Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pimps, Prostitutes and Polse

I arrived in Copenhagen late Wednesday afternoon. This is one of my favorite cities. It has great design, lots of water, beautiful people and just enough grit to keep it interesting.

My hotel is in the red light district. It is located on the corner of Helgolandsgade and Istedgade - probably ground zero for prostitutes in Copenhagen. The thing is, if you didn't know this was the red light district, you may not notice the prostitutes. They are dressed pretty conservatively (I've seen more scantily clad Scandinavians) and don't catcall of make a big spectacle of themselves. They just happen to be hanging out in front of my hotel, the hotel kitty corner and the mini-mart across the street. Ground I said.

Prostitution is legal in Denmark, but the prostitutes aren't Danish. They are generally Eastern European and Russian girls brought here by what I imagine are pimps that make it too hard or too expensive for them to leave. There probably is nothing for them back home anyways.

Walking around Copenhagen that first afternoon, I quickly worked up an appetite (airplane food didn't satisfy me...surprise, surprise). All around Copenhagen (and the rest of Denmark, really) are small wagons selling Polse - hot dogs. I am not even going to kid you about how much I like hot dogs. Come on - I am a child of the 80s. I love me some processed food.

At the polse wagons around town, you choose from a pictorial menu and pay in cash (roughly $3-4 a hot dog with today's dismal exchange rate). My favorite used to be the Fransk Hotdog, a soft un-slit bun that has a hole drilled in it and is filled with a mayo-like sauce and then stuffed with a hot dog.

Lately though, I go for the Ristet Hotdog. It's a crispy-skinned hot dog in a bun, loaded with fresh onions, mild pickles and dried onions (kind of like those ones your mom probably put on top of green bean casserole, only better). Then lots of mustard and ketchup. These are probably the only hot dogs in the world that give Chicago's a run for their money.

1 comment:

Robyn said... the hot dog...maybe not the best photo to go along with a story about prostitution, but hey, it caught my attention!