The beginning

The entire story about the Dane seems to be coming together and culminating in these days. My first encounter goes a long way back even though I never had any idea that it would come to this or that The Dane was going to become the man that he seems to be today.

I am not even entirely positive that this is the same man as the one that I stumbled upon by accident in 1992. Even though I have tried to follow the tracks as close as possible. There are strong indications that my information about a Dane who left Denmark a long time ago is consistent with the sparse information that it is possible to dig up about “The Dane”.

I will try to describe my complete journey and chase after The Dane along with the diary that set it all into motion. It is up to you to decide if you – like I do – believe that it is indeed the same person or if there are in fact two Danes who have chosen similar paths in life, or if there is something completely different at hand. 

You are very welcome to share your thoughts on the matter – or any other matter in the forum, where I will be looking for information and tips.

As I said, It all began in 1992.

My parents and I were on a vacation in the far east. We were traveling around and seeing as many countries as we could get into. My parents saw this as a formation journey and a great way for me to learn something new about the world and myself. It was probably also pretty good for me to get a break from the drinking and partying in Denmark. I had started high school (known as “Gymnasium” in Denmark) but truth be told I was sick and tired of school and I wasn’t into books at all at the time. And the vacation helped, maybe even a little too well when I look back at the amount of reading I have done since then. It has come to the point where some people say that I am obsessed with The Dane and that it would be good for me to read about something else as well.

It was a small diary that my dad found in a market in Laos that got me started reading. It was a little old book with a dirty cover made from leather. Afterwards he never really could remember why he had picked up that particular book in the first place.

market in laos
This could just as well have been the market where we found the diary

He showed me the book because he could see that it was written in Danish. It was just one of those odd little things that he had to share. I flipped through it. The handwriting was an awful form of cursive that I could only read because I had attended an archaic private school where they still taught the same kind of handwriting. Till this day that same handwriting haunts me, because I can’t write in an eligible way for others to read. 

When I had deciphered some words on a random page, it dawned on me that this was an actual diary. I didn’t know a lot about world history but it was obvious that it was written by a man who had fought in a war. Of course I had heard about the Vietnam War, so I assumed that it had to be that war. Like most young boys I was fascinated with real stories like this and asked my parents to let me buy the book. 

I guess they were just happy that I had found something to read that actually interested me so they were happy to buy the book for me. Little did they know how much of me and my time it would consume.

Back at our middle class hotel in the evening I started unlocking the scribbled words and sentences in the diary. I was immediately hooked. The diary was written by a man who could just as well have been me. A rebel who couldn’t deal with the banalities and conformed Denmark and therefore had taken matters into his own hands. The big difference being that he had actually done it while I had only had immature daydreams of doing something similar. 

That it was an actual diary only made things worse for me. There is something alluring about reading something illegal like a personal journal or diary. 

I finished the diary over the next couple of days and we moved on to the next hotel on our roundtrip. The diary ended up in my luggage and didn’t come out again until we were back home in Denmark. 

I put it on a shelf as a memory of a great vacation. I also thought that it might be a cool thing to show to my friends. It was a real testimony from a real person who had fought in a freal war. Maybe I could even use it for an assignment in history class or something like that when I went back to school. 

Then the normality of everyday returned and I forgot all about the book.

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