This article is part of the The Great American Reach Around series.

Theis "SinSalvador" Groth

Svendborg, Denmark

Located straight north of Germany, directly east of Edinburgh and only a pickles-throw south of Norway, is the ancient and scenic monarchy Denmark. Nearly a thousand years ago, we controlled most of Scandinavia, northern England and nearly every frosty piece of island we could reach. Today, we are the smallest Scandinavian nation both in terms of population and geography. The mystery of we ended up like this is only overshadowed by the mystery of what the hell we should do with all the frosty little islands which didn't have the decency to revolt.

Denmark is internationally known for three things: religious intolerance, ski-mask wearing youngsters throwing petrol bombs, and beer, although we'll only take credit for the later. We don't really like conflict, as evidence by our first and only military act of WW2 - Sinking our own navy. Not joking. Although we've actively participated in it, most Danes consider the war in Iraq as something that happened to other people. Incidentally, those other people include our own government, but that is of minor importance to us.

The fact of the matter is that most Danes are fairly laid back, relaxed and more occupied with enjoying life than anything else. We like beer, cigarettes and cosiness more than anything else, and being one of the richest countries in the world (and with universal healthcare), we can afford these luxuries. This laidback attitude is perhaps best highlighted by mentioning our Minister of Health, who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day.

In the southern part of the country, right at the bottom of Funen, is the historic city of Svendborg with a breathtaking 50.000 inhabitants - Roughly the same as Greenland. Being more than 750 years old, one would think that we'd have something astounding to show for it. That not being the case can solely be attributed to the fact that absolutely nothing of significance ever happens, nor ever will happen, in Svendborg. To make up for it, however, we have 50cent beer and a static of more than half the youth population having smoked cannabis. Were it not for these two things, we'd likely be ashamed of ourselves and might even do something about it. But when you have an abundance of legal and illegal drugs, why bother?

That is not to say that nothing at all happens in Svendborg. Once or twice a year, right wing extremists numbering in the tens or even twenties try to take the city, at which point Svendborg's relatively large anti-racist community gangs up and stands around.

Due to its large youth-population, and the fact that it is the only remotely civilized place in southern Funen, Svendborg is also blessed with more bars per capita than any other city in Denmark. Couple that with an utter lack of public drinking laws and a nearly non-existent police force, and you've got a nightlife - Danish style.

The common perception of Americans is that of Hummer-driving, morbidly obese, militantly Christian and gun-waving illiterate constantly engaged in ridiculous lawsuits against anyone and everyone. On a subconscious level, most of are aware that this is not true for most Americans, but we like the illusion and have no plans of giving it up any time soon.

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