Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Things needed in Copenhagen

The lack of cold care products here is astounding! Some nose spray and cough drops is all we have found. No nyquil, actifed, sudifed, not even Kfed. Nothing. It seems people here are tough and drink their honey-sweetened camomile tea with a stiff upper lip, and some brød (bread) that is "70% seed." This is annoying for me (Bobby) because I have research to do and papers to write and immigration services to visit.

Carla and I set out at about 11h00 from our apartment to find the immigration center where we must pick up our visas. We have not found any useful map of Copenhagen and so I tried to write the best directions I could for the 3 kilometer walk. We have been looking for any useful map of Copenhagen since we arrived, but have had a heck of time trying to find a newstand or even a bookstore in which to buy such a map. The tourist shop tried to sell us a laminated one that would make a good place mat. And the bicycling store offered us a free map of the bike routes in the city, but provided no systematic way to find a particular street. I asked the man, "Let's say I am a delivery man and I must get to 10 so-and-so-gade. What would I use? A neck worn GPS?" He said, "Well, there is no map like that. We don't use numbers; but they all start low from the center of the city." He hinted that there was a map that could be more helpful, but it is a book. We want a book. We aren't just staying a few days. "Any bookstore, gas station, or newstand would have one" he said. "That is the problem. We have yet to see any of those things!" Later in the day we found an entire store devoted to maps, and found the book he was referring to. Finally! We can find our way around the city. After that we found all the book stores, and bought a Danish/English dictionary. Now we can decode signs!

As we continued on to the immigration services we noticed people were just skating willy-nilly on The Lakes. There was no zamboni in sight; it was just skating in the wild. When we finally found the immigration services at 12h30, we learned that they close at noon. So tomorrow we are going to do this again at 8h30.

On our way home, we came across the 5th Mexican restaurant we have seen here. So we gave it a try, ...

and pleasantly surprised we were! I had a "chilli" con carne burrito served wet with refried beans, and Carla had the nachos. My burrito was extremely spicy, but I think that is mostly due to our time away from hot food.

By the way, here is one of our neighbors across the street, "pudder" (pronounced poodh-o). I see him looking out at night and I stare back until he sees me. Then I slowly raise my hands above my head while he keeps his focus. When I rapidly drop my arms he bursts out barking and I see his owner spring out of her seat. That is when I hit the deck and crawl to the other room. We repeat this exercise nearly every night.

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