Oct. 6, 2006
Aarhus, Denmark - Junior David Sender will be sharing a series of diary entries during the 2006 World Championships in Denmark. Head coach Thom Glielmi kicks off the first entry today, but Sender will follow with his chronicles.
Entry #1 - Getting There
We were up at 3:30 am to get to the airport, flying from San Jose to Atlanta and connecting to Copenhagen. The flight over Denmark was comfortable enough, and having a Danish girl sitting across the aisle from me would make the flight that much more pleasant - at least I thought it would. The nine-hour flight from Atlanta allowed us to catch up on sleep, and Dave grabbed an open row (of two seats) and was able to lay down completely stretched out. Only if he pointed his toes did he spill over into the aisle.
At three in the morning, everyone was in various states of slumber, including myself. I was abruptly brought out of my half sleep by some loud vowel sounds being directed at me. The Danish girl was berating me from across the aisle - in Danish. A bit flustered, and not sure what was the problem, I asked her in English what she needed. She mumbled something, threw her head to the side like a Clapper commercial, and went back to sleep. No one else seemed to take any mind of this, and I soon returned to fitful slumber. Just when I was back asleep the Danish girl once again sprang up and started rattling off some Danish directed at me. She was looking at me, eyes open, but she wasn't really looking at me - she was talking in her sleep. So, for the next four hours I was periodically woken in Danish and was informed of her anxieties - in Danish. I gathered Jeppe was causing her problems and vaol'eerkinin-oi' is not good.
The cabin lights went on, the sun was up and I sat there reading Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand - oh sorry Ayn Rand - but really she does go on. The Danish girl popped up all bright eyed and bushy tailed, stretching and yawning. I asked her if she slept well and she said, in English, "Oh FANTASTIC! Did you sleep well?"
Our group was meeting up in Copenhagen, coming in at various times. We were to get on a bus to Aarhus at 1:30 pm, but five in our party had their flights delayed or canceled. So the 1:30 departure was pushed back. I took a stroll down some of the streets in Copenhagen. While walking I was mistaken for a native and asked directions. This made me seriously reconsider what I was wearing. I guess my powder blue satin track suit, black socks, and dress shoes with the neon green fanny pack is a popular look in northern Europe - kidding of course.
Once on the bus, and a three and one half hour drive later, we arrived at our hotel. The drive was very nice and gave us a chance to see the country. It is very green and smelled like Oregon - wet and fresh. Aarhus is on the mainland, Jutland, and is connected to the island by a 19 km bridge.
The Danes I've met thus far have been very welcoming and somewhat surprised Americans would come to Aarhus. Our Danish guide is very nice and helpful. As it turns out the public transportation is quicker and more punctual than the shuttle buses that are specifically chartered to take the delegations to the practices and competitions.
One nice observation - many people bike and I have yet to see a lock.