This is a blog about my travels. My "regular" life is much too boring to bother blogging about.

Monday, May 10, 2010

æ i ø u and sometimes y

I already wrote this point once, but dodgy pirated Swedish wireless wiped it out. So perhaps this is the tuncated version.

I am in Copenhagen now, after 3 days in Orebro visiting with Cailan and Sarah. On the first night I snored and Cailan had to wake me up and tell me to roll over. On the second night, Sarah and I wandered around Orebro and bought me train tickets and ate yummy sandwiches and then met Cailan at her school and bought groceries and I ate a yummy dinner and then chatted with two of Cailan's Swedish friends about the lead singer of Europe and Swedish pornography from the 1970s. Orebro isn's particularly interesting to be 100% honest. "Functional" is probably the best word for it. My favourite part was probably where Cailan lives, Brickebacken. Brickebacken is what the locals would describe as the "ghetto", which in Sweden means the place where the dark-skinned immigrants live. I've read a decent amount about low-cost housing projects in Sweden (look up the Million Programme if interested), so it was rather fascinating to actually live in one for a few days.

And who knew that 1970s Swedish porno was so noteworthy?

Saturday was magic. We basically spent the day sleeping and watching 90s movies, resting up for the snaps (schnapps) party that night at one of Cailan's friends apartments. Here is the premise of a schnapps party: a bunch of Swedes make their own booze, prepare a bit of food, and then assemble at somebody's apartment to drink the booze, eat the food, and sing Swedish drinking songs. Unsurprisingly, I had a blast. These are the kinds of experiences I hope for when I travel: local booze, local food, and access to locals, all at the same time.

There were about 10-15 different kinds of booze, including one bottle that somebody had brought from Vietnam with a snake in it. Most of them were emminently drinkable, but my favourite was that one that was flavoured with chili powder, giving it one hell of a finish. It went really nicely with a piece of herring (of which there was plenty). For a while I tried to drink shot-for-shot with a tattooed gentleman named Kristian, but it soon became clear that this would likely result in my hospitalization, so I slowed to a more relaxed pace. And ate more herring. And then we went out to a bar for more drinks, and an exuberant fellow came in and began singing the Hives, and I had the inevitable soccer discussion with some dude where I got to show off my knowledge of Swedish soccer.

Everybody was lovely, even the bitchy people. I have decided that I like the Swedes. Except for that racist guy who got into the fight with the Englishman on the bus Sunday morning.

And now I am amongst the Danes! Copenhagen is pretty breathtaking so far. I'm staying with my friend Tiffany, who I met once upon a time in Malawi. She's interning with the WHO this summer, and has graciously allowed me a rent-free existence while in Copenhagen (much appreciated, accommodation in this city is stupidly expensive). She lives in an industrial area southeast of the city centre, about a block from what appears to be the Hell's Angels Copenhagen headquarters, in some sort of strange industrial era house/apartment building along with a gaggle of itinerant German labourers. This, of course, is awesome.


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