Denmark, Red, scams, the future

Been a while. A few notes…

I'm pretty sure we're being scammed by our movers. They showed up and wanted $500 more than they originally quoted, and that was just for packing and loading, not delivery or storage. Doing some web searches on them, they're connected to one of the biggest mover rackets. I think we're fucked and I'm hoping our stuff will at least come back from storage. No clue how much we'll have to pay for the privilege — recovering money will require formal complaints and possibly court. Shit. I hesitate to mention their name publicly lest it harms us further.

Still, it's been great to be in Denmark. I'm enjoying the folks at Red Associates (hi guys). Copenhagen proves to be a lovely city. We're in a gorgeous apartment in the center of town, a block from the royal gardens and just around the corner from the office. It's been a warm landing, a great group of very intelligent people from diverse disciplines. The projects are fascinating, high-impact, deep. Very cool.

Fieldwork took us to Shanghai in June, which was a trip. As I zipped down the street in one of a million cabs we took over the week, I realized that Shanghai is the future: that it's not just modern, but that the West is in retirement. This future is high speed, connected by chat and SMS, Tudou and QQ (the equivalents of YouTube and ICQ meets Cyworld). It's also a world that throws people at problems — so many people standing around, so many people doing menial jobs. Lots of cloned websites and software and media (we bought Oceans 13 on the street) — why do they need licenses or proprietary whatever? It is fascinating and disconcerting at once. English? Sure, okay, but it's incidental. And the Shanghai skyline and the center city's megastructures, almost all of which has been built in the last 5-10 years– what would it be like to grow up with that as your skyline?  In this worldview, Copenhagen looks like the content retirees and the US looks like the retirees who never could bear to slow down. But retirement means you're in the last phases of your life and that's what the West seemed like in comparison.

I've been flying SAS every week for the last five weeks: Newark – Copenhagen – Shanghai – Copenhagen – Newark – Copenhagen. I no longer have the airline status I had circa 2004 and SAS won't be useful in getting it. I got 972 miles for my last flight to Denmark from NYC. Schmucks. They're cheap, which is a surprise to me: I'd always wanted to fly them and now I'm looking forward to avoiding them in the future.

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  1. The library friend who now lives above us was a victim of that racket when she moved from Howe Street to ours. It was not pretty. And we'll have to be careful for when we move to NYC.We were up in Maine this week for the holiday and discovered 66 North apparel from Iceland. It really is great, quality stuff and not everything is available in the US so stock up for winter over there.I hope that Cøbenhavn is as awesome as I hear.

  2. Sorry about the movers, they sure do have you where they want you until you get your stuff back. But I suppose, compared with hoofing it all yourself… sometimes it seems like a toss-up. We've had good movers here in Princeton, so if you need a recommendation next time. Did you store your stuff in NH or Princeton? Have you heard about housing yet? Moving sucks.

  3. Man. I'm not pleased about the movers but what can I do? Feh. No word yet on housing. I'm kind of enjoying my nomadic existence and hope that we land somewhere where we can get a dog. How are you guys this summer? Having fun?

  4. Yea, we're good, especially when we're between bouts of ungodly Princeton heat. Spyros tells me it will only get worse. Ugh. Rowing has been keeping me busy and keeping my hands covered in blisters. I think I forgot how painful rowing is. I am almost done with paper #3, which is good because German starts next week. I'm looking forward to you and Enrique joining us here, I think that will really be nice.

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