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Lord of the Danske: The Arrival

“Fuck me, it’s cold”

I zipped my coat up even further so I could at least melt the frost on my chin. It was colder than usual in August here and I wasn’t prepared for it. Here in Denmark, after that mess in Citudad Juarez. You’d think I would have tried South America, but no. I had to get the first flight out of Mexico and I figured Sweden was a good idea. Hot-tubs, Swedish girls. Oh yeah. However, I’d drank a liiiiittle too much on the long flight to Malmo and ended up falling into a taxi before passing out.

When I came to, on the pavement, I had a note from the cabbie which said that I’d drunkenly slurred ‘Copenhagen’ at him, then I’d never mentioned a stop, so he’d carried on past Copenhagen and when he’d rifled my pockets, found I only had Swedish krona on me, he took it all, and dumped me here. Oh, and he said have a good time. Nice people, the Swedes.

Denmark.. I only knew this place from pictures. My family was sent from Mexico in 1920 to Denmark by my great-uncle and we ended up staying there until my parents went back in 1976.

I was sat on a seat in what looked like the most beautiful railway station in the world. Well, in my experience. When you’ve experienced Juarez, any station that isn’t a shithole is nice. Looking over to the left, I saw a plaque. “Oldest Railway Station in Denmark, eh?” I mused to myself. Well, that’s nice for it. A old man sat next to me. Next to me! In these times! I shuddered and tried to inch over more to my side. It didn’t work. He wrinkled his nose and called for the police. Or gave me directions to a shower. I don’t know, I don’t speak Danish. I smiled and tried to look big. Must work on humans as well as animals as he left a card and got up to walk away. “KFUM” I thought? This was odd. What was it?

Whatever. I picked up my flight bag, which contained a burner phone, a hidden compartment with SEK50,000 in it and a few clothes and headed to the taxi rank…

I may as well have got a fighter jet to the building. This driver was faster then Kevin Magnussen, taking corners on two wheels and taking his eyes off the road to tell other drivers to go fornicate…
I felt like I was back in Mexico and relaxed. We pulled up outside a non-descriptive brick building with a sign out the front. KFUM. What the hell could be in here, I thought?
I paid the taxi driver double because it was in SEK and got out. Standing outside to get my equilibrium back after Jan Magnussen the Second’s trip, I realised the cold again. That got my aching, jet-lagged body going and I opened the door. A clean reception area awaited me, with a stern-looking woman behind the counter. I put on my best smile, the one you use when your abuelita catches you with your manos en la masa.

She looked at me disapprovingly as I asked what this place was in Spanish. She then proceded to explain. Or read out the local takeaway menu. I don’t know, I don’t speak Danish. I tried English. “What. Is. This. Place?” She looked at me with a gimlet eye and said “This is a KFUM, you can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal, you can do whatever you feel, young man”. Great, a hostal. Just what I needed. I paid double for a single room, because SEK, and took my stuff upstairs. I then spent about 30 minutes in the shower because I had accumulated a lot of road dirt and, being hungover, meant I currently smelled like a sweaty brewery. After scouring my skin off, I wrapped a thin towel around me, more out of habit than anything, because I could have dried better with a newspaper, and laid on the bed. Before I could marshal my thoughts, the sleep man hit me on the head with his hammer and sent me off to a black nothingness.

I woke up about a day later, it felt like. My burner phone confirmed it. I looked at the clothes from my epic flight from my homeland. I don’t think they’ll ever be clean enough to wear in public again..
I dressed in my last set of clothes and took out SEK10,000. We were off to the bank. I checked with the abuelita at the desk as to it’s location and set off for a walk. Only to realise it was too cold for my
hoodie. Gasping with pain at the sheer sting of the wind that seemed to lance through me with every gust, I rapidly ducked into the first shop that sold coats. I picked up a big puffy coat and took it to the counter.
The young girl then told me the price. Or gave me a stock market tip. I don’t know, I don’t speak Danish. Either way, I paid double, because SEK, and left the shop, basking in the warmth of the coat. Now, to the bank… Taxi!

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