Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Random Collection of Meditations on a Copenhagen Trip: The Odd-e-see

So I got up at 5AM to get my things in order for the trip:

filing my taxes packing arranging finances making sandwiches for the bus trip

On the subway, as I sat with my massive backpack next to me, I looked up at the young man right across from me, a lad not exactly ready for the season, sporting a buzz cut, hoodie, and Thor Steinar fanny pack.
A Word on Thor Steinar This is a brand notorious for being worn exclusively by white supremacists on the Continent. There are two such stores (Think Hot Topic for skinheads) in Berlin, one embarrassingly close to Alexanderplatz, and they were both greeted with this reaction from the general public

Usually I'm not for destruction of property, but...

I looked at him, but instead of throwing up or panicking, I just closed my eyes and thought "Yup, it's time for me to get out of here."

Since I was 30 minutes early to the bus station, I was rewarded with an enviable window seat; I was STOKED. It was not to last though. As I dozed in the ZOB, I felt a tap on my shoulder and heard some nonsensical babbling, followed by "Can we switch seats?" I lit upon two realizations at that moment:

1. I don't get Danish- Spoken, it is nothing like Swedish or Norwegian 2. I could be a good person and let this nice young couple sit together even though they showed up late, or I could be a jerk and NOT take their kind offer of sitting next to a rather creepy looking fellow.

So, I'm a jerk, but a jerk with a window seat! The he-Dane then sat next to me, and the she-Dane across the way, holding hands like parted lovers. Ugh.

To get to Denmark you have to take a ferry at Rostock in Germany. Here you have a chance to get off the bus and stand on deck, watching the Easter kites flying over the German beach

This I did for the hour and a half ride. When we all got back to the bus though, guess who was in my seat? That's right. I swore into my phone in my angriest-sounding French as I took my new place next to a perhaps Lebanese, certainly over-cologned man; the couple didn't understand what I was saying, but at the same time, they DID. For the next hour or so I took stock of what kind of people take the bus in Europe:

-couples who think it's cute -groups of people who try to talk the whole time -poor people -students -people who are betting that international security controls at the ports won't catch them

Just about when I finished allocating everyone on the bus to one or the other category, we were in Copenhagen! Yay!

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