“Skybrud” is the Danish definition of 15 mm of rain in 30 minutes or less. This dreary term fails to convey the almost poetic meaning of the word itself: “the sky breaks”.
Today I was going over to my friends place for some food and creative brainstorming. As I was leaving the house, however, the thunder that had been rolling omniously in the distance for the better part of two hours decided to mobilise. Shit just got real.
When I got to my bike the rain was not too bad so I thought I’d sprint the 25 minutes or so it takes me to get to the other side of the city center. Ten minutes later I was driving past a building when a bolt of lightning struck the roof. As I recovered from the shock and tried to regain control of my bike I noticed that my shirt was soaked. The shirt I was wearing under my leather jacket that is. In fact everything was soaked. While I waited for the ringing in my ears to subside I pulled over under a bridge and texted my friend, asking him to have a couple of towels ready. By then it was raining old testament style.
I decided to keep going. The rain was, despite it’s obvious drive to scour all life from the world, a warm summer rain and even though I had to cover my eyes with one hand to avoid getting blinded I didn’t feel like I was in any danger. About two minutes down the road I almost got hit by a metal grid that was dislogded forcefully as water burst from the overloaded drain system.
I was biking downhill at that point and all of a sudden I noticed that I was going the same way as the water and that most of the waters friends was already at the party. As I approached the bottom of the slope it suddenly became impossible to see the ground I was biking on and every time I stepped down in the pedals my feet was under water. At this point my shoes were already soaked so it didn’t seem like a big deal. I emerged from the improvised ocean unharmed but I had to double my efforts to move forward as I was now, quite literally, moving against the current.
Passing the Copenhagen main train station rewarded me with a great view of two asian tourists who emerged from one of the platforms looking utterly confused. Clearly they had just arrived from the airport and as they dragged their luggage through the downpour I greeted them with a heartfelt “welcome to Copenhagen!” and a big grin. I hope their hotel takes good care of them.
Passing through the inner city I once again found myself biking through a spontaneous sea that seemed to think of itself as both motorized driver, cyclist and pedestrian. It’s actually not that hard to bike even when there’s water covering more than half your wheels. However as a big van speeded past me it raised such a wave that I was thrown off my bike and landed, quite comfy, in the body of water covering the sidewalk. A guy pulling his drenched suitcase through the carnage offered me a hand. We exchanged no words. We were just laughing. I actually considered trying to swim but I was trying to keep the drawings in my bag at least somewhat intact.
Finally I was nearing my destination but I had to get off the bike because I simply couldn’t see what I was biking on. Street sign and lamp posts provided hints as to where the roads might be placed but I decided to play it safe and walk as close to the buildings as possible. Shoes and socks were soaked through long ago and the water still had a pleasant temperature. It felt like a good walk at the beach… except that the water had a pleasant temperature. The last thing I passed by on my drizzling adventure was a restaurant with an entry a fair bit below street level. Inside a couple of girls were sitting with their legs folded under them on bar chairs while a distrought waiter watched a cascade of water rushing down the stairs. From the looks of it the water was aiming for at least waist level.
Next door a girl was enjoying a cigarette in a conveniently elevated doorway.
She told me: “you are grinning like a lunatic”
So was she.