In the Mercedes leaving Copenhagen.
My week in Copenhagen is now past. I had a nice time in Denmark. One filled with twists, turns, surprises and friends old and new.
The worst part of the trip was the cost. There's no other way about it, Copenhagen is frakking expensive. More expensive than Paris. More expensive than Tokyo. About on par with Moscow. It's horrifically expensive and I don't look forward towards going back because of the cost. Five dollars for a Coke isn't unusual. Three dollars for a Snickers bar or tube of Pringles is about right. Ten dollars for a beer is the norm. A seven dollar espresso isn't worthy of a raised eyebrow.
Even the rather average meal we had by the canal cost nearly one hundred dollars for three courses. Never mind the cost of a taxi. They say everything in Copenhagen is nearby. Well, for roughly twenty dollars a cab ride from the DGI-Byen Hotel to Cafe Europa - it may be nearby but it certainly isn't "affordable." For twenty bucks, I can get from the Lower East Side to Central Park in New York City, or from downtown Baltimore to my home in the suburbs.
Even a simple hot dog on the street cost in the vicinity of five dollars - and I can't say it was that much better than a Sabrett on the streets of New York.
Another downside of the week (and also because of the cost of hotel rooms) was that our old barista crew from last year were now scattered all over the city. Combine that with larger entourages and the experience gets diluted. Last year, when everyone was staying at the same hotel and only had their coaches with them, the only choice was for everyone to get together and go out as a group.
This year, with both larger entourages and groups of friends, we found ourselves scattered about with Team Africa going one way, Team Mexico going the other, Sanders going off to meetings and myself running off with Sylvia, Adrianna and Ana for most of the week.
But it still was fun, just in a different way. Lots of events and parties to attend. Even the Ambassador from Mexico hosted a number of us at her house with an open bar and lots of finger foods. While I wished she offered us a traditional Mexican menu, the Danish inspired seafood and local produce menu was certainly delicious and I only wish that it wasn't a diplomatic event because I really wanted to chow down hard on the salmon, which necessitated the expensive dinner by the canal before missing the girl in the pretty floral dress at the Kontra party afterwards. Merde.
The just plain weird part of my week came early on while strolling along Istengade and being propositioned by a local hooker. I couldn't help but ask how much (500 Kroner) and kept on trucking after finding out the price. Turning the next corner, I was accosted by two undercover police officers who wanted to know who I was and what I was talking to that girl about. I got nothing to hide, so I told them she propositioned me for sex. They told me then that prostitution was legal in Denmark and that they were trying to get to the pimps. A bit frazzled, I thanked them for letting me go and went on my way with my bag of groceries.
It wasn't until later that it dawned on me that maybe they thought I was the pimp.
Imagine: me, a pimp. Well, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing...
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In spite of the terrible cold which rendered me chilly all week, I had a nice time in Copenhagen. Most of my time away from the World Barista Championship was spent walking and touring the city with the girls. Nyhavn, Christiana Free Town, The Little Mermaid. The Queen's Arrival. The Changing of the Guard. Falling asleep in a local cafe. Walking along the lakes. Arguing with Sylvia about who should do what and who did what wrong (I'll let you guess who was the wrong party). Good times. Fun times. Odd times. Sad times.
The Copenhagen adventure is over and now I move forward - even if it isn't with as an assured step as before.