today was jammed pack with both food adventures and traveling solo adventures. i did a good job of adding some spice to this entire endeavor, i guess.
i woke up around 1130a and got going around 130p. first stop was to a drug store (matas) to get some contact solution. i’ve been contact solution-free since this trip started and i’ve slept in my contacts the last 5 nights. the main problem is that while i’ve been to a few grocery stores, none of them carry contact solution. only designated drug stores do, and they aren’t open that long so i’ve put it off and missed out and finally today i said enough was enough. so i went over to matas near where i’m staying and today i learned that drug stores in denmark are really just the body shop or sephora or whatever. tons of beauty products and perfumes, and very little relationship to my corner cvs. so, that was interesting. there was one shelf of what i believe were “medical supplies”, and there i found my contact solution, and there my first goal of the day was accomplished.
most of you saw my many instagrams, but the next stop was truly great: bar’vin, around the corner from matas and from where i’m staying. the owner, nils, selects some of the best western european cured meats, and combines that with 5-6 nice cheeses, excellent bread, and over 20 bottles of wine that are available by the glass. the meal was right up my alley – cured meat and cheese with some wine almost always is – but the highlight was “the world’s best ham”: 48 month aged (!!) pata negra from joselito. it was spongy, rich, pork-y, tender… like i wrote on instagram, nils assured me that he hadn’t forgotten to serve me the jambon, i just couldn’t eat it with the rest of the things i had ordered. after having this ham, he said, everything else “would be like eating air”. while i had the ham last and couldn’t test his theory, i’m pretty sure he was right.
i ran home with my contact solution and my full belly and dropped everything off in the apartment. i rushed out the door because in about 10 minutes the arsenal game was starting and i wanted to check out the scene at the southern cross, the local liverpool+arsenal pub. i really wanted to scout the scene ahead of the liverpool game tomorrow, plus i needed to watch some sports and see what a bar in denmark is like. i’d really only been to restaurants, and there really aren’t a lot of bars at all. the ones that do exist seem to be english-themed and thus reminiscent of every place in midtown manhattan, so i was a bit wary going in.
the second thing i learned today is that you can smoke in pubs in copenhagen. yuck. stinky.
everyone in the southern cross was british and a regular, and they were none to pleased when the local danish station chose to show the stoke-man city game instead of arsenal-sunderland. honestly, i wasn’t really happy with that choice either: unless city is going to score 6 goals, they are not necessarily enjoyable to watch. they finally got a stream up about 20 minutes in (and arsenal up 1-0 already), so i stuck it out and watched the rest of the game. it was cold and wet outside and i didn’t feel like drinking shitty beer so i just sat around and talked a bit with the guy next to me and enjoyed the crap out of rosicky’s goal and when the game ended i took off. the pub was full of annoying bar people who have the same annoying bar conversations and i probably won’t be back. one of the least enjoyable things i’ve done in copenhagen, to be honest. hopefully i can find the liverpool game elsewhere tomorrow.
i wandered back home, pretty tired and ready for a nap, and as i approached the big double doors that lead into the courtyard that the apartment is off of, i realized i didn’t have my keys. i thought back and realized that i must have dashed out the door without them to make it to southern cross in time to see the arsenal game. so, thanks a fucking lot, arsenal. my keys were probably sitting on the table up in the apartment, and since the doors lock behind you here i was solidly locked out.
great, adventure time.
of course, my first move was to wander over to ved stranden 10 for a glass of wine while i figured out what my appropriate next move was. this is a pretty solid, if yuppie, wine bar and i wish i could have paid it more attention. i was tired and annoyed about the keys and i’ll need to go back there at some point before i leave. i texted alex, my airbnb’s host’s local friend, who i’m supposed to reach out to in case of trouble. he told me he was 50km away and suggested i try to use a credit card and jimmy the lock or call a locksmith.
so i called a couple of locksmiths and i tried my hand at picking my first ever lock and i found out that the locksmiths were closed and i’d make a lousy burglar. now it was around 645p and my dinner at geist was at 830p so i texted alex again: are there spare keys anywhere in the city? and alex said “i’ll come in and help you out”. a huge change of attitude and life-saving, honestly.
i got into the courtyard and i waited around and around 8p alex made it here with the keys and let me in and there were my set of keys sitting right on the goddamn table. he vanished before i could buy him a beer, but no time – i had to get ready for geist.
dressed up, walked over, and as i walked in to geist i did not see anything that resembled the menu that had me so excited. i saw a dark, trendy, snotty restaurant that was trying really hard to be a scene. my fears were confirmed when i checked in. the hostess looked at me like i was going to take up a table for 2 all by myself (which, to be fair, i was) and said “you can sit at the bar or you can wait, but it might be a long wait”. cue the jerry seinfeld bit on taking reservations versus holding reservations. i waited for about 3 minutes, looked around, and realized i was not going to enjoy my meal at geist. i compared it in my head to bar’vin earlier in the day. at bar’vin, nils walked around and spoke to everyone, and he took great care of me by picking out the wines, picking out cheeses, giving me a little extra dry-aged beef before i left, and sharing the enjoyment of the jambon with me. this place was a giant impersonal scene, and it wasn’t what i was looking for out of dinner. or really ever.
so i walked out and i looked on my phone for my email from gabe. he suggested a danish place around the corner, so i went there, only to find it closed on saturday night.
so i walked a bit further and i found myself in front of dim sum, the place i was actually originally supposed to eat at tonight. how’s that for a sign? i went in and wasn’t judged for eating alone and had an enjoyable, if rather regular meal. it was just more comfortable – i could talk to the waitress (or choose not to), it wasn’t super busy, and i could see the chef making my food. kind of the basic set of requirements for a meal alone, i think.
today was an exhausting, kind of annoying day. it’s been cloudy and rainy every day i’ve been here, the food was meh, the people were a bit subpar (but to be fair a lot of that was the fault of the english), and nothing made me happier than putting the fire on in the apartment and getting into shorts and a t-shirt. tomorrow promises to be a bit better, as i’m eating lunch at aamanns and dinner at the highly-recommended and promisingly low-key manfred’s. right now i’m going to put some more wood in the fire and read a bit more of islands in the stream and dream about 3 points for liverpool.