Monday, October 25, 2004

In a coffer to Copenhagen - I

Amazing things happen to amazing people - So, what happens to me when I pack my bags and go to Copenhagen to visit a friend who stay there and leave on a lovely saturday morning for a walk through the streets - it rains cats and dogs, I forget my jacket inside and when I ask her for the keys she realizes that the keys are inside the apartment - effectively locking us out. The mobile, of course it's inside the apartment too. With such bang starts the story of my trip to copenhagen.
So, we woke her flat mates up, asked them to call a locksmith, who promised to be home in about half an hour. In this recess, my friend wanted to go buy some groceries from the supermarket and asked me to stay inside the flat so that I can open the main gate when she enters. She also gave me this huge responsibility of waiting for the locksmith to come.
Don't get me wrong - I did want to suggest that I go to the grocery store as a chivalrous gentleman while she can stay in the shade of the house. However, there were a few, very minor technical glitches -like, I didn't know what all she wanted to buy, didn't exactly know where the super market is, didn't have any danish kronos on me and most importantly, didn't have my jacket and had no intentions of wearing her jacket that was trifle too short and had a pink fur top.
Now, there were a lot of things that I could do with my back pressed against a 2 and a half feet wide door, like standing, putting my hands inside my pocket, winking at the wall and most importantly, waiting for the locksmith. Considering the sequence, you might be led to think that waiting for the locksmith is a very trivial thing to do. But it can actually be an intellectually challenging exercise coz you have to apply neural network theorems and artificial intelligence algorithms to find out who from the human population that walk by your door, is our chosen locksmith. Such thing in the hands of an amateur can indeed be a daunting task. But for me, Rathish, Son of Balakrishnan, it's all within the limits of imagination. Following are the prototypes,
Image number 1: He is this stout guy with huge biceps in a gray or faded green overalls and a T-shirt that reads "Don't fuck with Mr.No" on its back. He has this huge handlebar moustache, a big mole on his left cheek and a huge hammer in his hand.
Image number 2: He is our old uncle harry who's been a locksmith for 25 years, toiled hard to educate his son who unfortunately after his graduation got married to a rich girl and never looked back. So, our uncle harry is drunk most of the time ,is dishevelled with shrivelled skin and a bald head with a couple of gray patches around the ear. He gets easily irritated and always stares at the road below when he's walking
Image number 3: An uneventful tall lanky john - he always has a smile on his face, laughs for the most obscure of jokes, tries to be friendly while you heartlessly pray he leaves you and goes on with his business as soon as possible.
And so on and on ... like this, I was making up a story for every guy, every little girl, and every old woman who walked by my door staring at me giggling at them wondering why he/she chose to be a locksmith of all professions (you should have heard my story of child labor for an 8 year old girl with a pink ribbon on her head).
Soon, the people stopped coming and I had to find new ways of entertaining myself. I don't know whether you have ever tried this one - the apartment was facing a busroute with a lot of cars going bothways. So, the rule of the game is to maintain counters for the number of cars going in either directions. Before counting, you should place your bet on who will reach a count of twenty first. Now, you can have weights like 4 for a bus, 2 for a car and 1 for a pedestrian. And you have to treat exceptions where the car stops right before your door (in which case you have a moral dilemma of counting it in or not). Another exciting game is to predict the number of seconds a distant vehicle is going to take to reach you (The genesis of these games date back to those days in middle and primary school when I was often asked to stand outside the classroom for forgetting my homework notebooks).
well, coming back to our story, the locksmith finally came and he was short, well-built and looked pretty much like the image number 1 - except for the handlebar moustache, the height, the mole ... ok ok, I admit, he didn't look a bit like how I imagined him to be. Now, a locksmith is supposed to break locks - call my uncle, he'll come with a hammer or a huge pebble stone and break the lock into 2 in a stroke or two. This guy, had these teeny weeny instruments that he was inserting into the keyhole, spraying some white liquid inside and moving it to and fro like a key. And after a couple of minutes, guess what the door opened - and the look is reusable too. Pretty clean job,eh! He thought so too and charged us a good 125 euros for that. My uncle with a hammer would have done this for free.
Anyways, too many people have been interrupting me today and I have to go home too. Shall do the part 2 of this episode tomorrow. Ciao.
PS: Yeah, forgot to tell you. Copenhagen is a nice place.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

never read such a great travel account keep it up learnt so many things abt copenhagen like,
1. u can forget ur keys n jacket even there
2. there r cars
3. ther is a bus stop
4. and hey know what there r men women n children there

thanks for the greatest piece of information

12:04 PM  

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