I feel bad about the 4 day post gap. And it is not exactly because the last couple of days have been uneventful. Just yesterday I watched a man die on the street. The medics were working frantically to revive him, but it didn't look good. I did not want to stand around and watch, and I certainly wasn't going to take pictures (and neither did anyone else, I am relieved to say), so I can't tell you if he made it. But I think not.
I came straight from my very first flash mob experience. It was raining hard, and although Danes have a way of dissolving in the rain, along with whatever we had planned, I still expected a big show. I decided to give up the chance to be a part of it, to take pictures and bring you the whole story. The idea was simple: bring your bike to Town Hall Square, park it in the middle at exactly 16.35, leave it for 5 minutes, then go back in and ride it away. Bicycle flash mob:
Seven bicycles. I feel really sad for them, because the idea is so cool. And I would still love to be part of a flash mob sometime, rain or not. (Still not entirely friendly with the after dark camera settings, grrr..)
Today I had a way too quick 1 hour trip to Sweden. Malmö is exactly 40 minutes away from my local train station, a ticket is 80 crowns each way (around €11/$15), and you get the full experience of going to another country. The first indication that you are entering a new country is 20 minutes into the ride, when the speakers on the train switch from informing you in Danish/English, to Swedish/English, so funny. And then you get the alert from your greedy tele provider that everything is now thrice the price. When you arrive, everything is different: friendlier, much more relaxed and zero graffiti, tags or stickers (on the first stretch anyway).
The all important first sight, exiting the train station, not a bad welcome:
The Swedish Crown is the Pesetas of the North, it goes a long way. And while stores in Copenhagen are right now struggling to stay afloat, the Swedes kick some overseas ass. I talked to a girl in one of the coolest independent fashion stores, and she told me that on an average 80% of their saturday customers are Danish. And I completely get why. It is energetic, funky and above all positive. I pity the Danish stores for how much they have to struggle right now, suffocated by rules, regulations and unreasonable taxes. But I also think they could take a lesson from our friendly neighbours, and throw in a smile once in a while. After all, it costs nothing to make people feel welcome. Perhaps this is why Swedish staff is in such high demand here.
I was just in town for a quick meeting, but I did make time for a cup of coffee at a local café, and even there I felt welcome (sad that it is such a big deal, but it is..). Someone left a packet of cool Swedish candy behind: love pills, to make your heart flutter. Oh, Sweden.
As I returned to Copenhagen, I really felt how different we live. The all important first sight, exiting the train station:
And then I looked up and felt at home again: the big, beautiful glossy heart garlands were lit today.
If I could, I would hug you. Thank you for reading my blog.