EVG in Germany

Monday, July 03, 2006

THINGS TO DO IN DENMARK WHEN YOUR DEBIT CARD IS DEAD

Ladies and gentleman, meet Murphy. Murphy, you see, is the man who came up with the ubiquitous Murphy's Law. It states, quite correctly, that "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." (Though there are apparently other ways you can say it too.)

It is with this in mind, of course, that I ask you to travel with me to Copenhagen, Denmark. Before leaving for Denmark, I made the prudent decision to leave the bulk of my euros in a drawer in Raffi's apartment. I brought along some 75 euros thinking I would just go to the ATM upon arrival and scoop up some Danish Kronurs. Of course, life isn't ever quite so simple -- especially when crisscrossing Europe.

I made it to my hotel, checked in and -- after watching England miss penalty after penalty* -- headed to the city center to find a bank, a meal and a view of the France-Brazil match.

After wandering for a bit, I spotted and ATM and stepped right up.

"1000 kronurs please," I said expectantly to the machine.

"May I have your PIN number," it asked politely.

"Why yes, it is xxxx," I told it, replacing the x's for the correct numbers. Naturally.

The ATM then appeared to think quite thoughtfully for a moment, as thinking generally tends to be, before informing me, less politely than before, "Your card is expired." There was no "I'm sorry sir" or "Let me just check again." That was that. Card spit up. Not even a goodbye.

I decided to have a seat in a nearby park and have a bit of a think. It turns out, as you may have deciphered from earlier posts, that thinking hasn't been my strong suit lately, but I'm happy to report that this time I did a bit better.

I found the nearest pub, stepped up to the bar and asked the barman if he took Visa. He did and poured me a Guinness with haste. I also managed to make quick friends with about 5 Frenchman and, over the course of the next 7 hours, spent maybe $30 and drank quite a few beers. In Copenhagen, where a beer will set you back about 8 bucks, that's a pretty good accomplishment, actually. Special thank you to Thierry Henry for making the French festive.

In the ensuing days, I've found that you can hang in Copenhagen on the cheap if you just do things right.


  • I found a hotel that included free dinner AND free breakfast. And they let me borrow a bike. And when you're on a moving bike, I'm pretty sure it's impossible to spend money.
  • If you wait for your McBacon Jr. long enough at McDonald's the nice girl will offer you a free drink. Instead, ask for a small fries. She'll hook you up.
  • Lots of hotels leave fruit out during breakfast. Grab yourself an extra orange or two and eat it later in a park. This is a safer bet than the banana, which is more likely to become a smoothie in your bag at some point during the day.
  • Two computers in the Copenhagen visitors center have free internet. You have to fight off one-finger-typers from who-knows-where, but you can eventually surf gratis.
  • If you're really desperate for free entertainment, the three-minute snippets they let you see of 40-Year-Old Virgin on the hotel TV are enough. Also, Bad Boys 2 was worth watching, but only because it's been weeks since I've seen anything in English. Other than that, it is a stinking turd of bad acting and unfunniness. And that is me trying to be kind.
  • And finally, thank the good lord that you carry an extra credit card.

I have about 450 kronurs cash, which is the equivalent of about $100, except that everything is expensive as shit here. I head back to Berlin on Wednesday, where I hear EVERYTHING is going to be on sale. Wooo!

Until next time...

TheEVG without M-O-N-EEEE



*Sorry to the English among you. The difference between the English and the Germans when it comes to penalties is striking. As German went to PKs on Friday, everyone was confident they'd win. It was clear, though I wasn't with any English at the time, that the same could not be said on Saturday. At least you're rid of Sven.

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