holiday miracles

museum of copenhagen

Miniature model of the city from 16th century, outside Museum of CopenhagenRosenborg palace and rose gardenRosenborg palace and rose garden

My dears, I hope you have had very excellent summertimes (for those of you who do have such seasons) and that the back to work season isn’t hitting too hard.

Just recapping my holiday highlights, and this crazy wonderful thing happened to me in Copenhagen that I really had to share on here:

So when you go to that lovely city, the tourist must-see is this beautiful old amusement park called Tivoli. Everyone wants to go there, especially at night, because of the gorgeous lights, and on Fridays, they have really good free gigs by famous musicians in the park. However, because it also costs an arm and a leg to get in, I just wasn’t planning on it, and neither was the friend whom I was staying with.

Dragor - a pretty seaside town south of Copenhagen

Dragor – a pretty seaside town south of Copenhagen

little mermaid

The entirely underwhelming little mermaid statue (who, incidentally, turned 100 on the day that all this happened)

On my last day in the city, I was on the way to the Museum of Copenhagen to view a Kierkegaard exhibit, and on the way, passed by a square where stalls were being set up for a Singapore Street Food Festival. Now, I am nothing if not hungry, and so went back to check it out for dinner.

I got to the front of the ticket queue, and it turned out that they had stopped selling food tickets two people before me. I had this conversation with the cashier:

Me: (gasp) You haven’t just stopped selling tickets, have you?!
Cashier: You can come back tomorrow…
Me: But it’s my last day!
Cashier: (pause) (maybe realises that I am actually Singaporean and far away from home) Okay. I’m going to sell this girl a ticket.

old archery targets

Old archery targets on the ceiling of the Museum of Copenhagen

So I’m sitting there, eating my chicken rice made by none other than the celebrated Wee Nam Kee, who has flown in for this very occasion, when a Danish couple sit down by me. They’re discussing where to get drinks from, and we get into a conversation. Turns out they heard about the food festival from their Singaporean friend, who then comes over and joins in. I discover that they are all Christians from Hillsong Church Copenhagen.

They start telling me their stories, and it just gets curiouser and curiouser – the Singaporean girl, J, has moved around to wherever she feels God is calling her to for about the past ten years, working for lots of different churches and Christian ministries along the way. She’s the first Singaporean I’ve ever met in my generation who has made such similar life choices to me. We also have a mutual friend (my best friend from primary school). I have the gradually growing feeling that God has set us up…

And THEN. Eventually the Danish couple, who are lovely and radiant and kind and sweet, ask:

“What are you doing this evening?”
“Umm, I don’t really have any plans…”
“Well, this famous Danish musician, Mads Langer, is playing a gig at Tivoli, and we have a pass to take a guest in for free. Wanna come?”

Mads Langer in Tivoli!

Mads Langer in Tivoli!

At this point my jaw is on the floor and my eyes are bugging out of my head. But I still decide that, heck, when life is crazy good why not make it better still for someone else.

“Umm – I don’t suppose you can take TWO people in for free, can you?!”

(They talk among themselves in Danish)

“No – but we can pay for one of you!”

So this is how my friend, whom I’ve been staying with, and I get to see Tivoli and go to this incredible gig on our last night in Copenhagen.

These things, you just can’t make them up! How like God – fun, funny, surprising, overwhelmingly good and incredibly last-minute.

*

In other news, these. Are great.

Also, does anyone know where you can watch Ilo Ilo in the UK?

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Companies being disgusting:
Baby health crisis in Indonesia as formula companies push products | World news | The Guardian.

Food giants still flouting code on promoting baby milk formula in developing countries | Business | The Observer.

This was why my university banned all Nestle products on campus, Nestle having infamously promoted baby milk formula in Africa, causing infant mortality rates to RISE.

Eight top fashion retailers fail to sign Bangladesh safety accord | Business | The Guardian.

Ethical shopping: how the high street fashion stores rate | Lucy Siegle | Fashion | The Guardian.

Food:

BBC News – Using tree food recipes to fight off malnutrition.

India's rice revolution | Global development | The Observer.

Funny:

Sats girl takes Michael Gove, the comma chameleon, to task | Politics | The Guardian.

The 10 best words the internet has given English | Books | guardian.co.uk.