I stole a boat.
Yup, right out of the water, during my 2014 spring semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. Why? We were drunk.
Okay, we didn’t technically steal it, it was already floating in the water, unchained, very far away from where it was supposed to be. And it wasn’t technically a boat, but more of a paddle boat that was part of a bunch of other boats that belonged to a company.
It was my friend Michaela and I. We were biking home from the bars and on our way to get schwarma (a delicious, greasy, fattening, pita bread stuffed with lamb or chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, and a white sauce that I never figured out the name of). I saw the boat floating in the canal next to the pathway, and I got so excited that I ran over to it. It was an ugly color of red and yellow, with graffiti art written all over it.
“Michaela! Get in!” I somehow managed to get my drunk self onto the boat and into one of the seats, only realizing too late that it was half sunken and that the whole bottom was filled with water. But I didn’t care. Did I mention it was absolutely freezing?
“No, I don’t think we should…” Michalea said, looking around.
“Get in! We’re in Copenhagen. When would you ever do this again?”
“Fine,” she said, and hopped over me into the other seat.
And then I dropped my Iphone. Right into the water that was also soaking my feet. Splash! Underwater it went. I don’t think I’ve ever moved my hands faster than that moment, grabbed my phone, and wall-ah! It was fine. Seriously. I don’t know why or how, but I’m not asking.
And then we peddled our feet to move the boat and steered it with a little stick in the middle.
“Wow. It’s beautiful,” Michaela said, looking around. We were right in the middle of the Copenhagen canals, right near Nørrebro, a section of Copenhagen. We could see our dorm from where we were. The lights from the buildings were sparkling, and it was completely silent. The movement of the boat created ripples in the water. I closed my eyes and leaned my head back, the night sky completely clear, with a few twinkling stars.
We floated, as the rocking of the boat back and forth and the soft sound of the peddles against the water created a meditative feel.
“I love Copenhagen,” Michaela said.
“So do I. I don’t think I’ve ever been more in love with a place than I am right now.” And it was true. It was at that moment, in the middle of the canal, in the middle of the night, with a half-sunken boat and one of my best friends, taking in the beauty of Copenhagen as if we were disconnected from real life, that I fell in love with it.