Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hamburger

I forgot to mention yesterday I got a hamburger from the hot dog stand. I needed lunch before I got on the train to go home so I went to the conveniently placed hot dog cart. I'd already eaten a hot dog from there last week so this time I tried a hamburger. It came with ketchup, mustard, a delicious unknown sauce and brown crusty bacon like flakes. It was so soft and warm and delicious!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's it like being an American?


  • Today I didn't have anything scheduled. I saw on Facebook that there was an opportunity for DIS students to go to a Danish high school and talk to them about America. So I went to DIS at 11am and met up with two other boys and our guide. We took the S Tog a few stops away to CPH West, a public technical gymnasium. It was in a lower class part of Copenhagen and there were a lot of immigrants from the middle east. We sat in front of the class and introduced ourselves and talked about what stereotypes they had about Americans and how true or untrue they were. They said Americans were fat, gun wielding, religious, and threw crazy parties. Great. The class divided into smaller groups and each American went to a group where the Danes asked us questions for their assignment they had to write. My first question was "What drugs have you done?" Great. Then, "Have you ever done anything illegal?" Awesome. Throughout the groups I was asked: 
    • Who is my favorite fashion designer? 
    • What is a typical American day? 
    • Why did I come to Denmark? 
    • What's my opinion on the war in Afganistan? 
    • What's my opinion on gay marriage? 
    • How are immigrants treated?
    • Is there racism?
    • Would I like to have free health care?
    • What do I think of Danish culture?
    • What are American traditions?
    • Do I play sports?
    • Do I like cars?
    • Do I like Obama? 
    • The book I have to read. 
      • It was a cool experience and I'm glad I went but it was hard to speak for all of America.   
  • When I came home, I set to work on my mountain of homework. I read more of my book that I need to finish. I went upstairs and read on the couch. After I was halfway through my reading, I took a lovely nap. I was so tired and a power nap was perfect. When I woke up, we ate (potatoe and pepperoni) pizza that my host mom made and red wine meatballs that she made  
  • After dinner we went to the riding school to watch Signe jump. There were four horses jumping around the arena. One brown horse had so much energy that he kept over jumping and bucking. Crazy Signe jumped 1.25 meters today. It was fun to watch but scary in the sense that the girls could've easily gotten hurt. I miss Ginger and Patrick. :(  
Miss you Ginge!
  • I don't know why but I'm not feeling my best. I have a rough sore throat and a weird cough. I'm also tired really often. I think it's from stress and lack of sleep because I have a lot of homework. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random photos from my phone

I sometimes take photos on my phone and I want to also share them with you. So I do these phone picture binge posts. I'll try and describe why I took each photo and why you should care:

At the riding school, there is a cool building with a grassy roof. I love it. In the Norway pavilion at Epcot they have a building with a roof like this and I always wondered if people really had roofs like that. Yes they do. 


Guy in Copenhagen walking around with a bird on his shoulder. Totally normal right? My host sister said she saw a man with a snake around his shoulder one day and was very scared.


A really really cool and inspirational painting. ;) 


Me on Friday drinking an Appletini. We went to a fancy restaurant to celebrate Ashley's 21rst birthday. 


Appletinis are delicious but expensive. 


Tiramisu! 

These next pictures are from today (Tuesday) when we all went to Louisiana to eat dinner and see the new Pop Art exhibit. I loved it! Besides the Louvre, it was my favorite art museum exhibit ever.


My pictures:

Me in front of Andy Warhol poster at Louisiana, before the exhibit


I just had to sneak in this photo. You're not supposed to take photos but how could you expect me not to photograph one of my favorite pieces of art? Flowers!!

There was this enclosed room in the Pop Art exhibit at Louisiana that you could go into and it had hanging balls that lit up, four walls that were mirrors, and water on the ground to reflect it even more. I snuck in some cool pictures:
Super cool room with lighted balls, mirrors, and water on the floor. 


trippy 


Me and Signe in the cool room


Signe and my host dad 


Christmas art


So cool!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

Thursday

I woke up with a nasty sore throat this morning. I told my host parents and my host mom suggested I wear a scarf...I think she misunderstood me. I drank a lot of hot tea last night (I felt the sore throat then too) and this morning. Either the tea or me wearing a scarf helped because now my throat feels better.

I only had one class today which was Creative Travel Writing. We talked about the last four student's essays. I was feeling very positive today so I made sure to contribute something each time about what I liked about the student's essay.

My International Reporting professor emailed us and said class is optional today and my Strategic Communication professor cancelled class for today yesterday. So I just took the first train back home and ate my (delicious!) sandwich on the train.

I wanted to bake something but we didn't have eggs and I used RecipeMaster to figure out what I could make with what we ingredients we had and it told me all I could make was lemonade. I found that amusing. I know my host mom is going grocery shopping tonight so maybe tomorrow I can bake something.

I meant to post a picture sooner, but here is my new sweater that I bought in Sweden last Wednesday. I haven't worn it yet because I'm too scared to spill food on it. I think I'll wear it Saturday. I like it because it feels like me and reminds me of something my friend Olivia would wear and I always like her style.

In the evening, I went grocery shopping with my host mom and Signe. Once again, culture shock. My host mom recycled some plastic bottles into a machine and got a receipt for money she could claim at the cash register. Wish we had that in America.
In the grocery store, Superbest there are so many noticeable Danish quirks, I suppose you could call them. You pull a little basket on wheels and that is your cart. Everything is insanely expensive. Like $6 for a dozen eggs. There aren't any grocery bags so you have to bring your own. You can also buy DVDs at the grocery store.

Oh and this post's title only relates to the post in the sense that I'm going through a Paul Simon phase.

Fun Fact: I made a video. See previous post.

My Morning Commute Video!



Here is a video I made about my morning commute to Copenhagen on Monday. Sorry it is so shaky, I filmed it while I was walking. Some parts at the beginning are sped up a little and other parts like me climbing up the stairs have been cut in order to keep the video under 5 minutes. I didn't add music to the video so you can hear what Copenhagen sounds like: construction and Danish.
I hope you enjoy my first attempt at a video in Copenhagen.  I wanted to think outside the box for this blog. :-)

Reflection


This is now my 6th week in the land called Denmark. I think it's time for a short reflection back on my time here.

I have to remind myself every day that I'm in a foreign place. I have a routine for the most part and with that sometimes I feel like I'm just a college student again, rather than a traveler. Some days it feels like I have on my blinders, causing me to only look down at the sidewalk so then I have to remind myself to look up and admire the European architecture and notice the sights around me. Whenever I look up at the beautiful clouds, hear Danish, smell pastries, and look at the modelsque Danes, I remember where I am. A couple times now, I'll wake up in the middle of the night because I don't remember where I am. It just takes a few seconds for me to remember why I'm not at my home but it's still a little frightening to have that split second thought of, "Ah, where am I?"

One thing I've struggled with recently is comparing my experience to others. This isn't a new struggle for me because I do it at Denison too but I find it more noticeable here because I hear and read about all the other things my friends are doing. I wonder, whether I'm studying abroad right? Am I traveling enough? Going out enough? Realistically,  I know that there is no right way to study abroad in Copenhagen and that I should not be comparing myself or my experience to others.  Everyone's experience is unique and that is sort of the point of study abroad.

Some days I'm really busy and it feels almost like I'm back On The Hill because I have a To Do List and am feeling overwhelmed. But other days, I can sleep in late and enjoy coming home around 3pm to spend the rest of the evening reading for the next day. Both feelings of being busy and lazy are concerning too me. When I'm busy, I think "If I wanted to be busy, I could've just stayed in Ohio to do that." and when I'm lazy I think, "Shouldn't I be at a museum or taking a tour of something?" I think like the last paragraph, this just reveals my insecurities about my time abroad. Totally normal.

To be more positive, I'm growing closer to my host family and am adjusting to Danish life. In fact, I'm already wondering how I will adjust to American life back in Ohio. I've gotten used to eating bread every morning, having a sit down family breakfast and dinner,  and eating these thin chocolate squares that are pictured here.  I think I'm going to miss all of them when I go home.

I've enjoyed being in a city for school because it's something I've never experienced on a daily basis. Until now, I only walked in a big city when I had to for some reason. Even then, I felt uncomfortable and scared in the city. Being in Copenhagen every day has given me confidence about knowing I can handle big cities. They aren't as scary as I thought. Yes they can be loud, crowded and smelly but they can also be exciting, fun and unique.

I've also grown more comfortable using public transportation. I know the basics of using the trains here in Copenhagen. I haven't mastered the buses yet, only because I rarely take them but I'm sure if I wanted to master them I could. Trains and buses are not has hard as I thought they would be.

I couldn't title this post Reflection without
making a reference to the Mulan song. 
So that is a short reflection of my time so far in Copenhagen. At times I've been insecure and sad but at other times I've been full of joy and confident. Ups and downs are just a part of life.






I hope you enjoyed all of the awesome pictures I found using Google Images. Except the one of the street in Copenhagen, I took that picture and I want credit for it. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chillaxing

I didn't have classes today or field studies so I just had a chill day. I woke up at 7 and ate breakfast with my host family and proceeded to do my reading. I remembered I wanted to paint my nails so I did that too. Julie had so many polishes to choose from. It was a tough decision.
I painted my nails this morning. I had fun doing an "accent nail" (Thanks Julie for letting me use her nail polish)
I did a little more homework and took Berta for a walk (well, more like she took me for a walk). She dragged me across the beach and past downtown Espergaede. I don't know the Danish word for heal. Maybe I should learn that one. I let her off leash on the beach and on a not-crowded street that the windmill was located on. She just starts running and running when you let her go. But she's good at coming back to you too.

Postcard from Denmark. I finally found this windmill on my walk today. My first old fashioned windmill in Denmark. Note: Berta looking at me.  
I'd seen this windmill from far away several times and was never sure where it was. I set out on a short quest to find it and I succeeded.

I seriously want to live here. How cool would that be? I can't believe it's a house. 

Me at the beach. Rocking my furry hat. 

Berta being a crazy dog at the beach. 


The beach by the house. 


Another post about baking

Tuesday

The train was 12 minutes late! Fafa dropped me off at the station around 9:54 and the train arrived at 10:22. It was a long time to be out on the cold train platform and a disappointing way to start the day.

My day got better when my photojournalism class was cancelled again. Our professor was sick again so the director of the communication program came to our class. She explained how our assignment that was supposed to be due Tuesday was due Friday. A lot of students were confused about the assignment so she tried her best to answer our questions. Then she asked us what we were liking about the class and not liking. I was glad she gave us an opportunity to tell her what wasn't working in the class. She then told us we were free to go.

I used my break...to go shopping. :) I went to a Red Cross thrift shop and bought a cool pair of black leggings that were from H & M.  They were only 48kr. Then I went to H & M and bought a much needed black "going out" purse.

In my Human Trafficking class we began the not so cheerful subject of child trafficking. We watched half of a movie about Romanina gyspy children living in Spain and Italy and how their parents force them to beg and steal money. It made all of us paranoid to see these little children effortlessly steal things from people's bags or from the ATM without them noticing. So I think I will be very careful in Italy.

I got home around 3:30 and set to work on my homework. For dinner, we had chicken and rice which was delicious.

In the evening, I went to Cheng's. She lives in my town but on the opposite side of the train station so it's like a twenty minute walk. My host dad was nice enough to drop me off and pick me up. It was cool to see her host mom's apartment because it was very African and Indian inspired. Susan, her host mom, just got back from a weeklong trip to India. Cheng and I baked chocolate chip banana muffins, made chai tea (the best chai tea latte I've ever had. hands down.) and watched PS I Love You. It was a very fun girly evening. :-)


Monday, February 18, 2013

No Deborahs allowed on the train.

Why tell about my day in full coherent sentences when I can just use bullet points instead?
Fun Fact: the best part is in sixth bullet point.


  • Filmed my commute on the train (I'm planning on making a video later
  • Creative Travel Writing
    • I strongly dislike the kid named Colin. His paper was about pissing on the streets. He's the kid with the lisp. He gets on my nerves too much.
  • Break
    • I ate mac n cheese from home and sat and chatted with two friends. 
  • International Reporting
    • we talked about what images were appropriate for the media to show. all of us but two boys agreed it wasn't okay to show a guy with a gun in his mouth. 
  • Strategic Comm
    • last week our professor scheduled a guest lecture who didn't show up so we all left after ten minutes. to apologize, he brought us pastries! I love Denmark. I was a pig and had two. I'm not going to turn down free pastries, hello?? We learned about Media Relations and Global Communications. I felt like the only one who was awake. I learned cool things so everyone else missed out. 

  • Train ride home
    • This was the most exciting part of the day. So me, Cheng, and Shyniece power walk to catch the 6pm train. We reach the platform right as the conductor blows the whistle. Cheng and Shyniece jump on and I shove my body in between the closing doors. They stopped closing once the doors felt the resistance. But the train conductor woman shook her head at me and told me no and pushed me out of the car. How rude! I was left on the platform watching my friends speed past me. We exchanged confused looks. Cheng called me and said to meet at Osterport, the next stop. The older man next to me on the platform asked if I was in DIS and I said yes. He told me he worked there and was in charge of finances and was the one who bought the train passes. I asked him why the conductor kicked me off and he explained how the Danes had gotten mad at the trains for always being late so the trains ruled that if you weren't on the train in time, you couldn't get on. I still don't see why I had to be physically pushed away off the train. We chatted until the next train came. I was about to get off at the next train stop when Cheng and Shyniece hopped on. Wow! So it all worked out and we traveled home together. 
  • Pernille photoshoot
    • For my photojournalism class, I realized last night I needed to take photos. Yikes! So I facebooked Pernille (my host family's cousin) and asked if i could tag along with her to whatever she was doing tonight. Thank goodness she said yes. She drove me to her friend Leila's house and let me take pictures while they chatted. It reminded me of what I do with my friends. Just talk. About life, boys, the weather, etc. They were both so nice and kept asking me about myself. I felt like a friend joining the talk rather than a kid doing a photojournalism project. To take pictures, I asked them to talk Danish so I could take the photos easily. It was a really fun time and I'm so thankful Pernille is so nice. 
  • Home
    • came home, ate some leftovers, and read the first chapter of the book my mom got me (Thanks.) 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's already Feb 17?

I had a very fun and exciting (and busy) weekend. Here are the highlights:

On Friday, I did a fair amount of baking and cooking. After school, I baked Red Velvet Cupcakes. They turned out sort of strange because they looked pink and were very dense and moist. It is frustrating to bake when the ingredients are in another language and you only have a 1 cup measuring cup that doesn't even have measuring lines. I was never sure if I was adding the right amount or the right ingredient. It was still enjoyable, nevertheless.

For dinner, I helped make Macaroni and Cheese. It also came out strange, for the same reasons as the cupcakes. My host family said they liked it, so that was all that mattered.

Friday night I went to thFolkehĂžjskole to meet up with a friend. It was a fun night. Kind of short but still enjoyable. 

Saturday, I had a required International Reporting workshop at DIS from 9am to 4pm. All of us were so exhausted that it wasn't much fun. He brought us pastries and hot tea but we still just wanted to go back to bed. He lectured to us for an hour or two and then we divided into groups to brainstorm story ideas. I was that kid in my group who reminds everyone to stay on task and stay focused.  


We went to Soupanatural for lunch. I'd already been there once before so I knew I liked it. After lunch, me and a partner set out to ask people their opinion of Denmark reducing the educational stipend. We found three nice people to interview and then wrote our article together in an hour.
The finished article is here.  


I took the train and a bus to visit a friend in a DRC. She invited me to a pub crawl with her dorm. It was very fun, I met a lot of nice people, tried some new drinks, and made it home safely.  

Fun fact: When blogging or writing for the Internet, it is helpful to include links throughout your writing (according to my International Reporting professor). So that explains why this blog is covered in hyperlinks. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Recent Pictures

These two pictures are from Tuesday:
Christiania: Free Town
The sign says: You are now entering the EU. 

I went with Cheng into Christiania. It's a really chill place that is very unique. There were people of all ages and backgrounds there and the atmosphere was very relaxed.


Wednesday, the girls all ate brunch at a great cafe in Helsingor. Signe had to go home to go to the riding school while me, Gitte, and Julia took the ferry to Sweden to go shopping.

These pictures are from yesterday, Wednesday:
Wednesday's brunch! So much food. 


Me on the ferry to Sweden

Me hugging a giant fake Fastelavnsbolle. I like the woman smiling at me...

Where we stopped to get a drink. 

Me and Julia on this cool heart swing they had.  

I love ducks. 

Our ferry we took to Sweden and back

There's a similar house in Helsingor too

Gitte and Julia
Me and Julia


Peace