once again, laurence has stolen my thunder (like he did with budapest) and blogged my holiday before me. it's not fair this time 'cause it was my holiday, not his, but i'll summarise as best i can (without all his short sentances). if you read mine, then read his, you might see something like the truth.
from work on wednesday, i tracked to the train station to find that because of the 'wrong kind of heat', half the trains to london were cancelled and there was a speed restriction. but the journey down wasn't too bad, despite the best efforts of my mp3 player to destroy my mind my playing the same songs over again and getting stuck all the time. so i got to the foundry in shoreditch, and met the gang - the girls girls girls and the loveable rogue sam. slept well at ed and jez's house, and got to stanstead well before check-in opened. i've never flown on my own before, and it really wasn't very interesting. there was no one to tell me not to play on the arcade games, only now there aren't any games worth playing. growing up for all the wrong reasons.
copenhagen airport was wierd - you come out into the departure lounge and there's no signs for the exit, just a whole bunch more shops. but there were l and j to meet me from the plane. i blurted all the thoughts i'd had on the plane straight out at them in excitement and then went to the cash point to get out 500 kroner (50 quid). first things first, we go to the cafe for a beer and some nachos, and start contemplating what we were going to do with the time we had. i now have a list with lots of ticks on it. this is the story of that list.
we went the shop and i was introduced to the recycling machines they have - you get a fiver back from a crate of cheap, drinkable beer, bring the cost down to about 15p a bottle (or so i was reliably informed). and they have so many flavours of carlsberg over there.
it's a shame emil wasn't around, but then i got his bed so that worked out alright. i really enjoyed playing his bass, with a life-size hitler head on the headstock. i enjoyed lar's guitar too, very playful and cute. and i enjoyed lars himself, julie's cousin. a very freindly, jolly lad, but who wouldn't admit to socialism (i tried to play the 'we're all socialists now' card but he wasn't having it; and who would buy battery eggs anyway?), as an avowed capitalist (i didn't play the 'free market capitalists are either misinformed or evil' card; sometimes it's better to just get on with people). we disagreed early on about the german cannibal case, and my disgust at his conviction, and after i pointed out lars' inconsistencies, he admitted it could be okay to kill people, but eating them should be illegal. l and i went to the lakes with some beers and talked about stuff. who knows what mystical secrets we might have uncovered in forgotten conversation?
the next day, while julie was at work, l walked me around the city and made my feet grow blisters (my fault for poor shoe choice - i went for light shoes because of the heat, not heavy shoes good for trekking). so pretty in the sunlight; plus an excellent exhibition of steve bloom's too-good animal photos. then we picked up julie and went for buffet opposite an inuit museum/shop that inexplicably had 'star wars' written over one window, ressurecting the 'have you seen the new star wars transformers' conversation; on the way back home a pro-isreal demo was being started up, and a solitary woman with 'what about gaza?' on a placard being moved away by the police. the hunger strikers looked on. what'll it take to make those guys eat? what are they actually watiting for?
we rented a boat and rowed about the canal, which was fun and futile. we kept having to move out of the way for massive tourist boats, nearly ran over some ducks, and drank the obligatory bottles of beer. l was excited about spotting a jellyfish and spent the rest of my time there looking for them. we discussed whether or not jellyfish had central nervous systems, and whether or not that made it okay to eat them. always thinking, you see. i probably wouldn't. went home, picked up more beer and lars and went out to cristania for a kebab and sight seeing. we went and stole a bunch of things from a skip, including a toy truck for david, the little boy next door who's always crying.
on saturday, julie gave the truck to david's mum. "thanks! where did you get it?" was the obvious response.
so we went swimming at the beach that wasn't there two years ago, virtually in the shadow of the wind farm. i got ice cream - chocolate and vanilla. always gotta go with one scoop of vanilla. i didn't have any swimming trunks so i went in my boxer shorts. did anyone notice? did anyone care? did i care? still, weeing in the sea is more difficult than i remember, a real physical effort.
we needed pizza for dinner and since the local ('best value food in town') was on holiday, we went to the one everyone down the canal was eating. at five pounds a pizza, restaurant quality, it refutes the blanket claim that life is more expensive in scandinavia. a take-out pizza of that size in britain would be more expensive and shit. we're suckers.
then we played the regicider's board game, and julie's dread pirate board game (a fun one, but really needs a better combat mechanic than just 'roll a die'). got exicted and tanked and went out into the night. the place we went to had classic rock music upstairs (she left her mclusky at home, and i didn't stick around to see if she played adam and the ants) and classic dance/party downstairs. at some point, we figured we'd better start dancing, and then they played depeche mode's 'it's no good' and i went sick, but that was the only good song they played. i found i can only dance properly to music that i really like; it's not a case of letting go, i can't force myself to have a good time. julie got up and danced for a bit, but the early nights had taken their toll and she collapsed in a heap in the corner. we got falafel kebabs (except l who got more pizza) for the walk home, got in about 3 or 4.
the next day we cylced out again, despite my nasty saddle sores, this time to the botanical gardens. they were fabulous, especially the mysterious exoctic plants room, made even more bizarre by the juxtaposition of plants that would look strange anywhere but in different ways next to each other. it was all very 'forbidden planet'. then we ambled over to the art museum, where there was an invisble maze, that wasn't as mind destroying as it could have been. if you'd been left in the middle of the room, then your headset switched on, and the jolt so bad you physically couldn't walk through the walls, nor take off your headset, and you could see the door if only you could figure out how to get there.. but instead it was just an empty room with some buzzing headsets, and no exit except the door you came in, which was a shame. we watched a very good jazz trio for a bit and then returned to the gardens to find j.
we walked around a bit more, and sat down on a bench. and that's when the real adventure started. i sat on the woodchip path to ease my aching arse, and noticed a mobile phone under the bench. it had two missed calls, and fairly recently, so someone had obviously noticed it's lack of presence. the adventure was, in the end, a short lived affair, the owner met us an half an hour later in a prominent square. but imagine the fun we could have had! a treasure trail all over the city.. mysterious meetings with strangers, notes pushed across coffee tables.. and of course, ending up where you started from. dan brown would have a field day. in fact, that phone probably had dan brown's phone number in - it's the kind of unlikely thing that always happens with us and dan. i got coffee and bagel and the others got smoothies to celebrate a good deed, as i explained 'world of lifecraft'. it was the second time in not very long that i'd been sold a bagel cooked in a panini cooker. the first one was virtually fried but this one lovely and crisp. it's different, and too early to say if it's as good. it's not as good a way of cooking a bagel in terms of the original method, but you can't judge it on those terms, eh?
we cycled out to the mermaid. swarmed by people, staring out at the only patch of clear sea in view, all the people only adding to her worries. tragic beauty, the tourists unaware of their own role in the sculpture.
and we cycled back to christania for tea at the veggie cafe there. i wish i could see it in the winter, everyone huddled inside having a right jolly time. mmm.
julie went to bed early for work and left l and i to watch ghost in the shell 2 (good as/better than the original) and memento (i wanted to watch it forwards, but we couldn't remember it well enough. next time; it's still great though)
waking up around 12, it suddenly occurred to me, if life was a day, what time would you get up? eh? 24? get up! it's a beautiful day! and it's your last day on earth.
we watched youtube all afternoon. it was terrible, but at least it had grant morrison ranting that 'it works' like an evil hypnotist. i will not go into his theories now - or rather, his distillation of other people's theories (plus his alien abduction story) - you can just watch it.
when j got back from work, we went out for expensive hot chocolate (i mocha'ed mine up good) and bought an espresso cup for mum. went for wholesome curry (no naan on the menu, but the chapati was quite naan like anyway, like some misclassified missing link). again, julie went to bed, and the lads stayed up watching films; lars was still up, so we trawled through the knowing mess of 'not another teen movie', which, conversely, is just another teen movie, and when he went to bed we de-toxed on fight club. i'm so riled now. i could do anything, if only i had someone to tell me what to do.
got back to britain before midday, and met dan for lunch, presenting him with his obligatory toblerone.
so thank you very much everybody for that top class holiday ness. it was just what i needed and it makes a smile a little just to think of it.
comedy is best when it's true; this made me laugh because it's the situation i find myself in every day: everything made in sweatshops.
and yes, it's the onion, but i liked this one more than usual.
what i said isn't quite true; palin, in the otherwise useless commentry to 'ripping yarns' with terry jones, explains how most of the jokes are based around taking a cliche, and either exagerating it or subverting it. thus some things are funny because they're not true.
special bonus round!
do you see what i see?