Wrong side of the road and masturbating chimpanzees!

grey Wrong side of the road and masturbating chimpanzees!

 

 

 

I once read a science fiction book where scientists bred modified chimpanzees smart enough to fly spacecraft. Chimps do not possess human vocal cords and can’t speak, hence communication was an issue. The other problem was that the space monkeys had had their intelligence further boosted with a hefty dose of human hormones. Once in orbit, full of raging hormones and curious about themselves and the world the entire simian crew discovered masturbation and neglected to steer. Keepers watched through closed circuit television as the spacecraft burnt up on impact with the earths atmosphere, the chimps, arms a blur, did not even look up…

I will return to the chimps later on… where did I leave off last time? Sapphire blue skies, rubbish bins, rock climbing, blah, blah…A big difference which I have not yet mentioned is that being in the middle of summer it is light, all the time. The sun rises at around 5am and hangs in the sky until 11:30pm. This is fantastic news for vitamin D production, bad news for sleep patterns. The light definitely has its benefits, often Jette and I will go for a stroll before dinner along the waterfront, returning at 8pm to cook dinner in the sun. Hearing people passing below my window as I drift off to sleep I sometimes think it is grade four summertime again.  Mum made me go to bed early and I would lay in bed awake enviously listening to the cool kids still playing outside.

Speaking of cool kids. The Danish equivalent of grade 12 has just finished their exams and kids have been partying like banshees ever since. In Australia when college finishes most people find a paddock somewhere to stand around a bonfire getting drunk and fighting, or kissing. The Danes celebrate very differently. As each class is let out someone organizes a big cattle truck, army truck or similar to drive the whole class around town. With huge stereo systems blaring the trucks are decorated with banners, streamers and littered with drunken classmates before taking to the streets. It is almost a competition on which class has the loudest, most decorative truck…pimp my truck. The entire class spends what is left of the day and most of the night making surprise visits to proud parents. At their homes they receive beer and toilet breaks before returning to the road to drive around again yelling, dancing and sharing their joy with the world. I lie in bed in the sunlight and wonder if these school leavers realize that soon they will be facing either real jobs or university studies. I reckon that thought would tone the buggers down a bit.

Currently my new city is trying to build a name for itself as the cultural capital of Denmark. To this end Aarhus is currently host to an impressive sculpture by the sea display. Picture a sprawling seafront park with massive oversize sunglasses and randomly placed sculptures dotting the waterfront. Elderly art critics walk around wearing berets and pushing half glasses up their noses as kids run, yelling between adult legs climbing everything with abandon. One of the bigger pieces consists of three double length shipping containers perched on end with a small container containing a bell suspended between them. That is all, the containers just sit there quietly rusting away, the occasional passerby stops to ring the bell before losing interest and moving on. Art, there is no definition. My hairdresser told me that a group of local artists got upset about the sunglasses sculpture saying that it is not art. No one got upset about the upended containers though, being both an eyesore and completely useless they are clearly art.

Oh yeah, I got a haircut recently, two actually…

While walking around the sculptures on Saturday I got thoroughly tired of my long messed up hair blowing into my face and asked Jette if she would give me a trim. This saw us on Saturday night, me sitting in a chair laughing and heckling as Jette nervously circled, snipping at wayward locks. Jette soon found her confidence and gave me a decent shearing. As a hairdresser Jette makes a really good lawyer, it was a great first try though! Following my instructions Jette cut it really short at the front and top and left it long at the back. Business at the front, party at the back equals a home made mullet, or ‘German hair’ as it is known here. I was very excited with my new look but as my front end resembled an old frizzy microphone it needed some tidying up.

On Monday morning first thing I went out and found a hairdresser to tweak my style somewhat. Telling my second hairdresser that I trusted her judgement as long as she left it long at the back I sat down and, with her limited English, we enjoyed a stilted conversation for half an hour. As if programmed to cut all hair the same she finished, leaving me with a typical Danish, short all over, cut.  Not to worry I am determined that the mullet will return! Monday afternoon I faced a massive struggle with writing block so I decided to simply give up. I went to the climbing centre for a workout.

Just getting to the centre was a mission. The first time I went out Jette kindly took me in her Fiat Punto (more about this automotive masterpiece later). Once I started climbing Jette found a seat and patiently waited for me to finish, watching like a patient soccer mum. Yesterday I had to make my own way out. I took Jette’s step through ‘city-girl’ bike with a wicker basket on the front. In the basket were my new, brightly colored climbing shoes with the pointy toes. I set the hilltop hoods on my iPod and left the building. The first few intersections proved a massive challenge. When the light turned green I rode through the intersection and would instinctively turn straight into oncoming traffic, panic, then ride up onto the pavement to regroup before trying again. I made a few bad turns but soon I was making my way up the correct side of the road towards the gym. The Climbing centre is located in a ‘bad’ area of town, revved up cars raced past with music blaring and passengers staring as I pedaled along quietly listening to my music.

Notwithstanding, it was a lovely ride out to the centre on ‘city-girl’, most people smiled as I passed and I could not help grinning about bringing people joy with my ridiculousness.

Unable to communicate, with burning forearms and sweat dripping off me I spent two hours mimicking people around me in the empty dive pool retrofitted with climbing walls. Looking up at observers above I fell limbs akimbo and rubbed my burning forearms while laughing to myself. It must have been a zoo-worthy sight, the lone guy at the climbing centre falling off, laughing at private jokes and not managing to speak with anyone, but it was brilliant fun. Next time I go I will try to act normal as I need to find someone to team with for belaying. Rock climbing is incredibly hard on the forearms, my legs and, well, all over hurt when I finished dragging myself around the obstacles.

The only time I felt a big awkward about my transport was when I finished climbing and asked the duty manager Mikael to let me into the bike shed. I wheeled the city-girl out from amongst a selection of very masculine mountain bikes to catch a poorly stifled laugh from him. Mikael then watched with a bemused expression as the new guy put his pointy shoes into the basket and set off down the wrong side of the street, back erect, earphones in, with a big grin on his face.

I sat on the generous girl-seat and threw myself into a rush of oncoming traffic. As I slowly orbited the roundabout backwards I thought about my communication issues and burning forearms and could not help grinning as I remembered the story of those masturbating space-chimps.

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