Category: Fun


Den Lille Havfrue

On a subconcious level I probably knew that eagerly taking pictures of the United States embassy would not be a good idea, but I simply couldn’t miss on the photo-op. “Hey, HEY!” yelled the guard as he ran towards us.

 

That night I wasn’t there to gather intelligence on strategic US objects and the guard too must’ve realized that I don’t look like much of a terrorist, so he let us go – not before making me show him the last pictures in my phone, of course. For the past few days I’ve noticed a phone-repair van parked outside my house, but I’m sure that has nothing whatsoever to do with the embassy incident. The Danes, after all, like to take their time when working on something.

 

On the night in question, as I said, we were not up for trouble. The idea instead was to go and see the Little Mermaid. This was actually my second visit to the Mermaid in three days, as on the first visit the statue had seemed rather unremarkable. The second trip confirmed that the Little Mermaid indeed was nothing too special.

For the record, I was into the Little Mermaid way before she sold out.

 

Still, I guess you can’t just live in Copenhagen and not once visit the Little Mermaid.

 

Sunday was more exciting though as we once again took advantage of the free monthly S-train rides and headed to Frederikssund.

Also, apparently the S-trains run on Windows.

Because it was a nice sunny day, we thought it’d be good to go to the seaside. And Frederikssund is on the seaside. Sort of. What we saw could well have been the sea, but it looked more like a long lake. The map said it was a fjord, but I took that with a grain of salt.

 

The highlight of the day were the swans – the ninjas of the animal kingdom. They had occupied the better part of the Frederikssund harbor, hoping to lure in unsuspecting humans. We could tell by the hissing noises they made that they craved for human blood. Swans are much like the raptors from Jurassic Park. As we were merrily posing for pictures on the waterfront, we failed to notice the swans very slowly, but surely surrounding us. Fortunately we scattered before they could move in for the kill.

Swans pictured here in attack formation.

 

After taking some obligatory Erasmus group pictures and after taking a few, as it turned out, wholly uninspiring hilltops we headed back to Copenhagen for some much needed coffee. Somehow the three Greek guys visiting their friend in Denmark never made it on the train. I have yet to learn of their fate, but I suspect the swans have again claimed some innocent lives.

 

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Acopenhagenlypse Now

I was mortified to find dinosaurs in the apartment after the New Years party. So far I have located and dispatched three of them, but I suspect at least one is still at large. Hiding, waiting. I fear for my life, and my sanity.

 

We had been at the Radhuspladsen the night before, watching the fireworks display. The haphazard event included no city sponsored displays and instead the local Danes were allowed to shoot dangerous projectiles in the air without much concern for their safety, nor for anybody elses. Not long after arriving at the square it became painfully obvious as to why many onlookers had brought industrial-grade safety goggles with them. The drunken Danes were running loose, firing their immense arsenals at random, trying to out-do each other’s kill streaks. I saw no fire trucks, but the police were observing the madness from a safe distance, because why busy yourself with precautions when you can simply deal with the consequences.

 

Aside from the dinosaurs, I also found two large helium filled balloons in the living room, tied around the neck of a dismembered mannequin.

 

Also, for whatever reason, they had tried to shave him.

 

By now I have cleaned up most of the mess but a large number of dirty dishes still await my attention.

 

I love it how people, when they’re drunk, always make an attempt at cleaning up the place just before crashing their faces into the floor. It’s the same story in every country. You wake up to find, typically, a stack of plates carefully balanced on top of a wine glass positioned as close to the edge of the table as humanly possible. If I didn’t have faith in the kindness of drunken visitors, I would suspect someone had set up an elaborate trap. Also, I found a pink plastic spider floating in a glass of water:

 

WHY!?

 

Despite having spent the better part of the morning on picking up mandarin peels turned into makeshift ashtrays (again – why?), I still couldn’t help but smile when I saw the strings from the crackers carefully wrapped around the biscuits and the half-full cans hidden underneath the chairs. For all these baffling deeds must’ve been committed in a state of utter euphoria. Or madness. Yeah, my money’s on madness.

 

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Dan-före-dan-före-dopparedan!

This is how you make glogg – take two packs of glogg, and one pack of glogg mix. Have a beer for encouragement. Throw all of the above in a pot and max out the heat. Have another beer. Forget about the glogg and enjoy life.

 

Christmas for me was rather traditional this year. At first, we gathered at my place for some beer, glogg and some hyggelig holiday appreciation. Then we had dinner and after that everybody went home without incident. At least that’s what Christmas would’ve been like if any of the above was true.

 

In reality, the Erasmus delegation ended up visiting the Christmas dinner at Christiania’s Grey Hall. Every year the Christianites organize a free dinner on Christmas eve and everybody who wants to join the festivities is free to do so. Indeed, it looked like everybody had joined as the place was rather crowded. We didn’t mind though, as the line moved quickly and it took us only five minutes to get a “homeless meal” – potatoes, meat and a salad-like creature. It tasted like Christmas and tears.

 

In all seriousness though, the food was nice and surely appreciated by all the hungry students. The atmosphere was that of joy and the Grey Hall itself had been decorated to look like a scene from Hitchcock’s “Birds”:

Move slowly. Move very slowly.

 

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a true Christiania Christmas without the thick and omnipresent smell of weed. Pretty soon we started losing members of our party to the few open drug stalls and after just an hour and a half we decided to retreat to the comfort of the Norrebro apartment, for we were sure nothing irresponsible could happen there.

 

Thirty minutes into our arrival, the music was booming and the beer was flowing. The Christmas dinner quickly turned into a rave and soon enough the apartment smelled like Christiania. That is, it smelled like duck, glogg and weed. For obvious reasons, Santa never came.

 

Christmas is all about spending some quality time with your friends. Or family, if you really insist. But technically the ways of spending that time and the quality thereof has never been specified, so I’m forced to assume partying till dawn and watching “Die Hard” with a hangover is a lovely way to celebrate the holiday.

 

A lot of other things have transpired since I last updated this blog but going into the details of these things would take too long. Most notably perhaps, I finished all my essays and passed the Danish culture course. At a pompous ceremony not unlike the 1st of September at Hogwarts, we were all given certificates for succeeding in attending 80% of all the lectures and excursions, making this the most easily attainable accolade ever.

 

“12 POINTS FOR... ah nevermind, everybody fails.”

 

 

P.S. Today is New Years Eve. I hope I will not be hit by rockets. It is a very, very real concern.

 

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Bingo?

You really haven’t lived until you’ve been to a Danish Julefrokost. On the weekend I was fortunate enough to attend one. Although I must say, this was the first time I actually got drunk before the dinner.

 

I’ve mentioned before that the Danes get incredibly excited about Christmas. Then again, who wouldn’t? Well, terrorists maybe, but a country that celebrates the start of the season with a Tuborg sponsored holiday has to rank quite high up on the list of “baddest countries ever“. Christmas in Denmark then has gotten me truly excited about the holiday for the first time since “socks” surpassed “toy dinosaurs” for me as the most commonly occurring present under the tree.

 

Unlike many other Erasmus students I will not be going home for Christmas as I’m trying to maximize the little time I have left here. Instead, I have decided to try something completely different this year.

 

No, not that completely different.

 

It turns out that Christiania will once again host a Christmas dinner for the homeless and the lonely and I am dead set on celebrating the holiday there for as we all know, should Santa drop by at Christiania, neither he or his beloved reindeer will be in a condition to leave before the New Year’s.

 

Santa or not, it's still a DUI.

 

I have no idea as to what the “celebrations” in Christiania are going to look like. When I mention this plan to the Danes they usually look at me as if I had falled on my head one time too many, before forcing their expression to a worried smile. Depending on how sad the Christiania Christmas dinners really are, my plan to spend the holiday there is either the greatest idea I’ve ever had, or the worst. According to official sources though, Christiania Christmas dinners rank somewhere between “Bambi” and “Keanu Reevesacting career” on the international sadness scale.

 

OK, maybe not that sad.

 

But Christmas isn’t only about eating (with) the homeless. It’s also about playing Bingo. Apparently. So it came to be that on Sunday we headed to Mellemrummet for a round or two of bingo. The problem? None of us really knew how to play the game.

 

Enthusiasm however, was high.

 

Mellemrummet itself is a cozy cafe on Ravnsborggade that also functions as a laundromat because hey, why not. While you’re waiting for your laundry you can have a cup of coffee while enjoying historical photos of graphic violence made fun with the clever use of a banana:

 

"Ha ha just kidding, I love commies. Here, take this banana."

 

 

Not long into the game I managed to get not one, but two winning tickets, only to have the host explain to me that I had cheated. Granted, I did so unwittingly, but ignorance never excuses a crime. The shampoo and the conditioner then, for which I had so valiantly fought, were promptly confiscated.

 

As our frustrations neared critical mass due to our inability to understand Danish instructions, I finally brought up the courage, walked to the bar and did something incredibly stupid – I asked the staff to explain me the rules of bingo.

 

Understandably, they thought I was mentally challenged and proceeded to explain me the rules. They did so slowly, in the simplest possible words and with no shortage of sarcasm – “cross out the numbers and yell “bingo!” when the card is full”. Utterly perplexed, I returned to the table only to discover I had in fact been the only one in my group who didn’t grasp the subtle art of playing bingo. Unwilling to accept that fact, I returned to the bar for the second time and again asked the staff to elaborate on the rules of the game. They did.

 

Now, at this point, you would think I had embarrassed myself enough for one day. And you’d be wrong. In a stubborn effort to destroy what little reputation I had left, I got up the third time and asked the other players to carefully explain to me the rules one more time. And again, they did, but not before handing me a mouth guard, some adult diapers and a lollipop. Accompanied by judgmental gazes I sat down and shut my mouth for good. Well… at least I should have. I won’t say how the day ended, but it included a heavy dose of horse tranquillizers and an overnight stay in a windowless room.

 

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Riders On The Storm

The cool thing about Copenhagen is that there’s always something happening. On Thursday I was having coffee with a couple of friends at the old Amager campus canteen when we learned that the Nordisk Cafe in one of the buildings is hosting a Julefrokost, a hyggeling Christmas gathering with glogg and gingerbread. Eager to get in on the Danish celebrations, we made our way to the cafe.

 

It turned out to be a great call, as the cafe oozed coziness. Before long we had already made a new friend and were engaged in a fun, yet viciously competitive paper star folding contest. Unable to follow the instructions I instead made a paper worm. “Man you’re stupid!” Thomas said, clearly underestimating the genius of my creation. But to everyone’s dismay, I won second place with something that was not a star by any definition. As a prize I got a book (in Danish, of course) about the Balkans. Interesting stuff.

 

In other news, Copenhagen currently looks like this:

 

While I don’t hate snow, it is making cycling more perilous and I suspect it won’t be long before I crash my green beauty. Thankfully I’ll be going to Spain in a few days time for a quick vacation in Seville. The round trip will cost me 1700 DKK, which is reasonable. If you’re willing to do the trip with multiple bookings, you could do it cheaper still.

 

I reckon the warmer climate of southern Spain and the chance to stay with a good friend will do me good. Hopefully I’ll also be able to sift through the chaotic fieldwork material I have thus far gathered for my thesis. I will have seven days there and seems as my rapidly diminishing funds have eliminated the possibility of a road-trip to Gibraltar, I’ll have more time to focus on my work.

 

Today’s gonna be busy too as I have to pay a visit to my department and see what’s the soonest I can return to Estonia, seems as staying in Copenhagen after the New Year’s is financially not feasible. I will also have to pay a visit to my old arc nemesis, the State Department soon, as I am required to notify them when I leave Copenhagen – in person, as is customary here. Last but not least, I have to ride all the way to the Amager campus to look for my lost leather gloves. The ones I have now will in no way keep my hands from turning into icicles if I expect to carry up cycling in the cold season.

 

If there’s one thing that I can feel good about, it’s the fact that even with the current winds and temperatures I’m still staying true to my bike, while so many have sought the refuge of the Metro system. Bike power!

 

Week 46. Dear diary – I think it has been three weeks since my last lecture. It is difficult to tell for sure, seems as time itself has seized to exist. I have barricaded myself in my room, the Call of Beer howling at my door. So far I’ve managed to resist the accursed siren’s demonic howls by concentrating on my work. That, and the first season of the X-Files.


Free weeks are always confusing. One was allright, and we had tons of fun exploring the night life of Copenhagen. The second was a bit of a stretch, as my wallet is currently hissing at me from the corner of my room. Fortunately, and against all odds, I managed to briefly up my productivity last week and have gotten quite a bit of work done on my research. This is the most persistent I’ve been since that time I posted a 15-second record in Minesweeper.

 

I managed to wrap the second free week up with with a fun (and free) Sunday S-train ride, and did so without a drop of alcohol. Well, unless you consider the bottle of Vermuth, but honestly, it’s not exactly the hardest drink around.

Pussy.

 

The S-train trip itself is on it’s way to becoming a tradition. Every first Sunday of every month, the S-train service is for free and after all the fun we had in Farum on Culture Night, we came up with a plan to visit all the end stations of the trains. When on the first trip we only stole one shopping cart, then on the second one we increased our loot by a hundred per cent (i.e. We got two shopping carts) as well as managed to trespass into the Koge cargo terminal. It was exactly as exciting as it sounds.

 

Koge itself was far prettier than Farum, with the exception of this one statue. Within ten minutes of us arriving at the Koge station, we found a sculpture that looked like something Satan might cook up after a week long drug-fuelled bender. It also looked like an abominable giraffe raping an angel bear, surrounded by stone phalli. In fact, it was an abominable giraffe raping an angel bear. Surrounded by stone phalli.

There is no god.

 

The deep existential horror aside, Koge was a rather lovely little town. On our way back the surviving members of our expedition (the statue claimed five lives) we decided to stop at Jersey and go for a walk on the seashore. It was nice.

Like this, but with less douchebags.

 

The last weekend however is largely to blame for me having ignored this blog for such a long time. My brother was visiting Copenhagen and of course I had no choice but to introduce to him the local night life. I remember the Moose bar, and then little else. I also remember the Culture Box, but that may have been another weekend. Or another month. Eh.

 

For what it’s worth, I got this awesome photo of a massive jellyfish out of the whole ordeal:

It's massive.

 

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