A little privacy

One Friday evening I was out walking a friend’s dog around Valby. Some of the houses in that area really are pretty awesome and I admire their design, practicality and some of the kick-ass garden furniture that’s on display.

As I walked past these exquisite homes that evening, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of things: quaint lights hanging in the windows, candles burning warmly (also in the windows), folk dining at the table with their families (right next to the window), friends toasting each other with a glass of window right next to the wine. OK, so that last bit makes no sense, but the general theme on display was ‘Window-based Hygge’. I mean, clearly everyone was absolutely Hygged-Up to the eyeballs within very close range of a window.

Of course, the beauty is that these people can’t see you because of the reflections in the glass from the inside.

I digress. Seeing all these jolly, friendly and relaxed people made me wonder ‘Why isn’t it like this where I come from?’ (by which I mean England). But then it dawned on me: maybe it is. The biggest, most glaringly obvious difference here is that no-one in Denmark seems to bother closing their blinds / curtains at night.

“Closing the curtains at night helps keep the heat in,” my gran used to say. Whereas the more paranoid members of the family would say, “Close the curtains; you don’t know who’s looking in!” And they were right.

Reality TV seems to have overtaken soaps in the popularity ratings, but the idea is still the same: we all like a spot of voyeurism in our lives. We like to see how others live and we like to see others fail and make fools of themselves. So do the good people of Denmark like the idea of being watched? Is it important to show how great our lives are to the people on the outside? (which is definitely something we are all guilty of, hence Facebook.) I think I’m on to something here.

But let’s face it, it’s a safe city and maybe there’s an element of trust going on here. If so, kudos. All I know is, I’m grateful I’m on the second floor of my apartment. There are people like me out there, after all!

1 Comment Add Yours

  1. Ib51

    Hej Matthieu.
    An other explanation could be: we have nothing to hide. I don’t think it’s exhibitionist or show-off behaviour. Maybe, they just think: we don’t do anything wrong or bad thus, you can look at. But, you are right and, as a French man, when I’m in Denmark, I appreciate to live in a little house lost in a deep forest, without any vis-à-vis!
    Yesterday I was in Kph and all these opened windows (I read, once the expression “les yeux d’or” – golden eyes) make me thinking to your blog. I thought to the contradiction between these opened windows which allow the stranger to take a gander inside the house and the difficulty for this same stranger to be invited inside this house. You know probably the difficulties to be allowed to come into the private area of a Danish family. Strange, isn’t it.
    Thanks for you blog.
    Bruno.