From Denmark to Sweden with a bridge

By Pekka Syc

I was smart and I was seventeen. I discovered the first RyanAir flight for 1 dollar, I thought I was the king of the world checking in on terminal 3 C at Dansk Airport.

I was about to visit my big brother in Copenhaguen, my first flight alone. My mother was as scared as when I left the house the first time to visit my friends for an afternoon party at age 5.

I landed safely in Copenhaguen, and was so proud to manage on my own the luggage on the other side of the airport. Passing the security check - Poland had shortly before entered the EU - was as easy as getting to the supermarket. And my brother waited outside, punctual as tought by our mother. I naturally felt obliged to invent a thunderstorm during the flight, making me even more a superhero. I told my bro' about this non-existing sweet and stunning blonde stewardess who pulled coffee over me and then kindly rubbed eveything away with her handkerchief. And of course I invented this cute girl sitting next to me who invited us to her Student Party later on this evening. Of course, the only person who could have invited us would have been this sixty years' old man sitting next to me, who didn't even understand a word of polish, english or anything else than russian, and who spent the flight drinking strong whiskey and coffee.

I am sure, by now, that my brother understood that I made up all these stories - I could imagine his hidden smile behind his face, and it makes me even more ashamed today.

But my surprise was even bigger when we jumped in his new car (danish, of course), and crossed this huge bridge between Danemark and ... Sweden ! Two borders in one day, I started to feel really proud of myself. And I was so thrilled by seeing that Europe has so close borders, that a long bridge constitues the only physical limit between Sweden and Danemark. Once on the other side, we still had to change money, getting from one crone to another. It was the only thing which made my shortly think about the difference of countries. Same blonde hairs everywhere, small cafés lined up around the small roads, lots of bikes, crossborders for bicyles and runners, lots of tourists with maps named "Copenhaguen / Malmö". Life seems to be sweet in this part of the world, and so easy.

I have a real admiration for my brother who is not scared of travelling the world, getting to know new people, selling his danish cars through the world. He does not even feel proud by taking the plane, or the bridge, or by paying the police to avoid the waiting between Argentina and Peru. But he is, and will stay, the big brother...

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