DenmarkThis episode is part of a series of Travel Tales, about Jason’s backpacking trip across Europe in 1995.


I didn’t spend much time in Denmark, and looking back at it, I wish I had stayed longer. It’s true that it doesn’t have the rugged, picturesque landscape of Iceland or Norway (or half the other countries I visited), but Copenhagen has a lot to see, and Denmark is also home to the original Legoland, which I skipped, because… reasons.

My train arrived early in the morning, so I had no trouble booking a bed at a hostel. It didn’t have lockers, but I was in a four-bed room with a lock on the door, so I took the only actually valuable things I had with me (e.g. wallet, passport, and my plane ticket home), shoved the pack under one of the beds, and figured I was OK.

I’m not much for the traditional touristy places, but I wasn’t too cool for a visit to Tivoli, the old-time amusement park located in the middle of the city. It’s no Six Flags or Cedar Point… but if it was, I wouldn’t have bothered. It has a pirate ship, roller coasters (I rode a few), gardens, and lots of people to watch, all clustered into a remarkably small area. I enjoyed it, but by mid-day it was getting crowded.

Denmark-SirenMy next stop was Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, an art museum next to Tivoli. It has a collection of 19th-century European painters such as Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Degas, and Gauguin. It has an even more impressive collection of sculptures, including Egyptian and Classical pieces, and a bunch of more modern sculptors such as Rodin, including “The Kiss” and one of “The Thinker”s (he made a bunch of them). One piece that – for some reason, I can’t imagine what – caught my eye was “The Siren” by Denys Puech.

For the rest of the afternoon, I threw caution to the wind, and went exploring. I wandered the city, not quite at random: I was making my way toward “Freetown” Christiania, an anarchist community in the Christianshavn district of the city. Christiania is a former military barracks and adjacent land that was taken over by anarchists, claiming autonomy from Copenhagen (and Denmark in general). The government doesn’t recognize that, of course, but since the 1970s they’ve kept a mostly hands-off policy toward the commune.

Denmark-ChristianiaAside from being an interesting social-science experiment, one of the things Christiania was well-known for – especially in the 1990s – was drugs. Amsterdam has long been a drug-tourist’s paradise, of course, with cannabis and even harder drugs easy for any interested traveler to score, just by walking into a shop. But most cities in Europe didn’t have that kind of easy access, requiring one to ask discreet questions, make connections, etc. I was a fool, but I wasn’t quite foolish enough to risk getting arrested trying to score drugs in a foreign country.

But, Christiania – my guide book explained to me – had Pusher Street.

Pusher Street (yes, it’s really called that on maps) was a kind of open-air marketplace, where dealers set up booths to sell drugs. By unspoken agreement with the Danish police, hard drugs like cocaine and heroin were supposed to be off-limits, but cannabis was openly displayed and sold, with competing vendors to keep each other honest on price and quality… something of a libertarian paradise. Which of course meant area suffered from graffiti and squalor and so on. But it also meant I could just walk up, hand over my kroner (Danish “crowns”), and get some high-quality cannabis.

As part of the detente between order and chaos, cameras are not permitted on Pusher Street, to prevent plain-clothes cops from collecting incriminating photos of dealers and customers. So I don’t have any snapshots to show of it. I was actually more nervous about getting caught with my camera out than I was about procuring drugs.

I bought some “space cakes” (hash-infused brownies), figuring they’d be less conspicuous than a joint. Plus, not being a cigarette smoker, I didn’t have a lighter. I took a stroll into the park area of Christiania by the channel (that part of the city is on an island), and ate one. It took a little while for me to start feeling it, but … wow! Most of the pot I’d had back home had been garden-variety… literally: weed grown in someone’s back yard or basement. I thought I’d had some good stuff before, but this was so much stronger. I sat down on a graffiti-covered bench, and just… was. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I had a boner. It was like paradise, after all.

Denmark-tents Denmark-bench

As the sun set, it dawned on me that it was going to get dark next, and I couldn’t very well retrace a whole day of wandering steps back to the hostel. And I remembered the only map of the city I had was 1) just a single page, and 2) in my guide book, back at the hostel.

Finding my way out of Christiania wasn’t too difficult… it isn’t that big a place. This gave me the confidence to think that getting back to the hostel wouldn’t be so difficult after all. Figuring that the safest place to stash my hash was inside me, I scarfed down another space cake at the gateway to Christiania, stuffed the remaining two into my pocket, and strode back into Copenhagen proper.

But there was one thing I didn’t understand at the time, about how edibles are different from smoking a joint: doses and digestion. I assumed that I was already experiencing the full effect of the first space cake, but in fact it was just getting started. And I’d just eaten another.

I was pretty sure I knew the right direction toward the hostel, and set out for it. But with each block I walked, I got more and more stoned. I started to panic a little, and walked faster. Copenhagen is a very old city, built on seaside geography, and in the city center its streets can be something of a maze. It wasn’t long before I started wondering if I was going in circles… or hexagons… or decagons… or something.

It finally occurred to me that maybe I was better off slowing down. After all, I was bound to start coming down from the high if I waited an hour or so, right? I stumbled to the doorway of a shop, and sat down to rest and recover.

But I wasn’t coming down. I was just getting more and more stoned, to a level I’d never experienced before. I laid down on my back to collect my thoughts.

20DankDanskAndDark_001And fell asleep.

It might’ve been five minutes later, it might’ve been five hours. But I heard a voice, talking to me. It was probably in Danish. He seemed to be asking me if I was OK, and I seem to remember lifting my left hand with a thumbs-up.

Someone sat down next to me in the shop doorway. My cock was already hard, and I felt a hand on it. Then zip my jeans were undone, and the hand started stroking my cock, up and down, up and down. I opened my eyes a little and tried to see who was there, but couldn’t make anything out.

Then he started sucking my cock, and I stopped caring. I was still high as fuck, and the pleasure center of my brain was so overloaded there was nothing left for any higher functions to run on. All I was aware of was that I had a cock, and it was inside a warm, wet mouth.

The sucking stopped, and I felt a hand on my ass, kind of massaging it, kind of tugging at my pants. Pulling them down my hips, I guessed. That was nice.

The hand returned to my cock, and started jacking me fast and hard. I’d been teetering on the edge of orgasm for what seemed like half an hour (but was probably much less), and this quickly pulled me over the edge. I felt the first squirt land on my cheek. The rest I didn’t know or care. I tried to count, but got lost around the sixth. The hand was gone, but my cock continued to twitch, spitting up one drop after another, as I drifted back into sleep.

20DanskDankAndDark_002

I woke up a little before dawn. I was still in the doorway, flat on my back, my cock hanging out. I was still a little high, but I could make sense of where I was, and assess my situation. It felt creepy, to say the least.

My pockets were empty: the business with my jeans wasn’t just to get at my cock. The remaining space cakes were gone. My wallet was open, lying on the ground next to me, with the cash removed (about $30 worth) but my ATM card – which is how I got infusions of cash whenever I arrived in a new country – was still in its hidden slot. My International Student Identity Card was gone (costing me a bunch of discounts the rest of the trip). My passport, Eurail pass, and plane ticket home were still in the pocket I’d sewn to the inside of the left leg of my jeans, so at least I wasn’t doomed to a life as an illegal alien in Denmark. But I felt more than a little… violated.

I pulled myself together (read “put my cock away”), and figured out where I was. Surprise: I was nowhere near the hostel, in a part of the city I hadn’t even been to during the previous day. I found a bank, withdrew some Danish kroner to pay the day’s expenses, and figured out how to get back to the hostel by public transportation. I tried suggesting to the hostel manager that, since I hadn’t actually used the bed the night before, I shouldn’t have to pay for it, but he didn’t buy that, and I can’t say I blame him.

So I retrieved my pack from under the bed, walked to the station, and boarded a southbound train into Germany.