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Wednesday 12 Aug
Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen

If you've looked at the map, you might be wondering how I got from L'viv to Copenhagen in one step. Well, it took a long time (nearly 24 hours) and isn't really an interesting story. I even lost my luggage in Estonia and that wasn't an interesting story either.

So, I have gone from a place where I had to swallow huge amounts of Russian/Ukranian language without knowing at all whether they were good for my health, to a place where you can possibly win a prize if you make someone speak Danish after the point when you open your mouth. I can't judge exactly how hard this is because I only know about two Danish words so I can't make a serious attempt, and besides I am staying with friends so I don't need to survive by myself in the real world. 

I have spent a few days enjoying all the benefits of a really pleasant western city: clean things, bicycles, politeness, good quality (but terribly expensive) western food, and a general feeling that everything is comfortable and civilised. This is similar to my experience arriving in Munich. This is terribly important because it is the beginning of my opportunity to really relax during my month or two in western Europe before I have to summon more energy to deal with craziness in Africa.

Postscript:

As I was almost ready to leave Ditte & Jens's apartment, I went downstairs to take some rubbish out, and locked myself out. This was an unprecedented crisis. All of my stuff, even my phone and money, were in the apartment, Jens & Ditte weren't coming back for a week, and I had to catch a train to Hamburg in about an hour. I couldn't even imagine how to begin getting out of this situation... I guess the first steps would be to accost a neighbour and get them to call a locksmith, feel ridiculous and awkward and have to explain a lot of things to a lot of people, and miss my train.

Fortunately a really useful mental reaction kicked in which was something along the lines of "ignore everything and start climbing out of a window". I did this, and I have very little idea how it was physically possible, but a few minutes later I had climbed into another window into the bathroom, with only a small pause to wave cheesily to someone who was watching from across the garden. I think this was objectively fairly dangerous, but the crisis was averted before it really had time to sink in.

For the next few hours I was too nervous to think straight in any way, which was just fantastic as it turned out I had got on my train with only a reservation, having thrown away the actual ticket (which, unlike the part I kept, didn't really look like a ticket at all), and I had to convince the Danish conductor that I had in fact paid, in the absence of any evidence at all. Somehow, this worked and he issued me with various sorts of handwritten bits of paper and explained everything to the German conductor. I made it to Hamburg with the unexpected bonus of a free ferry trip on the Baltic Sea.

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