He walked with eyes wide open, a long, old dormitory sort of stone building to his left, wooden walls painted with colorful faces and then a small field with blue picnic tables to his right. A marketplace emerged, vendors in a small plaza type space selling pipes, tees, hats, baked goods. He walked further past a shawarma shop and a burger and fries stand and some other store fronts until he found a path up a grassy hill and took it. He stood above it all for a while, observing people and the lay of the land.
Then he walked back down the grassy hill and approached a different area with just as many vendors, these selling other goods. He passed a fence where a painted green leaf flourished beside a painted syringe broken in half by a painted fist. He walked back up the hill and found a bench looking out on an inlet in one direction and the heart of Christiania on the other, a bird’s eye view of trash can fires interspersed among the merchants, kiosks, residents, tourists.
A while later, he rose from the bench and approached a store for a soda.
“Ginger ale, please.”
“Sure, that’s fifteen.”
“Thank you. Hey, does everyone here speak English?”
“Yes, everyone, except for the ones who don’t.”
He laughed. The storekeeper, perhaps in his mid-fifties, his hair grayish white and his face clean and smooth, remained still-faced until hearing the laughter, seeing the smile, and then erupted into a loud guffaw himself.
Ginger ale in hand, he strolled in another direction, beneath a sign that read ‘You are now entering the E.U.’ He switched to Carlsberg as he stopped into multiple pubs, exploring the streets and canals, occasionally walking in a bike lane before hopping back up to the sidewalk. He noticed how people would leave their bikes at a train station or outside of a shop, unchained, and wished he could do the same back home.
(Links to information about Christiania on Wikipedia and a Google-translated version of Christiania.org)