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On The Road Again - Eye To Eye With The Local Postal Authority

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Pillar Of The Community
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7146 Posts
Posted 12/15/2022   12:52 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Bendix - this is, unequivocally, my favourite thread on SCF. Give us news from Elsinore!
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Posted 01/15/2023   08:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bendix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And now, let's come to the end of the passage…and review Denmark philatelically.

Alas, from the Denmark expedition (1996) no postal item has been preserved or the recipients have not returned specific cards (one can't always force them to do so), but a visit at the counters of Denmark's post in Elsinore was successful.

A complete set of local palaces was for sale (in a presentation pack showing additional data and information in respect of the stamps – that is beautiful and comprehensive, but if one considers the amount of space such a presentation pack consumes and the number of issues of alone one country which can easily add up into the thousands, it becomes evident that storage problems might occur).

Furthermore, I could buy a few special issues sail boats (out of a set, which is proof for me, that these stamps could be bought as a single value without the necessity to buy the complete set) and some additional smaller issues of the definites (useful to get to the tariff for non-domestic mail).

Let's have a look at these definites. There are (status as of 2020) 54 different values, as well as another 35 with an additional inprint of heraldic hearts. This design is now over 100 years old, in 1921 the first ones were issued and that design has since been kept on. These stamps are always nominated in Oere = the hundredth part of a crown.

The frugality of the design matches well to the country, where I found it difficult to find an open shop or restaurant (I admit having then bypassed Kopenhagen and been travelling through the countryside, but even so the fact was evident).
Even the banknotes of that time were conspiciously without ostentation.

That soberness I found echoed in my stock of Danish stamps by the time, where the fact that stamps might as well be produced in multi-colour or using fresher hues has been discovered about 30 years later than in other European countries.

As a result of my impressions, and I ask the pardon of all Denmark-admirers, I bestowed the title of being the most lacklustring or dull country in the world.

And I will not change my mind, even if one qoutes Olsen-Gang-movies (locally produced slapstick movies - the Danish answer on James Bond, by the way honoured with a special stamp issue) or mentions the fact that Denmark was once the world leader in the production of adult entertainment movies (a fact not yet recognized philatelically) in the Seventies.

However, the number of stamps released is relatively scant and the stamps are inexpensive and easy to procure. Even though the charm of these stamps may disclose only at second sight, from a print quality point of view there is nothing to decry about. Twenty years after my visit I acquired a mint collection of stamps released between 1970 and 1987 for the small amount of EUR 40.00 (= 4 evenings of excellent entertainment during Corona-curfew). All stamps are still valid for postage (as every issue from 1933 on is), but the price for postal services has become that incredibly expensive (postage for the postcard in 1996 was DKK 4.00 – today in 2023 it would be DKK 36.00 – yes, that is approx. EUR 4.80), that an economic usage of such old nominals would be hard to manage (there might even not be enough space for a recipient's address).

Anyhow, it's fun to have a look what is philatelically going on in a neighbouring country.

So, should anybody have Danish stamps lounging around, one should take them out, take a good look and form one's own opinion on the subject.
That's the impulse I wanted to set today.

As maybe I am wrong and see only an ugly duckling, where others perceive a beautiful swan.

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Posted 01/15/2023   5:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

As maybe I am wrong and see only an ugly duckling, where others perceive a beautiful swan.

Opinion is hardly wrong, just misguided.
Obviously you have the bower bird gene, you like sticks and brightly coloured tinsel.

Denmark offers a wide palate of collecting interests, beautiful booklets,
The BYPOST, the Christmas Seals, The Cinderellas, the Railways AHT, HFHJ, HVJ, LJ and LFJS, NFJ, KNJ, OJ, OKMJ, OMB, RHJ, VLTJ.
Revenues, Viborg Bypost, West Indies.

If one is tired of Denmark, must be tired of life.

(As I currently sit through my second viewing of "Borgen" great Danish TV )
Borgen: The greatest political drama ever. Caryn James.

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Edited by rod222 - 01/15/2023 6:01 pm
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Posted 02/15/2023   3:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bendix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
After the voyage is before the voyage, so or similarly so once said Sepp Herberger, a legendary German football trainer (his original quote was: After the match is before the match – very wise answer, applicable to any kind of question as now and then trivial sportive events are talked to death).

But where could one travel to? Lets's have a look at three types of travellers
1. Those, who feel the need to always go to different places. Be it that this is a certain individual consume pattern or it is restlessness (out of curiosity, will to conquer or unconscious death wish) which drives one from one cultural area to the next. This specimen you will find well represented in the incorrigible "worldwide" collector.
2. Then there is the one, who dares to leave the country, but only goes to a certain cultural area, for example to France which names itself as "Grande Nation" which promises a certain range of variety - as he speaks French - or to some mountains because one likes climbing. For outside parties this might appear adventurous, but it is in fact a well calculated enterprise, comprising little risk (as one does only that, at one is good at), not a trip into the wild. And that could be the type collector of one's homecountry and covering one or two additional specific areas of collection.
3. Type three commutes from his hometown to his traditional place for holiday for years (in extreme occurrence I met such a character recently: travelling for over thirty years the dangerous distance of 250 km to one specific point at the at the North See). Such a person might collect his homecountry and nothing else in a preprinted album.

That might at first thought sound like a trivial generalisation, but there is more in it, than you might think:
• Type 3 considers Type 1 as someone who can't be taken serious, as unstable, conspicious and in the end even dangerous (as he is threatening public order and going well beyond one's own horizon).
• Typ 2 is the one of the well limited, well calculated risk, but someone who knows not to look like a bore.
• Typ 1 is an adventurer, but at the end he might be arriving after decades of travelling or hoarding hundredthousands of stamps nowhere, fool that he is.

If these types interact, an outburst of conflict or a latently felt sentiment of mutual non-understanding might occur.

That is only human and kindles a good discussion, which is all the fun of the game.

Well, how did we get there? Oh, yes of course – I consider myself with a tendency to type one, but as I have in my previous contribution backbitten Denmark (…most boring country in the world….), where did I go to next year…..?

Admittedly only with the intention to set over for Sweden. However, there was enough time for a visit of the Elsinore post-office, where I had the pleasure to acquire the above shown colourful assortment.

Now, and where is the adventure factor in that? Well,
• When was the last time you went 780 km (distance from my dear hometown to Elsinore) to buy stamps at the post-office.
• ...a train journey, - some nighttrain from Düsseldorf to Hamburg, which departed at some time around midnight. The folks hustling about at that time of the night are special and may be regarded as a latent threat for every overnervous bourgeoise person. The train rattling along the track through the night. The necessity to change the train in vibrant Hamburg, off with the next train on the German island Fehmarn. Then the train was put into a ferry to cross the Sea to Danish territory (bird migration-line). When Arriving in Kopenhagen, orientate oneself again in another metropolis, again changing trains.
• At such occasions you need to be on the qui vive.

Bird migration-line? Inaugurated in 1963. This was a traffic infrastructure with the pecularity of a train ferry element, connecting Western Germany with Denmark, as the traditional habour for the exchange of goods between Denmark and Germany was Rostock, which found itself behind the iron curtain. Today the train ferry traffic is suspended. The ferry is still operating (for passengers, trucks and cars).

Upon the opening there were special issues by the West German and the Danish postal authorities. Last time I voiced criticism in regards to Danish stamp design (to mundane, unspectecular). But please, judge for yourself…..

Well? Whatever your verdict is (simply form your own opinion and enjoy either the one or the other design, or both). I would like to add that the Danish specimen was etched by master Slania.

Now, I like both
• The German stamp is more informative. It is easier to comprehend at what the stamp is aiming. Clearly broader spectrum of colours and by that of a sanguine appearance. Theme and motif of bird migration as a metaphor for going long distance to Scandinavia as the shortest way and for freedom nicely combined.
• The Danish stamp is printed in illustrious intanglia in green and white. One needs to take a closer look to comprehend what is meant (above train, in the middle: a skidmark = sign for road traffic, symbols of flow meant for representing the water and the sea). The stamp is more ornamental (for which I have a liking).

Catalogue value about EUR 0,60 and therefore unworthy to being discussed? I take it, these stamps have entertained us well for at least five minutes. I strongly advice against attempts to measure cultural value in monetary units.

And that is fascinating: being reminded that the infrastructure honoured on that stamps, has at some time really been used by oneself.
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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
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Posted 02/15/2023   4:15 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Another splendid post, mein freund. I must be type 2 - just Eurostar and SNCF, flânerie, a bistrot, a Calva, a Gitane. I don't minding looking like a bore, though.
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Posted 02/15/2023   4:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are all the permutations of the three types of travellers and three types of collectors.

Also, here, it is traveller type 3 that is not taken serious by the other two types. Actually, he is not considered a traveller, but a herd animal.
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Edited by NSK - 02/15/2023 5:00 pm
Valued Member
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Posted 03/15/2023   4:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bendix to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
So, let's return to Scandinavia, a for the cursory observer a completely idyllic and peaceful place, Sweden that was. It was a kind of tranquillity and insouciance I noticed that prompted me to return to the country, although with the intention to visit different places.

Everything felt so astoundingly relaxed, prosperous and unconstrained (and yes, the women showed beyond a beautiful complexion a proud assertiveness as well), that I recollect the time of my sojourn as a complete blithe one.

I sought advice in a guidebook beforehand the trip and was told, that in Sweden a reserved and cool personality of the folk was to be expected. In fact I was received kindly at every place I got to, was actively supported when it came to looking for accommodation and found much kindness in general in an intensity seldomly experienced in other countries.

So it was as well with my visit at the counters of the main post office in Göteburg, where I could trace the by the time operating collector's counter (as in the end every travel needs it's little philatelic event as a highlight – not to mention that it is not conceivable to be on the road unaccompanied by at least a basic supply of a few stamps, is it? And if possible, of course by the most beautiful ones, one can find.). There, in Göteburg, they were even better stocked than in Malmö the year before, and one could choose from issues going back to the year 1990.

Time to show some of the spoils:

How about Swedish movies – at the top right „Wild Strawberries" should be the most popular one on an international level – it received by it's time a lot of awards (it has now been 25 years since I watched the movie last time, since then stowed away in the intellectual poison cabinet).

Suitable for a summerly journey: the summer in the arts.

By the way, inflation was a an already by the time known phenomenon. The postage went up on a year to year basis by – by my troth – 7.7%!

Together with my purchases I was handed over the below shown card as an additional souvenir. As you see, it has survived the lapse of time.

And on it's back their service was advertised („vackra" by the way means "beautiful" and not „valiant" as one could surmise from it's Germanic word stem. Have they grown soft of late, these Vikings?). Besides with gratifyingly long opening hours, 9-19h00.

And had they not been located in a traditional representative postal building? Hm, I'm not completely sure, that is why I try to locate their current premises. All right, I found the post office in Nordstan. Now to be found in a shopping mall. And here is the picture google showed, when I searched for it (and yes, though it may be hard to believe – it shows the mall's lavatories!).

But wait a minute, wasn't there a telephone number displayed on the card? Well, let's give them a call and clear that question. It's ringing….a voice…. (why are they always employing women with a seductive voice sounding like an odysseussian sirene, I called twice) ...and she told me in Swedish, that no one could be reached under that number.... well, everything is only a distant memory now.

But it might have come worse - as think of that: the supervisor of the lavatory would have answered the call....
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