Picture of the Week

8 November 2009

Week 43: Århus

Filed under: — Administrator @ 16:35

With the exception of the first picture, all this week’s images are from a trip to my hometown in Denmark, Ã…rhus. The trip had two main objectives: to visit friends and to participate in a party to mark the 30th anniversary of my high school graduation.

But we start with an image from the newsstand at our office. Spain has several specialized sports newspapers. Just as the regular papers can be identified with a political party or social movement (e.g. El País is mildly socialist, La Razón is Catholic and so on), the sports papers often have an identity tied to one of Spain’s main football religions, Real Madrid or Barcelona. The one called Marca is normally considered Real Madrid’s house organ. On Tuesday evening Real Madrid, the world’s most expensive football team, lost 4-0 in the Spanish Cup to a team from two divisions lower, with a stadium holding only 7000 and with a budget that would not even pay for one of Real’s players. The Wednesday morning headlines were a distinct pleasure to this Real hater, screaming GO NOW (referring to Madrid’s coach), HUMILIATION etc.:

Then on Thursday morning, I flew to Copenhagen and took a train to my hometown Ã…rhus.


Alternate 1
While waiting for my suitcase in the baggage claim area of Copenhagen airport, I noticed these two employees of the Customs office, taking a break to play around a bit:

Alternate 2
The central rail station in Copenhagen is quite big and impressive, especially in afternoon light:

Alternate 3
I arrived in Ã…rhus early in the evening, had dinner with a friend and went to bed early. Friday morning I walked around the town. Here is a bit of urban flora, a truly mini-garden:

Alternate 4
My friend Lars, in whose apartment I stayed while in Ã…rhus, came home from a trip to Istanbul Friday night. We enjoyed an evening of food, beer, conversation and even playing with Lars’s remote control helicopter:

Alternate 5
Friday was an important day for Danish beer drinkers (which means basically most of the adult population): the Christmas brews were being released at 20:59 that evening. On Saturday morning I went for a walk, and clearly some people were still enjoying/suffering the aftereffects of the Christmas beers:

Alternate 6
A less attractive consequence of Friday night’s festivities was the mess outside the local junk food outlets like 7-11 in this case. People get hungry at 3 a.m., go to those places and leave the street a sea of wrappers:

Alternate 7
Someone forgot to finish his beer:

Alternate 8
During the afternoon, we went to see another friend, Anders, playing jazz at a local high-end furniture shop, part of a street festival being held that day:

Alternate 9
There are municipal elections in Denmark on 17 November, and the election campaign is in full swing. The mainstream parties campaign in various mainstream ways, but it is more fun to meet fringe types, such as the Nihilist People’s Party here, with the slogan “Nothing matters except cute animals”:

Alternate 10
By far the most entertaining group, however, was the P.I.K. party. In Danish, the acronym allegedly stands for “Penge i kommunekassen”, meaning “Money in the municipal treasury”, but much more important is the fact that PIK is a slang expression for penis; and indeed the party’s slogan is “Vote with your penis”. Their main campaign activity consisted of handing out free beer:

Alternate 11
The beer handed out by the PIK party certainly got them support in certain segments of the electorate:

Alternate 12
Then Saturday evening was the big event, our 30-years graduation anniversary. We had organized the event rather spontaneously, using Facebook and other tools to track down people, and about 2/3 showed up. Here is one of the cutest girls from back then, Heidi:

Alternate 13
Two of the most prominent intellectual influences of the 1970s were prominently displayed:

Alternate 14
Around 4 a.m. the party was over, and Lars, Anders and I walked by the homeless shelter where Lars volunteers a couple of nights each month. We were hoping to find one of Anders’s old friends from childhood who, through a variety of unfortunate circumstances, occasionally spends a night at this shelter. These two had not seen each other for many years, and the reunion was heartwarming for Lars and me to witness:

And thus ended the week.


  1. That’s a very interesting set of stories, Nathan, thanks. But you do realise that all football is bo**ocks, don’t you? 🙂

    Comment by Chris Barker — 8 November 2009 @ 20:26

  2. Very enjoyable set, Nathan. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Brian Swale — 9 November 2009 @ 19:11

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