The first thing I notice is how everyone is smiling. Like, everyone. This place would be a cartoon if it was in America. There’s not a lick of insincerity. And this is leaving the fucking airport, where I thought it was a rule that basically everyone is miserable, always, everywhere.

This part of the world is often used, in one form or another, as a political talking point in America about places that “get X,Y or Z” done right. The clean streets, effective and modern transportation infrastructure, seemingly robust economy, not needing to worry about health care or police shootings (or, really, shootings much at all).1

Copenhagen felt like Amsterdam without all the vice tourism, which is nice because it uncrowded the streets a bit. Even at Christiania, with its turned-eye hash market, everything was relaxed. Energetic and wonderful, but no drunks on parade the way one might find around various downtown areas back in Holland.

I think the only depressing thing about travel is with each new city and culture I experience, it piles on more evidence as to exactly how much America has got wrong. How much we’ve veered off-course as a country, as an idea. How bad things are and how much it would take to get remotely back on track, toward an idea of a place where people would actually smile at one another leaving the airport.

  • Of course these are mostly leftist talking points; the right would probably like the fact most of the people are white, but nationalism is for suckers.