Saturday, July 25, 2009

Copenhagen Afterdark

The Little Mermaid

I am now here in Copenhagen (CPH) for the World Outgames 2009. I arrived here yesterday morning at around 7:30 am on a Thai airways flight which took me from Manila to Bangkok (a two-hour flight) then from Bangkok to Copenhagen (a 10-hour trip). So far so good. Before I came here, a friend of mine who's been living long in Zurich and who's been to CPH a few times told me that Denmark had cold summers. I thought she meant mildly cold.

Imagine my surprise when I got here and the wind gave me chills. I think I packed the wrong clothes. Or at least, I did not pack anything for the cold. Luckily I was able to bring a light jacket which I meant for flying. I didn't know I'd end up needing it everyday. But it's been okay so far.

CPH in the summer gets rain, wind, and sunshine. Yesterday on my first day here, the morning started out bleak with dark clouds up in the sky. Two hours later it rained. After the rain, the sun shone and it was up till late afternoon around which it rained again. I'm glad I brought my umbrella along.

Another girl from the Philippines, Sass is here with me and we are both housed in the Outgames Outreach home where many LGBT rights activists from around the world are staying. We are all going to take part in the 2nd International Conference on LGBT Human Rights, as participants and speakers. I am not speaking in any of the workshops but Sass is. I may attend that panel which is going to be on Monday.

So far I have met people from Nigeria, Venezuela, China, Jamaica, India, Nepal, Bosnia and other countries. I think more people are scheduled to arrive today Saturday so they can make it to the Grand Opening of the Outgames tonight. There will be a parade of nations for which I brought a traditional costume. The girls from Nepal and Nigeria that I met this breakfast said they would wear traditional clothing from their own countries. After the Opening, we will all troop to Grand Opening Party that's happening in an island. The organizers said that we would take the boat going there.

Yesterday Sass and I met a long-time friend of mine in CPH, Asger and he took us to Freetown Christiania which is a big commune where cannabis is traded. It was a great experience seeing it and seeing people come to the place to smoke up. There were so many people there and it was not hard to find. Sass and I took the train together and got off at a station where Asger picked us up. We have been using the train the past two days and so far, it has not been difficult. Asger also took me to the Little Mermaid at Langelinie Harbor whose picture I took in the evening (see above). I bet she looks more spectacular in the dark with lights surrounding her. I just figured out that the reason why her legs look more human than fish is because she was sculpted at the time her fish tail was transforming into human legs.

We will have a busy day ahead getting ready for the Opening tonight and the after party. I will try to take more pics and update you all soon.

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