It occurred to me when I got up on Wednesday morning that out of the past 9 days, I had actually only drunk on 3 of them. That must be how normal people live. I think it’s healthy to drop in and pretend to be part of normal society every now and then. I felt somewhat pleased with myself.
After the day’s obligatory starter coffee (required for firing up brain function and central heating, but primarily for preventing migraines) I nipped out to the local døgnNetto to get some breakfast. I am fascinated by supermarkets in different countries – I like comparing and contrasting how everything is laid out, seeing the different ways of doing things and local priorities, and also checking out what kind of food is available. Well, the answer to the last point was in fact “not very much”.
I spent a good 10 minutes wandering backwards and forwards in what was quite a small store, trying to decide if there was anything I actually wanted to eat. After eliminating cakes, biscuits, dried chocolate products and salami, I had narrowed my options down whatever was left in the remaining 5% of the store. I ended out settling on a croissant and some raspberries. The only other realistic contenders for the title of Something I’d Like To Eat were hummus, and frozen peas. I found out later that I wasn’t just going mad or being fussy – apparently Danish supermarkets are not renowned for their wide range of products, unless you go a high-end establishment and pay a lot of money. On balance, I’d stick to the raspberries.
After breakfast, whilst sat at the kitchen table making notes about my wandering thoughts, I caught a glimmer of movement out of the corner of my eye. I didn’t make a fuss, stayed very still, and very soon afterwards, this happened…
I don’t think we’ll ever be best friends, but I was delighted with the progress.
The plan for Wednesday was to get the metro into the centre again, but this time carry on to Nørreport, the second of the two central stops, and then work my way back towards the bit I had explored the day before.
It’s worth noting here that I am not very good at shopping… largely because I fucking hate it. Some girls like nothing more than spending hours browsing through racks of goods and trying on armfuls of clothes. Personally, I would rather carve bible passages into my thighs with a dirty Stanley knife. Most clothing that you find in shops is awful, subject to the whims of people who think skinny jeans, primary colours and bold prints are all Great Ideas. Add to that the fact that women’s clothes never fit me properly anyway, and mix in the generic bland pop music soundtracks, giggly idiot girl patrons, obnoxious lighting and staff that are too enthusiastic for their own good and it comes together to create Nightmare in Kzzinsky-ville. As far as clothes are concerned, if i can’t order it off the internet, I’m not buying it.
However! I was determined that on that particular day, I was going to go into town and buy something other than comics. I was in a new city, with a pocket full of money, lots of shiny shops and hours to kill. There had to be something I could buy, even if it was just some tat for my sister. I was on a MISSION.
As it happens, I did buy something that wasn’t comics; books…from the other comic shop.
I did LOOK at clothes shops. They didn’t look like a lot of fun. Wandering around in the rain and looking at buildings was way more appealing. Speaking of which…
I was curious about Tivoli. It looked awesome from the outside. Jesper had mentioned that it was a bit expensive, but frankly after paying £10 for a pint in Bergen, nothing really seemed expensive any more…
For anyone planning on travelling to Copenhagen, there is something that I feel it is vitally important to warn you about. Danes are fucking lethal with anything that has wheels.
The least dangerous combination of person and vehicle that I experienced in Copenhagen is the Car. The Car – as a rule – tends to be big enough and loud enough for you to notice it coming, and thus to take steps to avoid it. By far the most dangerous things out on the streets are the cyclists. They absolutely do not give one single fuck.
Everything is geared up quite nicely for cyclists; between the pavement and the road proper, there is the cycle lane. It’s not just a 12 inch painted stripe like you occasionally get in the UK if you’re lucky – it is easily the same width again as the pavement and even has its own cute little mini-curb. For the love of all you hold dear, do not wander into the cycle lane; they will take your legs off at the knees.
The cyclists in Copenhagen behave like any other species that has no natural predators. They blithely barrel about with a complete lack of interest in the fact that anyone else might be occupying the space they are about to plough through the middle of. It’s nice they don’t have to wear helmets and other safety gear just to be able to move around, and it’s pleasant that they don’t have that persecuted expression and grim set to their jaws… it’s just that one can’t help but think that if there was a bit more of a threat of actual danger, cyclists might not be such out and out cocks.
It’s not just the cyclists. The same mindset has spilled over into the mobility scooter users and pushchair…pushers. If they don’t fit through a space first time, they just reverse and keep repeatedly slamming into whatever obstacle is in the way until something gives. It’s quite terrifying, especially when you add into the mix that everyone is on the wrong side of the road there. I regularly found myself stood for minutes at a time on completely empty streets, waiting for the crossing light to turn green because I was petrified of some Nana coming screaming round the corner on a bicycle and taking me out.
That evening, Anine got back from working away. She [Norwegian] proceeded to inform Jesper [Danish] that the reason they were off work the next day was because it was Constitution Day in Denmark. It’s reassuring to know that the British aren’t the only citizens who don’t give a rat’s arse as long as we’re getting a day off.
That evening, we ate pizza (which I don’t do nearly enough of) and watched The Hunger Games. Firstly, the girl-cat who made an appearance at the table and observed me earlier came and curled up between my feet, which was nice. I hadn’t realised until that point how much I missed my own cat. Secondly, I genuinely liked the film.
I enjoyed the darkness and the sense of being powerless in the face of an awful society that’s bigger than you are…and that people weren’t afraid to stand up anyway and take the consequences. And there WERE consequences. For a teen book, it did not at all shy away from any of the more horrible elements and wasn’t afraid to kill off a good guy or two when necessary.
Also, Lenny Kravitz would get it. Hard.