Bicycles everywhere / Off to go shopping

How could I forget the bicycles in København? On Saturday night, after Scandinavian Music Group and I left the tour bus in downtown Jyväskylä, guitarist Joel Melasniemi remarked that the city resembled Peking, with all of the bicycles. Well, Jyväskylä is nothing compared to København. I can’t believe all the bicycles here! They are everywhere, parked three- and four-deep, and I really have to watch the bike lanes on the road before I cross the street. The cyclists are all courteous, too, and that, I am sorry to say, does not occur in Toronto. I have yet to run into a cyclist on the pedestrian shopping street Strøget, and I have not run into a cyclist on the sidewalk. There are thousands of cyclists and they all obey the rules of the road.

You see people simply leaving their bikes on the street, with no fear of thieves. Mothers and fathers do leave their baby carriages outside while they drop into a store. When a Danish au pair did this in the United States a few years ago, she was arrested for “child endangerment”. Yet it’s the way things are done here, and is culturally shocking for me to see a pack of baby carriages outside a store.

Today I will go shopping for Danish Scrabbles, some books, and see the hippie haven of Christiania. I did buy some postcards yesterday and will find a park to relax and write them. I know I will be sending many postcards from Bornholm as well, and today is so lovely that I would like to relax by the harbour and write to you.

I am using the drop-in 20-minute-only Internet computers at the City Library. Get here first thing in the morning (10.00) and there’s no lineup. I appreciate all your E-mails, thank-you. My inbox was full this morning!

One happy Dane

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