copenhagen minute

In Denmark, some things are quite different from the rest of the world. I could go into politics and rant about that, but, to keep in spirit of LDST, I won’t. Instead, I’ll go into the interesting subject of time. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the expression “New York minute“. If you’re not, then it’s basically meaning a timeframe a lot shorter than the ordinary minute.

In Copenhagen (and probably the rest of Denmark too), this minute has a habit of spanning over something that would represent a number of minutes fairly larger than one. Naturally, this doesn’t apply to everything, so I’ll present you with a “for” and an “against” argument for my theory that the Copenhagen minute is the opposite to the New York minute.

For: Bus
All over Copenhagen, there are certain bus-lines that has a small number on the busstop, that represents the amount of time till the next bus arrives. Naturally, that amount shouldn’t be that big, as the idea is that there should be one arriving around every 5-8 minutes. Now, “the minute” happens when the counter ticks to 1. I’m fairly that time in the area increases exponentially, because that minute usually lasts at least 3 or 4.

Now, I haven’t tried to check with a stopwatch, but I doubt that’s needed. Most people should notice when a minute has taken at least 3 minutes. Then again, I have never heard anyone complain about it in public…

Against: Metro
The more I think about it, this won’t exactly be an against-arguement, but more an explanation of a cleverly thought out trick. At our subway-system there also a minute counter till the next metro. However, when the time gets below 3 minutes, it starts adding in half minutes too. Having getting used to the number changing once per minute, you don’t expect it to count down faster, and it might in fact even be changing every minute, thus actually taking a few minutes longer than written.

While this is a far stretch, my argument gets slightly overruled by the fact that the train arrives when the counter is at 1 or ½ minute. But, it could also be yet another trick to make you think that not only did the train arrive on time, it was ahead of it. Clever.

In the end, I’m rather convinced that a Copenhagen minute is at least fairly longer than a New York one. Don’t ask me why the time difference remains the same, because that’s a puzzle to me.


  1. Today, the train arrived when the sign said “2”, which hardly makes this easier to comprehend.

    Granted, that didn't give me and advantage at all, as it simply decided to stop between two stations for at least five minutes for no apparent reason.

    You win again, Copenhagen Minute. Blasted.


  2. Clever politician! Or should I say clever Claus Bondam? :P


  3. Indeed, Klaus Bondam probably had something to do with it. Higher fares, higher duration of minutes.


  4. Dude are you from Denmark or were you just on a holiday?


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