Copenhagen-Those Who Live In Fairy Tales
The moment our ferry touches on the continent of Scandinavia, a rush of unknown excitement came shockingly at the both of us. Maybe it is because we have been influenced and affected all our lives by magical land up in the very north for too long without realizing or that we have many friends from this place that had always felt so far away. Even on the ferry from the northern tip of Germany sailing across the channel to the southern tip of Denmark, it already felt surreal. The bleach blonde kids playing in the playground, laughing at the top of their lungs with the most innocent smiles, as if nothing else in the world had ever troubled or intruded their world. And that is true. They have been so peaceful, happy and satisfied for a very long time while the many parts of the world have suffered enough.
Our very, very friendly and considerate Danish friends have definitely made our stay incredibly pleasant and comfortable. They are one of the reasons why Copenhagen is unforgettable to me. Before, one of them heard that we were coming, she borrowed bikes for us from her family and rode three different bikes to the city everyday. Another let us stay in his perfectly cozy place inside a mansion that looks like a house for the Hobbits. Everyday, he would get up earlier than us sleepy heads and head out for groceries. And wake us up with the smell of eggs, toasts and bacon. They showed us everywhere, accompanied us and introduced us to the most local and cultural parts of Copenhagen. We are really thankful for their hospitality.
Copenhagen is neat, delicate and precious. Along the harbor, the city is built in a typical Scandinavian style simplified architecture with splashes of vibrant colors. We sat by the river next to the most recognizable “skyline” of Copenhagen along the entrance of the ocean and took a snack session. The ultramarine color water that seeps into the paths of the city, the tiny bridges and banks along the canal, modern and classical buildings on opposite sides of the city, the special sky in the nordics that feels lower but extends to a further range accompanied with the baby blue lights that remain in the horizon, the sensation of Copenhagen feels like a childhood lollipop daydream. The sweetness lingers as we explore.
We rode bikes everywhere, it felt magical. Riding bikes in a city has always been my dream. But most of the cities I have ever lived in are hilly. And biking in an European city is basically achieving my tiny little pathetic dream in an ultimate form. The brisk summer breeze is like mothers hands, ever so softly, gently tousling my hair, fingers lingering on the tip of my skin. The smell of sweets and the ocean, the flashy, old fashioned lights in one of the oldest theme parks in Scandinavia, Tivoli, with crazy rides going up and down the sky, and people screaming out of joy, mixed together, creating a very relaxing and surreal atmosphere in the city.
New hip districts are giving a new facet to this historical city. The meat-packing area in Kødbyen is a great example. It used to be the biggest meat and fish processing zone of Europe, now transformed into hip cafes, restaurants, clubs and bars with plenty of well-dressed, fashionable people hanging out. Another interesting area where youngsters go for hipster shopping or artsy cafés with a laundry service while you take your morning coffee is called Sankt Hans. We went to a very cute bubble tea place called the Mad-Hatter, where a place that was designed inspired by Alice in Wonderland would sell some pretty good bubble tea with materials imported from Taiwan. Bubble Tea culture in Europe has really surprised me this time. For that I had probably some of the most amazing bubble teas in my life in Dresden, Germany. I was fascinated and I guess this is an example of globalization.
My friends took me to a very famous area in Copenhagen called “Christiana” is an old area that used to serve as the city’s defense fort. But nowadays, it is a hippie heaven where this illusion of outlaw marijuana dealers trade almost freely and people looking for a moment of pleasure(or in some cases, a lifetime of endorsement of such pleasure) come here and enjoy good music, street art, and a good time. As soon as you enter the area, no photos are allowed to be taken. People sell weed almost out in the open even though it is still illegal in Denmark. Concerts with alternative bands play on the stage and everybody sit by the stairs leading up towards the tiny hill. Behind the hill, there is a lake with plenty of greenland. You can sit down anywhere as long as you are avoiding the urine and garbage, it is a very pleasant view with the music in the background. The atmosphere is crazily strange, as if no laws apply here. And “Christiana” call it a “Green Light District”. It is a really interesting place for that it is so bizarre. The government has been debating of tearing down this area, but the people in there simply refuse to leave their sweet cave, obviously.
Night falls. The pink, flamingo sunlight bursts out on the edge of the city. The liveliness of the city does not cool down on always-perfect summer nights. Put on a jacket and head to a beautiful place for a drink. Life seems so simple. People’s happiness are genuine, with the simplicity of a functioning socialist society and the harmony that people live in. Seemingly so trouble-free and nothing can really bother them except for their long dark winters. I have nothing to worry about as well when I am on a land this far away from home.