This is my first break from class, so I finally get a chance to see some sights here in Randers, DK. It’s a lovely city, but not as nice as Ringkobing or Viborg. Here is the view from my hotel room.
Randers is a largish city and not quite as rural and picturesque as other places. I don’t blame Randers; it is simply by contrast to other places I have visited, and also due to the smoke stack that is always prevalent on the skyline. I don’t like smoke stacks. This isn’t too bad as it is helpful in finding my way back to the hotel after a few beers.
Being that Randers is a larger city it also has more attractions than other places. For instance I got a chance to go visit a rain forest. I left the hotel just after breakfast to meet up with my colleagues to walk down to the rainforest before it got crowded. Really nice place, kind of like a zoo, but made for the animals to kind of enjoy the place and keep the people penned. The rainforests are located inside giant geodesic domes with underground access points that end up in the lobby, where the usual made in China rain forest related junk are sold. I was a bit disappointed. Not in the rain forest, that was fantastic, however I was hoping for some cool stuff to buy. There was nothing that I couldn’t pick up at home.
Our timing was perfect we left just as busloads of children arrived. I have nothing against kids; I just would rather not be around them. They are loud, unpredictable, and tend to have some kind of radar that tells them to move into my way when I am walking. I often wonder if this is some kind of reverse survival instinct. Did kids always plunge headlong into danger, or is this something new?
We managed to stay one step ahead of the kids and ate lunch in McDonalds. My colleague loves ketchup with his French fries, but he is severely miffed that they charge extra for each packet of ketchup. In fact they charge 2dkk for each pack. He likes a lot of ketchup and the first time out paid for 5 packets. That’s over $2.00 for ketchup. We are planning on going to the Fotag for a bottle of ketchup after a while. He will be here for another two weeks and can’t see going that long without. We were thinking of hanging out in McDonalds and handing out Ketchup at a discount, but McDonalds would probably have us arrested as black market ketchup smugglers. I hear they go harder on foreigners for disrupting the economy. We are entrepreneurs, not black market profiting American ketchup villains!
Speaking of irritating children… I was hoping to get away from Halloween this year. I was in Denmark a few years ago and Halloween wasn’t a popular holiday. In fact I saw no sign of any decorations last time I was here, but that was in the beginning of November, maybe they just cleaned up real fast. I even asked a Danish colleague before we left the states if they celebrated Halloween. She said no, it’s an American thing. Yesterday evening we went out to dinner and there were jack-o-lantern all over the place. This morning at the rain forest there were little brats, and big brats, dressed up in all kinds of half assed costumes. I even saw a really tall kid dressed as Harry Potter, but instead of a wand he had a 9mm Beretta pistol in his robes belt. Well it was a toy with an orange cap on the muzzle, but still a hand gun. It seems that Denmark has changed, and not for the better. I wish the Danes would not embrace Halloween as we Americans seem to do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Halloween, I just like the idea that we Americans have a holidays that other countries find amusing and a bit disturbing. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but come on. Let us Americans have this silly-ass holiday.
Speaking of silly-assed…
I was walking back from McDonalds and passed by a store that sells eye glasses. They had these great lamps on display. Another thing I love about Denmark is that they are not as body conscience as we in the US. Body parts are not thought of as something obscene. Here is an example of a lamp that would not be sold in Home Depot in the US, which is really too bad as my lovely wife would surly love to own one.
Tomorrow I am planning on going shopping for my lovely wife. She wants some Christmas tree candle holders and I want a big long Danish flag. I saw a store that looked like a Danish version of Home Depot. Should be a hoot.