23.02.06: what is someone to do with four florets of broccoli and two of cauliflower? indeed, it is time to make soup. and for a first attempt at soup (yes, i've never made soup before) it was incredible, so much so that if you'd have sneaked into the kitchen you may have heard laurence accidently say "i am a god among men" as he took a sip from the ladle..
this was only possible due to our new shiny steamer (which actually, i only used as a big pan) and masher. other new exciting kitchen toys include a sieve and a small manual juicer, for want of a better description. i am only steps away from being in business - lets get digging.
except, the arrival of aeon flux ('the complete animated collection', finally mine) most likely spells the end of my day. i am to be summoned by the dvd player and chastised by the television. pray for a power cut, it is my only hope.
and talking of arrivals, my parents are landing tomorrow. so that might be all from me for the weekend.
22.02.06: here's me getting us into trouble again. late last night, but clearly not late enough, hanging out at the nearby gas station. i was taking the photos and everything was cool. a couple of cars drove in for gas and we walked off, but me doing the kind of thing that i do while looking like a terrorist, i swung my camera back around the corner and took a photo. a few seconds later a guy has ran after us and is asking us frantic questions i don't understand. this is clearly about my trigger happy self, and i'm just standing there not saying anything. so i pull my scarf down (a lesson learnt from budapest) and make a few meaningless noises that are supposed to sound english. the guy is asking us if we're cops, which makes no sense on any level, and wants to know why i took a photograph of their car. it's a complicated question and "because it's what i do" is never valid enough. he walks off and returns with another paranoid dude. i figure him as the driver. and here's another lesson i learnt from budapest, i show them the photo and just delete it. i show them the other photos - "look, there's no car". they weren't being aggressive or particulary scary, but it was an awkward situation and it wasn't nice. you could imagine how this might play out in a more volatile country (hey, i read brian wood's dmz).
we decided it best to head straight home, and i'm left with the mystery of what it was that was making them so paranoid. were they stealing petrol? were they in a stolen car? had they robbed a bank? perhaps they had a body in the boot? either way it made for an interesting experience, and more lessons learnt.
earlier in the night we'd had guests over (katrine and mark from uptown) and eaten awesome amounts of lasagne and waffles. also three bottles of wine (and no, i'm not drinking too much). we played our board game with five players for the first time and it played okay, if not for too long.
later in the night we went our for drinks at the amager hotel and introduced lars to container raiding, grabbing rather too many bananas (it was hard to tell quite how many there were in the bag, also we were drunk) and more broccoli and oranges. also cheese and bread. witness it second hand:
by the end of this week i'm going to be so sick of bananas.
then i had strange dreams. the one that sticks in my mind, that i also dreamt writing about on my website (there's something poignant there), we were hanging out in a club or school or mall and i wanted to play cards. a police woman appeared and demanded to see my license to play cards, knowing full well that i wouldn't have such a stupid thing. she said we weren't allowed to play. i started shouting of revolution, arguing against the absurdity. all of your favourite slogans and one liners. my friends and teacher stood around looking confused and angry. at me. i felt so abandoned and frustrated. disenchanted. as i walked out on my own, refusing to be a part of it, i past many old friends who i havn't spoken to for ages sitting at tables and at the bar. i really wanted to play cards though.
21.02.06: the last twenty four hours have been full of action, and sleep. but not enough sleep. i don't see why the construction workers have to start at half seven, and by throwing trash from the roof to the street down a noisy tube. mother fuckers.
i had to get up early anyway, but not that early. me and emil were doing 'peace watch' at the permanent peace demonstration outside parliment. i've mentioned it before, it's been there since october 2001 (when america was threatening to bomb afghanistan) everyday from 8am to 8pm with their placards and rainbow flags. we had the morning shift but these days, with their ranks flagging, they start at only 10am. it was largely uneventful but completely fascinating. various other peace watchers came and went and they were all characters, and the nicest people. our three hour shift went quickly, with history lessons and stories of protests. we got our badges and signed the book. we'll be back there again next week. look out for us, come and have a chat and some coffee. if you're lucky i'll even show you were there's a rather nice toilet.
the night before we'd had the urge for free food and prowled the neighbourhood looking for fresh supermarket dumpsters. is their an art to container raiding? our local spot smelt bad and was full of shit so we were searching for pastures new. the first few places we tried were dry or out of bounds. we'd found our way to the amager police station so went in to ask them for directions to the large 'qvickly' (despite it being shut). you can tell this store hides a magical bounty, but behind thick steel bars and tight under security cameras. the waste is frustrating. we finally found our joy behind aldi, once we'd discovered how to get around the back. they have two dumspters full of freshly binned food. and the blonde guy messing with his bike didn't seem to care to much either. here's our load, a veritable feast:
which includes eight tubs of potato salad, tomatoes on the vine, big oranges, brocolli, buns and bread, some plants, chocolate (with strawberry stripes) and a couple of peppers. it feels good when you're winning.
20.02.06: last night we thought we'd go out and sample the local danish indian cuisine. around here people don't know indian food. you ask for 'naan' and all you'll get a blank stare. coriander is a light brown powder, not a tiny green leaved plant.and paneer is a cheese that they make in a tiny kitchen at 12 ved amagerport. but anyway, there's a nice looking indian restuarant across amagerbrogade from our apartment with a hopeful looking menu. they have a vegetarian section at least, and it features matar paneer.
this wasn't for a special occasion, it was just about time we went out for dinner. the food was good, like how indian restuarant curry is always different to your own. i suspect it's the amount of oil/ghee you're willing to put in when you're not eating it yourself. the rice was especially tasty. i think our paneer was better.
eating out is expensive though, so we decided to get desert from døgn netto (which i still think is funny cos it looks like 'dog', but actually sounds like doyn and means 'all day' - which is stupid cos it shuts at 10pm). halfway down amagerbrogade, after passing the bagel shop that has police in it again (they don't eat donuts here?), we noticed the icecream cafe still open. awesome right? so i take two scoops, one of panna cotta and one licourice. i kid you not. julie takes a chocolate and a hazelnut. the icecream is smooth and it's tasty. like proper gelato.
then we watched phonebooth, which isn't really mentioning. it's just something i did.
19.02.06: i havn't been doing much the last couple of days, i'm thinking that i wished i'd gone with emil to mainland denmark. i could have seen some more of the country and shouted at nazi. i mean, didn't i want to get in the thick of it after all? i don't know if this was even an option anyway, but what it leads to is that i went for a random walk. i didn't mean to, it just happened.
i gave the recycling depot a quick visit, picking up a graphics tablet that might actually work, and then kept going. i was never going to go far, but i found some old rusted railway tracks and felt obliged to follow them and their rotten sleepers to where ever they might lead, through brambles and thorns, empty capri-sun cartons (that will never decompose), industrial pipes and animal shit. under an hour later they inevitably ended at a building site, conveniently placed right next to amager beach. from here it's easy to get home, so i'm not quite sure why i didn't take that route, but instead kept walking in the opposite direction to god knows where.
while walking down random residential streets, each one not quite going in the direction you think you want to go, your sense of direction will slowly become shot to shit. all roads don't lead to christmas møllers plads, but i found my back okay anyway. and that will have to be the story, because nothing much interesting actually happened to me on my adventures.
and listening to the new mogwai album, i'm inclined to say "mmmmmm... tasty"
and i swear you wont find a single ellipsis anywhere else on this site.
knives, with which you can be emo with, if you wish:
vale. so as in keeping with the books i read.
18.02.06: because on saturday i should have better things to do
17.02.06: i had a dream last night that i hadn't done my maths homework. and the teacher (mrs.swan) was coming around checking everyones work. i had no idea what i was supposed to be doing because i hadn't been paying any attention, actually come to think of it, i hadn't been to any lessons either. then i woke up and there was no porridge or milk or cheese. so i went the shop.
turns out i forgot the one thing i'd been instructed to get, toilet paper, so i'm going to have to go out once more. it snowed again, but this snow is crap snow. and not just because it was on a day where chose to wear normal socks instead of thick socks. that's just plain bad planning on my behalf.
anyway, when i was in netto nothing happened. so i'm going to have to tell you about the package that had arrived for me when i returned home (i'm claiming artistic license on the timeline here, it is mine), my first package from crimethinc and it's sexy like a pink tank . after i'd read their first publication i checked out what else they had to offer and ended up ordering most of their books - at almost a fifth of the price of the books here i couldn't resist. accompanying the books was also a bunch of stickers, a selection of four large posters, a few postcards and number of magazines and zines. it's like a happy meal for my mind.
around lunchtime i tried to make pie from peoples questions, but i'm just not that good a cook.
some photos i've had hanging around for a while:
also, whilst destroying my all time favourite heroine (completely, and without the care that they at least saw fit to provide 'v for vendetta'), they have also resurected her on tiny plastics dics. this is less than a minor victory, but at least you no longer require ntsc compatability to watch the original (and incredible) aeon flux. go forth etc.
16.02.06: somewhere back in the mid-eighties i fell in love with jelly eggs. like all good easter-related confectionary they came around once a year, and i remember them being placed beside the counter in woolworths. the eggs glistened under the bad flourescent lighting, all those disgusting speckled colours that science has provided us. sugar coated jelly joy. an unholy and unique combination of taste and texture. a chemical soup that would make any child blissful. kill a horse. whatever.
one year, and for all the right reasons, my mum stopped buying me them (even when under heavy protest). soon after that they stopped appearing at all, never to return. probably banned. i was old enough to buy them myself and not know better, but yet couldn't. the injustice right?
this is why, when in føtex shopping for spices, i was so excited at the site of denmark's very own jelly eggs. free of gelatine, but not of the other wonderful and suspicious ingredients. i went back there today in hope of reliving my early years. i swear just the smell of those jelly eggs would reduce me to tears for my lost childhood. like the smell of your old wardrobe, or the sound of a favourite toy you'd thought was broken.
when i'm done, this story is going to end just like all the others. i'd walked through the rain and cold to the amager centre and bought my stupid jelly eggs:
but of course they taste nothing like the ones i remember so fondly, they're not even jelly. they're nothing but an expensive imitation that's tainted the memory of the real ones. they smell funny too. and they've made me feel sick.
oh, the comic horror:
at least she's still defending her turf, sticking to her principles. and all that.
15.02.06: all i wanted to do this morning was go for coffee. or to sit in a cafe and read a trendy book, it's all the same. i didn't really get to read though, what we ended up doing was playing trivial pursuit. the latte was very good, as you'd hope for 25kr. the cake was even better, good in the way that you couldn't tell if it was apple of banana. or both. when that shit comes with creme fraiche you know it's all good. this is our local cafe, lovely if not for its middle class streak.
my book is well trendy though, aimee gives me the best books. i must get her to buy all of my books.
i wish i could be as misogynistic as bukowski.
as well as expensive coffee shops we're also hanging out in dingy bars. and it is called 'the moose' - there's a silhouette of a moose head hanging out front. it's full of non-danish (students i presume) and there's a tendency for people to default to english. it probably isn't why i like it though. infact i don't know why i do like it. it's dirty, it's always busy, and the people (some at least) are obnoxious and/or in love with themselves. that's okay though, cos the people around here are better looking after all, so it goes.
we've been watching 'brokeback mountain', and meanwhile the snow has started to fall, again. so we have to go out and disrupt the slush, stare up at the street lights as they hover above the road, as if
by magic attached to cables spanning the street. we have to
go container raiding to find a bunch of dodgy meat products and apple sauce. and a new
table. and laurence is still in awe at the snow as it falls so magnificently to its
wet death. other bullshit to follow.
i loved the movie, incase you were wondering. and not just for the shots of the sky (ang lee can sure nail those fuckers) it's a shame naight culd tell wot an o' dem cowboys wa sayin' most da tame, but it don't really matter. i imagine the film had some hype behind it, but these days i miss out on all of that shit. i think it really helps your enjoyment when you havn't been told why you should like something, or that you should like it all. or even worse, than you shouldn't like it to make you like it. but anyway, all i heard about brokeback mountain before i saw it was from martin, coming with his smartass, "i go to the cinema expecting to see a film about cowboys and machoism, and they start mincing all over the place". but i feel like i could watch it again right now, and not just so i could understand better what they were saying. which reminds me, maybe i should go watch hedwig.
14.02.06: i'm feeling pretty chuffed with myself, i just made my first paneer cheese and it is awesome. it's slightly too lemony but that's nothing some spinach and garam masala wont sort out. i just wish i'd learnt how to make it before the dinner party last weekend.
i've spent the last two days indoors and watching six films. i know that's rather excessive but i wasn't very well. and there's nothing i hate more than fever dreams. i had six hours of squares, boxes and rooms. i went through all of them. there was a single black square which was always there, as it was defined by its existence and non-existence (yes something like 'house of leaves'). abstract bullshit like that is not something you should have to deal with at 4am, when all you want is everything to fuck off and let you sleep.
three of the six films i watched had characters that physically transformed into large and nasty creatures with insane amounts of muscle. what does that mean exactly? 'underworld' had an interesting soundtrack (what happened to puscifer anyway?), 'the hulk' had some interesting filming (it's supposed to look like a comic book right? but thanks to jennifer connelly it just reminded me of requiem for a dream) and 'the league of extrodinary gentlemen' made me realise that i should have just read the comic book instead. 'cruel intentions' was also rubbish. the other film (that i finally got to see, no thanks to rosie) was 'ice age', average at best.
so because i spent so much time inside, i spent as much of today out in the sun. you ever tried buying a decent plant on febuary 14th? it ain't going to happen. i did see a mad guy on christianhavn's bridge though. he looking like he was trying to jump into the water but hadn't realised there was a barrier in the way, or that he could use his arms. he banged his head up and down while jumping, but wiith each leg out of time with the other. it wouldn't have been funny but i was listening to reggae and he looked like a fucked up raggy doll dancing to lee scratch perry.
one thing i like about copenhagen - when you're in the city and the wind blows there's always the smell of sugared and burnt almonds.
happy valentines to me.
13.02.06: the other day i had my first commission, cooking that is. we were having guests over and julie's mum wanted me to do the cooking. i figured curry for nine people was a challenge i could rise to. i was in the kitchen for over an hour and a half and it was the most stressed i've been in ages, but it was still awesome, and i even managed to resist shouting at anyone to get the fuck out of my kitchen (barely though). i did three dishes so there'd be enough food, the main being a korma styled curry, then a spicy chick pea and spinach dish and a slimey aubergine and mushroom dish (saved by the excellent tandoori spice from føtex, almost making up for their lack of fresh coriander). simmering photos:
as you can see it was success. everyone had seconds and all of it was eaten, which is better than any compliment, really. then for afters julie had made chocolate cake. and when everyone had finished eating we managed to convince them to play our house boardgame. and everyone enjoyed that so much that they kept playing until everyone had made it to 'anarchy'. a pretty successful house party.
and for the people who wanted to know:
- oil and butter (ghee in denmark?!)
- general purpose curry powder (yellowish)
- potato (parboiled)
- cauliflower (also parboiled)
- coconut milk
- tin of chopped tomatoes
- flaked almonds
- two chillis
- green peas
- other general seasoning
chick pea saag
- über garlic
- finely chopped onion
- garam masala curry powder
- three chillis
- chick peas
- seasoning stuff
- tandoori spice (the red stuff)
- tomato puree
- more random seasoning
earlier in the day we'd been for a walk in search of a second hand furniture sale. it took us all along the other side of stradsgraven and way beyond. it turns out it's in some industrial warehouse out in the sticks. this place is huge and it's full of old wood, all arranged in more tables and chairs and cabinets than you would ever imagine in a single room, if that's what you could call it. i spent our time there cursing myself for not having brought my camera. also cursing the rubiks cube that wasn't solvable, the damn thing.
the rest of the time i've been feeling pretty shitty, but more on that tomorrow.
11.02.06: i just recieved my first criminal drugs charge - possession of marijuana. isn't that amazing? we'd been walking off our breakfast around stradsgraven lake and decided to go through christiania and stop for hot chocolate. on the way into the cafe a troop of police were coming out and i held the door open for them. there was a real big dog in there, but unfortunately he isn't part of this story, so that's all there is to say about him. it's a nice day so once we been served our drinks we went back outside to sit in the cold sun. the police were hassling some angry youths but they soon went away. only, they came back not ten minutes later and started talking to us in danish. there was something like seven of them surrounding me, julie and her mom. after i didn't respond to whatever it was he said, and julie had explained to him i'm english, he said that we were being charged for possession of drugs and i was to stand up and be searched.
it's funny right? i mean, i couldn't really help but smile. it was the politest aggresion i've ever been subjected to. we were all searched, including julie's mom. my wallet was thoroughly rummaged through, my cards removed and my all personal details written down (fullname, address, cpr number, other numbers which i don't even know what they are). this was the same guy who i held the door open for, and this is how he repays me.
apparently we (or i, i'm not sure) smelt of marijuana. if you know me then you know that i know what marijuana smells like. you also know that i have a good nose, and the only good smell in christiania that morning was campfire and breakfast. needless to say, the charges were dropped. they don't have such fun laws as described by the 'criminal jusitice act' in denmark, so to be able to search you they have to charge you with something first. at least the incredulousness of the situation is more apparent, and hence more open to criticism. we were told who we could complain to, if we wished, but to be honest i can't be bothered.
he wished me a good day and i couldn't help but smile, cos he looked just like swedish nick.
anyway, sticking with the theme of vivid dreams, i killed a man last night. i stabbed him twice in the chest, once with a butter knife and once with my general purpose cutting knife. this was after i realised our mission had failed - my partner was dead in the corridor outside and the light had been left on, signalling to the approaching guard that something was very amiss. there was no escape. i lay underneath the door and tried to commit dream-suicide, i'd rather be awake than witness this. but i failed and now it was too late. he saw me but he luckily presumed that i was dead the moment his back was turned i jumped him. he span round and the knives went smoothly in. we both fell to ground and he rolled on top of me. tears ran down his wrinkled face and i could feel his fear and panic. he begged me not to kill him, to save his life. between short gasps of breathe he said i could just leave and get away. somehow this didn't feel like a dream anymore. i held the sharpest knife, which was buried deep into his right lung, and felt the resistance as i pulled it out. i thought that when was free i'd chase him up, make sure he was okay, give him whatever i could. as i ran down the corridor more security were arriving. i shouted at them about a dying man who needed assitance. i screamed that there were zombies right behind me. and in my dream, there actually were.
it's been fun just hanging out though. last night we went for dinner at a local(ish) chinese restaurant. i spent a lot of my time there being taunted by the soy sauce bottle. i had an identical one back in my first year at university. one time that me and stewart were hanging in my room he'd found it quite interesting. he picked it up and tilted the bottle to better read the label, while the contents spilled out all over my carpet. i couldn't get the smell of soy sauce out of my room for weeks. infact i don't think it ever left, i probably just got used to it.
after dinner (and a pudding of deep fried ice cream) we went for a couple of drinks. in our local bodega there was a dog with tiny tiny face, but unfortunately he isn't part of any story either. we continued drinking back at home while playing our almost-infamous board game. it was somewhere around an hour and a half before we'd finally finished, we'd all died in nuclear war and bush had been raped twice.
10.02.06: i dreamt last night that i shaved my head, so beware. it took a while because the shaver kept cutting out, and often it would just slide through my hair as if it was a hair brush (i guess my dream engine isn't advanced enough to simulate realistic hair). it looked good though, well at least aimee said it did.
i think all it means is i need to shave my face.
i also dreamt that i smashed in an ex-boyfriends new flat (which was a rather nice converted diner in the middle of town), and that mark was still alive again despite it being only in my dreams. the dreams i have of him are always this self-aware, and slightly confused. they know they're dreams but they're also no less real, and he always sounds just like him. i guess that means that i can't explain what i mean.
and it's a bit funny, because i just checked the yahoo calendar and guess what day it is today? i suppose i better go listen to dirt or something.
when i was lying in bed this morning i was thinking, if i'm ever sad it's not because i miss what i left behind. i don't miss nine hours of my day being dictated by someone else. i don't miss trying to pretend that this wasn't an exchange of my life for money. i definately don't miss being tired all day every day because of it. if i'm sad it's more likely to be because i'm not making 100% use of the now. because i'm able to do whatever i want, but i just don't know what that is. like i've been so conditioned that once i have my freedom i don't know what to do with it. that's sad.
i just noticed how smooth my elbows are. if that isn't worth being unemployed for i don't know what is. i'd love to blame it on my new turkish delight soap (okay, it's actually 'rose' - i like smelling like a girl you fuck face) but i'm afraid i can't. this is the first time in years (probably since i started university) that i've had nice elbows. but maybe i'm just getting over excited about it, who knows.
here's a photo of a dead bird to cheer you up
i also need to take back what i said yesterday about danish pricing. julie pointed out that if you buy several items the 0.05kr adds up and it will eventually be cheaper. this doesn't change the fact that it annoys the hell out of me though.
travel the world traverse the skies
09.02.06: it's been just over a year since i put tracking software on my website, so by my reckoning it's about time to have a quick review of the year. here's the most important graph, my daily returning visitors:
it's a graph that makes me very happy (although it also shows when my hosting company was messing me around). recieving high volumes of traffic is all well and good for making money, but the real satisfaction is in visitor retention - increasing my readership. maybe you're not interested in this, but who knows. i'd definately like to see an increase in the transparency of blogs, if that at all means what i mean it to mean.
now would also be a good time to apologise for giving you all cookies. sorry.
so something that's been annoying me about denmark. in england it always bugged me how things in shop are always so many pounds and 99p. it's a lame attempt at trying to make you think something is a whole lot cheaper than it actually is. here in denmark they do something similar, things are priced at things like 9.95kr or 1.90kr. the annoyance is in the fact that 0.05kr or 0.1kr doesn't exist. the smallest coin here is a 0.25kr, so the pricing is a blatant lie. it doesn't cost 19.95kr at all, it cost 20kr. but anyway, enough of me and my crap.
08.02.06: the life and times of our lovely snowman:
i had a panic shortly after we made her. i went out for photographs in the snow/rain/cold/shit, my camera wrapped in a teatowel to protect it from the elements, but all it did was flash a weird light that i hadn't even notice before. it just wouldn't take a photograph. i left it somewhere warm and dry while we went out for drinks, but i just couldn't enjoy myself while i was worried about my camera (apart from the conversation about hypercubes). turns out i'd set it on timer and it was fine after all.
today we finally went to the 'candy megastore' in town, whose name conjours such a horrific and differing image to its relatively posh facade (it actually has a red carpet leading up to the door). it's possible that it's the best sweet shop i've been in, if not for the sole reason that the vegetarian sweets are marked. that is to say, the ingredients are included on every sweet dispenser. we bought a small selection of brown looking meat-free candies and most of them are a bit strange. one of them is like chewing on mandarin wax, while another is more like sucking on rust. it has a disturbing metallic acid taste that slowly turns into something akin to licorice.
the other cool thing that happened was i recieved an email from an american job agency. this comment made me smile, "your profile was one of the top listings on my google search, which tells me that you probably know what you're doing when it comes to search engine optimization". isn't that awesome? unfortunately, relocation to philadelphia isn't something i'm ready for. any takers?
completely unrelated, i have a few comments on the new 'v for vendetta' trailers. the infamous wachowski brothers are credited for "writing" the film and hugo weaving is starring in it, so doesn't anyone else think it's a little odd that at the end of the trailer there appears to be a whole army of v's, just as at the end of the matrix there is a whole army of agent smiths? same writer, same actor. what the fuck are these guys playing at? also i think they should take the word "uncompromising" from it, because it's clearly been very much compromised already. but nevermind.
06.02.06: so i was going to go outside today and do something adventurous, new and exciting (after having not done that yesterday), but all morning it's been snowing like there will be no tomorrow. how am i supposed to get out and
destroy change the world when i can't even get out of my front door?
i've put on so many layers that i can't even remember what i have on underneath.
at least it's not raining though, hey? infact it hasn't rained once since i got here.
the other night we watched 'eyes wide shut'. i like it but it is too long. kubrick could have nearly halved the length of the film if he didn't have every character repeat every question they were asked. once you've noticed it though, it kinda ruins the film.
so like i said, apart from making an amazing cake and doing a sunday semi-roast, yesterday i did nothing. but remember all the junk that's out the back of our house? the junk that's now buried under a few inches of snow. and remember i mentioned there were lots of photos of a woman who was apparently a model? well we have one of her photos up in our kitchen. here it is:
looks like she got raped by hitler, but what else would you expect in our house? honestly.
this is laurence signing off - buried in snow and racism/ignorance.
04.02.06: i learnt/discovered some interesting things yesterday, but after my 'experiment' last night they're all a little fuzzy now.
the first was that you can inflate you bike tyres at the cycle shop at the start of our road. it's quick, easy and free for any passerby to use. the second was yann arthus-bertrand's earth from the air exhibition in town, also free. it reminded me of our old living room, warm like that feeling you have when you wake up having just wet yourself. his photos are good (at least as good as anyone else could do with his budget), my favourite was the snowy shot from ukraine - one of the only photos they weren't selling as a postcard. the third was the turkish buffet, just around the corner from the exhibition. it's a bargain at 39kr (plus you have to buy water) and once you've ascertained the vegetarian dishes the food is wicked (new word). the fourth was 'sex beach records', the best music shop i've found yet, and the only one which had the new mogwai single (nothing but a tease for the new album).
after all this excitement we hit the studenterhuset, where i read the english paper and thrashed julie at backgammon over a pint and a coffee. later (much much later) we went over to katrina's house (kenneth's girlfriend if you keeping track - yeah, but does it have a "h"?) for a mini-party. i'd have parties all the time if i lived next to such a colourful sex shop. nice little apartment though - art prints and the spinach vege lasagne looked amazing. so here begins my 'experiment', which involves getting as drunk as possible without touching that cheap beer and seeing how i feel the next day. i did indeed get very drunk. i was sitting in a kebab shop on strøget at four in the morning when the world began to spin. apparently when i got home i wouldn't come to bed because i was listening to avril lavigne. this morning i felt fine (apart from the lack of sleep).
i cooked a full breakfast, we checked out the recycling depot (finding a number of pots and a nice bottle) and caught the metro to the amagerfælled nature reserve to incite some antics. photo casestudy follows:
bullrushes and kungfu. rock and roll.
and if i ever hear that fucking 'kungfu fighting' song ever again it'll be too soon.
02.02.06: so i was wondering the other day, are there people out there who compose their blog in the voice of carrie bradshaw? when they're thinking about what they're going to write, speaking it out loud in their head (i know that doesn't make literal sense), is it sarah jessica parker's voice they're hearing?
the thought cracked me up.
yesterday i found out that amager (where we live) has a beach. it's man-made and it only opened last year, but it's a beach none the less. so today we cycled over to check it out. although it probably isn't the best time to appreciate a beach, what with it being freezing and overcast, but beaches just shouldn't be this grey. and it's not soley the fault of the weather. there's three huge concrete bomb shelters spaced out along the beach, and the sand looks like crushed gravel. the horizon is equally bleak, to the left is a large industrial complex billowing smoke into the sky, and out to the sea is a wind farm (which looks cool as fuck). we threw some ice about and watched the ducks before leaving. i might wait for it to warm up a bit before returning. photoraphic evidence:
after messing with those pictures i can't even remember if it was anywhere near that grim, i'm sure it wasn't.
and incase you havn't noticed yet, we have a house blog.
01.02.06: i woke up this morning after more dreams about people dying (or being dead) than i can ever remember having. myself, i died in a plane crash because the runway was too small, but this was minor.
you may have heard about the current danish/muslim public relations disaster. who would have known that i'd end up moving to such a farcical country. when a major newspaper asks people to produce their own drawings/charicatures of mohammed then you have to worry. why the blatant antagonism? (as questioned by the some of the wiser drawings submitted - they weren't all offensive to islam). anyway, there were rumours circulating that a bunch of nazis were going to burning the quran in rådhusplassen today, so obviously we had to go over there to beat on some nazi punks. however, when we arrived at the square there was nothing but reporters and news crews. every other person had a camera and they were pointing them. it was so hollow.
while we were waiting for the action to hot up we decided to take a toilet break in the nearby burger king (they must be loving the mcdonalds advert that crowns their building). climbing the stairs we were overtaken by two police officers who went infront of me into the toilet. for a minute i thought there might be a 'scene' going on, but they just wanted to piss like everybody else. the big guy stood at the urinal with his legs spread wide. i wanted to take a photo so bad. and i'll tell you what, neither of them washed their hands. that's right, the danish police are dirty.
last night, when the boys had finished with their exam, we went out for a couple of beers at the 'hotel amager'. excluding the usual arguments about the internet and talk of fourth dimensions, we were discussing the worst invention for humanity, as proposed by the ecologist (2500 words only). i was going to write about this conversation and the various things that were suggested (mine of varying stupidity including: copyright, flags, the wheel, refridgeration, money [more as an abstract concept] and religion), but an empty bottle of white wine says that i can't be bothered.
that is what's called capturing the moment.
and my curry (with a dahl based side for the first time ever) was better than yours.
31.01.06: for a few days now there's been the most amount of garbage outside our backdoor. i say "garbage" but it's more like someone jetisoned their whole apartment into the courtyard below. yes, like a chapter from fightclub. there's a full sofa suite, broken up beds, cabinets and drawers. there's carpets and suitcases, computers and swivel chairs, light fittings and tins of paint - everything a modern apartment might need. you can see from the photo quite how much junk there is:
being the scavengers and recyclers that we are (practising for the future innit) we've been rummaging through it on and off, but until today we hadn't really discovered anything excited. it was just useless and dirty crap. but those soggy cardboard boxes actually contain peoples lives. they contain things you wouldn't suddenly decide to throw away one day. there are family photo albums, of holidays and weddings (and modelling sessions, weirdly enough). there are bad paintings and video8 cassettes, full of unknown and intriguing secrets (or probably bad holiday movies).
this pile of rubbish has a story. it is its own mystery. who are these people and what happened to them? the most exciting discovery (and it was a slow one) was the army gear. we have the beginnings of an army surplus store on our doorstep. it all belonged to one 'mogens raff', who served with the un in cyprus. we now own his boots, his jumpers and shirts (complete with un army patches), his beret and his bags. we even have his id card and his un flag, which is now hanging outside our house. one of my favourite finds was a un badge (a bit like blue peter badge but way cooler).
my mind is still racing as to how all these people (in the photographs etc) fit together. we have the army boy, the model woman, the mullet man, the married couple, the woman whose birthday it was in 1994:
and where are those two kids now?
who would live in a house like this?
30.01.06: i'm putting on moisturiser like it's nighttime camo-paint. and when i eat i have to cut my food up proper tiny because my lips are so dry that it hurts to open my mouth too wide. the danish must get through so much chapstick.
had omlette for breakfast, which you can cut up well small. it might even have been my best omlette yet. i've always loved them but too many restuarants/cafes seem to think that runny undercooked omlette is good, it isn't. the first omlette i ever had was filled with cheese. i must have been very young because i remember thinking the ladies was the toilet i was supposed to use, because i definately wasn't "gentleman" and "ladies" began with the same letter as my name. that omlette was my favourite thing ever. but when i asked my mum what it was what was in it she said "egg". so everytime we went out i always asked for "omlette with egg". my parents must have thought i was pretty stupid, but really it was their fault all along. anyway, my omlette this morning tasted just like that one.
photos from the other day (and yes it was that bright):
"if we can resist our passions it is more due to their weakness than our strength" - joan of arc
29.01.06: the rest of yesterday was mostly watching films. i finally got around to watching 'the brothers grimm'. some of the filming is gorgeous (those jeunet colours and contrasts), but to be honest i was a bit disappointed, sorry terry. it just wasn't worth watching. the other film i half watched was 'sleepy hollow', which is startlingly similar. perhaps i should use the word "identical". they have so much in common that i can't believe we watched them in a row accidently.
which reminds me, i finished 'half life 2', the other day. it was good but i don't see what all the excitement and fuss over the physics engine was about. i mean, i played trespasser (and liked it, you philistine brute) back when it came out in 1998 and there's nothing valve have done that wasn't in that. it's not new so don't be so impressed. it's not "ground breaking", it's just been done well is all. what else i like about it is the eastern european architecture, the civilian protection (shouldn't they be citizen protection?), the mechanical expanding walls and its grant morrison style self awareness (although it's way too subtle). the mechanical border wall things were especially chilling.
earlier today we went to watch a battle of the bands that a cousin of julie and emil was playing at. it was mostly bad, but some of it was interesting enough to stop me from getting bored. there were more kids with laptops than you would have imagined. i got hopeful when one of them was wearing a gasmask, but all it did was invite disappointment when he finally played. it was aphex twin with less complicated beats, and would have been good if i wasn't expecting a teenage riot. thom could show them an analogue thing or too.
now we're watching pretty woman..
28.01.06: when you drink beer that costs 15p a bottle, the price you pay is the next morning. but everything is fine now after being out for a couple of hours. we set out to go to the recycling depot but ended up all the way over in christiania.
we found a snowy path that led to the stradsgraven lake, which is now completely frozen over and covered with a fresh layer of snow. we'd been talking a lot about walking on ice, and the thought of falling through it is terrifying, so instead of taking the bridge we crossed gingerly across the frozen lake. there were plenty of footprints over it already, but it was proper exciting. i honestly don't think i've ever walked across a lake before. i felt like jesus (i just made that up). we walked right past the boat in this photo, it frozen hard in the ice. we climbed up the slope on the opposite side and then down into christinia for tea and hot chocolate. they've made sculptures out of the snow and some of the plants have an ice coating around their branches (at its thickest about 3cm diameter).
we sat in one of the bars drinking (it was an awesome hot chocolate) and i slowly recovered from last night, which i'll tell you about in a minute. the toilets were roofed with a fish tank. it's cool but i have to feel sorry for the fish - if i was drunk i'd probably be pretty tempted to knock on the glass. the bar was also full of amazing dogs. the albino pitbull was particularly scary. after this we walked back over the lake towards home, stopping briefly on the island in the middle (you can see it here). halfway across the ice changed slightly and we got too scared (or maybe sensible) to continue, so we took the path instead. "under isen hun var under isen".
yesterday was this good too. we started with open air ice skating and i wasn't as bad at it as i remembered (but still far from adequate). it was too exciting and after about an hour i was knackered. all that balancing was getting to my back, but skating round and round in the fresh air, the sun bright and warming in the clear sky, i didn't care at all. and then to celebrate being so fucking cool we had hot waffle and crepe. we walked home while the sun set over the industrial horizon to the west, the blinding orange piercing through the buildings and sky, all pastel blues and pinks. huge plates of ice float underneath the bridge, like a cold and geometric armada slowly making its way out to sea. i wished my eyes were cameras.
later in the evening we played backgammon and drank the aforementioned cheap beers while listening to angry music. just after midnight we set off for stengade30 ("stoner street"), already at least four beers and a shot of absinthe up. i listened to 'guns of brixton' on the way and thought about how much i'd sacrificed for the sake of "working for the man". where does all that romance go when you cast it aside anyway? i could talk bullshit all day, but anyway. stengade30 (it isn't actually number 30) is indie as fuck, where else is still playing elastica? i'd say the crowd is eclectic too, but when i looked around mid dandy warhols there were five black and white stripey tops dancing around me. the djs downstairs were playing some amazing ambient/experimental/drumnbass/electro (fuck it, i have no idea what you call it). the song they played while i took my final piss before leaving was incredible. the song after that was apparently by 'lightning bolt'.
now i'm exhausted and i fancy stuffed peppers.
26.01.06: the nicest day, i swear. it's been so bright out it's amazing. it's a wonder why the snow doesn't all melt and we're flooded out of house and home. we'd have to go live with the french family upstairs. it is melting though, when you walk down the street you see snow fall from roofs. it kind of looks like when a horse shits. the snow just misses people like slapstick. when it isn't falling it drips like it's actually raining. that can be quite a pisser for the pedestrians, but today we were out on our bikes.
we went out for a bit of adventure and some 'graphing (no, that's why i used that word). what's difficult about taking photos in scandinavia is the sun is always low in the sky. sometimes when you're cycling along a street you can't even see the curb (okay that only happened once, but still).
since the only thing people seem to know about copenhagen (excluding christiania if you're cool) is that it has a mermaid. at first i thought it'd be a fountain or something, but it's actually a bronze statue of a woman perched atop a rock. she sits quietly, dismissing the tourists. instead she stares out to sea. she's cleary yearning for the ocean, but tied to that rock she'll never reach it. it's beautiful in its self awareness and tragic loss.
tomorrow - ice skating in the town centre.
25.01.06: i was toying with idea of changing the name of my site to "letters from lapland", but that would be wrong for so many reasons.
anyway, many people have told me i need to do something about my anger (control it, manage it, sort it out, whatever). these are fair comments, but that's exactly what i'm doing right here. when i write about something the anger dissipates. actually it's not that simple, and the other day is a perfect example. i wrote about what was making me angry but i didn't really want to broadcast it (i'm not that stupid). but leaving it like that, it just didn't work. so i guess writing as an act in itself isn't enough. i have to release the little snapshots of rage. and then i feel better.
i'm not an attention seeker, i promise. no really. honestly.
here are some photos of things in the snow:
so i was listening to chris t-t on radio1 the other night (weren't you?) and i fell in love with the mugstar song 'my baby skull has not yet flowered'. maybe cos it reminds of the start of that prodigy song but then doesn't go all shit. their other songs might be rubbish, but i don't know that yet, and until i do - whatever. and mogwai and melt banana playing in tokyo together, could there be a more perfect gig? (yeah, probably that one in brighton that they cancelled).
24.01.06: anyway, apart from causing trouble (mostly for myself) i've been doing plenty of things. a few nights again i braved the freezing outside to take some photographs of our house and courtyard, all beautiful in the snow like. it was so cold that most of the photographs came out shivering and numb. i took some more the following morning. so, this is where i live now:
then this morning i saw my first yellow snow. at first it's kind of funny, "don't eat yellow snow", but then it's just kind of horrible. i mean, yellow snow? it's gross and it's everywhere. i hate dogs. and their yellow snow.
in denmark we have seven elevens (but at least we don't have subways and starbucks) and the adverts in their window show a huge hotdog with the words "hot tilbud". any normal person trying to learn the language would presume "hot tilbud" is something to do with hotdogs right? (why does everyone here love hotdogs anyway?). but actually tilbud means "offer", so make sense of that. anyway, this will explain my bizarre use of the "hot tilbud", as in "lets go in and pick up some hot tilbud".
i bought some awesome peanut butter from irma. ever since we went to the english shop and this girl bought some sunpat i've craved peanut butter. sunpat is rubbish, but this stuff is crunchy yet buttery smooth. it is a thing of beauty. i made my first cheese and peanut butter sandwich of the year and all julie could say is "that is not for eating".
and about what i wrote yesterday (which i actually wrote on friday when i was still seething), it wasn't directed at anyone in particular. it wasn't a personal attack. and i totally understand exactly the same would have happened at any company (although perhaps the bonus wouldn't have been so generous huh?). oh, and this isn't me taking back my comments, btw. the things i do when i'm angry..
23.01.06: the other day of course, the estate agent trouble wasn't the only thing that ruined my day. it turns out that my old employers decided not to give me the share of the quarterly bonus that i'd spent the last three months (but three days) happily thinking that i was earning. how could i forget that the people who run companies don't actually give a shit about their employees once they've left. that the bonus was probably in four figures isn't the point. it makes me wish i hadn't bothered to put all of that extra effort in before i left. actually it makes me wish i hadn't made an effort at all. after all the stress and late nights getting my campaigns up-to-date so i could hand them over clean, and after what i thought was a damn good two years work, it's somewhat of a kick in the teeth.
and if the bonus isn't worked out "pro rata" (whatever that means) then how come my first bonus was a third of what everyone else recieved? anyway..
just sour grapes and all that, of course.
22.01.06: when you go out dancing in copenhagen you get back really late (outside of england they work to a different clock). the problem with this is that you also get up really late the next day. and in denmark when you're not out of bed by 2pm you only have two hours of the day left. but for now at least, the sun is shining bright in my eyes and it's wonderful.
it (the last couple of days) is mostly all a blur, like just a random bunch of events or tiny moments. like watching the girl copying me making a heart in the snow with my boot. was she seeing if it was really that easy? or a small kid try and climb over the small (but giant) bank of snow to get on the bus. or watching kids sledding next to a frozen pond, one of them repeatedly stabbing the ice with a stick to see if he could break it. i felt sorry for the sleds that had slipped out into the middle of the pond, no one dared try to retrieve them.
back a few days, we were supposed to go to salsa but in the end it was cancelled. i could never salsa anyway. instead we made fajita, drank beer and played dictator top trumps. i invented four player backgammon (coming to a website near you soon). and then we did a mini pub crawl around the block. the local pubs are friendly enough (well, apart from one rude woman. oh she was just drunk) but they are very local. they also have dice. emil taught us moya (spelling pending) and i taught them perudu. between our house and the pub, the pub and bar and the bar and our house we had some gruesome snow fights. i mean, how could you resist pelting someone with a hard ball of crushed and compressed ice? it feels like you're reclaiming your childhood, but really you're just reclaiming the snow. we'd have bitter snow fights like this back home if only we had half the chance. my fondest memory is of me and julie rolling in the snow while emil kicked snow in our faces. you just can't get that shit out of your hair. once we got in i was itching and burning. snow is awesome.
although, the other night we were walking back from the shop and a pram had been left by the side of the road. i wouldn't have noticed it wasn't for the crying baby. there was no one about, and it was the strangest thing. we waited a while and then knocked on the shop (or whatever that was) the pram was infront of. it turns out the parents were just inside, but still.
yesterday we took a trip to the statens museum for kunst (it means art, sheesh), which is where we saw all of the sledging. the old brick neoclassical building has been dragged backwards by your typically awesome contemporary scandinavian architecture. these guys know how to impress, with functionality and aesthetics. the only thing missing was my camera. the art there is good too, if not a little in excess - some of the walls are four paintings high. it's a brilliant collection though.
later that night we went over to katrine's flat to watch some strange norwegian advert award. actually, that wasn't why we went. but we drank some wine and ate some popcorn and drank some beers and ate some peanut kim's. their bathroom smells of grapefruit, but i thought it was pineapple. something like that. it was already late when we finally left for stengade30, a hot and dingy but decent club. it was good to dance to 'never let me down' again, and not many clubs would mix the cure, the smiths and mia. it was awesome, and there were two rooms we didn't even go in (although it might have just been one). i got to the point where if i stopped dancing i'd have to leave and we left shortly afterwards. we had to wait a while for the night bus but it meant we got to eat cheap and tasty pizza.
which reminds me, i also found out that the beer we drink costs 1.5kr a bottle, roughly about 15p. it's tasty enough, but the price explains why your head doesn't quite feel perfect the morning after.
and you'd love the pavements when they're nothing but snow as well.
21.01.06: i was going to write some more about the snow, but instead i have to write about my hindu cow. how it's calm and sedate. how it's been lying motionless in the mud and molasses since rigor mortis finally settled in. how it beset and trampled to death its friends and family (joy, forgiveness and empathy) in a violent and bloody rage before lambasting itself in a grim scene involving all kinds of swear words and blunted tools. how it will be sorely missed. etc.
there is no god.
okay. so, i've made a few assumptions which i will deal with later, but the facts go something like this:
- i spent many hours repairing and repainting the house before we moved out (and we all know whose fault this was)
- all of our keys were handed back to our estate agent, and as jess will testify we were very strict about who had one (sorry about that)
- when our estate agent went to inspect the house his key wouldn't let him in
- on returning to the house he discovered "dirty squatters living there now"
- simona lied about leaving the country
so this is the paragraph that contains my assumption.
was she not satisfied with the damage, anger and trouble that she'd already caused?
did she have to return to destroy the house even further? was i not fucking angry enough?
if you see her in the street i want you to rip her fucking lungs out. and i want
pictures. i want to watch her gasping for breath in the gutter. i want to see the last slight
glimmer as it leaves her eyes forever.
give me another chance and my vengence will be more than mere words.
seriously though, a lot of my friends are squatters. but if any of them are involved with this i'm never talking to them nicely ever again. they can go to hell. and i hope they appreciate the fact that i didn't presume, or even think for a minute, that it'd be them. it may have seemed like a good idea at the time but it's completely fucked up what was an already difficult situation for us.
i'm not sure how we are supposed to prove this wasn't our fault, especially if it has anything to do with that fuck from italy. but with our deposit in jeopardy and a potential blacklisting (which obviously doesn't bother me so much) it's kind of important.
20.01.06: the snow really picked up last night. by midnight it was proper billowing. it was quite exciting. but now it's just cold. even more.
after writing yesterday we went to the studenterhuset again. i well like that place. and not just because of the continuous coffee. on one of my many trips to the toilet i noticed a couple playing backgammon. i got all excited and a few minutes later emil had fetched us an oversized board from the bar. it had the sexiest black and white counters. he beat my twice. then later that night we decided to make our own backgammon board from a huge cardboard box and several egg boxes. i named all my pieces, my main men are chuck, othello, chipper and linus. they're good at taking up the rear, while samson and judas are good at securing the frontline. i love this game.
also at the studenterhuset were drunken butterfly. they practice in a little room underneath, all covered in carpet and egg boxes. they play this epic post-indie noisey rock. rawk, whatever. it was good but we had to leave after twenty minutes (one song) for falafel. damn this place looks amazing in the snow. but perhaps anywhere would.
19.01.06: outside, tiny flecks of snow are trying to make my nose cold. en masse perhaps, but own their own they are nothing. they'll never settle. the snow that fell when i arrived here three weeks ago is still lying around in lonely and dirty clumps. i wager there's ice worms leaving deep inside them. they've made their homes there and they'll be damned if they're going to lose it now. that or it's consistently freezing.
not last night, but the night before, me emil and lars went out to some bar in town. what i heard was "the moose", but it could have been called anything. it was weird because we left at about 11pm after watching some film about the war ("they're making films about the var"), and this place closed at 7am. it was cheap, smokey and the walls were covered in graffiti - so much so you could barely tell what colour the walls were supposed to be. none of it was that great, but i liked the look y'know.
then yesterday, after the previous night of beer, cranberry vodka and cherry wine (at least i've finished the bottle now) i got up really late. and only to continue my sleeping on the couch in the lounge. we then toddled across town to meet tobias and had our first band practice, at his school (a little strange). the equipment was lousy but it didn't really make difference as we didn't have any songs and i don't exactly know punk. our drummer was awesome though, and it was a reasonable start. now we (more like emil) has to write some songs.
last night i dreamt that i went home for two days. i hung out with some younger girls (they were a friend's sister and her friends, i said i'd look after them) and then at 5:45 i had to rush off to visit dave's comics before it closed. i only had fifteen minutes and i just couldn't find it, which kind of makes sense because it's in brighton not rugby. i found it just in time though, in the place that it would be if it was in rugby (in terms of the town layout and me walking from school/work to home). why i dream of comic book shops i don't know.
i guess i should mention i registered myself today. it was mostly harmless and i'll have my card and forms in ten working days. oh the joys of coming from a priviliged nation.
also i bought one of this embossing label maker things. you know what i mean? it was about 30kr but i figure i can stick labels on everything so i know what they're called in danish. also i can create instant stickers for non-damaging use on "public" property.
blah blah sku blah
17.01.06: i didn't think i was actually going to get up this morning. it just wasn't going to happen. but then emil wanted to meet us at the student house in town and leaving the house to go to some interesting sounding cafe is reason enough. it's a nice place with cheap but small cups of nice coffee. we kind of revised (well, i was reading bukowski) but kind of just talked rubbish. it was just what i needed.
we left at about half two (i had got up late) and went to 'abigails', the english food shop. it felt kind of weird and it was mostly full of stuff i'd never normally buy, although they did have green's cheescake making kit. gross. i bought some expensive cheddar (smoke with garlic) and we left for the place i'm supposed to register at, only to find it was closed.
the cycle home was cold and horrible, although i kind of enjoyed it. then we had to go shopping and i put a whole load of effort into making an awesome curry. i think it was worth it.
this makes me want to go dress up in cardboard boxes and go fight bad guys. it also makes me want to run around wearing bad 80's clothes and play squealing guitar. it makes me want to watch transformers all over again and love every minute of it. i want to leap evil robots, guns blazing, triumph and defeat. i've got the touch, i've got the power.
16.01.06: for a while now i've been wanting to write about the bottle recycling machines. i'm not sure i can do it without repeating the words "awesome" and "amazing" over and over again, but i guess i could at least try.
nearly every supermarket here has a bottle recycling machine, and until we used one a few days ago i'd never paid them much attention. they're about the size of a large arcade machine and uglier - they don't exactly ask to be looked at. but they are a marvel. at the centre of the front panel is a tunnel floored with a conveyor belt. you put you bottles on the belt and they're taken to what looks like a recycling disco. red lights and mirrors. it's a proper party.
they take all types of bottles - glass, plasic and metal (cans). the machine decides which your bottle is and pushes it left or right. if you put in a bottle it doesn't take then it returns it to you. it even knows if you've put a bottle in the wrong way. each bottle you recycle you're given 1kr (about 10p). for more money you can recycle a crate, and this is where the genius is. you place your crate of empty bottles into the bottom of the machine and it works out exactly what's in it and gives you the correct money. it's a quick way to earn about three quid. this is why if you're out drinking in denmark you don't put your bottle in the bin, you leave it on the street for a homeless person.
it's a near perfect system and i can't believe i've never seen it before. people recycle so much because there's such a good incentive. we earned over 100kr when we took last weeks bottle to netto. i guess we have been drinking a lot though.
15.01.06: after finishing audrey's book i feel a bit lost. i just read through the full lifetimes of two people and now they're gone, forever. i guess the journey was worth it, but did you have to make it quite so sad? and do you have to leave your website quite so underconstruction?
in other news, for the first time in a long time i checked my hotlinked status. i got bored after pulling 40 hotlinkers out of my logs and gave up, it's not a fight worth fighting. it is good for the ego though. although equally annoying when someone uses a huge photograph and slots it into their layout messy as fuck. why did you even bother? you're constantly stealing 100k of my bandwidth and you could at least make it look good. my personal favourite hotlinker is chelsie from ohio, who has been using my photos on a daily basis since late november. at least give me credit though, honestly. an honourable mention for excess use of my images should also go to stephen.
if only hotlinks counted as proper links, but nevermind. and just incase you don't understand hotlinking and think i'm petty because people are "stealing my pictures", it's actually not that at all. i don't mind people using my photos (giving me credit isn't even essential, although it is nice), but when people hotlink they're actually stealing other people's bandwidth. yes, stealing. it's not a copyright issue - bandwidth costs money.
14.01.06: it's just non-stop new experiences out here in denmark land, and last night was a riot (no, not literally). we started drinking at whatever time it was (these days i don't really bother looking) and played our revolutionary boardgame. some eye-popping drink mixing later and we left for ungdomshuset. we took a detour past the railway station (i was relieved to find i have a suitably interesting train station) to pick up a friend and then took another bus. for a reason that was lost in the drinking we were talking about national service, so whatever (maybe to increase the painful number of parenthesis in this paragraph i should mention that noam chomsky is pro conscription, interesting).
ungdomshuset is an occupied house here in copenhagen, much like the blitzhuset in oslo. i'm not too sure how it works as a general hang out, but they have gigs and a bar etc. and it's very punk. i've been intrigued by this place since i arrived in denmark and seeing it filled me with an almost girly excitement. it basically looks cool as fuck, which might have to do for its description, as a more accurate account isn't possible due to alcohol. in my mind it is the ghostbusters hq with political graffiti sprayed up its side and punks decorating the sidewalk and steps that lead up to the front door. it radiates awesome and bleeds alternative.
inside, the building is huge. we walk past a wide set of staircases and into a packed room that appears to be a bar. pushing through the crowd, past the bar and a record stall, there's another room at the back and this one has a stage. it's dark, dingy and green and spider webs hang down from the ceiling (is this because it's friday 13th). i don't think i've stopped grinning since i arrived, i'm still grinning when i'm going for a piss a few minutes later. the toilet is even further back into the building and it's packed. walking in i'm trying to remember every little detail that i see. the sink is a trough full of water and random shit. above it is a huge star shaped mirror and opposite that an identical star is cut out of the only wall that reaches the ceiling. this whole scene is black and red and noisey with the background chatter of a language i don't understand. in the mens half the cubicles have curtains instead of doors and i can see there are two people behind the first. in the second cubicle a guy is shoving a spikey thing into the bowl. they're laughing about it, whatever it is. the tiles above the urinals are plastered with graffiti and stickers, it's a beautiful and destructive mess. i don't know if it's the alcohol that is doing this but everything is fascinating. and amazing.
there's another few floors of this, which include a huge gig room complete with balcony (although tonight it's off limits). the beer is cheap at 12kr a bottle and it ain't that bad either. at least, it wasn't at the time. i should also mention that it's organic beer. can you even buy organic beer in an off license that cheap in england?
tonight there are a few punk bands playing and the headliners are a misfits cover band. they might be called "meat fist", but they might be meat something else entirely. they come on and it's loud, violent and friendly. i havn't enjoyed a gig like this for a long time. abrasive punk is my new rock and roll.
i don't know how late ungdomshuset stays open (i'm guess they don't have licensing laws to abide by?) but we left after the band had finished and got home pretty late. like i said, i didn't really look at my watch.
today my neck really hurts.
13.01.06: on the way into town the other day we had attempted to join a protest outside the parliment building against this christian called moses hansen (nice sweater, dude). since you probably can't read that article, he was preaching that "jesus is alive" and "mohammed is dead" - "we wish to see the spirit of islam condemned and moslems one and all turn to faith in jesus christ and thereby become harmonic people who stop murdering and hating", the fucker actually said this. unfortunately we'd got the wrong location (or day, depending on how you look at it). he was actually outside parliment yesterday, so we went there again and this is the story of my first protest in denmark.
we turned up outside the parliment at about 4pm and it was already beginning to get dark. moses (sorry, i can't seriously call him that) was already setting up his banners and lighting his candles. also infront of the parliment is a permanent protest stand against the war in iraq. it has been there every day since the war started five years ago. it is always manned by two people and their rainbow flags. they're very friendly. i went over to ask them if there's a nearby toilet (because if anyone knew it'd be them). there's one just over the road but it costs 2kr. the woman was so kind she even gave me the 2kr. she also told us about the danish social forum that is happening at the start of next month.
we stood around in a small group of people for a while and then decided to go buy a crate of beer, which we begin to drink as soon as were back at the protest (which hasn't really begun to begin yet). there is a police van here and a couple of police wandering about but they're unthreatening and don't even have video cameras, imagine that. one guy cycles up with several thermos flasks of hot tea and coffee for everyone and another guy walks around with a stereo backpack playing various punk music (and scatman, like you needed to hear it again). so far it feels more like a tiny street party than a protest, and we're standing at quite a distance from mr.moses.
slowly more people begin to arrive, and actually this is the story of my first and second protest in denmark. because there is another (and bigger) protest happening here at the same time. this one is about a vietnamese girl that has been living in denmark for about three years. her mother had sent her to denmark as a refugee while she had to go to russia and be a prostitute (or some equally horrible story). now she's 18 she no longer gets asylum from denmark and is being deported. a van drives up and they unload several cardboard boxes and a soundsystem. the boxes are full of flares and they're passed amongst the crowd. soon everyone has a flaming stick. it's beautiful in a "burn the witch" kind of way, and at a distance you can see the smoke merge and billow up into the sky. i walk about feeling extremely flammable. i also feel guilty since it was only that morning that i recieved my own residence permit. what is this, one in one out?
as this is clearly a more worthy cause than the original protest we had planned, poor moses in the corner over there is getting no attention at all. since i can't understand what the speakers are saying anyway i go over and talk to him. i figure it can't be hard to get one of them to say something controversial and i can start an arguement. it doesn't go too well, i know nothing about mohammed or this guys crazy crusade. the word "narrowminded" is on the tip of my tongue but it never quite comes out. instead this guy puts his hand on my shoulder and prays to god for my soul, while the dude next to him shuts his eyes and rocks his head, inaudible syllables coming from his mouth. i thank them but forget to ask what they think of our protest. an even slightly bigoted or racist reply would have satisfied, but these fuckers are too watertight.
as the gathering wound down a few people created a small fire from several flares and some cardboard. a police woman came over and stomped it out, her smile didn't drop once. it's weird y'know, in england we would have been surrounded by walls of police (and video cameras), but here there are only a few. one thing i did learn though, you can't cover you face at a protest, no matter how cold it gets. it's a shame cos i like looking like a terrorist. sometimes i even scare myself.
by the time we left we we're nicely drunk. people were staring at us in the grocery store as we argued over the cheese. i like being able to drink in the street, but i don't like constantly needing a piss.
i'm drinking too much tea, this is julie's fault.
12.01.06: this morning i recieved my first mail. it was a letter, a good one. it's from the overpræsidium and it's entirely in danish. they know i don't understand danish, but yet they write to me in it anyway. it is a test, obviously.
what it says is i can stay here for five years provided that i can support my 'family'. so there will be none of me signing onto the danish dole.
yesterday i learnt two important things. the first was where my new local comic shop is. i've finally found the store that can cover for dave's comics in its absence (or in my absence). they have basics down. they're up to date with everything i'm reading (dmz was even sold out, figure that) and they have a few interesting books that i've never seen before. steph could still teach them a thing or two though, they've seperated the trades from the creators but then simply put them all in alphabetical order. how am i ever going to find what i'm not sure i want yet? and they're all spine on, with none of the covers on display. it's not the most customer orientated shop floor but i'm happy it's there.
i bought rusty brown cos it looks gorgeous and i dreamt about it, and also the penny-arcade one shot, because, well.. i don't know. i just couldn't believe they'd released an actual comic. unfortunately it's not that good. don't get me wrong, i used to enjoy penny-arcade back in its early days, but i don't need it demonstrating how bad it was compared to the current incarnations of gabe and tycho. it just looks wrong. hats off to those guys though, it must be a pretty exciting venture for them.
i can't remember what the second thing i learnt was, so i guess it wasn't important.
as well as finding a decent comic store i also found my old favourite cereal (cruncy bran) in a netto around the corner, my favourite soap (and tea and waffles) in a shop down the road, but nowhere that sells my biros. where can i get a decent bic? someone who knows which type i like will have to send me some, remember i'm aggresively picky with my pens. this is the little darling (and that page is only funny because it's painfully true. except i'd never lose a 'cap' because then they leak. no cap means the bin). it is a beautiful pen.