Aarhus – Copenhagen

If I hadn’t come to Aarhus I would have never been able to hitchhike to Copenhagen. Although the distance is around a hundred miles (160km) it is a popular hitchhiking stretch because of the commute between the capital and the second biggest city.

It didn’t take many minutes or car rears before we were picked up in a quality Volvo by a Danish business man. After a short evaluation of risk, a discrete exchange between me and my partner in mischief, pretty much entailing: “Do you think he is a pervert?” “Yes, probably…but no, he seems nice.” We got in.

For me, it was the floating flower in his see-through tea thermos in his cup holder that made me draw a benevolent conclusion about his character. It seemed like a genuine sign of pacifism. To find any real research about the danger of thumbing your way in the world, proved hard to find. The most thorough study I found, conducted in America and based on FBI crime statistics, found:

  • You’re almost 3 times as likely to be killed in a car accident than you are to be murdered.
  • The study also seems to show that the chances of a crime being committed drop radically after 3 miles of travel. Roughly 41% of all crimes committed by or against hitchhikers occurred within the first 2.9 miles.
  • No one over the age of 45 during the study committed a crime against a hitchhiker.
  • Male and female hitchhikers were equally likely to have been the victims of a crime, where the person committing the crime was far more likely to be male (86%).

Source: Nathan Swartz, Wanderly Magazine.

But there is also no need to be reckless. The most common crime against female hitchhikers is rape. So we carried a flick knife with us. That is the beauty of making friends from a broad range of  backgrounds. I now have a German friend who knows and carries a knife in situations where it can be useful. This doesn’t mean threatening people in dark alleys with it. “I carry sometimes when I’m out and about and need to cut bread, or play with it by throwing it into trees in the woods. ” And then of course for fending of rape attempts which would cause rain on our free travel parade while hitchhiking…

After a pleasant ride talking about how to make chocolate out of tofu, Scandinavian mentality aka the Jentelagen, and children’s obscene behaviour on the internet, we reached our destination. The sun was setting over Copenhagen, tumbling down over us from my home country Sweden just 23 miles (40 km) to the west.

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark with a population of around 3.664.000 million. It is renowned for great design, being bicycle friendly, and environmental. We had a great weekend there shopping, raving through flee markets and going out.

But what makes Copenhagen really weird is the patch of autonomous land called Christiania where hippies, artists, anarchists and random rebells have lived in a community since the 1970s, ever trying to fend off any influence of the Danish state. It is a haven for Cannabis smoking. On the weekend of our visit there was a demonstration at the Town Hall Square, advocating for free Hash. Needless to say it was a mellow affair, where people sat around getting high in the sun and listened to music. I didn’t see any police.

In other parts of town however, another movement was marching the streets, unleashing their desire on the public…

Justin Bieber (or aren’t they saying Justin Beaver?) was in town.

Copenhagen has been the scene for Danish belibers before such as the Justin Bieber flash mob in August 6th, 2011 and the Bieber Parade in November 19th 2011, both organised through the  @bieberparade on Twitter.