Monday, September 08, 2008

a matter of perspective

i had a very pleasant lunch meeting to attend in the city today, so i went in a bit early and took the camera. my sister and i took 577 pictures total in about an hour and a half. there ought to be a couple of good ones to share in the coming days and perhaps we'll even let ourselves be inspired by tangobaby and go visit blurb and create some fabulosity with them there. stay tuned for that.

in the meantime, i decided that these were good words for a monday:

i'm not sure what these cubes with this phrase on it were really for, but there were several of them around the city today. i was so busy taking pictures of them, that i didn't really read the other sides of the cube to see what it was all about. but, as far as i'm concerned, they are words to set the tone for the week and frankly, for life in general. everyday we are met with the unknown and i've learned over the past week or so that i don't want to meet the unknown with fear and negativity, so curiosity seems like a good alternative. it's open and positive. who wouldn't want to be more open and positive? what a great message to send on the streets of copenhagen. and putting it backwards--a stroke of genius--you have to actively read it that way. awesome.

* * *

hilarious true story:  one of the officers i knew in my previous job has recently moved to copenhagen from singapore with his wife and child. although they are from india, they have lived in singapore for a few years now. apparently the wife is suffering from extreme culture shock in denmark, which is totally understandable. 

however, what's quite hilarious to those of us who grew up in places that are not india and all of the preconceived notions that go with that, is that she is shocked at the low standard of living in denmark. yes, you read that correctly--it seems the happiest people on the face of the earth have a low living standard in her estimation. 

here are a few of the reasons:
  1. hoards of people on bicycles. (can't they afford cars?)
  2. when you call a taxi, you may actually have to WAIT for one to come.
  3. people send their children to daycare rather than having a nanny.
  4. another child at the daycare hit her child and was not reprimanded with corporal punishment (said children were two and a half).
  5. where are all the nannies? (this nanny thing is apparently really bad.)
  6. and the maids? who will clean the apartment?
i wonder what she thinks of danish design? and she's gonna really be disappointed when she compares those dogme films to bollywood offerings.

it's amazing how things all boil down to one's perspective.


Unknown said...

hello .. love your blog

I am newish here.

I live in cape town and i love creativity in publoc spaces. did you ever find out what those cubes are for?

Anyway I wonder what your friend's partner would think of the South african lifestyle. We have nanny's , we have maids and we drive but we our lifestyle is totaly different from a singaporean one...

Its a matter of pespective i guess

julochka said...

hi dark chocolate! thanks for stopping by! i totally love cape town, it's one of my favorite places. i'm sad that it's been almost a year since i've been there!

it turns out the cubes are a part of a contemporary art exhibition that's going on all over the city. i was so taken with the message i didn't notice the sign on the other side, saying what it was.

i too had culture shock when i came to denmark (i'm american) ten years ago, but the story just struck me as so funny because no dane would ever consider their living standard to be low. and there are actually quite a lot of filipino nannies around, i think they're just not as plentiful as they are in singapore.

it is definitely all a matter of your perspective.

tangobaby said...

She sounds like one of the "ladies who lunch" right here at home. Unfortunately, people like that rarely change their views to be able to appreciate what is good about where she is now.

Having a low-paid, immigrant servant class in a country does not necessarily make for a happy life for some.

I really like that cube you took a photo of and the message it has for us. Keep taking those photos, lady! How fun to have a sister project.

enchantedartist said...

Oh my goodness...this is so funny! This woman probably wouldn't like life in Canada much far as I know maids...nanny's...and for sure, taxi's are in short supply! :)

(Looking forward to seeing more photos...)


d smith kaich jones said...

Oh this is too funny. Who WILL clean the apartment??

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

For the first part, I think it's such an inspired idea to leave messages like that around the city- absolutely inventive and fresh.

As to the lady who is suffering from culture shock, I can only hope for her sake that she comes around eventually or she won't be having a happy life. I thought you were going to suggest it's because she came from a wealthy place in India or Singapore- which might have made sense if she is super-wealthy- but it seems that it's purely a culture shock, and she's not living how she expected to. Could she perhaps be trying to avoid settling anywhere but her home? She might be wishing to go back and so not get attached by dismissing Denmark just like that.
What a great post on perspective.

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Sorry- I also wanted to add that I know you tagged me recently, and I didn't forget! I'll get my handwriting out soon, I promise./ I've been tagged three times that I know of in the last month and I haven't answered any of them.

Mary-Laure said...

Loved the picture and am hoping to see MORE very soon!

So true what you say about perspective. I was living in China in the 1980's, then a country where the living standards were really low and when Chinese people my dad worked with were sent to Paris for the first time, yes, Paris the city of lights, they always came back most unimpressed, complaining mostly about how dirty the city was...