I don't know that this can actually be explained by
physics, but every time I come back from vacation my apartment seems bigger
(and different and really clean). This made sense in former apartments that
were actually quite large, but the place I was just staying in Copenhagen was
close to double the size of my current one bedroom. And yet when I opened my
door and walked in, everything was so bright, white and glowy (nonsensical since I don't even have an outer-facing window) I almost didn't
recognize it (scrubbing everything before you leave, while a pain, always is a
treat to return home to). Could be a symptom of jetlag.
My Copenhagen apartment had a magnet mentioning Boring, Oregon, holding my welcome note to the fridge. I grew up seven miles from Boring.
I'm now mad at myself for throwing out a bunch of
barely eaten danishes this morning (too many for one person, figured they
wouldn't travel well, back in NYC=no, ok, less, sugar) because I'm starving.
did, however, pack two remaining slices of nothing-special grocery store cheese
(sweaty) and a dense loaf of rye that could survive a transatlantic journey on
a steamer, so there's at least something to eat.
For some reason, the Danish are really opposed to
shower doors–or even curtains. One of the main reasons I picked this airbnb
rental was because the shower was more than a nozzle sticking out of the wall
of a tiny bathroom (thought the all-in-one thing was more Japanese). Yet
despite having a distinct alcove, there was nothing keeping water from spraying
and running over the entire floor–hence the squeegee in the corner. Doors?
Curtains? It's all very preventable. Or am I showering wrong?
Women really love zubaz-esque pants (our trend piece
on this distressing style was male-oriented) baggy, more harem-pant-like in reality, and sometimes attached to a
loose spaghetti-strapped top, making it a jumpsuit, in black-and-white zebra,
leopard and abstract leopard-like circle prints. Always black-and-white. They
like these a lot. Mostly the romper generation, but there were a decent amount
of middle-aged, seniors, whatever, wearing versions, some more stretch
pants-esque. I didn't want to be rude and snap stealth shots. Besides, this is
not a street style blog.
Yeah, there are a lot of blondes. And the dirty
blondes all go white blonde. So, everyone's roots are even blonde still. Post-forty, the men seem to age far better than the women–or maybe the women are all dating younger men?
Copenhagen is a giant Carroll Gardens. Kid-crazed,
biggest strollers I've seen in my life (and yes, they leave them outside with
the babies in them while dining–and everyone knows the cautionary NYC Dallas
BBQ tale). Smoking while pushing a stroller (less so in the hipper enclaves,
i.e. my immediate surroundings) did not seem frowned upon, however. And of
course, drinking is always acceptable, on the streets, on the train, on bikes, etc.
This was probably 9pm. It's still light at 10pm. Picnic tables were all over the block where I stayed and everyone just hangs out on weeknights like these girls barbecuing and drinking wine. That's a small unattended boy in fedora. I should have kidnapped him to teach them a lesson.
I had the idea that I would be more driven, and
food-focused in a professional way, probe, talk to chefs, but really I just
needed a real vacation where you don't have to think about anything or worry
about eating all the right food and meeting the right people. I had a lot to
think about. Strangely, I didn't have the urge to stay like I often do after
only a week anywhere. I needed to get back to NYC and down to business, whatever
form that might take.
I don't necessarily travel to meet new people
(though I did, more in a bit) and see everything there is to see. I also just
like doing what I'd normally do, sleep in, watch TV, just somewhere else, which
is why the typically brief American-style vacation is so abusive (those new
people made me want to sob with their tales of five-week vacations taken all in
one go) Time is so precious that a second wasted on the couch is a sin or
something equally puritanical.
When I'm depressive and anti-social or just lazy
here, I order Seamless and zone out. In Copenhagen, I wasted two perfectly good
food occasions (actually, one took place after eating a respectable, but
extremely light, expensive dinner solo) by picking up a shawarma and parking in
front of the TV with my laptop like old times. Have you heard of Price Check? I
had not. It was the oddest indie intersection of retail pricing (peripherally
part of my day job knowledge) Parker Posy and Luna. Optimizing grocery store
prices and Dean Wareham and the guy who played Daniel in Ugly Betty? Oh, and
Annie Parisse, who I liked in Rubicon because I kind of wanted to be her
Also, am I the only one
who finds Stephen Merchant hot? He was not in Price Check (or Jeff Who Lives at
Home or The Other Woman or Happy Go Lucky, all semi-watched because I'm not good at finding anything good on Netflix). That just occurred
to me now.
I encountered the Danish version of my mom and
husband if they were both a decade younger–doppelgangers was all I could
think, despite being a German word. (There is also a popular bar in Copenhagen,
Mikkeller, which appeared to be the inspiration for Torst in Brooklyn, which
serves a Danish brand, Evil Twin.) I
spent Saturday at their "kolonihave," which in the old days were
small properties, allotment gardens, outside the city for poor people to have outdoor space, but are now in demand, though If I'm understanding correctly cost only
$30,000. I guess you might be able to compare it to a trailer park, though
these are permanent structures; really, the emphasis is on the land, not the house,
and you're only allowed to stay there during the warmer half of the year.
pretty much drank (beer interspersed with salty licorice–ugh, Danes–liqueur
but given a "fun" twist of pomegranate. No one could pronounce pomegranates,
which made me feel better for not being able to pronounce anything in Danish)
for ten hours straight, had a barbecue and barely made it back on the last
train (after convincing a taxi driver to come pick me up and take me there).
When my bag finally popped out of the conveyor belt
at Newark (customs was fast because there were surprisingly few US citizens,
but it never matters in NYC because the bags never keep pace) it was propped
next to the exact same bag. Not only were there two Liz Claiborne zebra print
suitcases (I wouldn't say I'm in love with the pattern, but it stands out so
it's helpful and it's not a zubaz) but the two were nestled together.
Doppelgangers. I should've waited around to see who the owner was.