So I’m jumping on the blog-bandwagon. I figured that for the next year while I’m out of the country in Bangladesh, instead of bothering people with a flood of impersonal mass emails, I would post it all in a one of these hip and trendy blog thingies, so that those interested could read about my life as they pleased. I have an affinity towards digression and half of what I write will probably be more like journal entries for myself to reread one day than anything else... but enjoy...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Sooner or later it's Copenhagen...

I took the train to Copenhagen on thurdsday afternoon, while the others stayed on at the summerhouse. I had decided it would be good to hang with the cousins a bit and pot around town during my week stint in the motherland. Nicolai picked me up from the station, I stayed at his gorgeous apartment until Sunday night. We all met up with Lea and Ole that night. It’s interesting that being in Denmark, when I log onto a wireless internet connection, I automatically get sent to Danish sites… I literally can’t go to www.google.com... It automatically sends me to www.google.dk. Ok, maybe not that interesting...

Lea, Ole, and Me

The next day, my dear cousin Lea, Nicolai’s youger sister who is a year older than me, took the day off from work to hang out. We just walked around town, and did the most basic touristy stuff. Went on a vandrundfart (boat ride around the city) which starts in picturesque Nyhavn, goes past the famous Little Mermaid Statue (which is really little, and whose head was chopped off a couple years ago, but replaced), the new Opera House, a couple danish castles, etc. Of course I had to have my favorite Danish fastfood lunch – rod polser med remoulade and stegt løg – it’s a long red hotdog in a bun (with remoulade and stegt løg of course).

Nyhavn

Tourists at the Little Mermaid

New Opera House

Lea and Me

Lunch in Nyhavn

I went and had a meaning with some folk from the Bangladesh Division of DANIDA, the Danish Agency for International Development. I knew that DANIDA did a lot of work in Dhaka and figured I should at least chat with them about what they are doing and get some contacts. They’re definitely a group I’d be interested in working with down the road… it would be interesting to use my Danish within my field of interest… I love the fact that I can speak Danish, obviously not great, but well enough, but of course it’s not the most helpful of languages. The most it’s ever come in handy is when Zaki and I were tennis doubles partners in high school, and instead of whispering our strategy we could yell in Danish, "Hit the ball the fat guy on the left side."

Walked through Christiania. This is a little hippie sort of commune place that has now become a tourist attraction. There used to be a place called Pusher Street where the street was lined with stalls of people selling hashish from different parts of the globe… pretty bizarre, and the cops turned a blind eye. But pusher street has now been shut down. I think it used to be some sort of army base, but was abandoned. Squatters moved in and now still don’t pay taxes for living there. Copenhageners all have various opinions about what should be done with Christiania. Talking with people who actually have friends who live there it’s interesting to hear their passion for the beauty of this mini-socialist republic that was created in the middle of a major metropolitan center…

A Church

Entrance to Christiania

Walked down Strøget, the famous walking street with lots of shopping and street performers. Ate a real Danish pastry. It’s funny that the word Danish, as used in English to mean pastry, has that name because Denmark was so famous for its pastries. But when I was younger, most of my friends had never heard of the language Danish, only the word Danish meaning pastry… my most favorite Danish insult that I was ever given was by the famous Dan Brown of Yorktown High School, when he told me, "Shut up or I’ll dunk you ass in coffee!"

Strøget

Danish Pastry

Lea and I headed back to Nicolai’s place and we went out to Tivoli Gardens – the famous amusement park in the heart of the city for dinner. After digesting, and playing some fishing for goldfish type amusement park games, had to jump on the flipping roller coaster - probably Denmark’s only… not bad.

A sign that say Manpower

Entrance to Tivoli

Candy store in Tivoli

After dinner I met up with Anders, a guy I hadn’t seen in probably 8 years or so, the son of one of my mother’s good friends, Lone. He a drummer in a band of mostly Swedish guys, called The Moon Babies… they’re actually on etunes… check them out… they should be touring the states in November. It was interesting hearing about the various up and coming Danish and Icelandic hip-hop and rap groups, and other eclectic bands… some good names to check out: Jokeren, Malk de Koijn, Ikeschel Taschel (apparently these guys sing in a made up language), Den Gale Pose, Lucie Baines, J People, Melk… Nicolai and Lea’s older brother Thomas told me about a great music downloading website. Due to some holes in the Russian intellectual property laws, you can legally download whole albums for about $1 at http://www.mp3search.ru/.

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