Home alone in Copenhagen or is it Beiriut?

Trip Start Aug 25, 2005
Trip End Mar 31, 2007

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Apparently there is big house in Nørrebro (our neighbourhood) that's a youth collective (called Ungdomshuset) & is let out to students - but it's prime real estate & was sold to someone a few years ago who now wants to renovate & use it for something else, so the students have been given notice to leave. Naturally being students they protested (peacefully) on the Saturday of the last weekend of Sept. & that was all fine - but apparently one has to tell the cops 1st if one is protesting so they can close the road etc. which they did for the Sat.- so anyway they decided to have another one on the Sunday at the last minute but didn't apply for the cop permit quick enough (or something), also one is not allowed to wear a masks at a protest & there's all these rules & some people broke them, so of course the cops came down and 'took action' and in ensuing riot 263 people were arrested! And I saw this in the paper " Of the five people charged so far, three are reportedly from Ireland, Sweden and Germany."

Now this weekend 16th Dec as they are seeking to purchase the building from its owners (Christian group Faderhuset, I found out) & must be getting no where, they had planned demonstrations again that were billed as peaceful but they laid ammunition dumps and threw bricks while they were at it! We heard explosions all weekend sounded like Belfast or Beirut I imagine.

So there was apparently more violent confrontations between police and supporters of the Ungdomshuset that resulted in another 273 arrests and several hundred thousand kroner worth of damage to businesses and public property. The Nørrebro district looked like a war zone allegedly fuelled by the youth collective's call for 'outside help' from sympathizers across Europe. Many of those collared by police came from Germany, Sweden and Holland, and both an Italian man and a Portuguese woman are being held in remand for vandalism and assaulting police officers.

Several businesses were vandalised i.e. large plate glass windows were smashed - naturally McDonald's and 7-Eleven and all the banks on our road (there's a good few) and independently owned businesses (like hardware shops!) also a phone shop, and according to the paper some businesses were looted. Police now say 'We're getting a full-scale investigation underway to find evidence. This incident was of such severe character that we're not cutting any corners.' And according to the paper the collective have lost all sympathy of any local supporters living in the area. So not sounding very good for them.

Meanwhile I am home alone for the week as C went to Ireland on Monday for the Christmas holidays. Jesus it's been the longest week in history and it's still only Thursday, one more sleep til I go home too. The place was covered in fog last night - like a horror movie - but Mum & C were saying it has been Sligo, Dublin, Liverpool & Heathrow too. Christ imagine if I got stuck here alone for Christmas! Was supposed to go for dinner with 3 girls I work with last night by way of Christmas party (surprise surprise there was none or none that scummy contracting foreigners get invited to) but 2 of them had family issues so we had to cancel. So Billy-no-mates here went to the flicks so see rom-com "The Holiday" which was predictable enough but fun & a real chick flick. I love going to the cinema alone and when I come out I feel kinda different for about an hour (that's about how long I contemplate what happened in the movie I find) and I must say all the Irish & English set/made movies I've seen here are very good (in addition to the film festivals have seen a few on tv also). The only thing I do notice, that I didn't when I lived in "the british isles", is how rose tinted everything looks which is not necessarily a bad thing as I don't really want to see the underbelly of life, as let's face I am going to the cinema for some suspended reality, I am just saying I notice it more now I am an ex-pat (if that's what I am supposed to call it?). Then I went to a tapas bar to see if could get over my manchego cheese fear (since August in Spain) I could but unfortunately the tapas were not as good as Spain or Dublin. Still it's nice to people watch when you alone in a restaurant (seriously).
And I found out it's more expensive to ship stuff home than to pay excess baggage - how can we have accumulated so much again I ask myself. C already brought back 36kg on Monday & I'd say I have the same if not more now & still there's an apartment full of stuff to go that will take more than the 2 flights I have booked by end March, arrrggghh. And then we have to organise shipping of it plus the stuff at home to Oz, bugger, I see now why moving house is rated as Number 1 stressful thing after death of spouse. But sure no doubt it will all get sorted ....
So that's all the things on my mind this week - roll on Christmas holidays.
Oh my God I just got a gift of a roasting tray from my agent - more weight to lug home! I am an ungrateful cow.
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