The Danes

This morning I got dressed in black leggings, relatively short casual skirt, black boots, black shirt, baggy rainproof coat. Took myself out to the streets of Copenhagen and discovered that 90 percent or more of the female population was wearing at least one of these items… and my expression.

Semi-gaunt chicks with slightly rumpled hair who distance themselves until they have reason to smile. And this against the backdrop of all of Denmark. It occurred to me, hauling my rolling suitcase over the cobblestones, that Shakespeare was sort of genius to have set Hamlet here. Hans Christian Andersen couldn’t have written anything but tragic fairy tales and Soren Keirkegaard couldn’t have been anything but an existentialist. It’s June, and it rains and rains, over the gray town, into the faintly-colored lingering sunset. Pale Scandinavians in dark colors dot the landscape, more spread out and alone than in anyplace further south. In a thriving underground world, the disillusioned revel in their disillusionment at places like Club Faust.

There’s a sunnier side to the place, of course, and the children, blond-headed and angelic, cling cheerfully to each other in symbolic fraternity. At the airport, I spotted two girls of about 9 with their heads on one another, dozing hand in hand. The design seems good everywhere. McDonald’s looks like it got its furniture from Ikea (though that would not be a compliment in Europe, where Ikea is somewhat low-class).

All in all I have to say that I’m totally uninspired to do any tourism whatsoever, other than in-depth people watching and wandering at will, because this city already seems familiar (also, I’m getting a cold). I booked a trip to Sweden tomorrow, birthplace of my ancestors… the forecast says it may actually be better weather.

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