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Podróże małe i duże > Wspomnienia z Danii

Horsens and Copenhagen

13.03.09, somewhere on the way to Horsens

My name is... does it matter? Let’s skip it. I imagine, my Reader, as now you’re turning around and wondering if, by chance, it’s me. Yes, this is the way I like it. However, in order to preserve some part of the neighbours from keeping your eye on them, I shall tell you something about me. I’m twenty years old, a woman, not a girl anymore. I do have, however, several infantile habits (I can’t make myself to throw away Miśka from my room; for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, I will clarify it’s my peer, a teddy bear who changed its sex when I was six, that’s why it’s Miśka instead of Misiek). I love ice creams; at every season of the year you can see me gorging myself on this frosty delicacy. However, as befits a twenty-year-old, I’ve already gained some experiences in adult life; a first job and a first proposal. Secondary-school certificate, however, is ahead of me (in this year). I’m also a person who trusts people too much, love journeys and adventures.

These characteristics of mine contributed to the fact that now I’m sitting in a small van which is heading towards Horsens. Apart from me, there are also twelve more people, Poles only. One out of the ordinary case is sitting beside me. A dark-haired man aged about twenty five, well-groomed. We enter into a conversation. He starts to confide to me (a gift inherited from my mother; strange people tend to share personal life with me). The guy is going to his girlfriend, a Dane. He has doubts whether he should still meet her or not. He misses Poland, its cuisine and tradition. The Dane is also a person of character and, what’s the most important, she has a big ass! After having noticed dismay on my face, he corrects himself and stresses that his girlfriend has a pretty face and her ass needs some work... When he tells me that his girlfriend feels good by his side and he extols himself, I reply it’s possible that it’s her who will split up with him, as he isn’t probably the ideal himself. The guy, however, tries hard to convince me of his superiority over a typical Dane. Poles are sought-after in Denmark; they’re much in demand, hard-working and respect women. A typical Dane is a chauvinist and an idler. A guy I’m talking to makes sacrifices to his girlfriend; he redecorated her room all by himself. In addition, in-laws adore him. Having become tired I turn my head away; my neighbour calls his girlfriend. My first clash with Danish language, ugh! I thought German language sounds ghastly but the Danish seems to be the worse one. It’s as if a German guy spoke with a slug in his mouth. My neighbour must long for his girlfriend. He calls her several times and laughs almost throughout the entire conversation. Having arrived at the Horsens station, I turn around and look at my fellow passenger for the last time. I wonder how this multinational pair will do in the future...

I’m standing at a bus station, in the foreign country. A friend who was supposed to pick me up is not here yet. I didn’t write down his address. After a while I get the sms saying that Michał will be here soon. I’m looking around to find a place where I can find some small change for a toilet. I buy a Danish bar of chocolate in a shop. I’m shaken up, I don’t like it. I’m not a gourmet when it comes to sweets. Instead of a gourmet you could even say a real candy glutton. Caramel is too tough.

Still 13.03.09, Horsens

I meet Michał’s flatmates; they’re exchange students just like him. They give me a garret. The place is very nice, well furnished, without net curtains. A shower makes me frown... hmm how does it work? Denmark is probably more advanced in technology than Poland. I have an opportunity to learn about it during a bicycle ride. Instead of having a rest after twenty-four-hour journey, I urge Michał to have a quick jaunt around the city. I’m being overtaken by people who cycle in the unusual, recumbent position on the special bikes. They’re not handicapped – I’m informed when I make a rattled face. We’re touring the neighbourhood. I like it here very much, hilly terrain, a bay nearby. I live on the outskirts of the town, twenty five minutes away from the city centre. This suits me fine. The city centre is charming, colourful houses, lots of brand-name shops, the widest promenade in Denmark. A cultural melting-pot. This is what I like the most in a foreign country. I stare at people, delight my sight in diversity.

14.03.09, Copenhagen

Kopenhaga nabrzeżeDuńska syrenkaKotwica

The alarm clock sets off at 5 A.M. Why does this little terrorist do it to me?! Today, I’m about to visit Copenhagen. Ok, I can get up if it’s necessary. I decided to continue my sleep in a car. I sleep through the best part of the three-hour journey. I only wake up when we approach a booth where we have to pay 215 euro for entering a bridge. The next wake-up will be already in the capital.

DomkiAniołRydwan
MostŁawkaArmata

We start the sightseeing from a fortress which is situated right next to our car park. It looks that our tour is going to be interesting. A young boy dressed up as an old-time soldier goes past us. We climb a hill and marvel at the charming wind-mills and ancient cannons. On our way to a quayside we pass a big monument of the angel with the olive branch and then bulls harnessed to a huge chariot. Friends egg Michał on to climb the monument. After a while Michał is sitting on the bull and shouts from above: “What did you think, a Pole can’t do it?”.

KościółUliczkaRzeźba

When we’re finally at the quayside, I focus my attention on the uncommon stage which is floating on water. I’m curious if some seasick music star held a concert here. Hmm... I’d rather not know it.

Pałac królowej DaniiGwardia królewskaZmiana warty

In the marketplace I find an ice cream booth. I buy three scoops. I take delight in the iced ambrosia till my mind gets occupied by something else. The clock strikes noon, it’s time for a guard change at the royal palace. I march with soldiers in the rhythm of the melody. I’m pleased that, accidentally, without advance planning, we’re the participants of the show.

MarmorkirkenRatuszNY Carlsberg Glyptotek

After changing of the guard, we’re heading towards NY Carlsberg Glyptotek – a big museum full of exhibits which were collected by a man who owns one of the Carlsberg breweries. The tour takes us a couple of hours. If I were to take a good look of each exhibit, one day wouldn’t be enough. I’m deeply impressed. I didn’t suppose I’d see a genuine Egyptian sarcophagus or hieroglyphics in the centre of Denmark.

RzeźbySarkofagStarożytna rzeźba

In Glyptotek, there’re also impressive collections of classical sculptures. I’m enchanted by the representation of the fabric’s delicacy. I have the impression that attires are floating in the air. Apart from the sculptures, we have also the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with the paintings of such impressionists like: Monet, van Gogh or Renoir. Wearied by intensive sightseeing, we take a rest savouring the pizza in the restaurant.

SukniaKobieta z maskąMaska

Continuing our tour we see a few other buildings. By the end of our journey we set out in searching of a mermaid. I’m awfully worn-out, but boys persistently claim that they’ve got to see her. After wandering about for a long time we finally find her; I have a crack-up. The mermaid was just beside us. We didn’t spot her hidden in the dark. She was sitting on the rock looking at as with the wry, ironic smile.

GrekSalaPopiersie
Olga Zabielska
Translated by Kamil Razowski.
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