Degrees of separation 12.09.16
26 degrees day after day. Its just too hot for me! The air was pleasant before 8am this morning when i walked to the station and it will be fine again after 9 pm but in between is ghastly.
Moody moody. I think this is the worst bus hop on, hop off city tour i have ever done! We spend more time at posh hotels and cruise ships servicing the needs of rich people than learning about the history of the city, though i dont see a great number of interesting historical buildings anyway and theres so much traffic, its all start stop start stop. They tell us we will notice how little traffic there is compared to other european cities and that there are two bikes for every resident in Copenhagen and i think what? As the cars stream by in the middle of the city it feels like the outer ring road.
Forced to change busses half way round for no explicable reason, the second half of the tour has no commentary, just as well i wasnt impressed by it anyway. Today is the start of the winter season so hours and frequency of busses and boats have been reduced resulting in over crowding. Horrid, just horrid. And it means i have had to abandon my bike tour, originally scheduled for 10am but which Mike the bike rescheduled for 2pm. Shame as i had wondered about just doing bike and boat and think that would have been perfect.
Nearly three pm and i plan to get off this bus in a minute, i had planned to whizz round once then hop on and off to see the sights but i have abandoned any idea of seeing sights by foot and will have a beer while i wait for the last boat of the day at 4pm, hop back to the start and then walk half an hour to the station and home to sweden, via the airport of course, to verify my identity. I have a momentry panic as i realise i have forgotten my passport, then a moments relief when i remember i didnt remove it, decided to carry it every day, expecting this moment to occur, and now i wonder whether in fact it is in my bag and wonder what i will do if it isnt!?
In fairness the boat trip at 10am was ok, not stunning but ok. The little mermaid was a great disappointment for she is indeed very small and even by bus, there’s no touching her unless you want to leap a few boulders and risk a plunge.
I managed her better alighting from the bus than snapping from the boat but the sun preferred her back, to her front
I felt this fella deserved equal attention and was standing just over the way from her, i wondered if he might be the prince of HCA tales, whom the little mermaid so desired.
Interestingly. Although i repeatedly hear about Hans Christian Anderson, nobody tells of anything he wrote or why he is famous, just presuming everybody knows! At least the boat told a two sentence story about the little mermaid relating to his fable else i wouldn’t even know, i do i think i remember reading it. I keep thinking about fables and get confused with aesops and then realise how much more of an impression jennings and derbyshire and biggles had on me. Naughty boys at public school and fighter pilots ill have you know.
So, i got off, taking a photo of the bus numberplate ready to complain about the lack of commentary, though there were plenty of disgusted americans on board, so perhaps i wont risk being connected with them, and i am back at Nyhavn, where i started, which seemed a nice breezy place with buskers, to enjoy a beer.
i worry about the number of people i see getting into the tour boat and stop to ask what happens if the 4 pm one is full. Oh not to worry she says we run until 6.45pm, what???? My whole day would have been different! Those are the hours i had planned for, but you told me this morning that the last boat was at 4pm! Yes, but we are very busy so we have put some more boats on but anyway you cannot get on the 6.45 pm because it is already sold out. Yes but i have a ticket valid for all day. Yes but not for that boat she says. So Copenhagen has not endeared me to Denmark any more than previously and whats more wifi has been virtually non existant. Even here, sitting in a very busy and popular location, with a seven pound half pint, the bar have no wifi
All experiences are good. I think i may have been targeted by, not quite a wino, but a guy who comes here drinking every day and who opened conversation by telling me that the Romanian who just walked past, who i didnt even see, was after my beer bottle. I say he can come back, he is welcome to it when it is empty, 12p return on each bottle. The guy tells me he also collects bottles, hence the reason i think i may have been targeted. I give him my two half pint empties, having found a beer shack round the corner, and think sod it, what better way to get rid of the rest of my danish money than beer in the company of an undesirable.
I go and buy three more, leaving me with 100krone or 9 pounds to spend at the airport on breakfast the day after tomorrow. A woman comes up and offers the guy a plastic bottle, he thanks her. clearly others see that he is a hunter gatherer whereas i had not seen that. The guys searching the bins wear plastic gloves but my friend makes contact with people and gets given empties. Hierarchies. Same job, different hours. Another side of Denmark i have not seen hitherto.
I think tomorrow i must take photos of bikes. I have not taken stunning pictures of people carrying several children in these amazing cargo bikes. Nor indeed taken pictures of the long wheel base bikes, chopped and stretched at the front, pushing a small wheel and a truck container in front of them, their handlebars so far away from their front, steering wheel or do the back wheels steer and the front just balance i wonder.
Hmm prob time i checked my passport before i drink more beer. Being passportless and tipsy might not be redeemable, especially as im probably in a similar position to when i nearly didnt gain entry to Canada. I have absolutely no idea of my hosts name or of my address, i just know where i am going and made contact through the internet! Ah, yes, its ok, passport is in my bag.
So while i have been writing, my ‘friend’ has disappeared, i dont think i was drinking enough. He hid his beer in an inside pocket, took it out having tiny sips at a time, perhaps it wasnt beer in there. i love, do so love experience. I now have a new friend sitting beside me but this one smells. Seriously. Strange world. These guys all carry big yellow carrier bags that seem to announce ‘im a collector’
I say hi, he gathers his precious bag closer to him. I want to understand a little of his day. He missed out, a smart, very sober, middle aged, business like collector picks out three cans from the bin beside him. I have misunderstood, this guy is probably an alkie or dopehead not a collector. He is drinking clear fluid from a cola bottle, i dont think its water, but i dont think he even knows i am here. He smells very bad and i see people looking at him as they walk past. He laughs out loud at something, share the joke i ask, but he is in a world of his own, does not hear me and i decide to move on.
A thin, curly haired woman comes along as i finish my beer. She walks purposely, quickly, collecting as she goes, i hold out my bottle, thank you lady, she says and she is gone. So we have collectors and alcos, the collectors perhaps just as the first guy said are immigrants who spend their day collecting and gathering cash for their efforts. The alkos i have less understanding about. Bottles might be useful but clearly they are not the prime reason for living.
So that was my experience of Copenhagen! A boat tour taken twice and a miserable bus tour with a bit of beer in between and rubbing shoulders with the locals! The train home was seriously diffiuclt. A guy was crawling, yes literally crawling along the floor, begging, couldn’t stand. Having already changed trains and more than a ten minute delay for passport control we now had a twenty minute delay while the police came on board. The Swedish clearly do not want any more undesirables in their country!