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No Time

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When I think about how I live my life, I often catch myself saving things for later, putting them off, or having doubts about whether or not it’s the right time for them.
buddha timeStudying abroad has NOT been one of those instances. Just flying here was an obstacle for me, and I know that the person boarding the plane to the USA will have accomplished far more than the person who boarded the plane to Copenhagen. Since I’ve been here, I have been taking as many opportunities as I could, because I don’t know when, if ever, I will get another chance to come to Europe to learn, see, do, and love all that it has to offer.

With only TEN DAYS LEFT, I find myself thinking about a statement that Vince made recently: “This space in time is unique and will never be replicated.” Even if I were to come back to Copenhagen in the future (which I hope to do), I will not be living in this apartment in city center on Skindergade with fellow DIS students. Each moment we spend here is a chance to make a lasting memory, because those are the most important souvenirs. That said, my housemates in Skindy 14 have become much closer over the past few weeks, cooking family dinners, decorating the house, going out on weekends, and basically just spend time enjoying each others’ company for the last weeks of our time together.

For these last TEN DAYS, I will do everything in my power to give Copenhagen all the love it deserves, and show my appreciation to the beautiful city that will always occupy my memory as my European home. I will not waste this time, for I know I do not have it.

Much love.

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Studying Danish

Well, readers, classes are beginning to come to a close. With 19 days left in Denmark, I have much to do and maybe even more to reflect upon.

Today was my Danish Final Exam, worth 35% of my grade. While I am not confident that I got an A (because Danish language is next to impossible), I know that I have learned so much about Danish language and culture through this class and my outside experiences with Danes. This particular aspect has definitely been a step outside my comfort zone. To me, that’s more important than an A on my transcript.

In closing, jeg elsker Copenhagen, men jeg kan ikke lide Danish! (I love Copenhagen, but I don’t like Danish!)

Much love.

Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving started for me on Wednesday and ended on Friday (of course). I didn’t mean to make it happen, but I’ve had so much to be thankful for these past few days that I just had to extend the holiday.

On Wednesday night, we made our own Thanksgiving dinner at Mia’s house. There were 22 people in attendance, including everyone who lives in Mia’s house, me, and my friend Anna. The spearheads of this operation were Emily, Mia, and Aimee, who did most of the cooking and coordinated other contributions. Mine was home-made cranberry sauce. Jhon and I also whipped up some cinnamon butter and helped with the mashed taters (so yummy). It was SUCH a HYGGE night!! I am so thankful to have all these great friends!

Group shot of everyone (minus Jhon) in Mia’s house, my second home. LOVE THEM ALL!

My contribution: homemade cranberry sauce (since Denmark doesn’t have it)

this captures the moment well

Thankful for this girl ❤

Emily, Mia, and Aimee: the three moms with their pies

picture-perfect “hygge” (Danish concept of cozy)

 

 

 

Thursday, I woke up still full (typical Thanksgiving problems). It was kind of a rough day because I missed my family and friends on this American holiday, and everyone in Denmark was acting like nothing was happening. I know that Christmas decorations are up, and they look great, but it’s just not the same. Thanksgiving is a day to spend walking around the house in slippers, cooking with people you love, listening to “Alice’s Restaraunt” (Dad & Ben!), failing at pecan pie… and instead I was expected to be in class. EWW.

Luckily, I had pre-arranged a coffee date with Anders Larson, a man who teaches and works in Housing at DIS. I never would have done this, but Nancy strongly suggested that I meet him, as he was one of her favorite people here. Let me tell you, I’m SO glad I listened to her. Anders is the coolest! He’s super cute, so easy to talk to, and as a real Dane, he knows what’s up around Copenhagen. Even better, we met up with his friend and colleague Lauren Chaney, who is a Villanova alum and has been traveling the world since she graduated ten years ago! It was nice to spend time chatting with such cool people, and I was reminded that there are so many people I have yet to meet here. With only 22 days left, it’s easy to check out mentally, but I won’t do that yet. There is too much I’d miss out on!

Just to top off the night, we spent Thursday night as we would on Thanksgiving Eve in CT. My dancing shoes are a little worn out now, let’s just say.

Friday, I thought the festivities would be over… but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I got an email about a package, and had been expecting my mom to send me my favorite sweater. Instead, I got TWO HUGE PACKAGES!

THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM AND ANNE!!! Opening these boxes seriously felt like Christmas and took away any lingering sadness I had that I was missing out on Black Friday shopping, another HUGE family tradition. I got a little taste of the wardrobe I miss at home, since my mom got me a million sweaters and legwarmers, an Alex & Ani (the teacher apple), and other stuff. Thanks Mom! And Anne got me a ridiculous amount of great American stuff, including A WHOLE JAR OF PEANUTBUTTER, DUNKIN COFFEE, AND HOMEMADE BROWNIES!! I haven’t smelled a brownie in months. THANK YOU SO MUCH ANNE!!

Really, it all comes back to being thankful. I have never before in my life had so many reasons to be thankful. It hits me just about every day, even when I’m sad or missing home. I am thankful for my wonderful, supportive family, my absolutely amazing friends, and of course, this experience. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Much love.

First Day in Greece

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Like a kid on Christmas, I did not sleep a wink the night we arrived in Greece. Today was the day of the Acropolis. I have a million pictures for you, so I will put them up in a slideshow with captions.

 

The basic outline of the day: 

climbing the hill to the Acropolis

wandering around shopping streets in the heart of Athens

 

lunch at an adorable restaurant: Greek salad and Moussaka

Moussaka, a Greek version of lasagne with eggs, eggplant, meat, potatoes, and cheese

strange grainy orange flan. GROSS.

finding the Fish Kiss pedicure (in which I did not partake)

stumbling upon the ancient burial ground called Kerameikos

more of those first-day gyros for dinner!

finishing out the day by hanging out on the rooftop bar at the Pella Inn.

Here are the pictures from this glorious first day in paradise. The weather, by the way, was sunny and 86 degrees. What a perfect change from the 50 degrees and clouds of Copenhagen!

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Much love.

Art Museums & Bike Tours

By now I have visited more art museums than ever in my life. I am officially the SuperTourist. Every Wednesday, we have Field Studies for our classes (sometimes multiple trips in a day, for up to five hours each!) which have provided me with free guided access to museums and attractions all over Denmark.

Between my Short Study Tour in Western Denmark (Odense, Skanderborg, & Aarhus), and Field Studies for my classes, I have visited the Nationalmusset, Aros, Statens, and Danish Design Museum. With my Living & Learning Community, we did a 10 mile bike tour of Copenhagen’s architectural sites. We have also seen the Red Square, Round Tower (right down the block from our house!) and the Church of Our Savior. Then of course there’s the Glass Market, Torvehallerne, which feels more like home than a tourist attraction.

If you’re overwhelmed, imagine my thought when I looked at my calendar for tomorrow. Positive Psychology guest lecture, Scandinavian Crime Fiction walking tour of Copenhagen, and a five hour visit to the Louisiana with my LLC.

Just to catch you up, here are some pictures of my favorite things at the Design Museum… which focused on innovative clothing and furniture design. Since mixed media/applied art is my favorite kind, the Design Museum was especially intriguing for me. My favorite part was a dress made out of straws!

The butt-breaking bike tour was another must-see, so I took some pictures to show everyone the gist of what we saw. Of course, no photo can do justice to the atmosphere these buildings create. The city of Copenhagen, with its mix of old and new architecture, canals, and windmills, is so amazing that mere pictures cannot possibly contain it. You’ll just have to come here and see for yourself.

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Aros in Pictures

Group shot in the Rainbow Room

dual colors

Nedi, Rachel, & I

That’s Daniella way down there… just so you have some scale!

The Rainbow from across the circle

From the roof below the Rainbow

painting from the inside of a hurricane

fuzzy rain cloud sculpture

urban piece

BEES up close!

inside Aros

Tony Matelli… genius

Tony in meat

Tony in meat decayed

Tony in veggies

Tony’s comment on materialist consumerism. Poor monkey!

True Love is unscathed on these poor deteriorating people. They have each other!

A Human Echo exhibit by Tony Matelli

This is a room in Hell where you feel like you’re about to fall off a balcony, all because of mirrors!

Boy

I honestly thought this was a person pretending to be a statue, but it’s a real statue!

Aros from outside. Rainbow Room is on top!

Those Quirky Danes…

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I’m sure there will be many posts like this, but here’s a start of some of the quirky things that Danish culture has brought to my attention.

This is my dinner last night. The weird thing is, that potato is MASSIVE and so are the carrots! Baby carrots do not exist in Denmark!! Since I live off baby carrots in the States, this was a big shocker to me. (I know it was for you, too, Xtina) Also, it was like 9:30 PM here before I felt like eating, and was too lazy to cook/season… microwave potatoes are my new go-to.

This is one of the many staircases at one of our classroom buildings at DIS. The stairs here are steep, narrow, and windy. Some spiral staircases are majestic, while others are just too steep and crowded to be practical.

 

Mia and I bought school supplies today. First of all, folders in Denmark look nothing like folders in the States. I didn’t even buy any because they have flaps and rubber bands instead of pockets–too overwhelming. Instead, we got this binder with multiple tabs to put all our papers into, BUT CHECK THIS OUT! Four rings! And a two-hole punch! They only ever come in two or four, never three. How strange a thing to change!

In the next four months, I expect to notice many other unlikely differences from American culture. This proves that they can come from any area of life, even where I didn’t expect them.

 

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