At this point in your Euro trip, you’ve find yourself really looking forward to the train rides to your next destination: you get your own comfy seat with a power-point to comfortably watch Breaking Bad while drinking beer and eating chocolate.
Your Copenhagen hostel was booked completely last minute with less than average reviews on Hostelbooker.com, so you’re a bit apprehensive as you walk through what the guide maps will call “the alternative side of town.” Ignoring the fact that there are more than a few groups of strange men huddling around together, your hostel is situated in a bohemian hub of blaring music, street-art, cafes and about 10 kebab shops. You spend your first night in Copenhagen in a dingy café chain-smoking ad listening to music while stalking people on Facebook. The café is welcoming and effortlessly shabby-chic: the walls are covered with worn posters and graffiti, plus there are odd vintage pieces scattered around the rooms, lit with candle and fairy lights. The rickety furniture looks like they were found on the side of the road, and the cheap blankets only add to the already tired look of the indie café. Feeling a bit ill only after one glass of wine, you opt for hot chocolates while listening to an odd combination of Usher, Tom Waits and Depeche Mode.
The next day you gratefully meet a pair of Czech boys in your dorm, and spend the day waltzing around Copenhagen exploring the city. At 10am in the morning, the first thing you do is buy beer at the local supermarket costing you only $6 for 3 beers. Fan-bloody-tastic. You head over to the infamous Tivoli Park – an amusement park that has recently been re-designed for Christmas. You are now entering a winter wonderland: lights and decorations and Christmas trees are dotted around the park, each one gleaming with Christmas joy. (i)
(i) I’m writing this having had 3 hours sleep and am rather hung over, so kindly excuse any spelling errors or crap phrases like that one.
After the amusement rides and overpriced candy, you visit the national museum which – although free – turns out to be pretty dull. You head to the tourist must-see of the Round Tower, where you stumble upon an antiquarian book swap-meet, where you’re surrounded by first edition copies of Darwin, Newton, and signed anthologies from such rock stars as Alan Ginsberg and Anthony Burgess. Most books average from 10,000 EUR to 200,000 EUR, so you’re unable to indulge in any purchases.
The next day you take advantage of a New Europe Free Tour of Copenhagen, whereby a spritely Irish bloke takes you and a group of travellers around the city, telling quirky stories about the beautiful town. Even across the other side of the world, you inevitably meet some Aussies – it turns out they are EVERYWHERE – and you gladly spend the rest of the day hunting down cheap pizza and talking with obnoxiously loud Australian accents.
That night, you visit a small town in Copenhagen called Christiania – a hippy community that begun in the swinging sixties that holds no overpowering government and their own special rules; one of those rules being the legalization of weed. You walk into the unique town, entering a green plume of smoke as you walk through the infamous weed markets. Amongst the clatter of ordinary, cheap market rubbish, are hearty bags of weed with cheesy names such as “Zombie” and “Lemon Haze”. Indulging yourself in a gram of “Lemon Haze” – it’d be rude not to – you and your fellow Aussie mates head back to their hostel to eat candy watch YouTube, because what else do you do when you’re stoned?
After sharing just barely one joint with two others, you find yourself pathetically high as a kite. Assuming that this is due to the fact that you’re a semi-weed-virgin, you try to act cool until you realise that the other guys are completely stoned as well – strong stuff in Copenhagen! All of a sudden Oreos with peanut butter is a fucking brilliant idea, (ii) and the next dizzying part of the night is spent in silent munchies with the odd bursts of giggles (mostly from you).
(ii) I can’t recommend this highly enough.
At some point, someone jokingly dares Steve to eat an entire jar of peanut butter in 30 minutes; what ensues next is what feels like an hour – but was probably about 15 minutes – of arguing about what who will get what in return for eating the congealed, nutty paste. (iii)
(iii) Seriously guys – you should have just bought him a freaking cheeseburger!!
Finally Steve mans up and starts to force down spoonful after spoonful of slimy peanut butter. Each mouthful looks like it’s causing him serious pain, but the humiliation of not finishing the challenge is too great a risk – so he respectfully finishes the jar. You dread to think how he’s going to feel in the morning.
Feeling sleepy you stop off at McDonalds for greasy goodness before you start your long journey back to your hostel. Feeling more sober now you confidently walk the single, straight path to your destination, then manage to get completely disorientated on said straight path – so you’re not all that sober.
The next day you’re rudely awakened by the fact that you have to check out before 10am – but it doesn’t matter when you get to sleep it off on the lovely train to Hamburg!