Copenhagen is dilapidated. Its great state buildings have the same unearthly quality as Stockholmâ€™s, but their broad facades and delicate pinnacles are teetering. As they crumble, they will only add to their own magnificence. The decay is clearest at street-level, where, an hour after sunrise, I saw pigeons and gypsies mingling on the rubbish-bestrewn cobblestones.
Stockholm is squeaky clean. But while the public fora of old Copenhagen look forward to their own ruin, the populace is very alive. Their most striking feature, besides their stature and blondism, is their love of bicycles. The Copenhageners are urban Mongolians. They live in the saddle–whirling around street corners in their swarms. The very streets seem to spew them out in clumps and rushes. If the cityâ€™s rotting buildings are its skeleton, then at least its bloodstream still throbs.
I decided not to get a hostel. When Vince and I arrived, it was already mid-afternoon. Because my train for Berlin left the next day at 730, I figured it would be more economical to wander the city until then. We sat down at a cafe for one final session of h8chan photo-dumping before walking to the train station to say our goodbyes. Then I was on my own. I returned to the cafe to bum internet until they closed at 11. Then I was really on my own–for the next eight masochistic hours. But I was prepared; in fact, I had packed for Europe like I would pack for a night in the woods. My lay-out was lavish. I had of course my backpack of clothes and hundreds of dollars of technology. I also carried a satellite hobo-bag containing a Mars bar, a can of Carlsberg, a Greek book and a bag of oats (in the event of hunger).
I started off wandering. As darkness set in, so did the eeriness. The bicycle hordes thinned out. As I walked through a canyon of colorful buildings, I felt myself being followed by a sickly melody. Daring to look back, I saw the gleam of neon–the lone rider had added glow-sticks to his wheel spokes. He must have also mounted speakers somewhere. He rode past, then circled about and faded back into the crevasse of townhouses. An endless ingenuity for flash is the saving grace of the Dindu.
Copenhagen has a lot of gypsies, but it also has bums–a sure sign that the government is not totally soft. I heard one of them–bundled up, lying alone under a colonnade, enjoying a bedtime cigarette–coughing and hacking. Giving in to my whiteness I offered him a couple cough drops. I hastily explained in English and German (the best I could do) that they were â€œfor your throat.â€ He thanked me heartily–a sure sign that I was correct in my anthropological assessment. The gypsy has no gratitude.
I started noticing the drinkers. Scandinavian reserve at last was giving way to boisterousness. Nevertheless, the Copenhagen club-scene, from afar, feels like the tamer areas of DC. The merrymakers form little clots outside the bar-doors, or lounge about in the biergartens. Not long after it began, the drinking phase of the night ended. Like werewolves, the moon-happy Nords reverted to their usual form. I was finally, fully alone.
By this point, I was questioning my decision to give homelessness a try. I still had my caffeine pills–but that would only compound the problem. I was tired. So I gave in like a faggot and sat down on a bench. After basking a bit, I lay down, having convinced myself that I was indistinguishable from my environment. My surroundings were certainly beautiful. And here I was, at Copenhagenâ€™s iconic house-lined harbor, LARPing as a bum. I slept for about twenty minutes and moved on, feeling invigorated. Three or four more naps and it would be train-time.
I land-navved my way back to some known streets. My stupid phone was the only thing not letting me down. Unlike at Oslo, this time I had had the foresight to take photos of google-map images of the city. But this time it was Jewgle that was trying to screw me. In Google maps, the street-names only display depending on how far you zoom in, and sometimes not even then. I kept trying to zoom in on the photos, forgetting that they were not useful maps, but defective freezes of an interactive and untouchable cyber-Jew. I still found my way because Iâ€™m not an idiot. As you can tell, my mood was disintegrating.
Time for another nap. At yet another cobblestone crossroads, I found a familiar storefront. From one corner, a half-sunken room glowed through a wall of short, continuous glass, like an enormous, boxy fish-tank. But there were no fish, only a grid of polished silver–plates, cups, trinkets, vessels–all gleaming as if they had been plucked from a Homeric poem. Copenhagenâ€™s nicer stores keep their lights on through the night, to highlight the splendor of their wares. It was charming–bright streets, shimmering glass, and lots of designer goods. I always wanted to date a rich girl–if only to feign boredom while visiting such places. And even if Copenhagen failed to provide me that, it still satisfied me to think that the gypsies were stirred to envy at the sight of such finery.
I took my best nap here. Across from the store of silver treasures was a restaurant. The keepers had stacked their outdoor furniture and covered it in a delightfully opaque tarp, the bulk of which lay a meter from the restaurantâ€™s facade. That meter formed a perfectly-cut slit-trench. I scanned the street–no gypsies, no cops–and slid into my hideaway. Free accommodations. I smelled, then wiped the cobblestones to satisfy myself that no one had found the place before me. I would need clean khakis and polo for the train ride. Knit cap on, knife locked-out and concealed, I recharged for another twenty in the silent streets.