My Things

Trip Start Aug 29, 2007
Trip End Feb 02, 2008

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Right, now little more than 2 seconds ago my attention was violently seized by an alarming thought. 'Tas (it has) been some period since I last wrote about the general cool stuff I get up to nigh every day in Copenhagen. Consequently, I have decided to forswear writing about Berlin for at least the next 10 years and instead tell you a little about some stuff. Now I know you've been waiting with thumbs twiddled for my recount of Berlin (and what a recount it is! Even if I, a Pulitzer prize and a Grammy do say so) and I've probably left it so long now that it is going to be a bone-crushing anticlimax but this is something that you, and the horse you rode in on, are going to have deal with. So do it.

Firstly I would like to tell you a story about Copenhagen's Culture Night. If Christmas had anything to do with culture then this night would be Christmas. What happens is you pay 70 DKK (roughly 16.012 AUD) and this grants you three wishes. Ha! No I'm just messing with all you genies (see once I wrote the word 'grant' it reminded me of genies). In exchange for this 70 krone you receive a badge, which has a little cartoon cat on it, and with this badge you may enter very nearly all of Copenhagen's museums and castles and also parliament, the zoo etc. for a magical evening of intellectual brain enhancement (= the process of acquiring cultural knowledge). Also, all of these cultural attractions stay open extra long on this night of nights. With my badge, which also grants one unlimited public transport on said night, I visited the zoo, Radhuspladsen (Copenhagen town hall, plus this word is actually meant to have some Danish inflectiony things on a couple of the letters but I don't know how to do that), Christiansborg Palace and a nameless Church. And although I do not know the name of this church it was still very impressive, architecturally speaking. The zoo was good though I probably wouldn't pay to go. Melbourne zoo is about 50 times better. Still we got to view the nocturnal animals and this fairly rocked the proverbial Casbah. The bears, lions and wolves were stupendous! So, to alter my original summary; I would pay to go AT NIGHT...and maybe during the day, whichever.

Some of you may also be aware (and some of you may not, and for those of you that fit into neither category I will, in a civilised fashion, request that you discontinue your unwelcomed reading forthwith...avert your that my landlord, Tom, recently turned 59 into 60 with regards to his age. To celebrate, he hosted a breakfast/lunch (if only there was a word for this meal) at a place called Salg, I think...well whatever it was called it was the Danish word for 'hunger'. Needless to say I was invited to this birthday jamboree because, let's face it, who wouldn't want me at their 60th? I quite enjoyed myself, I got to meet Tom's family and satisfy my thirst and hunger with freshly squeezed orange juice and various platters respectively. I spoke at length with Tom's brother about the history of Copenhagen and his knowledge was extensive. Either he was a historian or a crazy scientist who had invented a time machine and had, prior to our meeting, travelled forward in time to evaluate our conversational topics at Tom's party and then returned to the past (his present) and studied a myriad of texts on Copenhagen's history in a successful attempt to astound me with his expertness. Likely? No. But certainly plausible. So we ate and it was good.

Briefly I will tell you about J-day. J-day is a big event in Copenhagen as it marks the arrival of many, many trucks to this fair city. What kind of trucks? Beer trucks! Not made from beer but filled with the cargo area. See all the Danish Christmas beer is delivered on this day and I literally mean Christmas beer. The beer cans are blue with a little colourful drawing of Santa and his reindeer gliding through the falling snow. I think it's designed to appeal to children...? Plus it's actually called Christmas beer ('Julesberg' something or other). Anyway, on this night of nights (yes, Copenhagen has two) everyone hits the streets and bars, which serve a certain amount of free beer on the night to toast Old Saint Nick, and has a rollicking fun time. We actually witnessed one Christmas beer truck driving through the city with people running and jumping onto the back of it. They be a crazy breed.

Moving on, I wish to tell you about the David Shrigley exhibition I went to with a friend of mine who many call Liv. David Shrigley is a British cartoonist/musician/sculptor/photographer who oftentimes makes obscure and humorous pieces, and while his drawing style isn't especially technically refined there exists a certain resonance within his work that transcends the superficial borders of tone, colour and shape. What a great sentence, I should be an art critic or a Sentence Maker. Seriously though, it was a very enjoyable exhibition and it was refreshing to see some alternative contemporary art. If ever you have a chance I suggest you visit a David Shrigley show, or his house. Oh I forgot to mention, the exhibition was in Malmo, which is a city in Sweden. Despite being in an international locale Malmo is barely a 30 minute train ride from KÝbenhavn's main station. This is good.

Ok, one more item on the agenda. A chappie I know recently turned 21, his name is Dann (with 2 Ns). To mark this occasion we assembled a band of assorted ruffians and local riffraff, of which yours truly was a part, and decided to immerse ourselves in the Copenhagen jazz scene. We had a jolly good time riding to the Copenhagen Jazz House and while it is an expensive little venue (small weekday gigs cost around $18) it is well worth the extra mazuma, pelf and filthy lucre (these are all words meaning money, well 'dirty' money in the case of lucre, but I am so fond of them I think each should be included). We watched a band that had a Spanish name despite the fact that the lead singer was British and the rest of the band was Danish, actually there were 19 members in all so I couldn't be sure they were ALL Danish. Anyway, point is, I can't remember their Spanish name but in English it meant 'small but crazy'. And they were. Crazy, not small (the 'small' part is meant to be ironic as having 19 band members makes you 'big', which is the opposite). For the most part they played funky jazz tunes, the kind you tap your feet to. But they interspersed this with some slower songs as well as some noise sections (which worked way better than I would have thought). The singer/keyboard man was incredibly funny and would tell us stories, hit us with the punch line then remember he forgot to tell us the start of the story. Ahhhhh memories...

P.S. That thing about the word for breakfast/lunch was a joke, alright? I know there's a word for this meal and I hate it, ok? I'm just going to ask you one more question, yeah? That was it.
P.P.S. For most of the happenings I just described I took no photos (with Culture Night and the David Shrigley exhibition being the two exceptions) so you'll simply have to enjoy my written accounts. Like that'll be I right?
P.P.P.S. Actually I can't find the Culture Night photos so Malmo will have to suffice at present.
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