For our Nordic friend

Hi Janus, what are your thoughts on this? Is there any substance to it, or is simply lies and calumny?

I loved this particular passage:

“The difference is, few actually actively seek to move to Scandinavia, for obvious reasons: the weather is appalling, the taxes are the highest in the world, the cost of living is similarly ridiculous, the languages are impenetrable, the food is (still) awful for the most part and, increasingly, these countries are making it very clear they would prefer foreigners to stay away.”

I think he is wrong in one aspect.

“No, it’s a nonsense and, in fact, they have dropped from the top spot in recent surveys, mostly because they are not as rich as they once were. The sad take-away from that is, money does, in fact, make you happy.”

Well partly wrong. It is my experience that good weather does much more to make you happy than money does. Granted, you need enough to cover the basics, but the law of diminishing returns applies very quickly to the wealth/happiness relationship. Of course one can have too much sunshine as well, but I do believe that most people could identify a climate that is ideal for them and having found it, they are much more likely to be happy then any amount of ‘surplus’ wealth can provide.

I would be interested to hear the opinions of others. No, seriously, I would. 🙂

13 thoughts on “For our Nordic friend”

  1. My mood tends to be grimmer in grey, miserable weather. I’m also more prone to dizziness and apathy. Good music, great literature and a proper cuppa — be it coffee or tea — are not terribly expensive, so why not live with people who enjoy life? I really like Scandinavia. They’re beautiful and clean countries but I’d never want to live in any of them.

  2. Sipu, by coincidence, I have just read the Indy article – with the occasional wry smile. (Btw Backside observes, I am not Nordic any more than you are Zimbabwean!)

    I have pooh-poohed the alleged Nordic supremacy for years, pointing to two revealing facts, among others:
    a. half of all jobs here are in the public sector and it still creaks with incompetence and
    b. the much-vaunted life balance is similarly creaky, with women expected to work full-time AND be mothers/housekeepers while their partners remain stubbornly chauvinistic and far from the ‘new man’ ideal.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like it here but I don’t buy the BS. And in the Deep South the climate is not bad at all.

  3. Mornin’ all. I have been to Scandinavia many times on business and loved the experiences apart from the eye-watering cost of living and the weird attitudes to buying booze. One wonders how the illegal immigrants deserving migrants will make their way there apart from on taxpayer funded state handouts. All the talking heads calling for uncontrolled immigration will be personally unaffected by their misguided policies, financially ring-fenced as they all are. One such wonk was introduced recently as a director of the Institute of Thinking, I kid you not, What the hell is that, FFS, and, more importantly, why?

    Janus – your bit about half the workforce being employed in the public sector will strike a resonance anywhere in the western world. I do take exception to being harangued by the persona of some smug functionary enforcing petty regulations from a cosy office with a guaranteed salary and a state pension all financed by the wealth-creating private sector. I therefore sometimes suffer a frizzy fur attack and become downright unpleasant during such encounters, wondering how these cosseted individuals would survive in the real world apart from being related to someone even further up the greasy pole.

    As an aside, one of my best friends still from the old days is a Norwegian ship broker. We sere invited to his log cabin holiday home in the mountains two hours drive north of Lillehammer early one spring. His freezer was a hole in the ground drilled into the permafrost in the garden from which he produced a haunch of reindeer – a novel take on my usual leg of wild boar. Once thawed, thick steaks were cut and grilled to rare perfection along with a delicious cloudberry compôte. On his own plate he produced from somewhere a cocktail cherry and ran around shouting, “I’ve got the nose, I’ve got the nose!”


  4. OZ, another of the myths – conservation of wild species. Akshully they hunt animals for sport. They are not all good shots. They also poach.

  5. Hi Janus, “(Btw Backside observes, I am not Nordic any more than you are Zimbabwean!)”

    I dare you to tell Bearsy he is not Australian or the British Olympic Committee that Mo Farah is not British. 😉

    I do know you are not Nordic, but you may, or may not consider your self Danish. And I am not Shona, but I am Zimbabwean. Denmark and Zimbabwe are political constructs. (Actually I am not Zimbabwean because they wont allow me to become one, on account of my having a melanin deficiency. Racism as opposed to logic.)

  6. Ah well, Sipu. Bearsy has taken Aussie nationality, passport ‘n all I expect. I am still proudly English but reside here. You have an inverse Grouch Marx problem. You want to be a member of a club that rejects you. 😕

  7. I have never been to any of the Scandinavian countries, never had the need or the inclination. Strangely tho’ I have known more than a fair few Scandinavians from all the countries. It always struck me that they were mostly manic depressives that consumed far too much alcohol for their own good! Terribly gloomy people on the whole, but at 50% tax who wouldn’t be? Can’t say I ever felt the need to emulate or admire them, it might well suit them to live like that in the public sector but it surely wouldn’t suit me! I can spend my money far more effectively than any SOB govt ‘functionary’! Being of the school of rugged individualism and self employed for 35 years I am totally resistant to/incapable of conforming to any preconceived set of ‘rules’ So I guess wild west Wales and rural USA suit my anarchic soul.
    Must add spousal unit is half Swedish extraction only two generations back. He can do the gloom bit par excellence only to be relieved by the quarter Yorkshire common sense in due course!

    ” but I do believe that most people could identify a climate that is ideal for them and having found it, they are much more likely to be happy then any amount of ‘surplus’ wealth can provide.”

    I think you are spot on sipu with this one.
    I personally detest hot sunshine, I associate it with dust, drought, brown parched landscapes, wogs, war and distress etc etc. I like cool weather and green. To get green landscapes all the year necessitates rainfall in every season, with which I live cheerfully. Both Wales and Whatcom County are green to extreme, mountains clothed with forests in both, wonderful ferns a wealth of wild flowers, and ideal veg growing weather!(Had to get that in!)
    I like rain, it comforts me to think of reservoirs filling to the brim, no hosepipe bans round here or Wales. Plenty of flow for Hydro power, cheap as chips here. Electricity bill about 35.00 pound per month!
    Interesting that so many people of hot dry countries are stampeding the gates of the cool wet ones isn’t it? Or having non stop civil wars.
    I’d far rather be middling income here than as rich as Croesus in Mexico or Colorado!
    And I’d rather be dead than live in the Middle East!
    Many think rural green is utterly boring, good, stay away, not wanted or needed on our patch.

  8. Interesting that you can’t be Ziibabwean sipu. A friend of the boy was born in the Emirates, WASP, spoke arabic as a native, they did everything they could to deny him a passport. He worked there as an adult after education in the UK and was resident, they could not deny that. He used to apply regularly just to cause aggro, they hated him for it! He had British too via his parents otherwise he would have had real difficulty. They frequently threw him out of the country but then couldn’t refuse to readmit him on some technicality. It was an ongoing amusement to him, just to wind them up.
    Curious how they are all too keen to get British passports but it is strictly a one way street! I swear the British Govt has shit for brains. They should dish out what their citizens receive elsewhere.

  9. Thanks for the post, Sipu, with very interesting links. I have been wondering why so many of the illegal immigrants want to go to countries like Sweden and Norway. How will they cope with a Scandinavian winter? Already some in Cyprus are complaining about the cold. Wait till you get to Finland, I think!

  10. Sheona, maybe two reasons. Some have family already installed, others have ‘heard’ they are friendly. All I know is, DK does not make them welcome.

  11. Sheona: for the same reason they go to Germany. They’re sold a bill of goods and think that they will get a nice house, cars, a refugee stipend AND be able to work off-the-books in order to live a quality of life they’d never imagined possible before. They then arrive and realise that reality is incredibly different. At that point they grow bitter and begin destroying things.

  12. Janus: the “welcome culture” is rapidly dying a death that won’t be mourned. What happens next year, the year after? What happens if the invasion doesn’t abate when it’s clear that Europe can’t handle the invaders it has?

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