When I moved from Brooklyn to Copenhagen, many people inquired “Why here?” I wanted to write to my former country a letter bidding fond farewell to my native alphabet and to the adoption of three new letters that aren’t on my keyboard. So here is a letter in the form of letters as to why I am here to my former and to my present compatriots.
Words: Graham Tucker
Illustrations: Simon Væth
Aarhus: Dedicated to the arts. In the past, the seeds of Situationalism sprouted from here. Presently, the city spent three times the budget to modify a museum to house an Eliasson piece. His work is so smukke. It is also the ninety-eighth largest city by population in Europe. Take that Catania, Italy!
Beer and Bicycles: A tisket, a tasket, beer bottles in my bicycle basket as I bask in my inebriation alphabetic enumeration for the letter ‘B’. They go hand-in-handlebar to the, well…bar. Back in Brooklyn with bourbon and a bicycle… A ticket, I take it, tak NYPD for the abuse and the bruises after the cruise with my booze that come with it.
Copenhagen: I’m from America, this is how we spell it. The letter ‘K’ scares us, especially in threes. I will have to learn spell this properly at some point. Carlsberg is a close second.
Dronning Margrethe: She has all the qualities of a cool Copenhagen cat. She smokes like John Waters after a stroll down Strøget, is inclined to the arts, translated The Lord of the Rings, and has many dogs. Let’s say, hypothetically pathetically, that I am a dog person and was to judge the personality and character of the heads of state based on the quantity of dogs they kept. My former figurehead, the Big O, has one dog. Its name is B.O., as in Barack Obama; the name stinks. That’s like naming your dog D.O.G., wait…my mother did that. I’m sure Marge named a dog Elephant or something like that.
Elephant: Elephants seem to be popular here. A good beer bjørns this name and they dote the columns of the Carlsberg Brewery. Anheuser-Busch Brewery’s columns have eagles. An elephant would stomp the shit out of an eagle. Bart Simpson had a pet elephant, too. Bill Murray taught me how to ride a bicycle in a film where his costar was an elephant entitled Larger Than Life. Also, I once saw an elephant roaming up and down Istedgade. It offered to blow my trunk for 100 DKK. Elephants don’t speak, do they? Tusk love, I suppose, is never forgotten.
Faroe Islands: A colony of islands with forty thousand people with a touring symphony performing Phillip Glass pieces?! And you’re FAR, but it’s in the name. Vikings were a little more direct naming these islands. Greenland is made of ice and Iceland is green. It’s kinda like how that kid named Tiny on the show The Wire was a huge fucking fat-arse. Very tricky Erik the Red. FARoe Islands, your name is honest and so are your people. I salute that.
Girls are awesome.
Helle! Hella (I am trying to revive this word). It’s awesome you elected a female PM.
Istedgade: Come in the hookers, stay for the hipsters. Or is it come for the hipsters, stray from the hookers? Fuck it (no, not the hookers), there’s good Turkish food here after visiting the letter B.
Jutland: Kind of like how Canada is to America, you’re Germany’s ever-amiable winter cap. You’re the body of land keeping those Deutsche douches’ dirt from having to be bare and bjørn those northern sprays off the Baltic. You moor us to the mainland, (wo)Man!
København: World’s best place to use your kroner on kippers.
Leth: Leth is a poet…who provides insight of the Tour de France. Poets, generally speaking, aren’t inclined to sports. Poets possessing a full body of knowledge of sporting activities are even more of a rarity. To find a poet in the press box providing commentary on a sporting event is to find a unicorn using its horn to fuck a Pegasus in the ass. It’s a sight of mythical consummation that our eyes were never meant to consume.
Morten’s aften: Back in the States, we eat turkey on a holiday that celebrates the slaughter of the native men. This is directly tied to four hundred years of Christian authority. In Denmark, the equivalent is a party that celebrates the slaughtering of geese because some man was afraid to become the Christian authority. Party fowl, Amerikkka.
Nørrebro is the new Vesterbro.
Odense: O(l)dense, it’s old; that’s all I know. I am dense about the place.
Pandekager: Crepes are crap. The French method est fin, baking with beer is in.
Q: Uh… Q*bert? Anyone? Surely this eight-bit character transcends language and their name is universal. Alright, I’m going to level with you, ‘Q’ is hard and I am just pandering with cheap 80’s nostalgia. Have I VH1 you over? What? You don’t have that over here?
Hooboy, I am already dreading the letter ‘X’ and that is seven letters away. You people do use the letter ‘X’, don’t you? Please say nej.
Roskilde: Sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll! It’s like Woodstock with themed tents; I was in the Tom Selleck camp last year. You could say I was Tom-sold.
Sjælland: “The Devil’s Island” is what some Jutlanders call this isle. My question is why aren’t more Scandinavian death metal bands capitalizing on this? The songs practically write themselves.
von Trier: Lars, I wanna take you to bars and buy you beers. You somehow convinced Dafoe to cummings blood in Antichrist, can make jokes about Nazis that my former countrymen will never understand (I do though!), and directed the Europa Trilogy. Keep’em ee cumming, but not Willem. You’re also a friend of Leth and he doesn’t have too many right now. How do you do it?
Ullerupgade: When I grow up, I want to live there. I also want to be a racecar driver astronaut.
Vesterbro: I started calling this area “Vesterbrooklyn”. The title is apropos as a transition place from where I came from, it’s inundated with creative types and is cheap which is why I started calling it “Vesterbroke” due to my economic status. Ladies?
Wozniacki: Listen, she’s gorgeous and I could make a lot of puns about her rack-ets and playing with my tennis balls and blah blah blah, but I find most of you women in Denmark to be absolutely fucking gorgeous, so let’s dedicate the letter ‘W’ to women, shall we? For a visual reference see page, oh fuck, just look up.
X girlfriend: Every foreign guy who moved here for a girl now has an X. That girl.
Y? Why not. The girls here don’t need three dates before they drag you home. Even better, once they’re done with you they have no problem kicking you out in the morning – without a number.
Z Yea well. Zebras. Get fucked. There’s nothing else.
Æsel. In Denmark it’s not illegal to fuck animals. Who does that shit?
Ø: A letter that’s a word! I bet the people on the mainland are pissed you didn’t give them a letter too.
Å: I’m still in shock the Aarhus took the best letter ever from its name. Talk about selling out.