CSA, Christiania, & nibbling Glaciers

Sitting in a hostel in downtown Copenhagen, the past few weeks are somewhat surreal. Whirling from Australia to Greenland to Europe in a few short weeks. Exhausting. Exhilarating. Expensive. And only possible due to the wondrous technology of the 21st century, which I so often take for granted and even ridicule. Probably because I’m basically a glorified talking monkey going about this complex world in a near-constant state of confusion. I often find myself longing for simpler times, where my caveman-like brain could concern itself fully with simple matters: like what to eat, or who to hang out with; instead of trying to understand how my keyboard works or why we do the things we do…
13140857_10154815750336040_1748455793_nFor me, those ‘things’ have been whirling through Greenland, exploring, and practicing martial arts with strangers all over the world. And then swimming with them in the North Atlantic Ocean.
13123112_10100826902792239_7734045004184250874_oOr spending 8hrs hiking to a glacier….
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….just so we could eat some of it. Huzzah.
13220928_10156896180740641_3661198531338469421_nBut the story goes on, on to the glorious Copenhagen! Capital of Denmark. City of Vikings. Home to a whole bunch of fantastic, warm, smoking-hot Danish people. Ohhhh boy…. I do love Scandinavia. Copenhagen has been a fantastic place to spend a week, continuing my exploration of self & humans, on & off the mats.
13221329_1180650255302986_4898798352251090558_oOn the mats found me heading to CSA , the original birthplace of the BJJ Globetrotters, which seemed a fitting place to drop into and roll. For anyone looking for a place to train in Copenhagen, either short or long term; I could not recommend this place more highly. I turned up with a friend who trained Muay Thai, & both of us were given ONE WEEK of free training. One fucking week?! I’ve been to gyms in London who wanted 30£ for a trial lesson. Crazy. But at CSA the mat space is amazing, the people were incredibly welcoming (making the effort to be kind to the new guy, & speak his language) and very well trained. I got my ass kicked & made a whole bunch of new friends. Just the way it should be.
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In less than a month I have met people/rolled with people from Greenland, Denmark, America, Canada, Latvia, Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, Germany & probably a whole bunch of other places. They all had lots of things in common. Probably much more than any of us really think about on a regular basis. But one of my favourite common points is a curiosity & love for other human beings. I know ‘love’ is a big word to throw about for some, but it’s fitting. That desire to see the people around us energized and happy; I think everyone possess that. We might express it in a whole gamut of different ways, or even be nervous about putting it out there sometimes, but I truly believe it’s in all of us. In some form or another.
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And lately I have been fortunate to experience the excitement & enthusiasm of being alive through a host of different muses, heroes, heroines, & apertures through which the wonders of human experience have flowed. A little too hippy? Well, maybe. But give me a break, I have been spending a lot of time in Christiania recently…mostly giggling happily in the sunshine.
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But today I fly for Frankfurt to re-unite with friends & investigate the open mats of ze Germans. Stay tuned for more ponderings & poorly formed sentences.

Until next time

With happy, floaty thoughts & mental images of rainbows & pretty butterflies…

Peace. Love & Triangles

Scotty

Time Distortion in Copenhagen

Let me just start by saying that this has been a rather strange week. Coming from the schedualed and somewhat socially isolated lifestyle of being a Live-in-Carer, to find myself loosed upon the streets of Copenhagen amidst the organised chaos of Distortion…it’s been an adjustment. Whilst originally intending to be busy rolling around with the BJJ Globetrotters, sadly I have remained ridden with Ringworm for the entire whole week.

So what was planned to be a week of this…

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(See how much fun choking each other is?)

Happygrappling

 

Turned into a week of this….

 

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Distorted Sunset

Scandinavian sunsets truly are a wonder to behold. This week I have managed to catch more sunrises that sunsets so far. In truth, these days of partying have done my body no favours for the impending month at Tiger Muay Thai. But you know, to be happiest in life, we must be willing to adapt. To play the cards that we are given and to make our own fun. So, unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to try and choke anybody this week. But I did have all manner of unpredictable and wacky adventures. Including but not limited to:
I used my (terrible!) Russian language skills to meet new friends.
I wove my way through the thronging mass-human street partys of Distortion, hugging strangers and sharing sweat/drinks/laughter in the streets of Copenhagen.
I got myself lost and overwhelmed by the Danish public transport system, so much so that I had to be rescued by a lovely Viking lady after visiting the free city of Christiania.
I danced my way through pubs, clubs, streets, festivals, islands, tunnels, bridges, buses, tents and shipping containers.
I meet celebrity tattoo artists and watched a Danish cage-fighter DJ in a neon chicken suit.I meditated in the sunshine amongst Copenhagens beautiful greenery .

Scotty-down!

I raved all night and slept all day, waking up in time for hostel ‘happy hour’  (chocolates courtesy of my Irish bunkmates).

I met Hungarians, Russians, Estonians, French, Canadians, Finns, Dutch, Danish, Swedes, Irish, Scottish, Americans, Polish, Kiwis, English and of course; bloody Australians. In doing so, I gained drunken glimpses into different cultures and many different peoples. Explored dreams, learnt some history and discussed desires for the future. I became part of a drunken Danish belly wrestling group, losing woefully. I caved to inexplicable social pressure and licked a strange man’s nipples. I was accosted by Danish students who insisted I was blessed by Unicorns and reverantly garbed me in flowers. I had a beautician/scientist inexplicably yet forcefully wash my hair at 5am, for no reason at all. I even won a game of pool, that’s been awhile! I drank, I danced, I made my ancestors proud.

Thordrinking

The entire week has been a blur of madness and misadventures of a social, solo-traveling drunk white guy. As I type this however, the BJJ Globetrotters will be involved in a friendly Jiu Jitsu tournament to wrap up the party camp, which I have been eagerly anticipating for months. If I could choose, I would much rather be there than here typing of my drunken antics on a keyboard. But sadly, we don’t always get to choose in life. And since I am here, in this situation, I am going to do my best to enjoy it. And you know what? Lying here in the hostel common room, with my Danish beer and my tasty Danish pastry….things aren’t so bad. Not my first choice, but fuck it, today is still a really good day to be alive.
Tomorrow I fly for Thailand, with a brief yet exciting stop-over in Moscow airport (time for more shamefully bad Russian practice). Stay tuned for more stangeness and bad grammar.

Peace. Love. Triangles. (And drunk hugs)

Scotty

First step stumble

Today, is my last weekend of paid work before setting off on my global combative adventures. Exciting times. I have worked the past 6 months solidly as a Live-in-Carer to finance my venture. All the while eagerly anticipating my emancipation. So eagerly in fact, that I planned ahead much more thoroughly than usual. I booked a week in Copenhagen, Denmark on the way to SE Asia. This Danish week was plotted to be my week of glory. Joining the BJJ Globetrotters for a 6 day camp of martial arts and awesome. I have been eagerly anticipating this week for months now. Ticking another day off my calendar every night, watching the slow yet steady march of time bringing me closer to my objective.
Training as much as possible to hone my limited skills to be ready for the camp. Carefully monitoring my diet; even eating as a Vegetarian & Vegan for a month each of the year. Vegan was bloody challenging. Daily stretching to increase my flexibility. It became my mission every day to prepare myself.

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But, life does not always go to plan. Today I sent an email in which I regretfully announced I could not participate in the camp. Due to Ringworm. Gross and debilitating, Ringworm.

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I picked it up from a sparring partner & had been desperately hopeful of healing in time for Denmark. But it was not so. The first step in my traveling martial arts odyssey has been a stumble. Not only was I unable to train for the whole month of May, but now am unable to attend the BJJ Globetrotters event. My Thailand camp might even be in jeopardy. It is not ideal. It’s not great. My carefully laid plans gone askew by circumstances outside my control.
And that’s life right? The story we have in our head about how things will go, is often just that. A story we tell ourselves. Just thoughts.
Being involved in another person’s life these past months, I have glimpsed a entirely different way of living. I have been entwined in the life of a person, who due to circumstances outside their control, simply has less options than most people. A hell of a lot less. He doesn’t have the option of scratching his own nose. It’s just not in the cards. And yet somehow this man still remains a decent and thoughtful human being. The whole thing is mind-boggling. How often have we heard the saying ‘ at least you have your health’? I can remember thinking that to be one of the most unhelpful statements ever. I understand it a little better now. The ability to use my fingers to type this (somewhat whiny) post, is a great and fantastic thing. Being able to scratch your own nose, is a greatly underrated ability.
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I am not happy to have Ringworm. It’s itchy and unsightly. I feel like something of a modern day leper, not my sexiest moment. But it will pass. It is temporary. Just like everything else.
Life is dynamic, it’s constantly changing. And even though that fact is biting me in the ass right now, I love it. The unpredictable nature of the human experience is one of the most fascinating parts. And trying to live a peaceful, meaningful life within that swirling, unknowable chaos is all part of the fun.
So enjoy the moments as they pass. Focus on the good bits. Grow the things you love, don’t sweat the other stuff. Life is grand boys & girls.
Hope your today is a glorious one, full of nose scratching and other fun stuff.

Peace.Love.Triangles (& ringworm)
Scotty