At the end of 2008 a bunch of us went to Copenhagen for a random weekend trip. “What’s that got to do with anything? It’s the end of 2010 for god’s sake!”, I hear you impatiently scream at your monitor, wondering what in the name of arse I mean by talking about something so old it’s now been forgotten completely except for the room devoted to it in the British Museum. Well, I’ll tell.
(He’s going to tell! He’s going to tell! etc.)
A common rule of human behaviour, it seems, is that where you get a concentration of tourists you also tend to get a concentration of opportunistic idiots trying to screw money out of naive, gawping idiots. This takes many forms – pickpocketing’s always a popular one, bagsnatching, tour guiding scams, and in Copenhagen it seems there’s a commonplace con going on which the authorities thought it relevant to print a safety leaflet about.
The Shell Game, sometimes known as “Find the Lady”, seems to persist as a way for tourists to be fleeced of cash. It’s painful to watch, from one end to the other. There’s gaggles of these idiots, clearly not tourists, standing about in tourist areas playing this game out in the cold, cheering each other on and pretending that they don’t know each other. Presumably it’s easier to spot them in Copenhagen due to their beady little eyes and matching grey longjohns.
I do enjoy the graphic work, and the translation into the 6 languages – they’ve done quite a good job of providing simple enough illustrations that you don’t really need to read the text, which is just as well, as finding the correct language is a bit of a pain in the arse. Although probably in Denmark it’s compulsory for everyone to be fluent in all of those languages anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.
Ooooh, these grey-bodysuited dudes don’t look very nice at all!
I must admit, it hadn’t occurred to me that pickpocketing was especially an extra risk in this scenario, but then I guess it’s a prime source of distraction and misdirection, so why not eh?
Anyway kids, the lesson is – if there’s nonsense taking place which you’d ordinarily avoid in your home city, it’ll be just as shifty anywhere else in the world. Also, watch out for shifty people holding big wads of pink tickets with 500 written on them. They’ll play rock-paper-scissors at your face until the start come out. I think that’s the lesson, anyway. Anyone wanna buy a bridge?