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August 12, 2014

Rose Simpson: Denmark, please don't hate us cuz we're fat

The Tourists
"The Tourists" by Zhu, from the OttawaStart Flickr Group

Rose Simpson's column appears most Tuesday mornings on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose's Cantina.

I've never thought much about Denmark.
I had some Danish cutlery once and it was lovely.
And my Danish friend Viggo fed me Aquavit one night. I don't remember much of that night; I think there was also raw fish involved.
Raw fish is probably the reason so few women are obese in Denmark, that and the fact they ride a lot of bicycles.
And some of them -- not my friend Viggo whom I adore -- but some of them are rude.
Like a Danish tourist with her English pal who came to Canada and wrote an "open letter" to the media about how fat we are here, how we live in disgusting smoggy cities, and how much we like our cars, none of which are made in Denmark.
Imagine if we rode in cars made in Denmark.
They'd be like Chevy Chevettes, those horrible little cars from the Seventies which had power nothing. You practically had to push the damned car down the road.

The local media picked up on their open ramblings and ran with them like a Russian gymnastic ribbon team.
They called us fat, CTV roared. They said we didn't spend enough time on bicycles.
Somehow, this is news to Canadian media.
I mean, it's not like the piece was written by an analyst from the Centre for Disease Control or the World Health Organization!
Must be a slow news week.
Imagine if I wrote that piece, using the same lingo. It wouldn't even make the cut on the editor's desk.
Nobody in the news media cares what we have to say about ourselves.
They only care if somebody says it...from away.

Okay, but is it accurate?
I like my car. It gets me places.
I don't ride a bike, though my husband does. He's been hit by cars four times in Ottawa.
He's insane.
Frankly, if I'm going to be hit, I'd rather be in a car, preferably waiting for the cops with a bucket of KFC sitting beside me -- in air conditioning.
I'm not saying what they had to say wasn't true.
But so what if I'm fat and prefer ice cream and steak and wine and tequila over fish?
I also like corn and potatoes.
Not too fond of Danishes, though.
They give me gas.

-- Rose Simpson

See also: Ottawa Tourism Guide
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