Conrad the Contrarian: The small towns in Denmark

Most of my job is to perform stand-up comedy shows for people privately in their home or business, and many of them are far out in the country. My life as a stand-up comedian takes me to some small towns, and believe me, there are plenty of them in .

Roadtrip to the dark side
These remote areas have many names: Udkantsdanmark, Lars Tyndskids Mark or Where the Peasant Robbers live. In 2021, despite the , I still traveled almost 11,500 km inside Denmark (further than to ), and much of it was out in the middle of nowhere. A confirmation outside Bastrup, a festival at Anholt, a school by a lake in Glamsbjerg… my special topic in any quiz show should definitely be: Danish motorways and how to get lost with Google Maps.

Even my home in , the second largest city, feels like a village on a global scale. It has a population of about 350,000, but still smells of farm and wet pigs every time the floating door opens.

There are some gems I will not lie. I have been surprised by the beauty of Ribe or the view in Faaborg.

But I have also seen the dark side of the outskirts of Denmark: the dead boring centers in small towns. Places where there are literally seven houses around a Circle K. Cities where the local bus comes every three weeks. Cities where you see the curtains move in the houses while the locals look out to see who you are (because the last visitor was in 1997).

Taken a walk in Anholt
While some villages are afraid of visitors, others desperately want to attract them.

On the island of Anholt (136 people) I could not help but feel that there were an awful lot of ‘museums’ in the local town considering how few people lived there. I visited a couple and realized that they were not museums at all, they were just houses with things inside. It is clear that the villagers had come together to strengthen the island’s and decided that everything could qualify as a .

“Søren, you have many teaspoons. Put them all on your dinner table, put up a sign outside the front door and charge people 120 kroner to get in. ‘Det Gamle Anholt Teskemuseum’, perfect. ”

Birgitte, it’s not just a garden, now it’s the -famous Anholt Vegetable Garden ‘. Fill some old glass bottles with soda from SuperBrugsen and tell them that it is organic homemade lemonade – you have to drive a Porsche in late summer. ”

There really has to be some body holding these small towns accountable. Anholt would have a population close to zero after all the arrests.

No pizzas of resistance
Some small towns are not so lucky to have something interesting enough to become a museum. Instead, the beating heart of the city is a run-down pizzeria / grill.

You are guaranteed to get the worst pizza of your life in these places. On the road, desperate for food, all too often I have fallen into the trap of ordering food from these places. The kind of small-town pizza where luminous orange oil drips from each slice.

It is exhausting to travel to so many small places, but also incredible to perform for so many different people. In fact, I’ve really seen most of the country.

And yes, I have an 80 kroner Anholt Teskemuseum fridge magnet on my fridge.

Source: The Nordic Page


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