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2003-03-13 2:32 a.m.

So SAS is pretty much where it's at in terms of airlines. They have a stretching bar for your back, more restrooms than most airlines, video games at your seat, and cool international movies. I didn't actually take advantage of any of these things, but was pretty stoked to see that these sorts of accommodations were provided.

I was surprised to find that their seats—yes, the chair I am sitting in as I type this on my iBook—were designed by Stile Bertone. That is the same company that designed my car! And I must say that this seat and the seat in my car share two things in common—brilliant design and absolute lack of even the slightest molecule of comfort. That's Italian "quality" for you...

So, the first thing I did when I got on the plane was drink a few vodka and orange juices. See, I have learned that alcohol doesn't really work so well for me as a recreational drug. I mostly get tired and fall asleep. So, I take advantage of this knowledge on airline flights and use alcohol as a sleep aid.

At about 11 AM I found I couldn't sleep anymore, but I was still tired. So, I asked the stewardess for another vodka and orange juice. Almost confused, she asked with her soothing Swedish accent, "For breakfast?"

I cheerfully popped out, "I've got to get a head start!"

In the moment I had thought of a bunch of other replies, but none seemed as appropriate. I thought about how I could tell her in great detail how well alcohol works to make me sleep. Or maybe I could have asked if she was patrolling my morality. Or, I could ask what right a Swede—of all people—has suggesting that I drink too much. (I don't drink too much. If I have a few drinks a month then I feel like I am bingeing.) But, I think that all of these would have resulted in the sort of confusion that happens when you speak with someone who is fluent in your own language yet is not a native speaker. Some subtleties are lost, and what is perceived as social faux pas is often just clumsy language skills. I am surely not one to judge, as my Swedish skills are quite rough!

I thought I prepared very intelligently for this voyage. I purchased a bunch of books on tape—self help stuff—and converted them to MP3 files. Then I put them in my iPod so I wouldn't drain my computer's battery just to listen to music.

But, after about three hours of use my iPod totally crashed and wouldn't work anymore. I felt so defeated. In order to copy the books on tape to MP3 I had to record them in real time into my computer. I had spent about eight hours working on this project, and now it was totally hosed.

Oh well. I guess this is yet another sign from the universe that it has other plans for me involving NOT listening to books on tape from my personal music playing device.

In other news, the bladder capacity of the year award goes to Average American White Guy who is sitting next to me. He has not gotten up a single time to use the restroom a single time during the last eight hours. This guy is incredible. I think I am going to ask him what sort of excersizes he does to keep his bladder in such shape. Maybe he is an olympic bladder athlete?

Finally I got to Copenhagen airport. The fact that the large address label I stuck on the case was completely tattered made me think that the FRAGILE stickers didn't exactly do me a lot of good.

Something you'll never see in this country's airports: an ashtray. Thank god, too. Smoking smells SO BAD. And in my limited experience, everywhere you go reeks of smoke Denmark. But, at least Denmark is not a nation full of ignorant, war–loving people with a total lack of interest in human rights. So, I guess maybe there is something to be said for smelling like smoke, speaking Danish, and eating tons—metric tons, that is—of cheese?

Wow, a smoking area INSIDE A BUILDING IN A PUBLIC PLACE. And it's not even separated by walls of glass. Truly mind–boggling.