Wednesday, May 31, 2006

starfishin' the north atlantic, part 2: like in the movies

This is the second segment in our Starfishin' the North Atlantic series. If you're new to the series, click here for context. If you missed the last segment, click here. For the next segment, click here. If all you want to see are pictures without the stories, click here.

In Terminal 3 of Copenhagen's expansive Kastrup Airport, there's a Caviar House & Prunier, a terrifc seafood bar with upscale prices that I wasn't immediately prepared to pay last Thursday. Still, I didn't think it would hurt to just peruse one of the menus that the staff had so neatly placed on all four sides of the bar, especially since there was still over an hour before my flight to Reykjavík was scheduled to board. Standing up at the bar, I opened up a menu. My mouth watered at all of the marvelous selections that I could be sampling (right now!) if it weren't for my ailing bank account balance.

Then, I heard a voice ... which asked me in a sweet, clear, Danish-accented lilt:

Beautiful Agnetha. Caviar House & Prunier, Terminal 3, Kastrup Airport, Copenhagen, Denmark. (2006). With her warm personality and ability to whip up a mean gravadlax in a pinch, I should have proposed marriage.

"Would you like to sit down?"

I looked up. On the other side of the menu, I saw a girl with smiling hazel eyes, silky-soft blonde hair and the kind of pure, effortless beauty that doesn't seem to be easily found anymore these days.

Oh great, now I had to stay and order something.

"Yes, please," I politely replied with a smile. I figured if I were really polite and smiled really nicely, she would love me forever. See, this is how things are supposed to work in my world.

She asked me what I wanted to drink. Instead of ordering a fine French wine like a cool, sophisticated person would have done, I asked for a bottle of water like a dork.

"Oh, I'm sorry, we only have sparkling ... is that all right?"

She seemed genuinely sorry and ignored the fact that I had just asked for a bottle of water like a dork. What a girl! I told her of course it would be fine, in fact, it would be great. As she smiled and whisked off to the other side of the bar to get my bottle of sparkling water, I noticed she was wearing a pair of black, hi-top Nike basketball sneakers, no doubt to ease the discomfort of having to stand on her feet for an entire shift. Beautiful and practical - now I was truly smitten.

I ordered the gravadlax, which is my favourite Scandinavian dish. If you've never heard of it before, gravadlax is fresh, sashimi-like Atlantic salmon fillets marinated in salt and sugar, seasoned with fresh dill, and served with a sweet mustard dipping sauce. The gravadlax pictured above was unbelievably good.

Long story made short ...
  • Her name was Agnetha.
  • I ordered the gravadlax.
  • Agnetha made the best gravadlax I ever had in my entire life.
  • Agnetha had a beautiful personality to go along with her gorgeous self and culinary skills.
  • The next hour would go by far too quickly.
I waited as long as I could without missing my flight before I paid my bill, smiled at her one last time, and said goodbye with a stare I held a second longer than I would have for anyone else at that very moment. Then I turned away and headed to my gate.

A couple of hours later, flying at 35,000 feet over the Faroe Islands, I thought to myself: if I lived my life more like they did in the movies ... I might have purposely missed my flight, stayed at the seafood bar, and taken Agnetha out for a drink after she finished work for the day. And then who knows what kind of blue sky possibilities could have ensued.

Blue skies to the ends of the Earth. Icelandair Flight FI205, en route to Reykjavík from Copenhagen, somewhere over the Norwegian Sea. (2006).

Unfortunately, real life is what it is and isn't like in the movies. Because in real life, the next time I pass through Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport, Agnetha isn't likely to be there.

Tonight, I can't sleep because I keep wondering why I don't live my life more like they do in the movies. I also wonder if the beautiful Danish girl I had the privilege of knowing for only an hour ever wonders the same thing.


  1. Awwww, that's too bad. You could always pick up a copy of The Danish Girl by my teacher, David Ebershoff. It's based on the real-life story of Einar Wegener, a Danish artist who 70 years ago became the first man to be medically transformed into a woman. Yeah, so maybe the topic doesn't exactly mesh with your entry. But it's a good book and it will take your mind off missed opportunites.

  2. Haha, thanks, Long Division. I've never heard of it but I'm sure there's nothing quite like a good book about a transsexual to cheer oneself up, so I appreciate the suggestion.

  3. Hey bro--tell you what I think you should have done:

    1)Girls in movies like heroes. Thus, you need to create a situation in which you can be a hero. My suggestion would be to pay a masked man to threaten your girl with a knife and try to make off with her grada....gravivli...her fish.
    2)Splash your water in his eyes. The bubbles will blind him, while you hit him over the head with on luggage.
    3)Return the lady's fish. She will love you forever.

  4. Damn it Rob, where are you and your advice when I need you? It's my inability to come up with ideas like that on the spot which keep me from being great.

  5. Time to take the bull by the horns, you know the name of the restaurant, send her over some flowers and leave the address of your blog and phone number. Once she reads your blog she will be putty in your hands. IT'S NOT TOO LATE.

  6. Gravadlax or Grafinn lax like it's name is in Iceland is super-good if you eat it with toast..;) Have you ever tried? and yeah.. björk has no phonenumber and she doesn't spend her time in a place like iceland.. sorry..;)

    Rakel from Iceland;)

  7. Hi Rakel, thank you for stopping in. No I haven't tried Grafinn lax with toast but I'll be sure to try it the next time I'm in your country!

    If Björk doesn't spend any of her time in Iceland, then where do I go to find her?