Over lunch this week my cousin and I got chatting about things from fairly recent history which now seem archaic.
The example he gave was someone being in Las Vegas and finding people smoking indoors in the casinos.
Smoking indoors was banned in the UK in 2007, and (whilst I wasn’t spending that much time in pubs as a 16-year-old) I have always found it arresting to be back in a place where it happens.
Interestingly, this happened in Copenhagen.
Stepping into a hugger-mugger bar late one evening I almost wondered whether I’d stumbled upon a lock-in where everyone was lighting up in close quarters.
Not so. It’s still legal to smoke indoors in particular bars.
Interestingly, Denmark also banned indoor smoking in 2007 but allows it in restaurants/ cafes/ bars smaller than 40m2.
Other unsettling behaviours
I’m cautious of sounding too woke, but rewatching films from even 5-10 years ago where a character might be described as “gay” as an insult is something that feels grating.
In Denmark, I’ve been surprised by the level of what you might consider being “casual sexism”.
On TV shows/ office stories from friends in Copenhagen it seems quite commonplace to expect/ “make a joke” about a female co-worker to clean up the room after a meeting, or explicitly refer to women in the media as “smoking hot”/ “I would” around the communal (multi-gendered) lunch table.
From the places I’ve worked in the UK (and, come to think of it, East Africa too) such comments/ remarks wouldn’t sit well and seem out of place.
What’s next to feel outdated?
This begs the question of what activities today may seem archaic in the not-too-distant future.
Eating animals is probably a big one that comes to mind, but could it also be that unfettered air travel is viewed as old fashioned/ out of place? Perhaps logging into a website/ app using your Facebook credentials, or indeed using Facebook itself?
As ever, interested to hear your thoughts 🙂
In other news…
Thanks for all the feedback on last week’s post about how to be more disagreeable. The top recommendations for reading/ thinking more about this are:
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