Copenhagen quickly became one of our favorite cities.
Denmark was the 10th country that we lived in on our journey. It’s a culture of bicycles, open-faced sandwiches, and uninhibited carefree attitudes. For the Danes, long summer days are for hanging out with friends and enjoying the sun. We truly loved our time living in Cope
It was another beautiful summer day in Copenhagen.
So, we suddenly found ourselves sitting on a bench along a waterway drinking a six pack of Somersby cider. I say suddenly not in the way that we were surprised to have miraculously or spontaneously appeared somewhere. No, it was more in the way that we looked outside, saw that it was a lovely day, and suddenly decided to stop working in favor of drinking cold alcoholic beverages by a picturesque waterway. Because that’s what people do here and by coincidence, that’s also what we do. Granted the locals are usually drinking the Dutch made Carlsberg beer but I’ve never liked beer. Call it a character flaw.
Anyway, as we sat enjoying the afternoon, we noticed two men and a woman walking together on the other side of the waterway.
They had found the Carlsberg and it was abundantly obvious that they were feeling no pain. They looked disheveled and a little dirty, as if the party had started the day before, but was finally winding down due to sheer exhaustion. Stumbling a bit when they walked, they talked in that loud voice that drunk people tend to talk in. We couldn’t quite place the language they were speaking. This could have been because of the distance or from their slurring, but we were pretty sure it wasn’t English. I mean, it’s Demark, so why would they be speaking English? We assumed that they were local, mostly because one of them decided to go for a swim. The waterways in Copenhagen are very clean and the Danes, of course, don’t bat an eyelid. They simply don’t have the same inhibitions most Britons or Americans have about being naked in public.
It’s common to see people spontaneously strip down to varying degrees of nakedness, and just jump in.
The guy leading the way must have seen the waterway and been unable to resist. He walked up to the water’s edge near a group of tables that the café across the canal had set up. Not wasting a moment on thought, he took off his shirt and jumped into the canal with his shorts and shoes on. That’s when we decided that the woman following just behind him must have been his significant other. Mainly because of the way she started shouting at the guy in the water. She couldn’t have been too upset at him though. After shouting at him for a while she seemed to reach the same decision.
Partially disrobing, she eventually ended up in her shorts and bra before jumping in.
Their friend was taller and a little more nicely dressed. That may have been why he decided to make friends with a couple having drinks at the café table near the water’s edge. He struck up a casual conversation as he proceeded to take off all his clothes off. It was funny to see how nonchalant he was as he undressed, setting his clothes in a neat pile on their table. You had to admire the composure of the couple. One moment they were enjoying a quiet drink together. The next they suddenly found themselves talking to a strange man as he stacked his clothes on their table until he was completely naked.
The guy turned toward the canal, fully naked, and jumped into the water.
One thing commonly seen on the waterways of Copenhagen are these long tour boats filled with seats that cruise the canals throughout the day. I’ve never counted the seats, but I would guess that they hold between sixty and eighty people as well as the driver, crew, and guide who narrates the tour through a microphone. So, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect when the boat started to pass.
He jumped with his legs stretched out in front of him, and everything visibly flopped around.
The boat was perfectly positioned to offer all of the riders an ideal view. Reactions on the tour boat varied but most people seemed to find the whole thing as funny as we did. The lady on the tour boat with the microphone broke down into hysterical laughter and couldn’t continue her narration of the tour. There were a lot of people on that boat that ended up with a souvenir photo they never could have anticipated
We laughed, the couple at the café table laughed, and three drunk people laughed as they splashed around in the water.
While sitting there drinking our cider and enjoying the show, we couldn’t help but wonder how they would manage when they tried to get back out of the water. The water level was about eight feet below the street level. All we saw was one semi-rusty ladder to climb back out. We wouldn’t have to wait long to find out and we were not disappointed. When they finally decided that they were done swimming, they all tried to climb up that same ladder, at the same time. In the funniest of possible outcomes, the completely naked guy won the contest, leaving the other two staring up in defeat at his soggy nether regions.