Once I got there I was exhausted. Stockholm had wiped me out. So I went dinner, walked a bit, and spent my first evening and doing laundry in my hotel bathtub. I had only packed one suitcase.
I again was on Tinder. Swiping right, but few connections. I lost faith that I would find anyone in the Danish city to have a drink with. Then I got a message from Peter.
He’d meet me the next day in Christiana. Joe, during my last date in Stockholm, had told me it was something not to miss.
So after a canal cruise that coupled with my continuing exhaustion, turned into an expensive back drop for a lovely nap, I walked the quaint streets along the canals in Nynhaven. This idyllic part of town seems made for a postcard with its gingerbread like houses. I settled in for the most over priced and bland chicken Caesar salad I’d ever had.
There was no instant attraction to Peter’s picture but something about him seemed interesting, compelling. But I was still tired. I had tried to fit a week of activity into one day having gone to a castle and walked the ornately decorated rooms. I’d marveled at the crown jewels. I rode a hop on hop off bus around town. I visited Tivoli an amusement park near my hotel. More town fair than Six Flags, the park was elaborately decorated for Halloween. Ghosts hung over shops that sold something out of a witches cauldron.
It was getting late and the military way of telling time had me thinking that we were meeting at 10:00/22:00, instead of 8:00/20:00. Once I realized my error, I text Peter asking if we could meet later. Sure he was flexible.
At 22:00 I made my way to Christiana. This place is a little jurisdiction where weed is legal. I hadn’t done any research just gone by Joe’s insistence that I not miss it.
When I arrived, it was less of the quaint little shops and coffee houses you find in Amsterdam, and more like a flea market of marijuana. People in all kinds of stalls selling weed, paraphernalia, and of course snacks for the pending munchies. There was also a bar to balance out your addictions.
The smoke was so thick, it was like standing in a Scooby Doo episode full of fog. Peter met me by the stage. He was much taller than I thought he would be and his face was so kind. “Welcome to Copenhagen”! He shouted.
By this time, I had a significant contact high. Like, I was giggling high. I wanted to leave the area immediately. I’m not 18 anymore and had enough of the second hand bong smoke and my chest was starting to burn.
He lead me to this car. This is another one of those things I would never do at home. Generally, getting into the car of a man you just met is sure to leave you in a ditch and your family searching desperately for you on “First 48.”
But the grinning Dane seemed an unlikely threat so I obliged.
He told me he would give me an inside tour of Copenhagen. Peter had worked in the army as a youth. Denmark has mandatory military service, but as they are never at war, service is just a life formality. He knew some little hidden gems. We went to Parliament, and a beer factory, and a church. We walked along the canals…it was lovely.
Then we went to what looked like a huge warehouse near the water. Once inside, there were about a dozen little trailers and kiosks of food and bars. A dj spun 80’s soul disco. A drunk kid was dancing on a table and it was awesome.
We had craft beers and talked. He runs a pretty big landscaping company and has a little girl. He was excited to plan her birthday party over the weekend but disappointed that as she was becoming older she wanted to spend less time with her old man. He was planning to bake a cake for the party.
He then took me back to my hotel. Before I got out the car he told me he had a gift for me. It was a traditional Danish dessert, honey cake. I cannot tell you how it tastes as it has turned into a Danish souvenir. He walked me to my hotel room. No expectations, no pretense. We talked more but by this time I was incredibly exhausted.
I told him I would call it a night. He said ok, gave me his business card and asked to stay in touch. He then kissed me and it was nice. No insane fireworks but safe. This was a guy I knew would come straight from home every night. So nice to know these men are still around.