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Monday, September 05, 2016

The Yawn Ride or Mykel's Journey to the North Part 3

Mykel's Northern Exposure
Third Entry
by Mykel Board

[This entry was started at Copenhagen Airport on September 1, 2016. I'm here waiting for the plane to Bergen, Norway. That's the transit point to Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands are between Denmark and Iceland. There are more sheep there than people (like New Zealand). The Faroes are a Danish colony. They use Danish coins. Danes still have a big say in their foreign policy. Local police are trained in Denmark. Most people can speak Danish... but they don't like to. Their language is Faroese. and it's closer to Icelandic than to Danish. They have their own flag, and, I expect, their own postage stamps. You'll here more after my perfectly smooth trip from here to the Youth Hostel where I'm staying.... Yeah, right.

FLASH: My flight was canceled. I shit you not. The gate was posted, I went there, sat to wait. At the “boarding time”... nothing going. I asked one of the few guys sitting at the gate if I was in the right place.

Right flight,” he says, “but it was canceled. You'll have to fly to Oslo (at first I think he says Moscow), then on to Bergen.”

But I have a connecting flight in Bergen,” I tell him.

He shrugs.

I run out of the gate and check the departure board. There it is:

Right now I'm on a flight to Stavanger... look it up... I'll tell you the rest later.]

Date August 20, Saturday:

The word is gabe, rhymes with BABE. It's pronounced like the long time newscaster, Gabe Pressmen. (Is he dead?) I guess it's short for Gabriel. In Danish, it means yawn... a big open-mouthed sign of fatigue or boredom.

As I was leaving the plane at Copenhagen airport, I was surprised to overhear a conversation that included the word. But before I tell you more, I need to tell you about Tivoli Gardens.

You could probably guess from the final “i”, Tivoli is not a Danish word. Actually, it's the name of a town in the middle of Italy. But it is also the name of the world's second oldest amusement park: Tivoli Garden. (Number one is also in Denmark.) It's like a slightly more old-world version of Coney Island. Lots of lights, famous rides including some wild roller-coasters, and plenty of tourists

I've only been there once. Not for lack of desire, but other things have pulled me away. It's still a spectacular place and should be nice for controlled thrills So you can guess my surprise when I heard what I thought was a discussion of a new attraction in the garden. The Yawn Ride... if my Danish serves me right.

That's something I can't figure out. Would it be boring? Or maybe YAWN in Danish has the English meaning of WIDE... like a yawning chasm. Maybe it's a ride that springs over a deep ravine.

Ok, keep that in your mind's back closet as Marianne drives me from the airport to her apartment in the middle of Copenhagen. It'll be my private apartment, as she's staying in her summer house. I have the keys, I can come and go as I like, and it's close to a subway station. It's also 4AM, and she's chauffeured me here and needs to get back to her summer house. I tell you that woman is a goddess. AND the day after tomorrow I'll eat the first of my must-eats:


Today, it's off to see Peter Peter. Peter is one of the first people I met in Copenhagen... after Kim Schumacher. I'll take the Metro to a familiar stop and try out Google maps on the smartphone... first time.

I get off the Metro at Kogns Nytorv. (pronounced “Cohen's New Tour). In the oxymoronic near distance, I hear people screaming and the BOOM BOOM of dance music. If this were an airport, they'd close it in a heartbeat. Terrorist bazooka attack!

I turn on my smart phone and push Google Maps. The phone asks me to shake it. Turning it up and down, side to side, back and forth and the whole thing again.

Got it... I think.

Pulled along by the phone, I'm heading directly for the commotion down the street. I see the buildings are decorated for a special occasion. It is a festive look but I have no idea what the occasion is.

There are certainly a lot of flags. I recognize the white-on-red Danish flag. And there's the red, white, and blue American one. Two guys are holding them... One of them I recognize from a picture in the Norwegian Air magazine. He's the US Ambassador to Denmark. The other... huh, he's holding the Ambassador's hand. Here's a picture after they let go to wave to the crowd. (The guy in the middle is the Ambassador.)

Then, I recognize the rainbow flags. Then, more America: Ms America... or a large-fronted version of her... riding on what looks looks like a parade float.

Then I understand.

GABE RIDE... GAY PRIDE... Oh yeah. It's not about the Tivoli at all. I get it. (But not often enough.)

Google continues to pull me along the parade route. Until I get to Peter's street. I turn and ring the doorbell, expecting no one to be home so close to the chaos.

Above me, a window opens. Peter sticks his head out, sees me and shakes his head.

Never answer the door. Never answer the door. Never answer the door,” he says both to himself and me. But he's smiling and buzzes me in.

I'm a cripple,” he tells me after we hug at the apartment door. “I've had this kidney stone for a hundred days.”

Jeez,” I say. “What's a kidney stone like?”

It's like being kicked in the balls by an elephant,” he says, slumping onto the couch.

Never had either experience,” I tell him.

I look around for the long-term girlfriend, Lulu. [You know how when you're friends with someone, and they get a girl/boyfriend... you usually can't stand their choice, And often question their sanity? Not this time. Lulu is great! I love her. She's smart, funny, pretty, adventurous. Absolutely terrific. The only problem with her is that she's not here!!! She's off at the Gabe Ride celebrations!]

She's not here,” Peter tells me. “Besides, she's not my girlfriend anymore.”

I'm crushed.

She's my wife,” he says. “For a long time.”

We talk horror movies, our mutual love of Screaming Mad George, what's new in Danish movies... and how-- with a kidney stone-- three drops is a victory.

Then we talk about how members of his old band, The Sods/Sort Sol have become estranged. “I haven't seen any of them for at least ten years... maybe more.”

I'm going to meet Knud (the bass player) after I visit you,” I tell him. “At a place called Peter Oxe.”

I know where that is,” he says. “I'll walk you half way and point you in the right direction. But first I want to take some pictures... for Ai.”

Note: Ai is a Japanese friend of mine who lives in New York. Peter met her on his last trip to the city. They got to be good friends... and joked about their future love-life together.

How bought one showing a nipple?” I suggest. “It's better that one dripping 3 drops.”

Okay,” he says, “one of us together, one solo-- just for her.”

Sorry gals/guys, I can't find the solo one right now... but Ai has it. Here we are together.

Then it's off to town. Following the now empty parade route. I hope I can find my way on the last half of the walk... I don't have to. Peter goes the entire way with me... and together we sit down in front of the restaurant to reunite with his bandmate... who he hasn't seen for ten years.

--To Be Continued

If, for some odd reason, you like my writing and want to see more (opinionated, political, punkrock), you can check out my other blog here.


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