfast spot called Union Kitchen and discovered that every male in 5 meter radius, restaurant staff included, appeared to be a Ben Dahlhaus clone. Unlike French hipsters, most of them looked like they actually showered, although I was slightly thrown off by the abundance of bizarre tattoos decorating the entity of their bodies.. It wasn’t rare to spot a female face adorning a body part, which led me to wonder – what one has to do to become a permanent fixture on one’s thigh?
The situation only got better throughout the day, hitting its peak at the the Copenhagen Street Market, where I could no longer control myself and actually whipped out my camera to capture (and Instagram) all the homogenous hotness (and my Honeymoon Wife threatened to disown me.) Although we were warned that Danish men can be quite stand-offish and reserved, expecting women to take the initiative (these are the people responsible for the who “going Dutch” injustice, after all), we were pleasantly surprised to be approached throughout the entire night – or at least starting 1am, when most people had enough drinks in their system. Even though everybody did seem to be massively inebriated, the pickup scene fun and non-sleazy, not to mention refreshingly easy due to the Danes’ mastery of the English language.
Consensus: Definite potential. The people are hot, fun, and inexplicably happy to be alive, which is pretty refreshing and a bit surprising, considering the arctic temperatures 9 months of the year. Perhaps, the social system is just that good, and I’m sure all that beer helps. Overall, Denmark is a wonderful place where, with enough alcohol and stamina, all your man fantasies can and will come true. Don’t forget to check out Union Kitchen and enjoy an avocado toast that blogger fantasies are made of!
Stop 2: Stockholm
Oh Stockholm. A land of false hope. Of lost dreams. A myth. A fairy tale. An unfulfilled fantasy of tall hunks and impeccable street style, both of which never quite measured up to our expectations. Maybe we looked in the wrong places, but judging by the size of the city and the blisters on my Converse-clad feed, not a neighborhood was left unexplored. The main problem lies in the fact that Swedes are simply not the most outgoing people, at least until they are sufficiently drunk.. In fact, if you want to meet somebody in this city, I suggest you just set your alarm for 2am and come out when they are all on their 15th beer. After a full evening of standing by a bar, batting our eyelashes at men who ignored us like we were code red Ebola carriers, we finally met two Swedish guys who seemed willing to socialize. We were just starting to get comfortable, when we were interrupted by an obnoxious, albeit entertaining, Brit (drunk, of course). In an effort to impress us, he proceeded to demonstrate that Swedes were terrified of confrontation by yelling “SWEDES ARE TERRIFIED OF CONFRONTATION JUST WATCH THEY WON’T SAY ANYTHING TO ME” at the top of his lungs. I almost had a heart attack, expecting a fight to break out on the spot, but was even more shocked to discover that our new Swedish friends had slipped through thin air and disappeared. Wtf? I could have fought this street fight!
Consensus: This scene ain’t for me. For one, I might actually be too Russian for this borderline aggressive form of gender equality. Apparently, one-night-stands are the first step to relationships, and you don’t even have to flirt or talk much beforehand – they like to skip the awkward part and just go home together at the end of the night! I do hear that Swedes are excellent family material, especially if you’re all about splitting household responsibilities and taking turns changing diapers and all that other progressive stuff that us Russkis will probably never evolve to.
If you do go, pay a visit to Tradgarden, one of Stockholm’s multiple outdoor events, tucked away under a bridge and considered to be the hotspot of the summer. Get ready to stand in an equal-opportunity line with 50 blue-haired bloggers, then in yet another line for a beer, then sit on benches staring at parades of what looks like The Other Stories catalog come to life.
Thoughts? Did we get the right vibe? Is there something we missed? If so, please contribute!