Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dispatch from Copenhagen

I spent the last two days in Copenhagen where I did not find any cherry liqueur but did find a few other things worth importing to the USA. Yesterday, at lunch, I tried pickled herring 3 ways, I have no idea if each type had a special name so I will call them "fish and cloves," "the vinegary one," and "the yellow one." Surprisingly I liked the clove version the best, you would not think that a flavor most commonly associated with pumpkin pie would work well with fish but it was quite yummy. None of the pickled herring tasted much like fish anyway, either herring isn't not a very fishy fish or the salt and vinegar are overpowering enough to mask any flavor. That said I'm not sure that us Americans are ready for preserved fish, but if someone would bring the following 5 items to Target, I promise to buy them.

A Few Things That We Should Import From Denmark

  1. Bikes! there are bikes everywhere in this city, they are piled in impressive hills of handlebars and wheels or parked in football field sized bike lots. Lately, I have been toying with the idea of getting a bike myself but have been overwhelmed by the idea of shopping for a bike since I really just want something to tool around on and see no need for all of the fancy-schmancy silliness that seems to come with every bike for sale in New York. The Danish bikes are exactly my speed, they are bulky station wagon-like contraptions with huge wheels covered with bumpers and have wide comfy looking seats. I imagine that they are perfect for a big basket and a cruise into town to pick up a few flowers and some fruit at one of the quaint little kiosks in the city center (there are beautiful peon's everywhere and I bought a pack of the largest raspberries in the world -- each was at least 2 inches long!)
  2. All Around the World! My travel companion, Tonya, and I stumbled into this store while wondering around in Stroget, a huge outdoor mall. All Around the World was like a hipper, Ikea (without furniture) and while I suspect it might be a chain I could not locate a website online. If I didn't have to carry it around Europe I would have purchased some cherry themed dishwear, a couple of brightly colored blue and pink floral pillows, and some elderflower cider (which I later had at a cafe and was very impressed with, and which does have booze in it, in case you were wondering). I would probably have refrained from purchasing the other 500 or so objects of desire in the store because at this time I was still unable to grasp the conversion from DKKs to USA $s which resulted in that hilarious time where I withdrew $700+ from my bank account and had to figure out if I would need to call mom and dad to put money in my account to cover my rent check. Good times.
  3. Licorice candy. The only thing purchases we made at All Around the World were 3 different types of licorice candies (one in rope form, one in chewy capsule form (ala' Mike & Ikes) and one with 2 different types of hard candy). I've always liked Tonya but discovering her love for licorice has made her one of my favorite people. It turns out that Tonya's siblings (all 6 of them!) were much crueler than Kurt ever was as they made her trade other jellybean flavors for the licorice ones that they weren't willing to eat anyway -- Kurt always let me take those off his hands for free (thanks little bro! Who am I kidding? You don't read my blog... loser.) . I suppose when there are 7 kids in a family everyone becomes much more territorial. If you had dropped 7 year old me in that pile of children I'd most likely have starved to death. My favorite licorice candy version was the hard candy which had a slightly salty taste to it, I know that sounds gross but I doubt it matters, I lost all of my readership at the mention of licorice. The candy is so awesome that just typing about it is making me crack open one of the two back up bags that I purchased right before leaving the city this afternoon.
  4. Blankets! All of the outdoor cafe's in Copenhagen have blankets on every seat! This was especially appreciated yesterday when the cloudy and damp weather had us fearful that we'd have to choose between ambiance and warmth. Why can't all outdoor restaurants offer this awesome luxury? We bundled up and enjoyed our open face sandwiches (I had roasted pork and red cabbage which was yummy but couldn't compete with the German red cabbage of my childhood).
  5. Not getting dark until 10pm. I was quite proud of both Tonya and I for sticking it out in the world of wakefulness until this relatively late hour. Each of us got about 3 hours of sleep on the hop over the pond and were ready for naps as soon as we deplaned but in an effort to get with the European time zone program we kept busy until we collapsed in bed around 10:30. Dusk just darkening into night as I drifted off but when the boom of fireworks woke me at midnight me there was no light left. I assume the fireworks were in honor of the soccer match between Sweden and Denmark that had taken place in Copenhagen that evening. Earlier in the day this event had also provided Tonya and I with amusement in the form of drunken groups of Swedish boys shouting at one another while swilling large pints of beer. The next morning we would be equally entertaining by the occasional passed out adorable blond bow in the plazas around time. They're all lucky (or perhaps disappointed) that I didn't tie them up and bring them home.
American Imports in Denmark

  1. 7-11 owns half of Copenhagen. The mini-mart was so omnipresent that when in search of a bottle of water we made no attempt to locate a source figuring we'd effortlessly stumble upon a 7-11 within 10mins.
  2. Cowboys. Within 10 minutes of leaving our hotel on a wander around the city we came upon a group of Danish girls in boots, fringed shirts and cowboy hats performing line dances. Once dance was to an Irish reel which, though I'm sure the Irish would be appalled, actually worked quite well.
This afternoon we made our way across the bridge into Malmo Sweden so there will be more blogging to come. I forgot my camera cord at home so I'll update with pictures when I return on the 9th.

Best thing about Sweden so far: The lounge version of Black Hole Sun that was being piped into our hotel lobby.


Gillian said...

Oh. Blankets. When we open our café, let's have blankets. (Did I mention that we're opening a café?)

alia said...

...i love the bike thing, too. cambridge was like that-- there were a lot of self-important bikes, but there were lots of sturdy ones that looked like they were recycled WWII tanks, and people carried a week's worth of groceries in their paniers...
*sigh*... NYC should definitely be more bike friendly, we have so few steep hills...

themikestand said...

You FORGOT your camera???

Brianna said...

I forgot my camera CORD. I promise there will be pictures.

amy said...

My favorite is the yellow (sweet mustard?) herring. Of course, that may be because I haven't tried the others yet... Sigh. Of course, I like gefilte fish too, so I can't be trusted.