Just as I was beginning to feel like one of the family, it is time to leave Wonderful Copenhagen: we jet off, via Malmö, tomorrow afternoon to Dublin, Ireland, spend two nights there and will be in Keene, NH on Monday night ready for an early Tuesday morning workday at Yankee (if I’m in the office at 9:00 a.m. it will be 3:00 p.m. Copenhagen time; by 5:00 p.m. it will be getting close to midnight).
Last night we played host to a bunch of Copenhagen friends new and old. Catherine spent the day brewing up a wonderful feast and somehow we found enough plates and bowls and forks (and chairs) for 7 adults and 3 kids. The smoke alarm went off once, and everyone was driven crazy by the kids playing with the “fire engine with realistic siren sound.” And I think everyone had a good time. Here’s what the kitchen looked like at the end of the night:
This is why it’s a good idea to rent an apartment with a dish washer (bottom middle)!
After sleeping in late this morning, this afternoon, while I had coffee with Nikolaj, Catherine and Oliver took one last swing around the neighbourhood, had ice cream, bought a very nice knit sweater for Oliver, and started to prepare for our exit.
Around supper time we got on bus #26 and took the 20 minute ride down to Valby where we rendezvoused with Olle and Luisa at Luisa’s parents’ house. They had a lovely campfire ready for us in the garden, and dough ready for wrapping onto sticks and cooking over the hot coals (thus allowing Olle and I to live out the first practical exercise under the Open Bread banner).
We also got the chance to compare hearty Italian wine from the house cellar (Nebbiolo Brumale) with a bottle of Stormhoek Shiraz (“wine from the Internet,” generously provided the previous night by Thomas). Unfortunately for Stormhoek, after finishing the Italian bottle it tasted something like “wine flavoured water” by comparison, leaving Olle to provide the following handy visual companion to the experience:
By the end of the night we’d polished off the good wine, the bad wine, some excellent tea, lots of bread and cheese and mustard and a good portion of leftover cake from the night before:
We were lucky to have had the chance to meet Luisa’s brother Andreas, who popped over to pick up car parts and taught be a lot about the Copenhagen — Sweden real estate market and income tax regime to boot, and towards the end of the night the famous Jeppe who rolled on in as the sun was just starting to set:
The deceiving thing about being in Copenhagen in mid-June is that, at 10 degrees north of our home latitude, the days are sneakily long — it’s still twilight at 11:00 p.m. So you’re going along having a good time around the fire and before you notice what’s happened, six pleasant hours have passed. So around 10:30 p.m. we were back on the bus and heading to Oehlenschlaegersgade 5 for the last time.
Our entire Copenhagen Team have been quite kind and generous and have helped make this a memorable two weeks. Peter and Pia Brun, who rented us their apartment with my only “references” being my blog, allowed us to have a real home here in the city. Olle and Luisa took us enthusiastically under their wings, answering our quirky questions about Danish miscellania and entertaining us all the while. And Henriette, Thomas and Nikolaj have each been there at important moments to offer practical advice and friendship.
My old friend and mentor Bill Difrancesco used to preach the value of finishing up “at the top of the game” — ending a game of pick-up basketball, for example, while everyone was still enthusiastic and having a good time. We’re truly leaving Copenhagen at the top of our game, happy with what we’ve experienced, and eager to return. This is a wonderful city that we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of; suddenly making an annual spring trip here is beginning to look like a pleasant idea indeed.