Disclaimer - This is far away from my usual work published on this site but my website is the best current platform for the creative partnership between my good friend and journalist, Joel Watson, who wrote this piece, and myself documenting our endeavours.
Exponentially more hung-over, we rose for day three. The two roommates in our four-bed dorm had switched from a very pleasant pair that we quickly made friends with, to an anti-social, German-Brazilian combo. I never found out their names because they refused to speak to me, so I’ll just call them Hans and Bastard. We saw them across the bar while we all ate breakfast. They whispered in sinister tones as they plotted to do horrible things to the coffee while no one was looking.
Roommates aside the day looked grim. It had rained heavily in the night and looked as though it would continue to do so for most of the day. After breakfast we make a dash for it while the rain paused and tried to buy an umbrella. Apparently there was a shortage because after walking around for an hour all we’d achieved was working up a sweat in the humid air. How you can sell out of umbrellas in a city that’s 60 per cent drizzle is beyond me.
Finally we found some in a pharmacy and then took so long to be served it plainly wasn't worth the hassle. I chose to just get wet as Ben queued for a small eternity and returned with a shitty piece of plastic that cost a week’s wages.
At a loose end and desperate to take part in an activity that didn’t financially ruin us, we decided to wander down to the Little Mermaid. Anyone that’s ever been to Copenhagen tells you not to bother seeing the little copper statue inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, complaining it’s too far away and it’s disappointing when you get there. I can confirm both those things, but it was fun to watch tourists thud painfully onto their backsides as they clambered over the treacherous rocks on the shoreline. If you’re waving a stupid neon selfie-stick around at eyeball-level you deserve everything you get.
We hired a couple of rental bikes for the ride home and suddenly Copenhagen made a lot more sense. There’s racks of ‘Boris bikes’ every few hundred metres or so and after cycling back into town, we realised this is how Denmark should be traversed. There’s clear cycle lanes everywhere, pedestrians spring out your way when you ring your bell and the whole city is flat as a pancake. Even someone like me who hadn’t been on a bike in 10 years thought it was great. And the bikes were power assisted so I felt like Chris Hoy blasting around the outskirts of the city centre. I was so excited about this I lost my balance and nearly went careering into a ditch at a million miles an hour. Time for lunch I think.
We parked our bikes and headed to Paper Island, a large warehouse right on the waterfront that contains a bustling street food market. Once inside we got jostled between little huts as we tried to choose between Korean barbeque, Turkish loaves filled with beef or fruit juice served by two very attractive ladies. Once we finished our juice I decided we needed to try the Scandinavian delicacy smorrebrod: rye bread and butter with pickled herring. Ben looked a little dubious at the two small plates of food, or maybe he was just wincing at the price. Either way I thought it was nice, Ben finished it manfully and we headed back to the bikes.
The Euro 2016 finals were on that night which we opted to watch on a big screen at the hostel rather than trying to find a bar with cheap beer. We got chatting with some of the other residents and rather forgot about the match going on behind us. After the game finished - I couldn’t have told you the score - our hostel cleared us out the common areas and we decided to keep the party going elsewhere. We had a brief jaunt across town with our new friends. We ended up in a bar somewhere. Tequila shots appeared. I became extremely witty and charming. Tequila shots disappeared. I became slightly less charming. We wobbled home. Memory incomplete.
Thoroughly drunk we negotiated the quiet hostel and collapsed on our bunks. Across the room our companions continued to enliven the holiday as Hans murmured curses in his sleep. I don’t know what Satanic rituals he was performing, but it seemed to be making Bastard fart a great deal in the bunk below. He’d fairly shit himself before I cracked the bedroom window next to the bunk and passed into an uneasy sleep.