Of all places!


Things you are prepared for to happen to you in Copenhagen:

  • being run over by a Biking Viking
  • being ripped off by the waiters of a hip restaurant
  • developing a major inferiority complex due to the pretty Danish women
  • constantly needing to utilize your umbrella
  • investing your entire savings into Danish design
  • fall victim to a major misunderstanding because you thought you understood what a Dane said

Things you are not prepared for to happen to you in Copenhagen:

  • being robbed on the street

And still, that’s exactly what happened to me on Sunday. In Copenhagen of all places. I’ve recently been to Lisboa, Barcelona, Marseille – always came back with all my things. But in safe, peaceful, prosperous Denmark, some idiot takes my wallet from my handbag while I walk. The thief must have been a professional as well and I hope he bought himself something really nice for the 10 euros he looted. (It’s so not worth to steal my wallet.)

Now I’m faced with lots of catch 22. I don’t have any ID cards anymore and no bank cards either. In order to take out money, you need to identify yourself. I have a new passport waiting for me (got that to travel to the U.S. next year) but I can’t pick it up without an ID card. I can’t get an ID card without paying for it and they want that payment by card. But I don’t have a card and can’t get a new one before I have an ID card. I seriously wonder how people manage that don’t have friends close by. If I hadn’t been with my friends yesterday in Copenhagen, I would have starved and not been able to travel to the airport. What does one do? Bother some emergency staff at the embassy? (What if your things are stolen outside a capital?) Go to the church and ask them for money? Or do you just have to sit down next to other beggars on the street?

Luckily, I was not asked for any ID when leaving Denmark, and my boarding pass was on my phone. It seems the Danes check who comes in but they don’t care so much who leaves. And Germany’s borders are open, thank you, Merkel.*

(*Danke, Merkel! is what the “worried citizens” (nicely put: Germans that don’t agree with the chancellor’s policy of letting refugees come to Germany, less nicely put: xenophobes) say in order to show that thanks to Merkel, everything is going downhill in Germany. The non-xenophobes have picked up this saying and use it to ironically blame Merkel for everything that’s even happened, including bad drivers, lost football matches and the lack of toilet paper in your bathroom.)




Helen is a very active pensioner


photo: Rasmus Flindt Pedersen/Copenhagenmedia

Our brilliant assistant has started to learn Swedish. It’s a source of great delight when she starts throwing in new words and sentences she’s learned. Like when she walks to the kitchen and calls, “Vill du dricka te?” She also coined a phrase for me the other day. I openly tell everyone at the office that I have started crocheting (occupational therapy for my hands only, no ambitions) and that I actually read the supermarket leaflet to check if there are any good special offers. And yes, then when they have shoe trees that cost a fifth of what they usually cost, I get excited and mark the date down in my calendar. The new Swedophone nodded and quoted from her book, “Helen är en mycket aktiv pensionär!” I guess she has a point.

Anyway, what isn’t so old-people-ish about me is probably my constant travelling. For a person who doesn’t like travelling, I sure am on planes and trains often. Tonight, I’m hopping on the flight to Copenhagen. (Something that my extra colleague, awkwardly enough, acknowledged with the comment, “What’s in Copenhagen, STDs and bad cafés?”) The city of Borgen, the country where inhabitants speak very funny and the happiest people on earth! I’m going to see some of my Swedish choir friends, it’s our annual meet up. We’re close to where we once started this tradition: in 2012, we first travelled to Malmö together which is only a stone’s throw from Copenhagen. The last time I was in Copenhagen (and not just their airport) was more than six years ago, then, they had shipped off their biggest sight, the Little Mermaid to Shanghai. It’ll be interesting to see how the Danish capital is today – and if it’ll charm me more than Amsterdam. Farvel, Dizzel!


photo: Martin Heiberg/Copenhagenmedia

Del 15 i citat-samlingen

Och du är lite snobbish för att du kommer från Hamburg.


Säger du med ett litet dolt leende, lite nöjd.

Inte en enda käft har svarat på mitt mejl! – Det låter lite grovt även för en svensk, men för en Helen…!

Tyskar som ska vara lite fräcka…alltså, jag bara smälter ihop i en liten hög och säger nej, ni är så löjliga!