Archive for April, 2008


For the love of the game

April 10, 2008

Photo by: Jpghouse

The number of audience that went to see a match in the Danish Hockey League has risen this season. 1.534 persons pr match. This is what I have to compare with when I see cars everywhere in Montreal with the Canadiens-flag out of their window. This is what I have to compare with when I see a car painted in the red, white and blue colors with the Canadiens-logo on each side, of course. So I guess you can understand that it seems a bit overwhelming.

I read an article in Metro a week or two ago about how it affected the happiness of the Montrealers if the Canadiens are successful. I think I found the same study here, and even though it is in French, I pretty sure it says that one person out of five thinks that the performance of their club influence their level of happiness. Wow! I don’t even think the Danes feel that way with one of the Danish national sport soccer (can’t be sure of course).

I would have loved to see all of these strong club-feelings evolve live at the first play-off match tonight, but of course the ticket are sold out months (seasons?) in advance. That is what I call commitment. I will do the second best at go to the local sports bar, can’t wait to see this intense hockey-culture when the stakes are as high as they are. I wonder if it will be quite the anticlimax to go and see hockey in Denmark, when I come back…



April 9, 2008

Photo by: EBR

Just recently 60 Minutes had a piece about a scientific survey concerning happiness made by Leicester University in England. The piece was about Denmark, which came in number one as the happiest people in the world. Canada came in number 10.

In the piece from 60 Minutes the journalist Morley Safer interviews a Danish journalist and comedian, Sebastian Dorset, and he says that even though the Danes are the happiest people you do not see them go around smiling in the streets, actually they look a bit discontent.

I saw this nodding in recognition and it made me think about walking in the streets of Montreal the last couple of sunny days. It seems to me that the people of Montreal have got a dose spring-joy with all these sunbeams and now they walk around smiling on the streets.

I have to confess that I have had my dose as well, and perhaps this little piece is affected by this, but seen with my Danish eyes (which are not scientific, representative or unbiased) people actually seem more relaxed and smiling here. Perhaps it just the sunshine speaking…


The streets of Montreal

April 7, 2008

Photo by: AKidd

I always notice and sometimes greets them walking on Ave Mont Royal. They sit or stand the same place; the guy with his dog in front of the pet store, the lady with the big winter boots outside the SAQ and the man who plays with his cap. But they are not always on the street.

As I wrote earlier in A Dane wondering, I have been thinking about where the homeless people on Ave Mont Royal go in night or when it gets cold or wet and how the social system takes care of them compared to the Danish social system. Just to make it clear I base my wonder about the homeless on the assumption that these people on Ave Mont Royal are in fact homeless, I don’t know if they are just begging for money and going home to an apartment.

In Denmark there are about 5.000 homeless people, in most cases these people have the opportunity the be helped by the social services, but since 69 percent of them are addicted to alcohol, hash, narcotics and/or medicine and 30 percent suffer from mental illness they do not always get the help. And therefore they end up on the streets, homeless (of cause for some it is a way of living).

As I tried to find out where the homeless go to sleep, eat, and keep warm in Montreal I stumbled upon this webpage that offers interesting insight in the lives of homeless people in Canada. On the webpage it says accurate stats are hard to get, but estimations would be that there is anywhere from 10.000 to 30.000 people in the city without a fixed address.

To me that really seems like a lot, when you take into consideration that Montreal has 3.5 million inhabitants against the 5.5 million people in Denmark. I didn’t manage to find out why Montreal has such a big share of homeless (“address less”) people, from the webpage it seem as if there was a lot of places to go to sleep, eat and keep warm. So I didn’t get the impression that Montreal doesn’t care, but perhaps I’m wrong?