Last Saturday of October
Flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Land of Hamlet. Rest stop for mermaids of the Baltic Sea. A bridge from Sweden that disappears into the water. Seems like an unfinished relic of a transpo dept’s dream.

Train to center. Carpeted and a coffee machine on board. Nørreport station. 300m. to the Ibsen’s Hotel. To write or to die. Dollhouse madness. The women here tower overhead. Basketball WNBA trophy players. 5th floor. Room 562. No bathtub. Tiny sink for tiny faces. Quaint and small double bed. A soapy smell in the air.

1800 local. Café Selina. Happy House. Tuborg beer 24kr each on Skinderstraede. Michelangelo’s fingers on the wall. Tree branch with white lights on ceiling. Black light around the bar area.

Danish advertising has a more multi-cultural approach. More open and lively. More European than Scandic. Copenhagen has only two canals but it makes up for it with its architecture beauty.

The Skones residence. Friends. Aperatifs galore.

Bali Ravintola. 880kr nice grub. Indonesian feast for the senses. 2 Tanska men where engaged in a battle of words for an hour. They ended the evening in laughter.

The most important scenario in gift giving is that of giving the gift of perspective. So many people in my life that need an outside viewer’s reportage.

Sunny Windy Sunday
Nyhavn Street. A small slice of Amsterdam-like canal living. Copenhagen – easy town to tour with free city bikes. Everything is nice until someone steals your ride when you visit the WC and your wife ain’t lookin’. Another 20kr down the drain. I have to go find another transport.

We played the role of ‘Tourist: the Sequel” and snapped a pic of the little mermaid. A group of oriental teenybopper dudes were laughing at the guard of the Queen’s Castle. Perhaps they never see fuzzy Q-tip hats in Asia ala Buckingham Palace. Queen Ingrid still moving forward and representing her country across the world.

Sunny windy Sunday. We walked the steps of the Stairway to Heaven – the spiral circular stairs around the Our Savior Church’s tower spire. If I was a kid, I’d have flown right off. The wind was insane. Eerie like a rollercoaster ride. Slight nausea, but we took great pics of the city.
Upon exiting we noticed our city bikes had been snagged. Kids perhaps make their income from the 20kr a pop thefts. Rogues of roving Danish thugs expanding their realm beyond seeking glass bottles for deposits.

City walking shopping street. Street musician with pink guitar and amp. Singing the Turkish version of La Bamba. Poking fun at passersby. The first show is spontaneously hilarious.

Late afternoon lunch at the Copenhagen Café on Badstrugade. A small basement pub/restaurant filled with boisterous, drinking Danes of mostly older quality. Smoking and having a good loud chat. We had the Copenhagen platter. Mixed goods from the southern viking kitchen. What kills me are the butter-like tubs of lard that Danes spread gleefully on their rich, nutty breads. If your baby isn’t growing up fast enough in Copenhagen, perhaps you aren’t feeding it enough butter and lard.

The Danes life expectancy is one of the lowest in Europe. So much drinking, smoking, partying. They live their lives to the fullest. Amazingly, you can even see the joy in their wrinkled, tanned faces. They have found the true meaning of life and it is called laughter.

It rained in the evening, we talked towards the commercial district. No movies that start at 5pm. We played Hydro Thunder. I’m the reigning champ in our endless competition. We are waiting for the sequel to this arcade game. Long live the old days of Space Invaders.

Had a beer at Krasnypolska café, earlier we were at Europa. Too much smoke on Jupiter’s moon. Krasny was quiet. Long day. We headed back to the Ibsen’s.

Danish TV rocks. TV2 Zulu showed the NFL St. Louis Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers. Fox broadcast with two Danes doing the color commentary. All commercial breaks and halftime showed last week’s highlights. I fell asleep in the 3rd quarter. Rams won eventually. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers even beat the once undefeated Minnesota Vikings 41-3.

We grabbed a pie from the local pizzeria earlier. Not greasy. Very light. Veggie special and Mexican. I guess roast beef and onions qualifies as Mexican here in Denmark.

Earlier I visited the corner kiosk next to our hotel. The proprietor was speaking arabic with a colleague. So I said a polite hello in arabic as I paid for my Cocio chocolate milk and Center chocolates. Sunday evening caffeine fix.

“Ahlan wa sahlan,” I declared cheerfully.

He asked where I learned the language and I told him in arabic that I studied the language at a university for fun. I sensed where this conversation was heading.

As he handed back my change he held on to the tip of my right finger and said, “I don’t like America. Do you know why? I am Iraqi.”

I told him sincerely, “Some people don’t like America. That’s ok. I hear Iraq is a beautiful place.”

He said as he let go of my finger, “It’s not because of the American people…”

I cut him off and said, “…it’s because of politics. ” I said I understood.

“America will know what the sanctions are doing to the children of Iraq. It’s sad,” he explained then added, “They will know very soon. ”

We both said goodbye.

At least two people can communicate these days without raising voices and without any aggression for a friendly exchange of ideas. But that holding the tip of a finger routine certainly got my attention. You should it try it someday.

Denmark is quite tolerant, open-minded and multi-cultural more so than Finlandia. More so that Sweden. Perhaps slightly less so than Amsterdam.

Monday Return
Had a Kilkenny at the Dubliner. Quite rowdy and smoky atmosphere yet again. Now I’m at Funch’s 55 Vinstrue. There was a fight outside here last Saturday night. More of a pushing match. It ain’t a fight until fists are thrown. Cops came nonetheless. We had front row seats next to the window. Youngsters causing trouble.

Time to take the train to the airport and get back to Helsinki. Copenhagen has been real.