Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Settling down again

The Icelandic trip was wrapped up with revisiting Albert and Ingibjörg in Hafnarfjörður, staying at an organized campsite for the first time (sponsored by Albert, who without our knowledge payed 950 ISK twice, this way giving us a little more comfort than we used to have when we camped wild) and last camping among the trees at Öskjuhlíð by Perlan. The return to the continent was fast and not disturbed by any misbehaving volcanoes. My flight was to Oslo and I got a ride there with a Polish ambassador who had no idea what brought people to Oslo. I have to agree with him - most important buildings in the city are far away from each other, there's more brand stores, restaurants and discos than historical monuments. After such a long time spent in the Alps, French countryside of Provence and almost desolate Iceland, Oslo seemed like another New York City where you feel uncomfortable because of its overwhelming size. Only green areas in the center make the city more welcoming for somebody who craves to escape from the crowds.

Quotations from Henrik Ibsen along the main street
Probably the nicest store
Getting out of Oslo was a disaster. No proper signs with directions, some construction work, no information about detours, cars going back and forth without an idea where the right way is. How sweet that I was not alone in getting and un-getting lost in this maze. With a very early start we got to the suburbs of Malmö at 10ish, in two rides, one of them all the way -around 10 km, with two Polish guys heading to Świnoujście. More thumbing and a Danish guy living in Sweden took us to the capital of Denmark.

And that's where I stayed. It's my new location for... we'll see. Meanwhile, I'm slowly immersing into Danish way of living. Here's a short list of my achievements:
* being asked in Danish about the directions to Christiania, I gave two Englishmen some directions but eventually decided to take them there. We talked in Danish until I said I was from Poland. They were in Kraków last month and loved it. We talked about our impressions from Denmark until we reached Christiania.
* I saw a couple who seemed like thay wanted to use the free bikes but didn't know how to do it, so I approached them and explained how it works. They were from Brazil.
* two German-speaking ladies asked me about directions to Amalienborg. I gave them a detailed description how to get there.
* I'm persistently speaking Danish even if people respond in English. Goddamnit, I'm in Denmark and I want to speak your language!
* apart from phone calls I never started a conversation with a Danish person in English.
* I'm managing to keep my stay in Copenhagen low-budget, just like my former travels. Can you imagine that I haven't spent a single krone on clothes and that I already have more clothes than I ever had in my life?
* I met an American girl from Couchsurfing and showed her around Christiania. She hasn't seen the part I took her to and was very happy with the walk.

I borrowed a Danish coursebook and H. Ch. Andersen's fairy tales to read. That's going to be easy. Moreover, I'm more than happy to have books other than on the computer to my use again. I also found out about free Danish classes at some Christian center. Not really my cup of tea, but I'll stay away from the religious part. Hopefully my spoken Danish gets better soon.

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