Another post in the same day. It’s just one thought.
Being in another country and studying abroad is a great time to explore a new place and dig deeper into who you really are. It took me until this trip to realize that the people in your life shape you just has much as the places you’ve been and the things you’ve done. At the end of the day, thousands of pictures and new European boots do not change your personality or feelings of worth. It’s the people who really matter. Between the e-mail chain from the best Washington D.C. interns ever, my weekly updates from my Bucknell family (sorority, Smith 3C, BDC, or others), and notes from friends experiencing other fascinating places in the US and abroad, I’m grateful everyday for such amazing people in my life.
I’ve met a number of people since being in Denmark who I’m glad to know and can’t wait to visit when we all get back to the States. I want to thank each and every person in my life who realizes I’m thinking about them as much as they are thinking about me.
Parents left today after an incredible visit. This weekend we went to Egersund, Norway to visit my dad’s friend Tollak and his family. They have three grandchildren who I absolutely adore. We spent the entire time going on walks through the hills along the coast, learning Norwegian words, playing cards with the kids, and watching little kid soccer (football) games. Both the boys (age 6 and 10) had short football games on Sunday and they both scored. Their skills are probably at the same level as me during my senior year of high school…
Fortunately, er unfortunately, I missed most of my classes because we left on Friday and didn’t get back until Monday night. I have a 6-7 page paper due on the legal analysis of international whaling and a large Danish quiz on Friday among other things. Seeing my parents and getting to go to Norway made the current work load totally worth it.
Still going to the gym in an attempt to look like the tall, skinny blond Danish women biking around town. Minus the blond thing. It wouldn’t look good with my skin tone. I’m going to the UK in less than a week (Sunday morning) for an entire week with my Sustainability In Europe core course with DIS. I’ll have a chance to stay in both London and Devin and get to see Phil!!! Super excited to eat fish and chips and use the lift to get to different floors.
Being abroad has continued to open my mind about parts of my life. I find myself thinking about other places I could see myself living abroad and the job I would take that would allow me to travel. There is something exciting and scary about attempting to learn a culture, language and customs of a place completely foreign. I was able to show my parents around København, navigate the public transportation and order a beer in Danish. It’s a great feeling.
I have fallen in love. I thought it might happen in Denmark and it absolutely has. I haven’t felt this way in years and it’s an incredible way to feel. I’m in love with my new MacBook Pro.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the lovely people who call themselves my parents brought me a new computer all the way over the ocean. I think this is a turning point in my study abroad experience. From now on, I won’t lose anything. Now if I can only find my shoes…
Quick update: spend an entire Saturday with my Nordic Mythology class looking at old burial mounds, ancient house sites and Viking ships. To end the day, my professor passed around little shots full of mead for us to enjoy. Mead is an alcoholic beverage made out of honey (see picture). It is absolutely delicious and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys honey and alcohol, aka everyone.
Parents are still here. We did a lot of fun touristy things like Christiania, Tivoli, and the Kronborg Castle (see picture). It’s been really good to see them and have them enjoy the places, people and ice cream that is now my life. Tomorrow we’re actually going to Norway to see close family friends and I’m extremely excited. Not so excited for the 6:15 am train but I’ll survive.
Went to Sweden today. Got a scarf. Ate some ice cream. Look pictures of old-looking brick structures. Gotta run and get my book bag that I forgot at the parents’ room. Now I know what you’re thinking…”Katelyn, you’re still forgetting things!” But forgetting is different from losing things so there.
Bought my plane ticket to Granada today. Let the traveling begin. Eve and I are super excited to visit our fellow amigos in Spain and buying the tickets made the trip seem real. We’re planning on leaving Friday October 29th from Copenhagen. It’ll be a great way to start our two-week travel break.
My International Law class is fascinating. By fascinating I mean extremely difficult. I feel like I’m in another time zone about 5 hours behind. By the time I understand what’s being said in Katelyn time , International Law time has already greeted the new day and begun the next lesson. Just gotta take one pdf at a time…
In more exciting news, I’m going to see Swan Lake on Thursday with my History of European Ballet class. It is going to be absolutely fabulous. The Danish Royal Ballet is supposed to be one of the best classical ballet companies in the world. Bucknell may have Twyla Tharp (which is awesome) but I’ve got the Odette pas de deux.
In more exciting news, I got MAIL today!!!! It was the best surprise. Card from Mom, card from Miki (which opened up into a 3-D model of the Lincoln Memorial) and a card from Caitlin with pictures of us from the summer. It was like I was opening little pieces of home. Tusen takk*!!!
Went back to Føtex today and bought some fig spread. Apparently it can go on crackers. Or anything else for that matter. It’s no Nutella but it tastes pretty good. On the daily account of what I forgot: today was my DIS card and pass to get into the gym. Needless to say that carrying around my sneakers and sports bra back and forth to København was pointless. However, I took a nice biking detour on my way home which I counted as exercise for the day. All the houses have the reddish-orange tiles on their roofs and little gardens. Helsingør is a nice place to be.
Another nice place to be is my bed. So that is where I’m going. Vi ses**.
* Tusen takk means thank you very much or “a thousand thanks.”
**Vi ses means see you in Danish. I’m pretty much fluent.
P.S. The Danes are also extremely good at sarcastic humor.
This weekend was the first short study tours for all DIS (Danish Institute for Study Abroad) students. My Sustainability In Europe program went to a variety of different places on the mainland of Denmark. On Thursday we went to Energinet.dk (a company who maintains the operation of the market for electricity and gas in Denmark) and the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. My favorite part about Energinet was the use of natural light throughout the building and the awesome buffet style food. The folkecenter had a bunch of windmills, solar panels and other environmentally looking things. Once you’ve seen a solar panel, you’ve been ’em all.
On Friday, we went to Thy (Denmark’s first national park) and Aalborg University. The park had a number of sand dunes and apparently next week surfers from all over the world were going to participate in a sailing competition. Our guide told us the area was called “cold Hawaii.” I agree with the cold part but the Hawaii reference was questionable. Aalborg had a number of intelligent international students, all who were interested in environmental management. For dinner, we had a BBQ consisting of beer and massive amounts of hot dogs. We went out in the city of Aalborg later in the night to partake in beer from 7-11, soft ice cream, clubs with creative names like Kristin and Manhattan and late-night window shopping. I continue to be disappointed that the mannequins in the store windows have highly superior senses of style.
The Danes function on a totally different time schedule than we do. At 10pm a friendly biker stopped to invite us to a Latin dance party. He informed us that people don’t really start going out until 1am….aka it is so early my grandmother is probably still awake so it was be really great if you could try to be a little less American.
Saturday consisted of an eco-village where a bunch of people own or rent houses and try to live sustainably. At first, I got the impression that it was a little hippie village but it was actually a structured organized community with a lot of great ideas. All their agriculture and meat were grown organically and much of the building materials were dried clay bricks that used very little energy to produce. Then we went to ARoS Art Museum in Århus to see the I Love You exhibit before our 4 hour bus ride home. Saturday night was ended with a giant party at the Folkehøjskole (where we live) in the form of a giant reunion for former students. Live Beatles cover band + beer + drunk foreigners = success.
Other life moments:
Finished reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not bad but could have been 100 pages shorter.
Met my Danish buddy Pricilla today. By Danish I mean half Costa Rican and half Finish. Really sweet girl.
The toll for going over a bridge yesterday cost 220 kr or app. $45. No wonder the minimum wage is $20 an hour.
Over 20% of Denmark’s energy comes from wind power. I must have taken 4000 pictures of wind mills in the past three days and that was probably 3999 pictures too many.
So I already posted something today but it was the opening one. Does that mean I can post another one? Are there rules for blogging or some unofficial code of conduct? We’ll see.
I’ve been in Copenhagen (actually spelled København) for two and a half weeks now. I can’t begin to write a detailed report on everything that’s happened. It’s been a blur of meeting people, getting lost, losing things, eating ice cream, buying beer and facebooking. Major events to date (in chronological order):
Got computer stolen.
Moved into the Den Internationale Højskole.
Got a bike.
Fell off the bike.
Enrolled in Nordic Mythology.
Found out Jamie (high school friend) is studying at the University of Copenhagen.
Spent a weekend sailing on a giant 100 year old ship.
Got a cold.
Lost my wallet while buying Kleenex.
Canceled my credit cards.
Found my wallet.
Went to the Botanical Gardens.
Started a blog.
Tonight’s word is Føtex. Defined as: a classier, Danish version of a Super Walmart. Used in a sentence: After I left my name and number at Føtex begging them to search for my wallet, the nice customer service people called me to let me know that my wallet was recovered and I was a moron.
Going for a walk around the quaint town of Helsingør. I love how there is a ø button on my keyboard. Just don’t ask me what it sounds like.
Oh my goodness. Katelyn has a blog. I think humanity as we know it has changed forever. Are you happy now Sandeep?
Now I’m perfectly aware that, on a good day, maybe two people are interested in my life and daily activities and that’s because they raised me for 20 years and are paying for college. Other than that, I highly doubt that anyone really wonders about my goings-on. However, I am hoping that this will allow me to document my time abroad while providing a public space for everyone and anyone to laugh at my expense.
With that said, be prepared to hide your wife and kids from The Blog.