Reaching the bank at the speed of sound again, I’m pretty sure we hit -2g as we screeched to a halt outside the imposing building that housed the bank. I fell out the side door and struggled to my feet. The nausea passed within seconds, however the disorientation took a little longer. I paid double the fare, because SEK, and wobbled into the bank. On entry, I spoke to the nearest bank employee about a meeting with the manager. She promptly directed me to his office. Or told me the way back to the train station. I don’t know, I don’t speak Danish. Sitting outside the office, I reached into my bag and surreptitiously took out the money and put it in my pocket.
After a time, the bank manager beckoned me in and showed me to a seat. He then proceeded to yell at me for thirty seconds straight.. When I raised the question of whether he spoke English, he stopped, coughed and said “I said hello and welcome to DanskeBank in Roskilde, how may I help you?” Ahhhh. I put my wad of cash on the table and told him I wanted to open an account. His smile grew wider and he buzzed the intercom and proceeded to order a full Chinese takeaway. Or ask the secretary to come in. I don’t know, I don’t speak Danish. On her entry, he asked me if I wanted anything. Despite wanting a drink worse than oxygen, I demurred. He spoke English for my benefit and asked for a cup of tea and some raspberry jam squares. As the secretary exited, he proceeded to give me the spiel on various accounts, but desperate to get things moving, I said I just wanted to put money in a standard account.
The secretary came back in with a plate and a mug and placed them in front of the manager. He took one look at the plate and then turned to the secretary with a look of aghast horror.. “Blackcurrant? WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE?” he rumbled in a harsh whisper. I’d had enough of this and picked up the money. Left him and the secretary arguing about the food. Or discussing the 1922 Irish Civil War. I don’t know, I don’t speak Danish. Luckily, there was a bar across the road. I walked in, and ordered the largest drink I could find. I needed a job soon. The barman spoke English, so things were going well. Eventually, an old drunk sidled into the bar, sat next to me and started to ramble.
“Fuck’s sake” said the barman. “Seconded” I agreed. He then proceeded to turn to us and say “Bravery? I’ll tell you about bravery, son! In the Sudan, I watched blokes getting their ears blown off. Young fellas ripped in two by frightened horses. One poor Danish lad snagged his turkey purse on a barbed wire fence and watched his little peanuts fall into the grateful mouth of a desert shrew. The look on his face.. horrific!”. I looked at the barman and he nodded, slamming down a bottle of whiskey in front of me. I was going to need it…