Day 9 – 2 August 2009 : Copenhagen
I wake up early–because I just feel like I’m missing out if i wake up past 9:30, no matter how late I go to bed. Plus, the hotel has free breakfast. Free food is usually not worth it, in my opinion, except for free hotel breakfast. It’s not even the freeness that’s so great; it’s the not having to go anywhere. Just being handed a cup of complementary coffee feels like a miracle to me.
I harangue Nick into accompanying me to breakfast, and the spread is completely incredible. (I had also hoped that this particular perk would give me some insight into Swedish food, and indeed it does). There are eggs, 3 kinds of sausage, liver pate, 5 kinds of hard cheese, 4 kinds of soft cheese, pickles, fruit, muesli, swedish pancakes with 4 kinds of jam, 4 kinds of toast, Nutella, cereal, pastries, odd milky concoctions, and a whole bunch of stuff I can’t even remember now.
We then return to our room to enjoy our last hour of plentiful towels, great water pressure, clean sheets, and CABLE.
Yoshi and Jaime knock on the door and we’re off, lugging all of our stuff once again to the train station. We’re going to Copenhagen to hang out for the next 30 hours, until we head to Germany for more shows.
We have a night of amusement planned: First we’ll hit the Tivoli Gardens and then we’ll go see the Pains of Being Pure at Heart play.
We rendezvous at the entrance to Tivoli Gardens (I actually love that we have to make plans like this–due to no phones) and spend a couple of hours wandering in the amusement park, while we wait for darkness and the magical lights to come on. Close to the entrance, there is a stage show involving gigantic puppets, people running around in black suits, and an enormous “boom box”. It is truly confusing.
Time to go on some rides. Yoshi, Jamie and I ride a roller coaster called the Demon. Next, Jamie sets his sights on the ride that is the centerpiece of the park. It involves a gigantic pole and some swings that are not much sturdier than those of your average kindergarten. The concept is, you’re suspended way up high over the city and then spun around so fast that the swings go nearly horizontal.
I volunteer to go with. Traveling has made my mind entirely too flexible.
Right as we’re being hoisted up the pole like some flag of the apocalypse, I have a moment of clarity: What in the holy fuck am I doing? I HATE heights and spinning and death by freefall. About 50 feet off the ground, I realize that I have a much bigger problem than my personal preference for low-elevation, non-deadly forms of entertainment. My problem is, I am in serious danger of losing consciousness and/or pissing myself. If I lose consciousness, I might slip out of the seat and fall a million feet and then Jamie will be scarred forever, which is totally no fair–and if I pee my pants, then I will spray the entire park like a crop duster once we start spinning fast. I have too much dignity to go down this way.
Cruelly, we get hoisted up much, much further. Then the satanic machine starts to spin. As the wind begins whipping my face , I know I must convince myself that none of this is actually happening. I squeeze my eyes shut and start counting: “One thousand one, one thousand two…” I realize I’m saying this out loud, not just in my head–no wait, I’m screaming it. Jamie is laughing in that giddy way that only a person who knows he is about to die can.
Back on terra firma, once I can make my legs function again, we head to the show. The Pains are absolutely great, and the crowd is so, so into them. It’s one of those great traveling moments–how did I come to be at this show of a Brooklyn band, with these friends I love, so many miles from home?
We hit a few bars afterwards. At some point, I get burned by a girl’s cigarette–I just sort of lean into it somehow. The incident leaves an interesting-looking welt on my arm, sort of like a fingerprint, with intricate swirls and striations. My lone souvenir from Denmark, other than some black licorice from Tivoli.
We eat late-night shwarma and then retire, having had a day filled to the brim with all of the best life has to offer: music, togetherness, aimless wandering, mortal terror, muesli. Done and done’r.