Thursday, March 3, 2011

The cobbled stone of the early morning streets are still cold with the wet of winter. The Copenhagen sky is still gray and the breath is visible as I exhale. I watch my breath, as a child pretending to smoke, rise to the tops of the buildings. I walk to the bus stop to catch the 250 s to the train station. As I arrive to the Corner I hear the shouting of an African man. He is shouting to a black man running across the street. "Run nigger.. You bet' know all white men tink' you a nigger!" Yay! I thought. I stayed though at that stop, choosing not to find the next one. I knew better but hoped that he would not come to talk to me. Alas, he did. From five feet I could smell the liquor on his breath and his eyes were glassed over. He stumbles as he speaks to me about why I think, if I do, that all people hate Africa. Why are there no buildings like the ones here in Africa? He asked me these questions and I let him speak. He then asked me if I felt this way and I told him no. He then shook my hand. I looked up from the streets and say what I thought to be my rescue in the form of an auto bus. Insert big cartoon like eyeroll.... now! This rescue bus, I was informed, was his as well. As I entered the bus I paid the driver and escaped to the top tier and found a great seat. I thought for a moment about the craziness of the man. How could he be so drunk so early? Why does he think everyone thinks those thing? I wish he had just left me lone, I think. Then I think again, I didn't mind so much, and it opens a window into the culture of racism as viewed by a African Dane and how that compares to the culture of racism in th US.

I decided that I would ride the bus for a bit to get a cheaper site seeing tour. I enjoyed my ride and saw some very beautiful buildings and parks. I then arrived at the Central Train Station and realized that I had not brought my wallet. This would make purchasing a train ticket to Stockholm pretty hard. I priced one and left. Next I found out just how expensive Copenhagen is when I decided to walk into the McDonald's on the corner. I was curious as to how it would compare. McDonald's back home makes this one a not very funny joke. A single cheese burger is 10 Kroner. 10 Kroner is roughly 2 dollars. It comes with no ketchup, mustard or pickles. It has lettuce and big mac sauce. It is no dollar double cheese! No double cheese at all. I am also blown away by the price of Coke here. At McDonald's a small Coke is 15 Kroner, about 2.50USD.

I then spent a while walking the city. I visited Tivoli, which is a theme park of sorts. It is closed now, but in the open season it is a shopping center that has shows and some smaller carnival rides. It looks like it could be a nice time. It is located in the center of Copenhagen, just outside the train station. It then lead me to a street with two pubs. One of which boasts "Probably the finest selection of beers in town" . The other boasts "Probably the best beer in town.". I find this hillarious that the Danes are so modest that they do not even brag on there advertisments. In America every place boasts "Worlds Best Beer" and "Worlds Best Everything"! That is how you bring in business!

I made some visits to shops and thought very hard about getting another sweet from another shop but I opted out. I then decided to hop back onto the bus and ride to the other parts of town. I enjoyed seeing the sites from the window but I do wish to come back sometime when it is not so overcast and ugly out. There is just a better feel in the sun. I then had a Kebab proper at another Kebab place. It was quite good. One of the Doner Kebabs where they slice the meat off of a rotating stick. It was in a pita with lettuce, tomato, and onions. It was very tasty and satisfying after a long day.

I sit now back at the Sleep in Heaven hostel surrounded by the ambient sound of many different languages. It is an incredible experience to sit and listen to the different cultures making the same calls I want to be. Watching people as they process the surroundings and experiences I am going through in there own way. People sit in corners and type into there computers, some have much to loud phone or skype conversations and some sit with friends and eat as they discuss the day. All of this is happening to the soundtrack of american jazz, listened to by the hostel employees. These are the moments I enjoy traveling.

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