So, here I am in Denmark! I took a 55-minute flight from Stockholm to Copenhagen on Friday, so it was a pretty short trip. I had the usual airport fiascos of my American credit card not working in the metro kiosks, having to ask strangers how the train system works, and sitting on the floor trying (and failing) to trim down a SIM card using hair shears covered in shea butter that exploded en route. Copenhagen’s airport is connected to the main metro system, though, so it was very easy to get into the city. Thankfully I had downloaded directions to my airbnb since my phone was essentially useless, but even a 10-minute walk through an unfamiliar neighborhood without Google Maps to fall back on caused some mild anxiety. I made it to the airbnb around 8, hoofed it up 5 flights of stairs with my backpack, and collapsed in my home-sweet-home for the week. My Copenhagen hosts are a sweet couple, Turið and John Ivar, from the Faroe Islands—A small island cluster between mainland Europe and Iceland, population ~50,000. Somehow we chatted for four hours over Turið’s delicious homemade hot chocolate before we realized what time it was, and basically if the Faroe Islands are ever a Jeopardy category, I’ve got it covered.
Yesterday I ventured out in search of another SIM card, gave the card-trimming another try and still couldn’t make it work. As great as it is that the Verizon iPhone 5 is unlocked, no one overseas actually sells the nano SIM that fits it so the only real option is to take a micro SIM and trim it down with scissors. I did this easily in Stockholm, but my two tries here have been a bust. The thought of roaming around a new city untethered was kind of an intimidating one, but I’ve found that I’m pretty good at just wandering and backtracking which makes the iPhone more of a safety net. So that’s what I ended up doing yesterday. There were a few places I wanted to check out around the Enghave station in Vesterbro, so I decided to just wing it. I got off there, followed a couple of main streets that took me into the Frederiksberg district, which is sort of a separate town within Copenhagen (“They think they’re too fancy for us,” is how it was explained to me). I’d been looking for the Carlsberg Brewery and hadn’t found it, but I did come across a street called Ny Carlsberg Vej and suspected it would take me there. And it did! So I checked out Carlsberg for a bit, hopped on their wifi, and reoriented myself.
It turned out I was pretty close to Bang & Jensen, a cafe recommended to me by Marion, I tried to commit the map to memory and took off in that direction. Not exactly sure what I was looking for, I saw a cute-looking place where people appeared to be drinking coffee, so I figured that may be it. I couldn’t see any signs and assumed it was the hipster way of things not to mark entrances or whatever. I went inside and still couldn’t figure out where I was, but it was super cute! So I stayed. I kept looking for signage so I could check in on Foursquare (because obvs nothing is real unless you check in on Foursquare), but no dice. Then it dawned on me that I was sitting in the unnamed coffee shop that has actually been on my list to hunt down. So, lesson learned: Wing it more, iPhone less.
Epilogue: I never made it to Bang & Jensen last night, but headed home and hung out with Turið and John Ivar until late. Everyone slept until about noon, Turið cooked brunch, and I headed back out to Bang & Jensen this afternoon after my Malmö plans fell through. My SIM card now works because I’d just put it in upside down (have I mentioned before that I’m an idiot?), but I did learn a lesson.