Women cruise nonchalantly through the streets, glittering under light snowfall and golden hair reflecting the streetlights; hundreds of bikes line the footpaths unlocked, and children press their chubby noses against the windows of pastry shops.
The locals are polite, quiet, and obedient in every sense of the word, yet shamelessly sheik and stunningly beautiful – A model country with model citizens, but not a nation without it’s edge.
So expect the unexpected
1) People put flags in dog shit. Patriotism, love, and respect for the country isn’t limited to singing the anthem on special days. You can find Danish flags on (and in) everything, including this steamer!
2) Babes ride bikes. No matter whether they’re in 6-inch Gucci heels or billowing maxi dresses, the women will be riding about town looking glorious and putting your sorry tourist-ass to shame. In Copenhagen there’s more bikes than people and it shows.
3) Everyone is obedient. Don’t you dare cross the street before the green man, and don’t even think about raising your voice on the train – that would be absurd!
4) Hot dogs are a cultural institution. Each morning without fail, the dedicated hot-dog vendors will walk/tow their stand from home to ‘work’ in long-defined locations . This is not an unusual site in Denmark, and these dedicated hot men have been feeding hungry commuters for more than 80 years.
5) And statues are often beheaded. A murder mystery ingrained deep in the heart of Danes is the whereabouts of the Little Mermaids 2nd head, after it was stolen in a violent maiming. The Little Mermaid is often used as a vehicle of political expression and has been the victim of political assassinations more than once. I’m sure she’s making a great paper-weight somewhere.
However the most bizarre and positively awesome part of Denmark is Christiania – the free state.
Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of about 850 residents that look like they never left after the Occupy movement, and survive off a thriving economy of cannabis sales, arts and crafts. Being the fourth largest tourist attraction in Copenhagen they’re not pushed for pennies, and the ‘Green Mile’ is an unprecedented hub of semi-legal business.
Photography within the Green Mile is banned, khaki military netting hangs around the store-fronts, and masked dealers deliver the promised goods to obediently waiting Danish patrons. Obviously no one is in a hurry as massive blunts are passed around; and rusty oil drums burn in the streets to save frost bitten toes and sniffly faces from taking their business elsewhere.
Besides the mellow days and Marley tributes, the art scene within Christiania is next to none and the drug-fuelled creativity is open to rein-free. Residents proceed to build, paint and decorate their own properties, and these are cohesive with a vast surrounding of sculptures and installations. My eyes could drink in the ingenuity for days on end.
Here’s a taster…
There’s some great art in central Copenhagen too…