Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
Trip End Aug 03, 2008

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Flag of Denmark  , Fyn and the Central Islands,
Friday, July 11, 2008

Jenny apologized to me first thing in the morning, thinking that she had woken me up today, but the truth is that even getting up at 8:30, I had slept in much later than normal.  It was an oven in the room last night, but surprisingly I slept quite well. 

We walked into town together, as she ate her nutella and bread for breakfast, while I popped into a bakery and got mine.  We sat on the beach for awhile, and noticed a middle-aged couple kayaking, with only the lady in front doing any paddling.  "Must be an Asian couple!", I quipped.  Jenny asked why some Asian couples were like that, and I could only shrug my shoulders and offer an explanation of "Who knows, it's just the way it is!" 

Jenny showed me her schedule/itinerary for her trip - I was impressed!  Printed on 3 or 4 sheets of paper, it's got transportation schedules, and even maps to hostels and attractions.  It looked like a professional travel agent had created it!  I thought mine included a lot of info, but they're not even close to hers.   

We said our goodbyes, as she was off to Munich today - I stayed on the beach a bit longer.  I really have nothing planned today, other than to relax and unplug.  I'm also going to eat - it's my last day in Scandinavia, so I'm finally going to spend money on some real food!  Of course, the term "real" is relative - lunch was at a burger joint. 

I walked through town and browsed in some of the shops,  then headed over to the TI for some free internet.  They only give you 15 minutes or so, but then I wandered over to the library to use their free internet.  Back to the hostel for a siesta - it's about a 5 minute walk out of town, but it's actually a nice spot, with lots of greenery around and views of the ocean.  It's also quiet, as it's more family-oriented, rather than geared toward backpackers. 

It was still early afternoon, so I wandered back into town and browsed, again.  Back to the library for some more free internet - while I was inside, it started to rain.  And when I left the library and started to walk around, it POURED.  People were cowering in convered alleyways and under awnings.  I had my umbrella, so I continued to walk - my shoes were completely soaked, after.  I also held the umbrella just so it directed the water over my back, and it looked like I had wet myself.  I guess yesterday's "Return to Innocence" included a return to simpler times, when I couldn't control my own bladder very well!

The rain subsided and I grabbed dinner at Cafe Aroma, a casual restaurant, where you order at the bar and they bring your food out to you.  The venison on the menu posted outside is what drew me in, but they were out.  I had wanted to have an authentic Scandinavian meal since it was my last in Scandinavia, but instead settled for the dinner special of Greek meatballs.  The other choices were Andalusian chicken and a ribeye, neither of which were any more Scandinavian than Greek meatballs.  I could've been convinced to have the Andalusian chicken had it been served by a beautiful senorita, however ...

I was going to splurge on dinner tonight, but the dinner special and a beer only set me back 120 Kroner, or so.  The beer was an Aero Island-brewed India pale ale - decent, but nothing special, and it had a bitter aftertaste

I was very impressed by this restaurant - excellent taste at value prices.  A chef like this really should be working at a much higher-end restaurant, but no complaints from me, because I feel like I took advantage of the situation, the meal was that good.  I regretted not having lunch here as well, because I did consider this place in lieu of the burger joint I went to.  In fact, I thought about having the burger at this place too, but figured that a burger is a burger, and also noticed that the burger was cheaper at the other place.

I had planned on doing the night watchman's tour, but didn't feel up to it - I needed to kill another 1.5 hours before the tour and there was nothing else to do in town, and I didn't want to walk back to the hostel, only to have to walk back soon after for the tour.  It looked like it was going to rain again, too. 

So instead, I spent my money on chocolate and pistachio ice cream - a far better use of my money, I think!  It was an early night - I ended up watching Danish-language TV in the hostel lounge with a mother and daughter.  We eventually found something English-language, but it was come crappy British period-drama set in a hospital.  

Both mother and daughter are Americans, but they lived in Frankfurt for a while, and the mother now lives in Pittsburgh, and the daughter went to University in NYC before moving to Gothenburg, Sweden.  She also chased a Swedish guy, just like Solange!

I never even caught the daughter's name, but I found her story fascinating - she finished her undergrad in NYC, then moved to Gothenburg for a guy, they broke up, and then 7 years after graduating she found herself back in school for graphic design.  After finishing up, she partnered with an Austrian girl to start up their own graphic design firm. 

It's a funny thing, and speaks to the uniqueness of Swedish culture - they are based in Sweden but do most of their work for Austrian clients (Red Bull is one of their biggest).  It's like the personal relationships in Sweden that Solange described to me - nothing happens quickly, even in business.  You need to be around for years before anyone even recognizes you, or gives you a chance. 

And while they have lots of work from their Austrian clients, they still take the time to do projects of personal interest.  They both went to Krygistan and created a photographic book of their experiences (they've got photography backgrounds, too), just because they wanted to. Guess that's one of the perks of running your own business.      

You could totally tell that this girl has been Europeanized, from the way that she spoke English (very proper, deliberate, and with an intellectual flair), to the way she carried herself, and to her mannerisms.  Really, it's most of what I find so attractive in European women.  It's a funny thing, because I sometimes end up with email addresses for people that I don't even care to remain in contact with, but then I meet this incredible girl I click with, and I don't even ask for a name, let alone an email address!  Sometimes I wonder what I'm thinking ... how could I one day stalk her without knowing her first name and place of employment???
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