Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I have collected new data on Dutch-Danish comparison

I had a three-day holiday in Denmark, and I used this opportunity to update my data on differences of dutch and danish people.

Some data verified my previous conclusions, but some required revision.

Verified Data
1. About 20-30% of danish cyclists use helmets. This percentage is less than 1% for dutch cyclists.
(On our walking tour to Bagsvaerd Lake on Jens Nielsen Reunion Day after lunch, Birgitte told me that there were plans to make it obligatory. A recent pool showed that 60% of danes said "We will stop cycling if helmets becomes mandatory")

2. 100% of danish pedestrians and danish cyclists obey traffic lights. They just stop at red light even there is no car/ no pedestrian in the visible distance. The percentage of dutch people (weather cyclist or pedestrian) , on the other hand, who wait at crossings at red traffic light even there is no cars around, is on the other edge: 0-5 %.
(I feel stupid sometimes when I stop at red light while cycling, and all other cyclists just pass by)

3. Danish people drink much more alcohol than their dutch cousins. Ana Paula had already told me multiple times that beer was even cheaper than water in Denmark. And during this visit, I had an extra proof. During the lunch in the hotel on Jens Nielsen reunion day, Birgitte told me that Danes call "bottle opener" as "beer opener". I asked Maikel after my return if that was the case for dutch people, and obviously not.

4. I was very surprised when I was in Denmark in 2004/2005 since, unlike Istanbul, there were almost no construction works going on outside such as constructing new buildings, new roads etc. I had the impression that this was the general european style. Definitely not. Amsterdam has full of construction works going on:
- as soon as you leave amsterdam central station, you see the construction works for renovation/ new metro line, which will take few years to complete.
- there are many new buildings being built within the city
- Keerwal, the small street at the back of Funenpark, is under construction for 7-8 months. I do not have any idea why they renew the road.

And, during this visit too, I haven't seen any such attempts in Denmark.

Contradicting Data

5. Danes are not tall anymore. After spending months in Denmark, I remember that I was surprised when I read somewhere that Dutch people were the tallest in the world. "How come?", I thought, "It is actually Danes."
However, this time, after spending months among Dutch people, I was surprised to see that Danes were not that tall. I even started to think that they are no different than Turkish people. There are outliers for sure, like Trine Bro.
(I guess this is what I will call from now on the "dutch effect". I have started to judge tallness using dutch people as my standard; and this will lead to the conclusion that all other people are noticeably short.)..

6. As an Istanbulin, I had not noticed the difference between crowdedness of the two countries/ two capitals. For me, it was the same: they are very small cities, very quiet cities. Now I realized that there was hardly people around in Denmark. It was very quiet there. And I realized that Netherlands was actually really crowded relatively.
(We have checked the population density of the countries from Wikipedia with Kiran on sunday. Netherlands is 25th in the world.).

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