Bicicletas and Biciclette

 bicycles parked on an Amsterdam street One night in Copenhagen, I was waiting for the hotel elevator, when two Danish men about my age stepped out of their room. One of them belched loudly as he stepped into the corridor — then saw me, and was embarrassed. They both started chuckling, and speaking to me,… Read more »


This morning, they’re playing the music from Brokeback Mountain (by divine Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla) in my hotel breakfast room. Spain, why are you trying to make me cry? So,I had no book business in Copenhagen. I was there because it’s the closest big airport to Kristianstad, Sweden, and the most sensible place from which… Read more »


My friend Rebecca Rabinowitz reminded me in an email yesterday about what Denmark did during World War II. During the Holocaust, when Hitler became interested in Denmark’s Jews, the Danes, at enormous risk to themselves, snuck their Jews into Sweden. Of 7500 Jews, over 7000 were smuggled out of the country. Amazing, the courage, and… Read more »