I’m tired and jetlaggy right now, but I spent a wonderful half day biking around Copenhagen. I’m not paying attention to US news..ok, I’m not paying much attention. Instead I’m basking in old buildings and bike traffic and unexpected newnesses. Cities are cities, but my favorite thing about visiting a new city–particularly in a country not my own–is that there are small ways in which it defies my expectations. I don’t mean linguistically, although that can play a role. It’s more that every city has its own way of organizing, of flowing, of thriving.
The church bells sound low
and the air smells of salt
while seagulls scream as they swoop
I’m biking in another language
and sometimes I miss the turn
but I keep my eye on the woman ahead of me
she knows what she’s doing
while I’m just playing tourist for a day
mapping out mustard yellows and brick reds
and the weight of bricked history on cobblestone streets.