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Denmark

let’s start the show.

ok i’ve just got off a 3 hours youtube marathon of bravo tv’s work of art – which is honestly a really interesting/ridiculous/self-indulgent show – just for the pure fact that art tends to be so subjective and artists and media-whoring tend to be things traditionally not discussed within the same sentence. i don’t know, the premise of that show strikes me as odd, but i’m drawn to the notion of the creative process and watching how these talented people pull off their creative visions.

this being said, i blame youtube for wasting away so much of my life. haha.

but work of art did make me think of something. namely, what connotes art? and what attracts me to pieces of work in a gallery? it’s been my thing, trying to figure out the psychology of beauty and attraction, i guess. then the question is also – can a layman create art? i mean, i like my photography, but does it connote art?

hmm.

whatever it is, i’m presenting my own ‘art gallery’ here of my photography shots. and lets be “artistic” and self-indulgent with the naming shall we? =)

linear.

(realise how all the artpieces have like single-term names that seem to instantly make it uber-cool? lol)

lost in thought.

(taken inside the round tower, which is one cool public space)

 

can i just like color? otherwise titled the death of black and white.

(artsy names don’t have to make sense – but if your picture is the dullest of things and well.. just pretty, then you better give it a whimsical, long and nonsensical name. picture shot in tivoli gardens, which is a really pretty amusement park that i mistakenly paid money to enter, thinking it was some beautiful fantasmical garden. -_-)

picture of a picture of a picture.

(ahh.. confuse people as much as possible with repetition. haha. anyways, i love this shot, which was part of an exhibition of journalistic photos in one of the squares in copenhagen. what a beautiful portrait photography)

can i just like color, part II.

(of course, we need to use revisit themes and stuff)

 ahh that was fun. back to being an engineer now i suppose. lol.

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“it’s something in the water.”

that was my friend’s final conclusion for our discussion on why the danish here were well, so perfect.

you see, it’s not just the exterior, though i’d admit it plays a significant role – from the well toned, fit physique of both the gals and the guys, the stylish, near effortless getups to the blonde hair, bright blue eyes and sparkling white teeth. seriously, 90210 could easily be shot here without bringing in any actors. what’s even more appealing is their laid-back attitude, their cheeriness towards life, their quickness to aid a hapless tourist and just.. the fact that they seem so darn right happy and contented!

i’m jealous.

and it’s not like immigrating here is a solution – in a certain sense, i feel like i’m trespassing into their happy-land with my ignorance of the cultural norms and language. i’m more jealous. i’m wistful – pondering the notion of whether singapore could somewhat be like this – laid back, chilled, happy, and not with all the venom, xenophobia and hatred being flung around online these days. =(

i didn’t stay long enough to nail the causes for their happiness but this is what i gleaned from a few days in happy-land.

(1) you don’t need to rush through life. relax. wait for the lights to turn green before moving. don’t horn at the old lady crossing the road or at a bewildered tourist. there’s time.

(2) eat healthy, drink healthy and glow. i seriously am awestruck by how healthy these people eat — i mean stripping away the touristy shwarma joints and pizza places, people here seriously eat platefuls of salads paired with salmon, seared tuna or some protein variant, and drink vitamin water or elderberry juice. (ok fine, there’s beer too. and yeah i know it’s a bit of an exaggeration – but the proportion of salad eaters is quite startling) and indeed, copenhagen has a f&b infrastructure that reflects this healthy trend – i see tons of fruit juice bars selling  delicious, freshly squeezed juices (exorbitantly priced though) and i also noticed that their 7-eleven stocks protein shakes, protein bars, a whole array of vitamin drinks and fruit smoothies. i mean.. wow.

(3) ride a bike. my tour guide mentioned that this was probably the reason why even the average dude seemed so fit – everyone, from the girls with long flowery skirts to men in executive attire travel around by cycling – in fact, you’re more likely to get into an accident with a bicyclist than a car!

(4) take care of one another. this was reiterated many times by my tour guide – the danish believe in strong social and familial ties and bonds — this translates to massive taxes in order to provide for a near-perfect welfare system. the thing is, such a scheme will work only if everyone believes in such bonds, and selfishness is not rampant – cos you just need an accumulation of people gaming such a system before others get tired and annoyed. so… double wow.

conclusion? “it’s not just the water. but it’s happy-land here fer sure.”

bicycles are everywhere.

clean, pristine parks that invite you to slow down and relax in the sun.

cheery blue skies

waiting to go home.

i’ve been massively busy the past few days just getting back to terms with work, my italian studies and just settling daily life issues. which explains this post coming out at 1:23am i suppose. haha, but i guess the photography is fun, and i kinda feel committed to keep this blog chugging along even when i’m overseas.

one thing awesome about being overseas, is really the range of stuff that you get to see and experience, especially if you are willing to be decidedly untouristy about matters. i mean like ditching tour-buses, shunning crowded, touristy choked places and just walking off the beaten path, trying a variety of food and other stuff.  if there’s one industry i want to go into, it’ll be to set up a tour agency that creates un-touristy itineraries for the new-aged travellers. you heard it here first — business partners please come. =)

and yeah photography to me, is one way to capture the essence of the culture and vibes of the place, and hence it is very dear to me. =) now, speaking of the culture of copenhagen, i could simply snap alot of really good looking, blonde-hair, blue eyed girls and their equally perfect, muscled, low-key fashionable guy friends but ermm, i’m too hum-chee (afraid) to do such direct shots and well.. i don’t wanna be accused of as a stalked or whatevs.

but goodness. if you wonder why people here in these scandinavian countries are so darn happy and chillax, well, i offer the reason that they got pretty much the best draw from the gene lottery. it’s as though ugly danish is as rare as a black swan. (ok weak, geeky joke, pardon me)

nevertheless, as i was reviewing my photos, i realised i did take shots of the danish going about their daily lives and well, here they are:-

otherwise titled, copenhagen photoseries (1) – people shots

the hangover.

quayside.

pedal power.

fun in the sun.

 more coming soon.

to be honest, you can’t really see scenery through the pain. lol

i’m back in Rome now after spending my past weekend gallivanting around Copenhagen and literally running a Jericho-like ring round the city for the 42.195km Copenhagen marathon.

why the idea of a marathon, you might ask? well, the Rome Marathon was held in March and from a viewer’s perspective, having the opportunity to run around a beautiful city and acquaint yourself with every nook and cranny in a short time seemed like plenty of fun. and plus, yeah, there’s a little bit of bragging rights involved in nonchalantly commenting –

“ah yes.. copenhagen.. i ran a marathon there.”

 just sayin’

but.. to be utterly honest, there was too much pain for me to enjoy the scenery especially in the later half of the marathon. it was more an “omg.. are we there yet?” kinda sensation at every turn of the street. i made a few mistakes in my preparation for the marathon – one was obviously not preparing enough – having barely hit 18km for my longest run.

the other, more critical rookie mistake, was really to feel utterly strong and superb for the first 20km of the race and really run at a pretty fast pace. i had started at the back of the pack since I had no clue (no goals in fact — i just wanted to finish) what sort of timing I was supposed to be looking at. so yeah, i started right behind the 5.00hr pacer group and initially felt the pace being too slow for my normal run-pace. so i sped up, started overtaking the pacer groups – 4:50, 4:40, 4:30 and even caught sight of 4:20 at around the 16km mark.

but that was when things started spiraling out of my control – my legs simply starting cramping at all possible places and really hurt. really. stretching helped initially — stretching my quads helped loosen them sufficient for another km or two, but after awhile that stretching led to more cramps at other areas. lol. it was like i was discovering new muscles of the lower half of my body and having them introduce themselves to me by cramping. -_-

i think my refuelling plan worked out – tons of powerade and fruit to replenish the energy – to the point where the top half of my body was perfectly fine and raring to go, but my lower half felt like a long drawn out seppuku.

but somehow, through the envisioning of my cute niece kaykayla cheering me on, through listening to my church cd tracks from my itunes (very apt lyrics at times) and through using each song within my itunes to motivate myself to run for reasons linked to that period of time (though i couldn’t find any period of my life to link with britney songs and slowed down during her tracks) , i finally finished with a timing of 4hr 52min. =) don’t ask whether i’m gonna consider another marathon for now.

i’m just very glad it’s over.

copenhagen pics and food coming up shortly, but as a sampling, here goes –

       aamans open-faced sandwich – the remoulade sauce on the beef was to die for.