Copenhagen is a very nice city to live in. People are … happy. At least from what I could see. There are no beggars on the streets, everything is more or less clean, everything works and days pass by quite calmly. There´s even a weed-legal zone in the city (Christiania) where masked men sell you dope. And even that´s calm. It might be just a mask, but I liked it.
The next amazing thing, blondes everywhere. I don´t know what nature did to women there but they are simply beautiful. Probably only Swedish girls can match them. And they´re pretty cool too. You see, when you have a hot girl in US or Germany, she might become a bit full of herself. Cause she´s hot. In Copenhagen, every girl is hot, so no need to be special.
There were only two downsides. The weather, which was not even too bad for the time of the year, and the cost of living. See, at some point we had a chat with an African Uber driver, he moved to CPH a few years ago. You could see it on his face when he said winters are tough. Long months of winter and cold and not that much of sun. Well, that’s not for me.
And the prices? I quickly saw that Vini was an experienced traveller, and since none of us was getting paid yet, I quickly learned some effective ways of reducing my expenses. I started to eat beans. And I started to use the “free” public transport.
See in some cities, you can just use the metro (underground) without paying. The only trick is to keep calm. For example, Vienna and Berlin are my favorites, I (and most other people, even residents, too) never buy tickets there. But you can easily do same with Zurich´s trams too. From back in the day I remember nobody pays in Belgrade either. The consequences are rare.
Copenhagen is a bit more tricky. Metro can normally be used without a ticket. Whereas busses (and we needed a bus from our place) are different. You either pay the driver, show him your actual ticket, or show him your mobile ticket – hint, hint.
So what did Vini and I do? We downloaded a sample ticket from the web and saved it in our gallery in the phone. Every time we entered the bus, we would just flash the phone at the driver (like all other people) and he would just nod his head and let us in. The numbers (date and time) were really small and we looked like we had real tickets.
That was the first time I learned how far you can get by keeping cool. And I don´t mean any unmoral, illegal stuff here. You can get into an elite night club by firm eye contact and keeping it cool (you need to dress the part too). You can take an extra piece of hand luggage on the plane or go in last and then pick any free seat you want. Unless it´s fully booked, nobody will check it.
When I visited CPH half a year later, still on tour, just before going to USA, I had an incident. It was about 4am, I am in the metro on my way home. As it happens, I´m chatting up a girl, we both had a mediocre night and were actually considering having a drink before we both go home. Well, I was considering that but I had a feeling she wouldn´t mind. However, one stop before ours, the ticket guys come. Fuck.
“Sir, do you have a ticket?”
“Miss, are you with him?”
Busted! So very quickly, I lost my girl and I was also getting fined. Ah well, time to become a gangster I guess.
“Sir, do you have any ID on you?”
“Could you check your pockets please?” (me obviously having a wallet in my pocket)
“I told you, I don´t have my ID. I never take it out with me, I don´t want to lose it.”
“Sir, we´ll need to call the police then.”
“Okay, that´s cool.”
They accompany me out of the metro. It was 4.30 am and the guys were both visibly tired. I knew they were probably not going to call the police at 4.30 am because some random dude in a metro didn´t have a ticket.
Then I give them my name – Peter Lewis, and then sign the paper too. Almost signed as Bostjan, haha. They give me a ticket for about a 100$ and asked me to go to the post and pay it tomorrow. We all knew that was not going to happen, but I still nodded my head.
So look, you can get away with a lot of things, if you know how to handle it. I´m not saying you should always skip the line and never pay for your public ride tickets. I´m just saying that if you travel the world on a budget, there are ways to save money, besides eating beans.
And then I went home, an extra metro stop and 20min further, but with a little more “swagga” to my walk.
Ok, people, I hope you liked this sample chapter. I have more than 20 chapters like that finished, but writing a book is a long ass process. Let me know what you think. Would you like to read more about it? I really appreciate all the comments and ideas.
Peace out, yo