I have been away from this blog way for way too long.
What started out as a one-month break from writing to “collect myself together” after somewhat traumatising few months has turned into a ten-month long case of a writer’s block.
My last post was 1 January this year.
In my defense, I did try to come back at the one-month mark. I have an unfinished draft from February as proof – and by “draft” I meant that I clicked on the “new post” button and failed to come up with a title nor a single word to write. I even tried writing about my writer’s block in May, which was supposed to help writers get the words flowing again, but that didn’t help either.
I have even travelled to London (and Birmingham) in the meantime, but even they didn’t inspire me to write again.
It took a trip to my most beloved city Copenhagen to get things started again. The moment I landed at Kastrup Airport, I was miraculously already itching to write.
I have lost count of how many times I have been to the Danish capital. Yet, every single time, Copenhagen still finds new ways to charm me.
I came right at the end of the summer. Or as some people told me when I was there, summer returned for a few days just to greet me.
I haven’t been able to write for weeks. I don’t know why but words just do not seem to flow anymore.
I’ve tried everything. I’ve blocked out time to just sit down and write. I have sat down and gone through my hard disks full of pictures over and over again to find inspiration. I have opened the Everywhereist and reread old posts more than I care to admit. But nothing seems to work. Nothing has yet spilled on this screen, no moment of sparks that made me go ‘aha’. Even if I had set myself a topic to write, I opened up my blank canvas, browsed through the pictures that I could potentially use, and did not feel inspired to write.
So the only way left now is to address the elephant in the room: the writer’s block itself. I have decided to look at the gargantuan problem straight into the eyes and say, “Hey I acknowledge your presence. Now can you please get the heck out of here?”
And I know that it’s not because of a lack of stuff to write. I have so much that I want to share with you from the countless trips that I took over the past two years. But I guess this being a travel blog, I sometimes find it inappropriate to share about my past trips when I’m technically not an active traveller anymore, at least for now.
And when I looked at old pictures from this year (yes all those travelling days felt soo long ago), I was surprised at how much I have forgotten, and there were even pictures of myself that I did not recognise. It felt much like when I was reading “The world this year” section of The Economist’s Christmas Special edition. I kept saying to myself “I can’t believe this happened earlier this year.”
So here are some of those moments, the forgotten pictures that have been part as much a part of 2017 as those that I had somehow remembered more vividly.
A picture of pure happiness of me at a Copenhagen Metro station. My happiness knew no place.
I am back after more than a month of silence. I haven’t forgotten about this blog, and I haven’t changed a single bit. I have probably been smiling a bit more and have played chess for what possibly is only the third time in my life.
It was not as if I could have forgotten it at a worse timing. The weather was great in Copenhagen, the sky was blue and it is not as if my mind kept drifting to my camera sitting comfortably in my school bag in Aarhus and wondering how great the pictures would turn out with a proper camera.
I guess the only thing I could do was to suck it up and make do with what I had at my disposal.
So here are my attempts to capture one of my favourite cities in the world with nothing but my phone camera.
To me, Copenhagen of course always starts with Nyhavn.
I have so far lived my life believing that I was born to be a jack (or jill?) of all trades. I would be interested in something, learn about it, be somewhat decent at it and move on to new things.
Until I found myself in Copenhagen more than five years ago and fell completely in love with the city. Since then, I found that I can be especially good at something, i.e. travelling back to the same city over and over again just to do the same things that I love.
Till date, I have travelled to Copenhagen on five different occasions, and I have met the Crown Prince of Denmark (here we go again), which is why I think I am properly qualified to give my opinion on what the best things to do in this city are.
So here are my personal favourites, in random order.
Take a stroll at Nyhavn
My absolute favourite place, and this lovely harbour has been featured numerous times in this blog. Walking to Nyhavn from Kongens Nytorv Metro Station is like finding a colourful surprise after a somewhat gray (albeit beautiful) stroll at the heart of Copenhagen.
In my opinion, Copenhagen is one of the most underrated cities in the world.
From time and again, I still get questioning look from people whenever I say that Copenhagen is one of my favourite cities in the world. Some even go so far as asking, “Where is Copenhagen again? Is it in Europe?”.
That’s how underrated this city, and Denmark is. The city where the famous statue of Little Mermaid is situated. The capital city of where the world renowned writer Hans Kristian Andersen came from. The city where Carlsberg brewery can be found (everyone must have heard of Carlsberg, surely!). The city which hosts the headquarter of Maersk, the biggest shipping company in the world. The capital city where LEGO, the world-renowned toy company, comes from. The city where Noma, the world’s #1 restaurant is! I mean come on people. Either I only care about things that no one else in the world cares about, or most people are simply ignorant, or Denmark has the worst marketing team ever.
And now, I shall add one more thing to the already long list of why Copenhagen is amazing: the city has many cafés with some of the best brunches that I have ever had.
Now, brunches aren’t really my thing, so I wouldn’t call myself a brunch guru. But I have had enough of them, especially in Singapore, where they are simply unimpressive. Brunches are always overpriced for the portion that they serve and most cafés, at least in Singapore, only focus on decorating the place and making the food presentation pretty (so they can charge a premium to it) without paying much attention to how it actually tastes (there are exceptions of course).
But I remember being very impressed with Copenhagen brunches, at least those few that I have tried. Or perhaps I was just being biased about this city as usual. But who cares, here are the list of my favourite brunch cafés in Copenhagen (note: it’s all of them):
I’m going to cheat a little again and distract you from the lack of actual posts on the blog.
Just watched this video of Copenhagen, and makes me want to visit again! One of the main reasons is because I am dying to get the chance to stay in this dorm called Tietgenkollegiet, which was designed by award winning architect Lundgaard & Tranberg. You can see the student college shot for a second or so in the video.
One of my favourite 8-acre areas in the world, Tivoli Gardens, get even better as they light up in orange-and-black lights over the Halloween.
I was there only once, five years ago now, and looking at the pictures posted by a friend of mine on Facebook of the Halloween decoration this year, things don’t seem to have changed much over the years. So I feel less guilty showing you pictures from five years ago and claiming as if I know what is going on in the Garden.
The thing that I like the most about Tivoli is that it is not pretentious. Halloween, for example, is a classic carved pumpkin affair with witches walking around the Garden and smoky giant cauldron that visitors can play with a giant ladle.
Whoever wrote this post about the miserable Copenhagen must have hacked into my WordPress account and written an entry in my name. No one in their right mind would ever hate Copenhagen.
I mean, how could you not love it when the people there are so nice? When I desperately needed some coins to change, a shop attendant went around the department store to find someone who had some coins for me so that I could buy my metro ticket from the machine. Or the friendly guy in Baresso who did not mind when I paid him using 1000 kroner note for a 48 kroner ice-blended chocolate drink and he ended up using up all his change for that morning. And he kept assuring me it was fine and wished me a great day after that!
On a beautiful day, you will be treated with a view like this right in the city centre at Nyhavn, which happened to be my favourite harbour in the world.
Note: I am in the midst of writing a very happy post about London, but really have to intercept with this little ranting just because I was having a very bad day. And publishing it to the whole world to see somehow makes me feel better. Strangely.
Perhaps it was because my closest friends here have moved out. Or maybe because the guy in the ticket counter was not friendly. Or maybe because my Airbnb host here was not responding to my messages at first. Or maybe because no one helped me in the bus when I could not pick up the umbrella I dropped because of my hefty luggage. Or maybe because it rained when I had to drag my suitcase down the street to find the correct bus stop. Or maybe because nothing seemed to work in the badminton stadium, from the WiFi to my own internet. Or maybe because the TV screen in the bus had to freeze and I ended up missing my stop and had to walk all the way back in the rain. Or maybe my heart has not quite settled from saying bye to some people dearest to me in London.
But Copenhagen seems to have lost its charm to me.
The metro seemed all too crowded for my liking and the facilities did not seem to hold for the growing number of people. The rain seemed much drearier than in London even though it was rarely sunny when I was there. The people seemed a lot less friendly than how I remembered them. I am watching badminton, my favourite and most well acquainted sports in the world, but everything and everyone seemed so foreign to me.