Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Copenhagen - The Awakening of the Irish Gypsy Nomad

It was the summer of 1987 - Copenhagen was to be my first trip outside of Ireland (not counting camping with the parents in Enger-land).  With only a week left before departure, the original five adventurous college classmates eager to spend a summer overseas and earn some cash dwindled down to just two. The night before we were due to depart, the last brave comrade in arms phoned to tell me he 'lost his passport' and wouldn't be able to go.  I had already quit my prestigious part-time job stocking shelves in a supermarket, so I had little option but to go it alone.


I was a shy, innocent, clueless Irish Paddy heading off to the unknown.  My sisters boyfriends brother was supposedly aware of my imminent arrival so I least I had a contact on the ground...or so I thought.  On the plane to Denmark, I chatted with an Irish girl (Kathryn) next to me and told her of my plight.  "Who is supposed to meet you at the airport" she asked.  "John H.", I responded.  "I doubt it she said - sure isn't he away for a week at the Roskilde Rock Festival!"


I should probably write something eloquent like "on comprehending my imminent dilemma my heart sank...blah blah blah", but in reality I nearly shat my pants.  I was to arrive in a strange land with nowhere to go and no one to help...FECK!


On seeing my concern she said - "but there's a spare room above our flat where you can stay a few nights and I'll introduce you to the Irish Burger King crew".


It was only recently I thought about what a pivotal moment that was.  Without her contacts and hospitality, I might well have been back home in Dublin a week later with my tail between my legs and possibly never have been keen to leave the ol' sod again.  Instead, I got a job at Burger King <- [click me], and met a ton of wonderful people and gained an appetite for wandlust that continues to this day. Thanks Kathryn wherever you are..
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Tags: ..Copenhagen, Denmark..
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7 comments:

Baino March 22, 2011 11:10 pm  

Awww kind of a shame that you've lost touch. She'll never know what a wanderer you are. Then, this is such a small world, you're just as likely to find yourself sitting next to her on a plane again one day.

Quickroute March 22, 2011 11:20 pm  

@ Baino: I think I may have tracked her down on Face book. Waiting to hear if she wants to be found..

Maya March 23, 2011 3:22 am  

Hopefully you will be able to make that reconnection.
It is interesting how some of us take the road of the nomad. I was recently reflecting on how I ended up where I am and wrote a post about it.

Quickroute March 23, 2011 9:39 am  

@ Maya: yep - Life throws some curve balls your way and you don't realize the little things that have a huge influence on where you end up

nick March 23, 2011 10:42 am  

I bet Kathryn would be dead chuffed to know she'd encouraged your long-lasting urge to travel. She'd be amazed at how many places you've been to, I bet she hasn't been to a quarter of them.

conortje March 29, 2011 4:56 am  

What mightn't have been eh? I always believe that things work out for the best in the end.

Quickroute March 29, 2011 11:50 pm  

@ Nick: Strange how we never fully realize our effect on others or visa versa

@ Conortje: I'm not a big believer in fate but I think luck plays a big part in everything

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