Monthly Archives: April 2014

April 30

Well, the great Rafa Gil has finally arrived to Copenhagen, an event he has accurately described as “landing on Pinterest”. I thought it was a brilliant way to sum up the feeling you get when you find yourself surrounded by tons of stylish people and objects, they are just everywhere you look. Anyway, we met at the Central Station and went straight home to drop his bags, refresh a bit, drink a bottle of Russian beer I had in the fridge (a present from Anna, a Russian girl from Couchsurfing that I met a month ago), put some lights on our bikes, and headed to Christiania for a new edition of Science and Cocktails, this time focusing on molecular cooking.

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The speaker was Hervé This, French Chemist and the father of molecular cooking. He talked about Note by note cooking, which basically consists of making dishes using pure compounds instead of using animal or plant tissues. An interesting idea, especially considering there’s a strong possibility we won’t have enough food for everyone by 2050. Harvé’s talk was funny and unpretentious, which is fascinating when you come to think of how intricate the core and the implications of his research are; there was this guy talking about chemical reactions, nutrition, toxicology, molecular structure and all sorts of phenomena occurring during dish preparation and consumption, in such a simple way that it was almost impossible to ignore him despite the complexity of the subject he was diving into. Maybe his presentation was a bit messy and his thick accent might have gotten in the way a couple of times but in my book, a French scientist who makes fun of French people in the audience, certainly earns the right to be messy and still can get away with it.

By the way, speaking of projected human food needs in 2050, check out this project developed at the Royal College of Arts, which explores the way we might “use technology to modify human digestive systems to exist within the limits of the environment rather than modifying the environment to meet our ever-expanding needs.” Pretty interesting stuff.

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Rafa and I had a couple of cocktails (they were called “Black Holes” – I chose them only because it reminded me of Soundgarden) and then cycled to the nearest 7-eleven to have one of those glorious hot dogs that have the sausage wrapped in bacon, one of the best ideas anybody has ever come up with. We also had one of those sausages that come inside a slightly sweet bread (I have been in Denmark for 17 months and I still haven’t been able to learn what they are called). Once we got hunger out of the way, we rode to Mikkeler in Vesterbro for some top quality micro brewed beer. We had two small glasses of Mikkeller #1, enough alcohol to get us through some deep and personal reflections about life, long-standing friendships and social dynamics. I’m pretty sure we talked about boobs at some point, too.

Mikkeler Bar

Mikkeller bar

At 1am, it felt like it was time to wrap it up and get some rest so we cycled home in the fresh Copenhagen night, trying not to get run over by many of the pissed off bell ringers that ride bikes in this city the way bad guys in Mad Max 2 would if they had fixies instead of powerful machines. However, unlike George Miller’s post-apocalyptic punk gang members, most of the people riding bikes in this city are graceful blondes in very short shorts and that, my friends, it’s an absolute game changer.

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April 29

I have spent the last few days taking it easy at home, for a change. Yesterday, Kat met me after work at Sort Kaffe og Vinyl, then we went to do some of my laundry at the launderette that’s around the corner from the coffeeshop and once my clothes were clean and fresh, we headed home to watch The Royal Tenenbaums, one of Kat’s favourite films. It was brilliant, of course, especially from the art direction and photography point of view; the colours, the locations, the wardrobe… everything was beautiful, as always. Wes Anderson seems to have some strange fetish with fingers, though. Both in this film and in Grand Hotel Budapest, there are scenes involving fingers mutilations/accidents. I wonder if it’s just a coincidence.

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A hard Sunday morning in the Copenhagenhood

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My friend Rafa has suddenly decided to come to Copenhagen for a few days and I couldn’t be more happy about it. Rafa has always been one of my favorite human beings so I’m quite looking forward to take him around town and see his face once he gets confronted by the tsunami of beautiful blondes in skirts that has been hitting the city over the last few sunny days.

This is going to be fun, fellas. Stay tuned.

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April 25

Yesterday, I went bowling for the first time in at least 6 years and let me tell you something, it was really fun. I went with Carlos, Dia, Jana and Anastasia to Bowling Dgi-byen, a nice place close to the Central Station. Carlos beat me just by 4 points but at least I managed to get 3 strikes, almost in a row, which pissed Carlos off a bit (that, of course, is a good thing).

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After bowling, Carlos and I went to Cafe Obelix for a drink and Katrine joined us shortly after (she had been in Sweden for the day on a work assignment and bought me back a little present) and we stayed there until 11pm or so, although Carlos had to leave a bit earlier to go home and pack his suitcase as he was leaving early this morning to Madrid for some high-school friends reunion in Madrid.

A really enjoyable night out we promised to repeat very soon.

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A couple of days ago, I was reflecting on how much things have changed for me in Copenhagen since I first moved here: I arrived in the middle of the cold Nordic Winter, straight to work, in a city where I basically knew no one. The first four or 5 months I spent pretty much going from my house to the office and from there back home, on my own. It was difficult to establish meaningful relationships, hard to make new friends with these people who looked like they really didn’t give a shit. It was tough.

Fast forward a year and here I am, in a much better place: quite a few good friends, a better job than the one I had before, and a sense of belonging that hasn’t quite reached the level in which I feel totally at home but that still makes me feel at ease with my surroundings. I still miss London but I think about it less and less often. In fact, Copenhagen has been growing on me lately, especially now that we have left the cold months behind and the sun is starting to grace our days up here. They are getting longer too, which means I can leave the office at 5 o’clock and still be able to make it to the nearest park and enjoy a couple of hours of sunshine, ogling at beautiful girls and enjoying the blissful atmosphere that is magically created in this city when the sun is out. It also means that I tend to wake up way too fucking early (like 5am early) because my wooden blinds are totally useless against the bright morning light but that’s a minor price to pay considering all the wonderful stuff you get in return.

What exactly is it that you get in return, I hear you ask?

Well, just picture this under blues sunny skies.

Wonderful, isn’t it? ;-)

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April 24

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Last week I went on a date with a lovely Danish girl named Katrine and it turned out to be a quite fun affair; we met at a gin bar and spent the next 6 hours having a laugh about pretty much anything: advertising, dating, awkward children’s costumes, embarrassing sex stories, Danish history, football, you name it. We just clicked. Since then, we’ve been out a few times and we always have a blast, partly because we enjoy each other’s company and partly because we seem to share the same sarcastic, rather offensive sense of humour. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and that naturally leads to very amusing interactions, which is why we keep hanging out, I guess.

I like Katrine. I don’t know what will happen next but I sure want to find out.

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April 17

I just saw this on my Facebook feed and I couldn’t help the need to post it here.

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Further research has revealed that the pony plugs – yes, that’s how they call them – come in 2 different glass styles, 4 vibrant colours and are handcrafted by “highly skilled artisans, using techniques they have cultivated through years of experience and training.” Not convinced yet? Read on:

The glass plug is made out of the highest quality borosilicate glass, and the smooth plug tip eases insertion for unmatched comfort in anal play with a slender stem leading to a flared base, ensuring the plug is safe and enjoyable; while the colourful pony tail adds visual enticement to any role-playing scenario. Tasha’s Reignbow Pony Plugs are available in four aptly named colours: Violet Virgin (Soft Lavender), Periwinkle Princess (Pastel Blue), Sunny Sovereign (Bright Yellow), and Cupcake Queen (Baby Pink).

Well girls, by now I’m sure that the idea of turning yourselves into some sort of kinky colourful unicorn must be irresistible so I will just leave you to it. No need to thank me for it, though. I’m here to serve.

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April 16

A very slow start of the week. Most people at work are off for the Easter holidays so the agency is empty, quiet and there’s not much to do, really. It’s a real shame to be stuck in a desolated office doing nothing when outside is so bright and sunny; I could be laying in a park, enjoying a nice coffee in a terrace or cycling around town but instead I’m sitting at my desk, bored. To make things worse, I have read that AC/DC might be retiring very soon due to Malcom Young’s illness; there has been no official announcement yet but there is rampant speculation about the band calling it quits during the next few days, which means I might never get the chance to see them live. Just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes.

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What’s really sad is that I could have seen them play at least a couple of times in the last few years but, for one reason or the other, I just couldn’t get my shit together and missed them. The first chance I had was in 2009, when they played River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires, one of my favorite cities and one in which I have many friends. If I had planned in advance, it wouldn’t have been hard or expensive to fly there, I just heard about the show when it was to late to sort something out. I know, I’m a fan and I should find out about these shows way in advance but I simply didn’t. When a friend told me about it, just a week or so before the gig, tickets were sold out and flights fully booked or overpriced so in the end I didn’t go. What did I miss? Well, just have a look:

Mind-blowing, isn’t it? Argentinians are the best crowd in the world, period. I went to see Pearl Jam in Buenos Aires back in 2005 and that has been the craziest audience I have ever seen at a music show, it was insane. Having the chance to see AC/DC there would have been absolutely fantastic. I mean, look at all those maniacs jumping and screaming and bursting with joy! That was a one in a lifetime experiences and I missed it.

Then it was the “Back In Black” anniversary show at Donington, in 2010, which I missed because I was too busy sorting my visa, packing things up and getting ready to move to London. This was just bad luck and there wasn’t much I could have done about it. My visa was still being processed and I had a flight ticket for July, a month after the show. This was a major blow, not only because AC/DC was playing but also because Rage Against The Machine (whom I might not get the chance to see again either) was on the bill too! It’s probably been the best Download Festival in years and I was stuck at home, wishing teleportation was a reality. If it wasn’t because I knew I was going to move to London, I think I would have spent the rest of my days sobbing in the bathtub, naked and curled up in the fetal position, thinking of all that could have been.

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I have played the entire “Live at River Plate” show today in the office. People gathered and watched in awe.

However, after I moved to Europe, I always thought I would get one more chance to see them live; they just had to go into the studio (which they were supposed to do this May), record a new album and hit the road again. Then I could plan my way around the continent, maybe catch them on tour in a few cities, and finally tick that box off my list. But now, in the face of all these rumours, hope fades and a light feeling of sadness settles in. It’s strange how music can affect us in such ways. It’s not a tragedy, and there are definitely way worse things one could go through but still, I’m sure I will always look back and wish I had seen these fellas on stage and experienced their music live. To me, it’s like having a dog, living in London or dating a girl with big natural boobs; you know, it’s just one of those things anyone should get the chance to enjoy at least once in their lifetime. Right now, the odds are against us but maybe the Gods of Rock will give us one last chance to see the mighty AC/DC smashing it on stage. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I’m off for a massage. I sure need it.

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UPDATE: There might be hope…

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April 15

Somehow, a very long entry I wrote a couple of days ago has disappeared from my blog; I’m pretty sure I posted it but for some reason, it was just saved as a draft. A very incomplete draft. Stupid WordPress. I can’t be bothered to re-write the part that’s missing so I will just post whatever is left. Fuck it.

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So, after almost 2 years after we first met, Kate and I reunited in Copenhagen. Thinking about it, none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for Facebook; we randomly met at a friend’s party back in 2012 but didn’t meet again afterwards because I lived in London and she was in Southampton, then I moved to Copenhagen and she moved to Brighton, which means that we only knew about each other’s wanderings through Facebook. That’s how I found out she was going on a backpacking trip around Europe and suggested her the idea of coming to Denmark, which she found exciting enough to come all the way here despite the cold and the rain.

On Tuesday, I went to pick her up at the Central station around 5:30pm and we headed home to drop her bags, have a shower and inflate the big air mattress I had just bought early that afternoon. It’s quite good, actually; it has an electric pump that really makes a difference, it’s thick and provides very comfortable surface to sleep on if you compare it with your average air bed. Once we got all the practical stuff out of the way, we went out for dinner at Zugar Baby, a very unpretentious place with very unpretentious burgers that get the job done very well. I had the usual: cheese burger with bacon, fries and a coke and Kate had a massive chicken salad that looked very tasty (she later validated this assumption). After dinner, we headed to Mikkeler for a beer but after the first one we realized we both were too tired to continue so we went back home for a well-needed night sleep.

The next morning I left for work and left Kate sleeping, only to meet her 8 hours later around Nyhavn, at a bar she had randomly decided to get in without knowing it was one of the most touristic spots in Copenhagen. The price of an average Tuborg beer in this place? Sixty kroner. SIXTY FUCKING KRONER for a Tuborg Classic! Pricks. We finished the most expensive beer I have ever bought in Denmark and headed to The Living Room, where the gay guy behind the counter told me he was going to let me have 2 cocktails for the price of one, half an hour after the happy hour finished, because I was “sweet” (Kate found the episode quite amusing and spent the rest of the evening pointing out how “sweet” I was, just for the fun of it). I appreciated the courtesy and happily accepted the drinks but still, it was a bit strange to be hit on by a dude.

After our mojitos, we decided to go for a walk and ended up at Streckers, a pub on Strøget, where there was a dude with a guitar and another with a cajon, playing acoustic cheesy covers of bands from the 90’s. Kate and I started with beers but then we moved to tequila shots and jäger bombs and things just got out of control; we ended up doing 4 tequila shots each plus a jäger bomb (Kate totally hated), which combined with our previous mojitos and 2 pints of beer make up for a very fun state of mind. We went to bed at 5am, not the smartest move we could have made, considering Kate had a train to catch at 8am but miraculously, we managed to get up at 7am, jumped on a very slow bus and Kate made it to the train just 2 minutes before it departed. Phew.

Fast forward two days and here I am in an almost empty office on the verge of a cake overdose, drinking a beer and listening to House of Pain as I chat with Fergus and another fellow about heavy metal legends (Ronnie James Dio in particular), singers who fail to deliver live (Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother, for example) and the way some bands seem to script every single word they say to their audiences at concerts; they make you feel you’re actually very special but then you realize they tell the same things to every audience at every single venue they play and then you can’t help but to feel betrayed. Just listen to a few Metallica bootlegs and you will know what I’m talking about.

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April 7

What a weekend. On Friday, a Spanish girl named Marina arrived to Copenhagen and stayed at home for a couple of days; she got in touch through Couchsurfing and her message was so nice I decided to host her. We started the evening at Bang & Jensen, then we walked to Mikkeller and ended up at Cafe Ludwigsen, a very strange sports bar full of older women with young guys, drunk lone men, and groups of hip hop-looking youngsters. We spent less than an hour there and during that time, we were approached by two inebriated men: first, an sixty-something man who wouldn’t stop smiling at Marina and telling her how beautiful her eyes were, and then a thirty-something black dude who seemed pretty keen on starting a fight, just because I happened to be with the girl he had chosen to hit on. Things were getting a bit uncomfortable so we decided to leave and crossed the street to get some late night junk food before heading home.

At the kebab place, a couple of very drunk Danish girls heard us speaking in Spanish and asked us where we were from. From there, a very friendly conversation unfolded, one that quickly escalated and went from “what are you doing in Denmark?” to “I have a piercing in my pussy”, in just a matter of minutes. They were fun. So much so that Marina invited Camilla – the pierced girl – to stay at her place if she ever wanted to go visit her in Valencia. Alcohol certainly makes it easier for Danes to let loose and make some random friends along the way.

On Saturday, Marina and I went for a walk around the city centre and in the evening we went to The Union for a bit of live jazz, then we were joined by Carlos, Marianne, Nina, Janna and some of her friends from Germany, who were also visiting, and did a bit of a pub crawl, going in and out of very crowded bars. Eventually, we made it to The Jane, which is always good fun. There I met a girl named Mette, who told me she doesn’t like to listen to music that has been produced after the 60’s, which is not a bad thing, I guess. We had a brief chat and promised to get a drink sometime, whatever that means.

At 3am we decided to go back to The Union and there I met a girl named Xenia, with whom I started a conversation on my way out from the toilet; she was getting in, singing some awful Bruce Springsteen song and I just decided to point out how lame I thought that was. She defended “The Boss”, of course. Everyone does. We both presented our arguments and although we didn’t reach an agreement, I promised not to hold her music taste against her and said goodbye. Shortly after, a Rage Against The Machine song was played and when I saw her banging her head gleefully, I thought it was appropriate to give her a high five. She was with a guy who I assumed was her boyfriend but he turned out to be her brother, a really cool dude named Julius who is a filmmaker and that shortly will be moving to Los Angeles to take part in a course at the American Film Institute. He also used to play in a Rage Against The Machine cover band so it wasn’t pretty difficult for us to bond over our mutual love for Zack and company.

The three of us spent the night talking about music and film, exchanging stories and having a laugh. By the time the bar had to close, I joined my friends and bid them goodbye, only to meet them again ten minutes later in the street. My friends decided to go home but Marina, Julius, Xenia and I were in the mood for some more drinks so after getting chocolate cake leftovers and a free half-bottle of champagne from one of the lads at The Union, we decided to stop at a nearby 7-eleven, bought a six pack of Tuborg Classic and two big pizzas and spent a couple of hours talking about all sort of things; from Danish culture to Louis CK to odd sexual practices and their names in Spanish slang. We had a great time together.

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From L-R: Marina, Julius and Xenia.

At 8am, it seemed reasonable to wrap things up and go home so we walked to our bus stops and bid goodbye, again, for the third time in the last five hours. Fell asleep around 8:30am and woke up six hours later, very hungry, so Marina and I met Carlos for lunch at The Union Kitchen; Carlos and I had the Bartender’s Hangover Burger (pretty good!) and Marina went for a Frittata with potatoes,  to which we added up a few pancakes with chocolate and a good cup of coffee. Not a bad way to start a Sunday, I tell you. Marina hit it off with Julius so they met after we ate and I decided to go home and lay in bed, barely moving, watching episodes of “The Shield”.

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The Bartender’s Hangover Burger. Good stuff.

In the evening, I decided to send Xenia a message on Facebook, to let her know how much I enjoyed her company, and much to my surprise I discovered we had actually been in touch before, back in September 2013, when we briefly talked about the possibility of renting out an apartment together; she had posted a message on a house hunting website saying she was looking for people that could join forces to rent a big place in Copenhagen so I sent her a message to let her know I was interested. She replied but we never followed up on that and left it there. Now, seven months later, we have randomly met in bar, unaware of our previous written interaction, and ended up having a great night out. Life does works in mysterious ways.

Now, this was a really fun weekend and all that, but man, I’m fucking tired. And it’s only Monday. And my friend Kate is arriving tomorrow. Somebody please help me…

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April 3

Last night I met with Laetitia and Anne, two French girls I got in touch with through Couchsurfing. They requested to stay at my place but I normally don’t host – I find it quite stressing – so I politely declined and instead I offered to meet them and show them around once they were in town. They arrived at 5pm and checked-in at the Generator Hostel, where my friend Carlos is currently working (he actually checked them in, funnily enough), met them around 6pm and took them to The Living Room for a drink, then to Greasy Spoon for a burger and then back to the hostel for one last beer before heading home, just around midnight.

It was really nice to meet them (Laetitia has the most amazing eyes!) and they seemed to have enjoyed the two places I took them to so we agreed to meet up again before Saturday, when they will be catching a flight to Dublin. Today I’m suppose to meet Olga, who I haven’t seen in quite a few months and then I will be joining Carlos, Jana and two of her girlfriends who are visiting for a few drinks, which means we will probably end up at The Union, drinking wonderful cocktails and dancing to some old school rock and roll. We will have to wait and see what the night brings.

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Alain de Botton just posted this on Twitter, I think it’s genius.

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He’s a thoughtful character, isn’t he? I love his writing, especially “A Week At The Airport – A Heathrow Diary”, a book I really enjoyed and that anyone who loves to travel (who doesn’t?) and it’s passionate about human relationships should read. Having said that, though, I must admit that the book brings some memories that make me feel a bit foolish but hey, that’s an entirely different story…

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April 2

I’ve been a bit down these days so not in the mood for writing that much, which is why I’ll keep this short and sweet: Spring is not quite here yet, the last few days have been very cold and windy, and it seems like it’s just about to rain now (cue the sound of roaring thunder in the distance). I started watching season 5 of “The Shield” this week, the most hardcore season of all; the nerve-wrecking rivalry between Kavanaugh and Vic makes each episode worth every second of it. I have been shit at keeping up with the T25 training but I plan to continue, even if it’s not under a very strict schedule. The PIN number of my card hasn’t arrived yet so I haven’t been able to buy my ticket to Roskilde or book my flight to Barcelona. The bank says they will need to cancel the new card they gave me and order another one, which will take 10 more days and totally pisses me off.

I’m out for a drink now, I really need it.

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