So in our brief week here, I have made two observations.
Observation number one: life in Denmark is pretty good. Things work, people are nice, you don’t really see misery, and you don’t really see struggle. The Danish state is infamous for providing for its citizens, and I feel like I’ve restored more balance into my life in less than a week than I had been constantly running after for two years during our time in Washington.
Observation number two: life in Denmark is pretty expensive. As in, VERY expensive. And presumably those two things balance out – you pay more upfront to get more on the backend. It doesn’t immediately hit you (except for maybe in restaurants) and people do say that the only way to survive the shock is to stop constantly converting into dollars in your head. But when you actually stop to think about some of the items, even the day to day ones, the differential between what we used to pay and what we’ll now pay is pretty dramatic.
Now, naturally, one can make a whole lot of arguments about what is the true price of something…But I’d thought I’d do a little mini-series on goods that are easily comparable to give you a sense of what prices are “from here to there”.
First up, Diet Coke. It shouldn’t be, but it’s a staple for me – all around feelgood drug – I should drink a lot less of it, and at this price, I probably will. My preferred form is from a fountain with ice, but I have to say, the can version has always appealed to me more on this side of the atlantic (the fountain versions are rarely found and if you find them, they’re too sweet and don’t have ice).
The prices are pulled from Peapod in the US for the DC zipcode, and from our neighborhood Fotex (kind of like a Safeway), using today’s exchange rate on XE.com, and there you have it – doesn’t seem like much, but the difference is actually 319% more if you compare it to the US price. So how’s that for cost of living?