July 23, 2012
It’s so lovely getting to sleep in… Even more lovely is waking up to a whole bunch of yummy Danish baked goods that your amazing friend picked up while you kept sleeping! Lea is awesome. Her friend Mariann came back this morning and joined us for our late breakfast, she’s lively and fun too!
After breakfast, Lea and I took a walk and found a bike shop so that I could rent a bike for a few days – lots cheaper in the long run then tons of public transportation and also lots more fun in the full Danish (European, really) experience.
We walked through Lea’s beautiful campus (to be). Then to Nyhavn, a beautiful little street on a canal filled with tons of old wooden ships. It is the old shipping area and now has tons of great restaurants and a lively outdoor summer atmosphere.
Then we went to the Queen’s castle, Amalienborg. I made friends with a guard today… I’m pretty confident he shouldn’t have spoken with me but I accept 🙂 Lea asked if I could take a photo with him (because I had to be that obnoxious tourist) and he told her yes. I wasn’t sure how close I was allowed to be, he told five feet, and as I inched closer unsure he gave me a little nod in the opposite direction implying that it was okay to come a little bit closer still. So I did. As Lea was taking the photo, I made a comment of how awkward it was… He immediately responded with, “how do you think we feel? Imagine sixty Japanese people coming up to you a day taking your picture.” Poor guy haha. The three of us got a laugh and I got an awkward picture – a picture in which he is smiling!
After leaving the castle, we made our way to Christiania – ill explain what that is after I tell you what happened on our way there. Lea and I were biking alongside one another when a man came from behind on his bike and yelled at us to get out of his way. Instantly we separated and made room for him to pass. Apparently it wasn’t fast enough for his liking. He yelled at us as he passed so Lea kindly noted to him that he should use his bell… And behave. In reaction, he decided not to pass but to stop and get in Lea’s face, very very closely. As I was in front – and don’t understand a single word of Danish – it was only by stopping myself and looking back to see that this was not going well. Lea explained later his choice of words to her… And hers back to him. He was not the most friendly person I’ve come across in Denmark. After a few moments of choice words being exchanged, the man then spit on ME with a smile on his face as he started to drive off. I then shared my choice words with him and he kindly yelled back “….[insert choice words here]… your mom!” What a great biking experience.
We made it to Christiania. Funny story, we saw our new friend at the bar we passed enjoying himself with… Well, something Christiania doesn’t let you photograph. Needless to say, we went the other way. Anyway, Christiania is such a cool place. The concept of this commune type society was developed in the early 70s as a result of the 60s and sprouted from the hippie sort of ideals of love and peace and freedom. It is a community that was created to represent a free life not restricted by government or money and enabled people to live a self-functioning community lifestyle not based in the ideals of materialistic and structured life but in a way that represents the freedom of the person. It was really incredible to see a community like this existing and functioning within such a big city. I give Denmark props for this project existing. You should Google it more.
When we left Christiania, we headed to an area called Nørrebro to have dinner. This is when we got our free show with dinner by the Danish S.W.A.T. Team! As we were deciding what to order from the Indian restaurant a police car sped around the corner, the officer jumped out the car and ran to a building just a few down from us. Within a few minutes a few Police vans arrived with some pretty decked out guards. Something was happening… We just were too sure what. We ate outside for the show but the show lacked a climax and ended unresolved (to us) shortly after. During dinner, Lea taught me how to eat. Apparently manners are something we (Americans) lack tremendously at the table. Apparently. I will never eat a meal without my knife in my right hand and fork in my left again. We are still laughing about that lesson, probably because Lea has curry on her shorts and I have curry imbedded into my bracelet. Anywayyyyy.
We rode our bikes home, stopping for a DELICIOUS ice cream cone along the way. Denmark is wonderful. I love Copenhagen. And Lea. And all the adventures this country posses… Including the beautiful Danish men.
Godnat!! (goodnight from Denmark)