Farewell to Denmark…and a rant.

Often, while traveling, I am so utterly enamoured with the experience that I don’t feel like anything can bring me down. Other times, I have my period, and I turn into CrankyPants McGee. Today is one of those days, which is a shame, as it’s our last day in Copenhagen! We’ve still seen some nice things though, which I will detail below. I have also received news from Australia which has made my blood boil, and I will also detail that below.

After a night punctuated by various inconsiderations from the dude in the bunk below me, we got up, checked out, did battle with the machine that was going to store our luggage for the day, won (with help from staff) and made our way to the Central Station where I had discovered the best chai lattes in the world a few days ago. They came through for me once more, and I had green tea chai and felt my blood pressure slowly return to normal. It was also insanely affordable – only 15 kroner for smørrebrød (delicious Danish sandwiches). Unfortunately, Paulina’s flight was delayed and she was unable to join us. I am sure we will catch up soon though! Then we went to print our boarding passes and went to the National Museum of Denmark. This museum was crazy huge. You could easily spend two full days there – and I fully intend to the next time we’re in Copenhagen. It was also completely free – handy for today, as we are rapidly running out of money. So much so that we decided not to do the walking tour of Christiania, and will save that for next time also. Instead, we found more delicious smørrebrød for lunch, and the extortionate price was made slightly easier to swallow by the fact that it was AMAZINGLY GOOD. I know I’ve said this about everything we’ve eaten here but UGH. Seriously mouth-watering. We found a little second hand bookshop and I blew too much money on a lovely old Danish copy of Peter Pan (yolo) and ate ice cream, spending pretty much everything I had left. We wandered through Christiansborg Palace (but didn’t pay to go inside), and I’m typing this at the hostel while we wait to catch our train to the airport. It’s a shame we’ve run out of money, but we’ve saved so much anyway by staying with Julie and her family – I shouldn’t complain!

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BUT SPEAKING OF MONEY. READ THIS. http://www.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/grants-and-funding/deborah-stone/62-arts-organisations-lose-funding-from-australia-council-251271

The list is being updated when more news becomes available. 65 arts organisations in Australia who previously received government funding from the Australia Council have had that support pulled out from under them. So that’s no more Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, no more Meanjin, no more Black Arm Band, no more of so many brilliant, innovative, creative, inspiring organisations that have supported and nurtured talent in a country that needs art. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. No one has closed yet, but it is a steadily increasing threat for many of these organisations that simply can’t exist without financial support. Of course donations and subscriptions are useful, but I can’t help but feel that the vast majority of people who would love to throw their monetary support into all these organisations are the same people who just can’t afford it (mainly because they work in the arts themselves. Ironic.) One of the most tragic cuts (certainly the organisation closest to my heart) is Express Media. This organisation exists to support young people in writing and media and have countless opportunities for budding writers to get their work out there. I have been reading Voiceworks, their flagship publication, for years. I wrote reviews of Fringe shows in 2012 for Buzzcuts. I’ve been to events and entered prizes that the organisation runs and in 2013, I was published in Voiceworks and paid for it. This led to me being asked to read my work at The Wheeler Centre, an event which I was also paid for. Do you know how brilliant and validating that was, for a kid like me who never let anyone read their work? And the fact that Voiceworks contributors (who have to be below 25 years of age) are PAID is so rare and wonderful in a world that increasingly devalues the efforts of artists and the work they do.

Instead of putting money back into these organisations, the government has decided to spend our money on a same-sex marriage plebiscite we DON’T NEED that could cost more than half a billion dollars. JUST CATCH UP WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD AND MAKE IT LEGAL FFS.

And don’t even get me started on the cuts to the health sector. Scott Morrison was an abysmal Immigration Minister and he’s not improved much as Treasurer. Bah.

So yes, Denmark good! Australian arts news bad.

I need to eat some chocolate now.

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