Uptown Girl Abroad
I imagine that, for a British expat in New Zealand, there are many mysteries to which you must become accustomed.
The eternal-burning question of what compels a Kiwi to put beetroot and/or pineapple in a burger, for instance.
(Answer: because it tastes jolly delish, der.)
But it's mutual.
If there's one thing that I have had great difficulty in grasping, it is . . . Gary Barlow.
Copenhagen is a city so compact its plethora of bicycles is rivalled only by that of Amsterdam.
So for a city to exist within such a small city is no mean feat.
Well, calling Christiania a city within a city is a stretch - the phrase "loose gathering of hippies with a love of hash and an aversion to the European Union" is probably more semantically accurate.
The neighbourhood is the site of an abandoned military barracks, claimed in the early 70s by a group of free-lovin', free-wheelin' Woodstock-lovin' chill cats who decided to set up squat.
It's now an 800-strong autonomous neighbourhood in the harbourside borough of Christianshavn, and the epicentre of the action is Pusher St.
If I had to describe the taste of lamb's balls in one word: springy.
Writing this sentence feels fairly other-worldly, but of all the things I was looking forward to on my visit to Copenhagen, eating the testicles of a surprise farm animal ranked high on the list.
Perhaps I should elaborate.
As much as I loathe the word "foodie" (it ranks right up there with "Team --", "yummy mummy" and anything with a # in front of it), if you have an even passing interest in food - ie: you eat it - it's nigh on impossible to have not heard the name Noma.
Although it was beaten for 2013's title of Best Restaurant in the World - that honour went to a restaurant in Spain - Noma, in Copenhagen, has taken the top spot an impressive three times, and last year managed to claw onto second place.
Pro tip: If you're planning on going to Copenhagen, indeed anywhere in Scandinavia, at any stage within the next three years, go ahead and stop eating saaaaaay . . . now.
(I've picked up a megaphone right now.)
Put down the Jimmy's mince and cheese.
(I've put the megaphone back down now.)
If you wake up one day, in an obviously foreign land, look around you - if you can see both a Little Mermaid statue (overrated as a tourist attraction, especially when the wind chill factor means the temperature is hovering around -15) and waif-like trendies dressed impeccably, I would take a stab in the dark and guess you have been teleported to the Danish capital.
One year for my birthday, my Mum made the most amazing cake.
It was from that baking book every New Zealand mother has - you know the one - and it was in the shape of a stage, with a bunch of little ballerinas dancing on it.
When my parents made me go for my obligatory pre-party nap (ie: came up with an inventive way to get a hyper 6-year-old off their back for three minutes), I snuck down to the games room in our basement, where I knew my cake would be.
I lifted up the tea-towel covering it and just stared in awe.
(Not going to lie, I also licked one finger's worth of peach icing. Worth it.)
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