I’ve moved from the hotel now to a furnished apartment. The COP15 summit is about to begin and there isn’t a free hotel room in the city. I have just read that in order to promote sustainability, some of the city’s prostitutes are offering free sex to attendees. What are YOU doing to save the planet? Here’s a six story globe that has taken up residence in the main square, along with a bunch of neon demo booths:
Having a fridge and all is great, but the new place doesn’t have internet! GASP! I know, right? I will have to find a cafe nearby that has free internet. The only problem with that is everything here closes about the same time I get off work. Everything, that is, except the places that serve beer. People drink all night here. Not like our weak north american drunks, packing it in at 3 or 4 am. No, I saw a guy barely able to stand, trying to thumb a ride from the sidewalk facing the wrong way at 9:30 in the morning. He still had a beer in his hand! Now THAT’S commitment.
So the posts might be few and far between until I find an alternate source of internet. The good news is that I should have a backlog of posts to write by the time I do.
It’s getting cold here. Up until a day or two ago the mid day temperature was still in the double digits (mind you, with the constant wind, it felt quite a bit less than that). But now it really does feel like winter. On my way back from the theatre tonight they had actually salted the bike lanes. Not the actual streets, just the bike lanes. That gives you an idea of the ratio of bikes to cars here.
I was feeling pretty tired today but I decided I wouldn’t let myself stay in. I pedaled over to a coffee shop called ‘Estate Coffee’ on Gammel Kongevej and had a pick-me-up. Apparently Estate Coffee has the world champion barista working there. I don’t know if he/she was working there tonight, but it was a damn fine americano. Afterwards, I went to the Palads Teatret (theatre) and checked out Zombieland. Loved the movie, but what was more interesting was the theatre. In Denmark (and maybe other places?) when you buy a ticket at the movies, you are assigned a seat. No general admission here.
So I look at my ticket stub to see which theatre I’m in and it says number 20. This was not a large building, so I couldn’t imagine how they could possibly fit 20 theatres into this little place. Well I sure found out. Behold! the Danish mini-cinema!
That’s six seats across, eight rows deep for a grand total of 48 seats! I think Phil’s screen in his living room is bigger than that thing.
It’s proving more difficult than I thought to find an apartment. If it’s not the size, it’s the price. If it’s not the price, they don’t allow dogs. Also, because we won’t be owning a car, proximity to the schools we want the kids to go to is also a factor. Of course the schools we like just happen to be in the most expensive area of the city. There are a couple of options left, and I’ll be looking into those this coming week.
Tomorrow I also need to set up a bank account and get what’s called a CPR number. The equivalent in Canada would be a social insurance number. Without it you can’t have access to health care, pay taxes (yay!), or do much of anything here.
Here’s a photo I took of the outside of one apartment I looked at this week. It was the top floor, no elevator. Stairmaster? Who needs it!
I have spent the last couple of days looking at apartments and one thing seems to stand out: Danish people don’t care what condition their bathrooms are in. I’ve looked at beautifully renovated, turn of the century apartments where they seemed to take every measure to keep the original details intact, while still updating electrical, plumbing, and certain rooms like the kitchen. But rarely has anything been done to the bathroom. This is a typical bathroom, open shower (usually right over the toilet) and only a washing machine (no dryer):
Here is the kitchen from the same apartment…
It’s pretty nice right? Those are high end appliances in there too.
I know this is probably a generalization and to be fair, I have seem some nicer bathrooms. They have just been on the newer buildings.
No apartment viewings over the weekend unfortunately, as nobody works on Saturday or Sunday in Denmark.
Apparently, Wednesday was one of the windiest in recent memory here in Copenhagen. I believe it, because that was one of the gnarliest plane rides I’ve ever been on. Many on the plane were white knuckling it on the seat in front of them. Except for the dude next to me who appeared to sleep through the entire thing. He only woke up to the sound of the seat belt sign being turned off. Usually I really enjoy those kind of rides and rarely have much concern for my well-being, but this one gave me a couple of ‘oh shit’ moments. It’s an odd sensation when a large aircraft is moving sideways instead of straight forward, 30ft off the runway. It felt like we were trying to frontside boardslide the thing (regular-footed skateboarders will know what I’m talking about).
Anyways, after some fishtailing and a heavy application of the brakes, we arrived safely. Grabbed my two gigantic bags from the luggage belt and went in search of a taxi. In Denmark, taking a Taxi is considered a luxury as they are so expensive and it shows. Outside the airport was a line of Mercedes sedans with lit up taxi signs on top. A ten minute ride (at most) cost me about 215dkk (about $45 CDN!!). Leigh made me get a taxi. I was hell bent on dragging 150lbs worth of luggage with me on the train and down the street to my hotel. I will say, I’m glad I didn’t as I was pretty wiped from the traveling and not having to navigate the public transportation system at that point was nice.
Here at the hotel, I can hear the screams from the people on the rides at Tivoli echoing off the surrounding buildings. I’m going to pop out and grab some food with a couple of the other animators from work.
Evan was cool as a cucumber.
‘Bye dad’ with a smooch, then off to run around the terminal again.
Emma, on the other hand, was not cool with it at all. Even though I had talked to her many times during the weeks leading up to me leaving, Leigh and I both had a feeling she might lose it once she saw me head off through the gate. Lose it she did. It took everything I had to keep it together while walking away. It wasn’t until the plane was taxiing onto the runway that I finally lost it. Leaving Leigh and the kids is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I really thought I would be tougher than this. I’m sure it will get easier over the next few weeks, but right now it sucks.
I did a quick painting on my iPhone during the hop from Schiphol to Copenhagen.