Travel Day


We flew out of Toronto.  I left every single thing to the last possible minute on this trip, and worse, I had a litany of items to get done before we left: the bathroom is torn up, floor about half ripped out, but the toilet and vanity still in place since I would hate to have to go downstairs in the middle of the night if I had to get up to go...  Brittney stayed with all 3 dogs, so I go the place ready for her, and she didn’t get back from London herself until late last night. 

We left about 8:30 am from my house, and drove north to Toronto.  Dad in the back, I played navigator for mom.  We chatted and made pretty good time on the way up there, until we missed the 401 exit toward Pearson, and had to go on a little side trip to find our way back onto the Gardiner going West.  Once we got to the hotel where mom booked the parking, we were informed that the shuttle to and from the airport only leaves each hour, on the hour, so we would have to wait 40 minutes to leave.  None of us really wanted to do that, so mom said she’d pay for a taxi.  Instead, I decided to see if we could Uber in Tonronto: yes, in fact.  In 4 minutes, Matthew drove up in his Nissan Rogue and picked us right up. My parents’ first Uber. 

We checked in, got a stash of wildly overpriced food for the no-service flight on Icelandair and we were off.  The 5.5 hour flight left right on time at 2:15pm.  I sat near the window in a row with 2 really nice Canadians about my age who were heading to Rekjavik for a wedding.  I was near the window with mom and dad one row right behind me.  I spent the flight watching 3 movies.  One was billed so strangely I checked it out: Things we do in the Night.  A “documentary” about vampires in New Zealand.  Halfway through, I recognized Murray from Flight of the Conchordes playing a warewolf, but the humor was so dry and just a bit off, it really had the same vibe.  It wasn’t until the credits rolled that I recognized Jemaine Clement as one of the main vampires, and of course, it was his project.  Funny, and of course I thought I had to see if JP knew about this film. 

I laughed *so hard* at Death at a Funeral that when it was over, the couple next to me had to know what I was watching, and did I recommend it. They watched it together, and pleasantly for me, they liked it as much as I did.  It was *hilarious.*  To spend the last hour and a half, I watched This is Where I leave You.  For such an amazing cast, I wanted to love it more than I did, but it had its moments and ended up as kind of heart warming. 

40 minutes into the 3rd movie, mom punched me in the arm and told me to raise my screen and look out the window.  It was worth the effort: we were flying over what could only be Greenland and visible below were glaciers, ice fields, and rivers with gigantic icebergs floating in them.  It was amazing. 

We landed on time after a really lovely flight in the very modern airport of Keflavik.  A quick line through customs as we entered the EU from Canada, they actually stamped our passports and since our luggage was directed-checked through to CPH, we didn’t have to bother picking them up.  We made it through fast, and very well in time to make the also on-time 2.45 hour connection to CPH.  We were tired when we landed, but not exhausted.  Now, my anxiety surfaced since my AirBnB booking with “Brenda” made it clear she was short on both temper with questions, and details in her emails about the listing. 

She changed the listing on me 3 days before the departure to a new address.  She was kind enough to let us check in really early in the morning after we arrived, after I offered to pay for an extra day, knowing mom would just want to crash immediately.  She didn’t charge me for anything extra, and just offered to let me check in really early.  This made some issues getting the key: we had to stop at the original listing address (Kurlandsgarde 19, 2300 CPH S 3tv), then move onto the actual apartment (Lillegrund 4, 2300 cph, 1tr).  She let me know that at the Lillegrund apartment I should ring the bell labeled “Nielsen” but declined to let me know what bell to ring at Kurlandsgarde.  The she was clearly annoyed when I asked if “3tv” meant the 3rd door on the left?  Her answer was “Yes.  goodnight.”  Ok, perhaps I’d figure it out when I got there. 

We heard about an App where you can call and text over WiFi, which we all downloaded (including Brittney so we could check in!), counting on having WiFi at least on the excursions and at the hotels.  I emailed Brenda when it was 6am and we had our luggage and didn’t even have to go through customs and were ready to get to the apartment at 6:30am, 2 hours earlier than I anticipated.  We did manage to get a message from her as we waited at Starbucks over coffee, and she asked us to at least wait until 8am since we would be waking up whoever was sleeping there. 

This is where the communication of detail was as broken as I worried it was.  Without the cell phone and help of our awesome cab driver, we would have been checking into a hotel and I would have been nothing short of *furious.*

Kurlandsgarde 19 had 10 apartment bells in 2 rows next to the door, labelled with names of the occupants.  3tv actually means “3rd floor, door to the left of the landing” in Danish apartment-speak.  I only know this thanks to the driver and a helpful website.  Our driver pulled up to the address in a short 12 minute trip through the city, chatting here and there with us.  He seemed to be insistent that if the instruction was 1tr, I should be ringing the 2nd bell from the bottom, on the right side.  Ironically, the 4th bell on the right side said “Nielsen” and I rang that one at least 3 times without answer.  The driver suggested we call Brenda.

No WiFi, so I had nothing.  Even more, he looked at the number i programmed for her in my cell and told me it was wrong, whatever it was.  He managed to figure it out, though, because when he made the call with his daughter’s rose-pink cell, it worked.  She wasn’t nice in person.  She cut me off at one point and like a parent scolding an irksome child she chided “Shelby, stop. Listen to me.”  I would have punched her if she were in front of me.  It *was* the second bell on the right side, just like the driver was insisting.  We kept ringing for a good 10 minutes, without anything.  We called Brenda back.  I explained there was no answer, so she said “I’ll make a call.”

6 minutes later, a toussled and sleepy looking young dude opened the door and apologetically handed me an envelope with a key inside. 

NONE of this would have happened without our lovely driver.  We were almost to Lillegrund where I just blurted out and asked if we ought to tip drivers in Denmark, where he informed me that yes, it was nice if we were happy with the service.   I didn’t ask how much.  When we got out at Lillegrund, we were so tired, and just so glad to actually have the key, I handed him 100 Kroner, which he was very pleased to receive. 

Up to the 4th floor, the door was labeled “Nielsen.”  It smelled like wet dog/stinky man/gym bag/cigarettes,  but was spacious looking out over a residential corner of south cph.  We opened windows, settled into the place a bit and mom and dad went to bed. 

Of course, one of my other great frustrations was no WiFi since Good Old Brenda never left me either the network name or the password.  Well, I took the ethernet cable from the hard drive in the office and just plugged it right into my laptop and bingo, we had web access, at least. 

I went out on a walk while mom and dad slept, tried to pick up 2 caches which I did not find, and tried to find the Metro and figure out how to get a ticket.  I came back to find the parents were still sleeping, so I settled in myself and tried to nap.  With a school right outside the front windows of the very bright apartment, sleep was not close by. So I read, checked my email at DYC and ruminated about them firing me for my awful course evaluations.  I probably got in an hour’s snooze on the sofa bed eventually.

About 2pm local time, we were dressed and ready to head out to look at Copenhagen, well, dad and I were at least.  Mom was exhausted looking and still feeling pretty bad.

Thursday, August 3, 2017