Archive for May, 2020

How I Quit Smoking

May 13, 2020

I have been smoke free since summer 1992 by combining AA’s spiritual program and a three day method of taking deep breaths and drinking water.

Nicotine is an interesting drug. Unlike alcohol, it doesn’t impair the mind. It doesn’t give blackouts. Smokers don’t cause accidents while smoking and driving, and are not known to assault their loved ones while they’re enjoying a cigarette. For me, a cigarette provided temporary tranquility and relief from stress, and helped me transition to life’s next moment. But a drug is a drug, and my subconsciousness knew I didn’t need to use a drug as a crutch to move on with life.

man reflection in the mirror


I became a heavy smoker during my drinking years. Smoking almost two packs on a night out drinking, was not uncommon. By the time I got sober and joined Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1991, I smoked an average of 10 cigarettes a day and sometimes more if I was stressed out.  The heavy coughing in the mornings, the fear of cancer, knowing that smoking is generally bad for the health, my tachycardia supraventricular, and the financial cost, made me want to quit almost every day, even before I quit drinking. Like with alcohol, I didn’t smoke because I wanted to. I smoked because it was an addiction; I had no control over not smoking. I was powerless, and like some people say in AA meetings, this addiction kicked my ass every single time.

The program of AA made me realize that I could overcome any addiction by working AA’s Twelve Spiritual Steps. Nicotine has a very strong physical aspect to it, however. I had tried countless times to quit cold turkey when I woke up in the mornings, but by late afternoons, I usually had picked up a cigarette again. Sometimes I could quit for a couple of days, but I would eventually smoke again. It was so easy to fall into the habit, specially if someone else was smoking around you. Back in the early 90s when I was in college, there were many smokers around me. Smoking was common in most AA meetings too.

I learnt of a three day method to quit, which consisted of quitting cold turkey and, during an urge, breathing in deeply and out completely three times, and then promptly drinking two large glasses of water.

But it wasn’t easy. The cravings during those first three days of being nicotine free were overwhelming and unsettling. In a similar fashion, the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous (p.58-59) says alcohol is “cunning, baffling and powerful.” I did notice, however, that the breathing and water vanished the craving away, but I also realized that a strong urge could easily throw me back into smoking because it completely erased any willingness to quit. Nicotine addiction is different from alcohol because my whole body was aching for cigarettes and the feeling of total powerlessness was physical, rather than mental.

Before I quit smoking, I had hit a bottom already. It happened during finals that summer. I spent one whole night studying, and as a consequence, smoking heavily. In the morning on the way to the exam, I had a tachycardia episode and ended up in the hospital. Fortunately, it was nothing too serious, just strong stress, and I was released the same day. But this reinforced what I had always known since I started smoking, that I had to stop and should have never started. Let it be clear, however, that no one needs to hit a bottom to quit an addiction.

But what really made a difference was the praying. On my third nicotine free day, during an unbeatable craving, I experienced an overwhelming moment of complete defeat to cigarettes, and I realized I couldn’t stop myself from smoking again. Luckily by then I was already eight months sober, so I knew that only a Higher Power, or God, if you will, could save me from substance addiction, so I prayed to my Higher Power to save me and keep me from smoking. I think I even went down on my knees.

The powerful physical nicotine cravings didn’t last more than three days and I never again had to pray as hard to my Higher Power to not smoke. 

Back in 1991, when I stopped drinking, my sponsor said sobriety was not my own choice, but rather fifty percent mine, and fifty percent my Higher Power’s, or God’s, whatever you prefer. I think that to be true. I cannot defeat an addiction entirely on my own, I need a Higher Power to help me not relapse.

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

abstract beach bright clouds

The Sun is my Higher Power. Photo by Pixabay on


Ray Ban Sunglasses

May 7, 2020

It is Friday night. I am sitting with my friend Jack at a table outside the local brewery, located in a park.  We are both graduate students and live in a college town in the Midwest. The warm wind smells like rain and blows the voices of the crowd into the branches of the trees all around us.

Jack gets up and goes to buy himself some more beer. I watch him walk towards the outdoor bar area and join the queue. It is busy tonight, like every Friday night in the summer.

blur eyewear fashion glass

Photo by lalesh aldarwish on

I notice a pair of sunglasses on the table. They are away from Jack’s empty beer glass and pack of cigarettes. I assume they’re not his. I pick them up and observe them carefully in the dark. They are a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. They must have been expensive. I remember I once owned a similar pair but I gave them away to a girlfriend. Since then I have always bought myself cheap sunglasses and I have kept losing them, precisely because they are cheap.

I try them on and watch through their tinted glass. They have a yellow safety cord which I put around my neck. The glasses clap onto my face well and contour my ears. I feel like a chiseled face in an advertisement. In a moment of self-consciousness, I take them off and hold them up with an obvious gesture, so if the owner shows up, he notices that I just found them. but no one is watching me at the other tables. I see multitudes of wet open-mouthed faces. I place the sunglasses back exactly where I found them. I can’t remember if anyone left the table when Jack and I arrived.

Jack returns with a large glass of beer and sits down. He takes a cigarette from his pack, lights it, and offers me one. I take one and he reaches over, producing a flame with his lighter.  He soon notices the sunglasses, which I had forgotten about, takes them and says “nice” while he starts to open them and look at them before trying them on.

“Yeah,” I say. “I just found them. They were sitting right there.”

“Are you keeping them?” They fit him well. His face looks aerodynamic. I imagine him riding a motorbike, the wind blowing his hair, like another stupid ad.

“I don’t know. If no one else claims them. Maybe whoever left them will be back.”

I inhale smoke and sip my beer. Jack does the same. We come here every weekend night and smoke and drink while we hope to run into interesting women. We might seem indifferent to the people around us, almost discreet, but we look at women with hungry eyes, like vultures.

Two men approach our table. One is in his mid thirties, he carries a pitcher of beer and two glasses. The other man must be nineteen or twenty, no older; perhaps it’s his younger brother.

“Mind if we sit here with you guys? Kinda hard to get a table tonight,” the older man says.

“Be our guests,” I say, knowing Jack doesn’t mind.

I wish two women would have joined us instead but I’m not about to kick them out. They sit and pour themselves beer. They also smoke and they drink quickly. The younger man’s face is distorted and he seems angry. He speaks loudly to his companion. The wind steals his words from my ears. I make something out like “we are only here to drink some beers, relax.” I don’t know if it’s my imagination or if I have actually heard the older man say it.

Jack looks at two women walk to the long lines at the bar. One of them wears tight jeans. It is hard not to stare. Her firm backside hypnotizes us both until she disappears in the crowd. I feel the wind stronger now, and the voice of the younger man sounds menacing.

“They’re obnoxious,” Jack whispers.

“The kid must be on speed or something,” I respond.

“Hey, these sunglasses belong to you guys?” the younger man asks, holding them in his hands.

“No, someone left them here…”

“Really, I’ll keep them!” he states before I have time to finish my sentence.

“Except, I found them first.” I hear my voice quaver but it comes out clearly. I am suddenly very aware of Jack, his eyes watch me.

“O.K.” the younger man says. It dissolves the tension. I feel relieved but he tries them on. He throws the safety cord defiantly on the floor. I feel sweat break in my forehead. I want to appear indifferent and hide my growing irritation.

“I guess I found them first, so if the guy that lost them does not return soon, I’ll keep them.” I don’t understand exactly why I want the sunglasses. I don’t need them but I think it’s unfair for the guy to claim them. It’s the principle.

“So you found them, huh?” The older man says. He takes the sunglasses from his friend or brother, and looks through them without putting them on. He takes his time before he hands them to me. I am waiting like a snake ready to kill a frog.

“Hey, don’t give them to him! I want to keep them,” the younger man says. But I have them now.

“We’ll arm-wrestle, do you arm-wrestle?” he asks me. I look at Jack. He’s smiling. I would like him to suggest something but he’s silent with that “don’t ask me” look.

“O.K. we’ll arm-wrestle.” I’m incredulous that I agreed. The nerve. Maybe if I lose I won’t give him the sunglasses anyway.

black and white people bar men

Photo by Gratisography on

“Are you right-handed or left-handed?” he asks, sitting in front of me, and placing an optimistic right arm on the table. I join his hand with my right before I answer.

“I’m right-handed”

“Well, I’m actually left-handed,” he says.

“O.K then, I can use my left hand.” I let go of his hand.

“No, it’s O.K., I can use my right arm too,” he says. I think he might go back on his word if I beat him. He is slightly taller than I am, and his hand and wrist are a little thicker.

The older man stands to my left, between us, he holds our fists together. The tips of my opponent’s fingers are white and compress white half-moons into my skin. His face is like a knot, his eyeballs are cross-eyed, focused on his fist.

“Hands behind your backs,” the older man says. I try to show Jack that I’m confident. He’s still grinning and his facial expression doubts me. The older man lets go while I’m unready, giving my rival an advantage. He pushes back my arm about 20 degrees. I’m worried. He pushes hard. My hand gives up some more degrees and my wrist swells. I position the right part of my torso and my right shoulder towards him. I will have to use the muscles on my biceps to win. My hand is being pushed down to 45 degrees but my arm and wrist are resisting. I try to align my bent hand with my arm but now he’s really tough and he is leaning all his body weight against me. Somehow I begin recovering although slowly. I manage a straight angle and he groans. Sweat is flowing down from my forehead and I succeed to push his arm all the way down to a few inches from the table. I’ve got him where I wanted, I don’t think he stands a chance now. I suddenly remember all the swimming I did in high school.

“Get him, Rob!” I hear Jack say. I almost had forgotten him.

I slam his fist down on the table and smile. He dares to spring his fist back up, like a swing. I slam him down again and we repeat this a few times. His fist is like a bouncing tennis ball, however, slowly giving up to the laws of gravity.

“O.K. you lost. But, here, take the sunglasses and keep them,” I grab them and place them before him, on the table.

“No! Let’s try with our left arms,” he says.

“Why? I said you can keep the sunglasses.”

“No, I want to fight for them.”

“But why do you insist?”

“Come on! I told you I was left-handed.”

“O.K. have it your way, whatever.” I sit down again and position my left arm. I doubt I can beat him. I’m not left handed but he doesn’t scare me. I know my left arm is very strong too.

“This time I’ll hold your fists together,” Jack says. He looks at me with support and lets go. I’m ready this time and his arm feels weaker than his right arm. I had suspected he was lying. I push his arm down steadily, like the second hand in a stop watch. I get him decisively close to the table and crush his fist down, allowing no nonsense this time. I squash the flesh on the back of his hand against the wooden table as if I were sticking it with glue, and until he offers no more obstinate resistance. He gives up, opening his fingers, exposing the palm of his hand, waiting for me to release him, like a dog with his belly up, offering his testicles to a superior dog and waiting for mercy.

“I guess you lost again, but hey, you can still keep the sunglasses.” I stand up and give them to him once again but he puts them down on the table.

“No, let’s do a hand wrestle this time!” he says and also stands. He grabs both my hands before I can protest and shows me how it’s done. I had never heard of it. Our palms are touching each others’ and our fingers are intertwined. The object is to push forward and up, until the loser’s wrists can’t bend backwards anymore. He amuses me. His grip is again weaker than mine. I push his hands upwards until he grimaces and gives up. He’s lost for the third time.

man in shorts standing near gate and holding another person s hand

Photo by Thau00eds Silva on

“Just take the sunglasses,” the older man now says.

“Keep them,” I’m offended by his assertion. We sit down back at our chairs. Jack lights a cigarette and sips his beer. I echo him. My muscles ache but I feel good. I don’t regret having given away the sunglasses. It was like giving away a responsibility. Jack chuckles.

“You completely humiliated me!” the younger man suddenly shouts. The sunglasses are in front of where he sits. He does not acknowledge them. His eyes are red and holds his beer glass between his face and the table. He sets it down.

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“I’ve never felt so humiliated. No one has ever done this to me. I don’t want the sunglasses. It’s embarrassing.”

“Just forget it,” the older man says in disgust and looks away from the scene.

“Hey, you should be grateful,” I say. He shuts his mouth and looks at me, bewildered. “Think of it as a lesson. It’s not worth fighting for anything. Specially not a pair of sunglasses. And on top of it, I let you keep them. Look at it as me giving you two presents today. A pair of sunglasses and a lesson. ” I’m pleased with myself. Jack looks embarrassed and he’s silent.

“So I should be grateful, huh?” The kid says mockingly.

“I think so.”

“Well, thanks a lot!” He doesn’t sound convinced and finally takes the sunglasses. He puts them on and smiles. “I really appreciate this.” He stretches out his right arm for a hand shake.

I shake his hand cautiously.

“Name’s Pete, what’s your name?” he asks.

“Mine’s Rob, nice to meet you.” We all do the “nice to meet each other” ordeal and sit back in our chairs.

Everyone’s silent for a few minutes. Then when they start speaking, the wind tears their voices. Jack puts out his cigarette. I light one up. Something tells me the game is not over yet. I laugh.

“That guy’s some ass,” Jack whispers.

“Hey, I’m forever grateful!” the young man shouts over the table. “Thanks a lot man! Thanks to you!” He holds the sunglasses up in the air, like a toast.

“Can’t believe you gave them to him,” the older man says. I’m unsure if he’s being sarcastic.

“Well, I guess some of us don’t need sunglasses that bad,” I say. I don’t know if they can hear me. Perhaps they’re drunk and want to continue playing.

“Well, I need them! I need them really bad!” Pete puts them on and snickers with his older friend. Pete is more stubborn than I thought. I see their pitcher is empty.

“Maybe we should go,” Jack says and stands up.

“Yeah, let’s go.” I get up. We exchange sarcastic byes and walk away.

As we walk away, Jack says “you were fucking great, man.”

“Really? Why do you think so?” I’m still trying to wrap the whole thing around my head.

“I mean first you beat him arm wrestling, then you let him keep the sunglasses, obviously humiliating him, which he admits himself. And then, on top of it all, you make a complete fool out of him by making him have to swallow his pride. Congratulations!” He laughs. “That asshole won’t forget you that easily!”

“I know, what a jerk. He was angry even at the end. I would have liked to see the true owner of the glasses arrive, just before we left. Imagine that, it would have been the ultimate blow. ”

“Would have served him right. Then again, you sure got him good, boy did you get him.”

“What else could I have done? It’s not worth fighting over a pair of sunglasses.”

“I don’t know, maybe we should have beaten them up.”

“That would have been an alternative, but what good is violence? How does one solve a situation like that?”

“Yeah, what good is violence,” as I hear Jack say this, I wonder if it would have been, after all, more manly to have beaten the shit out of him.

Copyright ©1992 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

grayscale photography of man

Photo by Zuarav on






Pedalando pela Dinamarca

May 5, 2020

In English. En castellano.

Integrada à ampla rede de transporte público de ônibus e trens, a bicicleta é considerada um importante meio de transporte neste pequeno país escandinavo, que tem uma das mais modernas infraestruturas do mundo para ciclistas. Todo ano, desde 2015, o Copenhagenize Index, um ranking das cidades mais bike-friendly do mundo, coloca a capital da Dinamarca no topo da lista. Se você gosta de andar de bicicleta, a Dinamarca está pronta para recebê-lo.

Uma típica ciclovia dinamarquesa. Fonte:

Os dinamarqueses e as bicicletas

Copenhagen, a capital da Dinamarca, localizada na Ilha da Zelândia, e cujo nome significa “porto de mercadores” no idioma local, tem uma população de 633.000 pessoas (2017) e cerca de 675.000 bicicletas, além de 120.000 carros. 62% da população da região da capital usa a bicicleta para ir trabalhar ou ir à escola, quatro entre dez pessoas têm carro e nove entre dez pessoas têm bicicleta. Na verdade, desde 2016, o trânsito de bicicletas na ilha superou o de carros, sendo que 52% dos domicílios não têm carro. Os dinamarqueses, em média, pedalam 3 km/dia em Copenhagen, 2,4 km/dia em Århus, a segunda maior cidade daquele país; e 2,6 km/dia em Odense, a terceira maior. 75% das bicicletas continuam nas ruas no frio inverno dinamarquês e cerca de 4000 a 5000 delas são vendidas anualmente em Copenhagen.

A Dinamarca é o país dos ciclistas há quase 100 anos e, nas décadas de 1920 e 1930, pedalar tornou-se um símbolo de igualdade e liberdade. No começo dos anos 70, quando a terra de Hans Christian Andersen e todos os países do mundo estavam investindo pesado na infraestrutura automobilística – a qual veio a estagnar com a crise de petróleo do Oriente Médio – Copenhagen apostou alto e exigiu uma cidade no modelo car-free, ou seja, livre de carros.

Lady with front bike carrier
26% dos cidadãos de Copenhagen com dois filhos possuem uma “cargo bike” (bicicleta adaptada para transporte de carga). Fonte:

As crianças dinamarquesas começam a andar de bicicleta antes dos seis anos de idade. Quando mais novas, quase sempre são vistas nas bicicletas dos pais. Tais veículos podem ser adaptados com diferentes peças e suplementos para transportar uma ou mais crianças de uma só vez. Na verdade, foram os dinamarqueses que inventaram o baú frontal para bicicletas visto aqui e abaixo, o qual carrega convenientemente crianças ou cargas, neste que é o país das bicicletas. Na escola, as crianças aprendem a cultura do pedalar, regras e normas de segurança para andar de bicicleta, como parte do currículo escolar. 49% de todos os jovens dinamarqueses entre 11-15 anos vão para a escola de bicicleta.

Cargo bike frontal dinamarquesa
A “cargo-bike” frontal inventada na Dinamarca. Fonte:

A infraestrutura para pedalar na Dinamarca

O que parece ser muito importante e que justifica o sucesso das bicicletas na Dinamarca é, dentre outros fatores, o fato de eles terem ciclovias separadas, às quais os carros não têm acesso. Copenhagen tem cerca de 400 kilômetros de ciclovias, separadas das vias de carros e dos passeios de pedestres.

Geograficamente, a Dinamarca é uma península ao norte da Alemanha, composta por Jutland, a ilha da Zelândia e inúmeras outras ilhas. É um país moderno e abastado com cerca de 43,1 mil kilômetros quadrados e com 12.000 kilômetros de ciclovias. Os país construiu 13 pontes para bicicletas desde 2017 e há ainda mais três em construção. Recentemente foi terminada uma ponte com vias de 5,5 m de largura em cada sentido e que recebe mais de 22.000 ciclistas/dia (Dybbølbro). Também estão sendo construídas centenas de kilômetros de “superciclovias”, que vão conectar a cidade de Copenhagen a às cidades próximas.

Ponte de bicicleta dinamarquesa
Uma típica ponte para bicicletas na Dinamarca. Fonte:

A rede de transporte público funciona junto às ciclovias dinamarquesas. Os trens de passageiros têm um vagão exclusivo para bicicletas. 20% dos ciclistas dinamarqueses pedalam até as estações de trem e 5% o fazem das estações até seu destino. Em Copenhagen, esses números são 30% e 10%, respectivamente.

ciclovias dinamarquesas
Ciclovias junto às linhas férreas estaduais da Dinamarca. Fonte:

Saúde e meio ambiente

Pedalar reduz problemas de saúde, faltas no trabalho e economiza em custos de saúde ao contribuinte dinamarquês. Estudos dinamarqueses demonstram que, para cada kilômetro pedalado, a Dinamarca ganha aproximadamente $1,10 dólares em benefícios para seu sistema público de saúde. Além disso, os ciclistas de Copenhagen solicitam menos 1,1 milhão em dias de afastamento médico em comparação aos não-ciclistas. Isso se traduz em 215 milhões de euros de economia anual. A cada 1200 kilômetros pedalados, tem-se menos um dia de afastamento por doença. Essa é ainda uma ótima forma de os dinamarqueses saírem para tomar um ar todos os dias e aproveitar as áreas externas, o que acalma o pensamento e reduz o stress.

Os benefícios de andar de bicicleta para o meio ambiente falam por si: pedalar reduz a emissão de carbono, a poluição, os ruídos e os congestionamentos. Pedalar faz uso mais eficiente do espaço público, cria uma vida urbana mais rica e torna as cidades locais melhores para se viver. Na região da Zelândia, uma das maiores e mais povoadas ilhas da Dinamarca, onde fica a capital Copenhagen, o uso da bicicleta significa menos 500 toneladas de CO2 por ano e os moradores da região produzem 92% menos emissões quando substituem o carro pela bicicleta. Os dinamarqueses consideram que andar de bicicleta é o presente e o futuro da mobilidade e do desenvolvimento de uma cidade inteligente. E com mobilidade a baixo custo.

Trem passageiros Dinamarca
Um vagão exclusivo para bicicletas em um trem de passageiros na Dinamarca. Fonte:

Tecnologia dinamarquesa

Os dinamarqueses tentam fazer o uso da bicicleta o mais conveniente possível para poder estimulá-lo. A tecnologia de onda verde, que existiu de forma similar para carros na Dinamarca por muitas décadas, hoje pode ser vista nas ciclovias com sinais verdes em LED. Quando está na ciclovia com onda verde andando a 20 km/h, o ciclista sabe que o próximo sinal estará verde e que não terá de parar. Além disso, quando está chovendo, algumas ciclovias são equipadas com sensores que deixam os sinais verdes por mais tempo. Os dinamarqueses também estão sempre testando e implantando novas tecnologias para melhorar a segurança, como as luzes LED que avisam caminhoneiros sobre a presença de ciclistas, quando viram à direita.

As ciclovias dinamarquesas têm ainda uma infraestrutura urbana com um conforto razoável, como estações de serviço; monitores com todo tipo de informação em tempo real, como previsão do tempo, número de ciclistas, etc.; bombas de ar; apoio para os pés e até mesmo latas de lixo bike-friendly, convenientemente inclinadas.

Apoio pés ciclistas Dinamarca
Apoio para os pés para ciclistas na Dinamarca. Fonte:

As superciclovias dinamarquesas

As chamadas “superciclovias” dinamarquesas, assim batizadas pelo Departamento de Superciclovias (o Sekretariatet for Supercykelstier) daquele país, conectam às cidades próximas a Copenhagen. O objetivo é ampliar os trajetos de longa distância por bicicleta, tornando-os competitivos em relação ao uso de trens e ônibus. Isso reduz as emissões de carbono e, ao mesmo tempo, melhora a saúde dos ciclistas. Outros países europeus também estão construindo esta nova categoria de vias públicas para bicicletas.

superciclovia c-82 Dinamarca
A superciclovia C-82 tem 7,3 km de extensão em um dos barrios periféricos de Copenhagen. Fonte:

Em 2009, Copenhagen e a maior parte das cidades próximas iniciaram um projeto conjunto para construir um total de 750 kilômetros dessas ciclovias até 2045. Já foram construídas até agora um total de oito delas, passando de 12 kilômetros em 2012 para 167 kilômetros em 2019.

Construídas com a meta de manter Copenhagen e suas cidades próximas como “os melhores lugares para bicicletas” do mundo, as superciclovias fazem o match perfeito entre finanças e meio ambiente. Uma pesquisa dinamarquesa apontou que substituir 1% de todos os trajetos de carro por trajetos de bicicletas nos poupa 23.000 toneladas de CO2. O tráfego de bicicletas nas superciclovias aumentou cerca de 23% desde 2012, sendo que 14% dessas pessoas costumavam usar carro. O maior número de ciclistas registrado em uma superciclovia em um dia de semana foi de 29.000, com uma média de trajeto de 11 km/dia por ciclista. Haveria um aumento de 30% no uso de carro, se ninguém da região usasse bicicleta.

As superciclovias vão custar $319,8 milhões de dólares até 2045 e trarão um excedente socioeconômico de $892,3 milhões de dólares. Destes, $667,7 milhões de dólares compreenderão benefícios ao sistema de saúde. Também reduzirão em 40.000 o número de dias de afastamento por doença por ano.

Um estudo feito pela descobriu que 10% dos ciclistas reduzem anualmente os dias de afastamento por doença em 267.000, reduzem 6% de trânsito e congestionamentos, além de economizarem $160 milhões de dólares para a saúde pública.

Conheça alguns ciclistas

De acordo com um estudo de um mês feito pela , a dinamarquesa Mette, de 49 anos, que usou uma bicicleta elétrica, observou uma redução de cinco anos em sua idade corporal ao pedalar cerca de 27 km/dia. Ela também viu seu IMC (Índice de Massa Corporal) cair de 24,4 para 23,4 em um único mês.

Família dinamarquesa andando de bicicleta
Família dinamarquesa andando de bicicleta. Fonte:

A dinamarquesa Fiona Weiss, que anda de bicicleta há 50 anos, gosta de pedalar mais no verão. Nas palavras dela, “pedalar nos traz energias boas e me permite descobrir lugares que eu não veria se estivesse no trem, além de manter minhas pernas em forma”. Ela também diz gostar de pedalar mesmo “em um bom dia de inverno, quando eu sinto vontade de sair para tomar um ar, à beira do mar ou em um bosque”.

Bettina Fürstenberg é uma dinamarquesa de 52 anos, que costumava pedalar cerca de 16 kilômetros por dia até sofrer um grave acidente com a bicicleta por volta dos 30 anos. No momento, ela tem três bicicletas, sendo uma delas elétrica. Segundo ela, pedalar é “a forma mais rápida de se mover por Copenhagen”. E “sem poluir o ar”. Ela acha que “ainda são necessárias vias melhores e maiores, com regras mais rígidas para os ciclistas”, como “limites de velocidade”. Embora não tenha se recuperado totalmente do acidente que sofreu, ela ainda anda de bicicleta “para qualquer tipo de atividade, como ir trabalhar, ir ao cinema, a parques, às compras, etc.”.

Área externa de um prédio típico de Copenhaga. Foto: Jorge Carbajosa
Área externa de um prédio típico de Copenhagen. Foto: Jorge Carbajosa

O know-how de ciclismo à moda dinamarquesa

A Embaixada do Ciclismo da Dinamarca é uma entidade local que promove o ciclismo em cidades de todo o mundo. Eles oferecem um filme em realidade virtual, que apresenta um passeio de bicicleta por Copenhagen, uma viagem de estudo de dois dias pela Dinamarca, e preparam relatórios anuais. Os dinamarqueses têm diversos sites em inglês, que promovem o ciclismo e mostram o país. Muitos deles foram usados neste trabalho e estão elencados no final deste texto.

Estação central de Copenhagen
Bicicletários da Estação central de Copenhagen. Foto: Jorge Carbajosa

A Língua Dinamarquesa

O dinamarquês é uma língua de origem germânica falada na Dinamarca, nas Ilhas Faroé (no Atlântico Norte) e por uma minoria na Groenlândia. É uma língua inteligível pelos suecos e noruegueses. Todas essas línguas descendem da língua nórdica antiga. O islandês, outra língua da terra dos Vikings, também deriva da língua nórdica antiga.

Como o português, o dinamarquês é uma língua indo-europeia, o que significa que são apenas parentes distantes. A maioria dos dinamarqueses fala bem o inglês já na mais tenra idade.

Traduzido por Ilka Santi,

Leia o artigo em inglês aqui

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa


McKay’s Modern Danish – English Dictionary by Hermann Vinterberg, David McKay Company, Inc.

An Introduction to Old Norse, E.V. Gordon, Oxford 1990.