African daze and my Copenhagen misconceptions
OK, I still suffer from African daze. There is still sand stuck in the crevices of my sandals, which were almost abandoned when my flesh experienced the shock of Europe’s springtime weather. I want to walk out the door and be blinded by the sun reflected off the dusty roads and I desperately want to feel that delight that comes from long runs on a beach, or being able to take a (decent) photo of something you have rarely seen before. But I live in Europe and those days are gone, I feel, forever.
Instead, I am thinking about Copenhagen. I checked the weather today - see pictures above and weep when comparing my past and future.
Sorry Denmark, but, for the moment, you have to suffer the slight of stereotypes about your northern extremes and fears that your population is still suffering from near-frostbite temperatures. That your rivers are frozen over and most of your population get to work via skidoo.
No, wait. That’s Newfoundland and, due to extended residence there, I am allowed to mock the island. If you want to see my childhood memory of snow, try this image...
So, to be clear, I am not mocking Copenhagen... Am not.
But I have been thinking about Copenhagen. The European Greens are gathering there from May 11-13 to do their biannual gathering (another idiocy of miscommunication in English, biannual is either every two years - biennial - or twice a year - semi-annual... stupid language... this time I mean twice a year).
But let us return to my coming visit to Denmark and it not being in Africa.
The culture shock is akin to watching Out of Africa and then stepping into Babette’s Feast. Never heard of the latter? Go see some info here... and, if you like films, go rent it. A must-see. But ‘nuff said that these two films do not stand as traditional company on film schedules, no matter their respective merits. And with that, from Dakar, I will think about Copenhagen.
And if you have perservered through the extended waffle of this blog entry, this might be of interest... The Copenhagen site, in its initial rough form, is up and running. If you are coming, then you can register and get additional information. The program is there as well as some information about travel to venue.
For me, key interest is in the overall theme identified as Greening the Economy; plenary debates on the future of the EU; Green New Deal on agriculture; and, of course, the voting session on the last day.
You can access the program, proposals, accomodation and venue et al on the site now. And the information will be steadily updated in the coming, all too few, weeks.
As for Copenhagen, I would love to continue to mock the city, but, the truth is, I really like the place (when it is warm). They have city bikes to rent that cost a few pennies (and ride with all the value paid). You can be caught in a traffic jam made up of bicycles. Cars are second class entities on the road. They created the Bullit bike - my favourite cargo bike ever - and they are leaders in design, function and green lifestyles. They have a core city centre where you can get lost in the series of side roads and crossing streets, and they have fabulous cafés where you can rest and gather your bearings.
But the bicycles - I love bikes so I will be in heaven. And the 'Copenhageniters' (people who live there) have a great site with Copenhagenize. Go see Obama and the limo, or the German man who built a speed bump. Or the al fresco meeting on the Bullit.
I am already starting to smile at the photo opportunities. A flock of Greens crossing the city by bike. Visits to local green centres. The brilliant situated statues. Another gallery, I hope, where we get to have as much fun showing another side of the meeting as we had in Dakar. Just with less suntanning. But, perhaps, I might concentrate on the actual gathering.