Monday, January 14, 2013

So overwhelmed

Oh man. I don’t know where to begin when trying to answer, “How was your day?” I suppose I would say overwhelming, stressful, cool, neat, exciting, new, crowded, busy, confusing, and unique.
I woke up at 1am (thinking it was time to get up, not being use to the time) and I facetimed with my parents. They told me to go back to bed. Haha. So I did, and I kept my door open so I would be sure to hear when to get up. I woke up around 6:30am. To be honest I felt nauseas this morning. I think it was my nerves. I’m glad I didn’t throw up because that sometimes happens if I’m nauseas. I had bread (that they made the night before) with butter and jam. I thought I could eat 4 slices but barely ate 2, so I saved the others for later. My host parents helped me make a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Too bad I didn’t get to eat it until 2pm. Around 7:30 or so, my host mom and host sister drove to the train station. My host mom took the train to Copenhagen with me. I hope I can get the hang of it soon so as not to inconvenience her and make her help me with the metro and trains.
We met up with a girl who also lives near me and the three of us travelled together. Cheng and I were the only ones talking on the train. We weren’t loud or obnoxious, it’s just that Danes don’t talk on the trains.
We took the train to Norreport and then took the Metro to Forum I think. It was a short ride. We made our way to the Royal Danish Academy of Music. We had our Opening Ceremony at 9. It was a combination of speakers and orchestral music.
After that we had to make our way to where our group was meeting. So like I was in group B and we were doing the Student Affairs Session today at the Grand Theatre. Luckily Cheng and her friend Johnny were also in Group B. We went to a coffee shop and I got a 30kk or $6 cappuccino. While we were getting ready to leave, Miaja came in so we stayed after Cheng left and I walked with Miaja and her friend. I couldn’t find Cheng when I went to go sit down at once I found the Grand Theatre. So I sat down in the back and luckily she was sitting in the row in front of me. I talked to the two kids next to me. I was very good with small talk. “Where are you from? Where do you live? What program are you doing?” etc. The Student Affairs session kind of frightened me. It made me scared to lose anything and have something stolen. I asked a question about dollar to price conversion and learned to just drop the last number of kroner and double it. So 100k becomes 10, which becomes $20. You can also just divide by 5. After the session we had to go up to a person with a clipboard and tell them our name for attendance because the sessions were mandatory. After that we were free, but almost everyone went on a tour. I think that’s when my day took a turn for the worse. The tour was so uncoordinated and chaotic. It became a group of 30-40 students and one unprepared DIS girl leading us around the city and barely stopping to tell us where we were. She never oriented us as to where anything else was or told us where we were going next. The buildings have such narrow stairs and hallways that it was hard to fit us all. The tour stressed me out more because it was like, “Okay let’s walk past this really important building that you need to know about. Do we have everyone? Great. Let’s move on to the next life-saving must-know building.”  The tour was made worse by my heavy backpack and aching shoulders. I didn’t think my bag was that heavy but it felt heavy, so I need to take some things out.
 When the tour finally ended, we went to the Piccell cellphone people. We had to wait in line for like 20 minutes because it was so crowded. I asked the woman to help me put in my SIM card and she told me she didn’t have the tool and couldn’t help me. So that was very frustrating to me. When I got home, I tried a paperclip but that wasn’t working. I told my host family and they all have iphones too and they actually had the correct tool from the iphone box to open the sim card slot. Once it was open and the card inserted, my phone asked me for a pin number. I was like Excuse me? I had no clue. I read the manual and it said it was emailed to you or on your piccell account online. I called my dad from my family’s home phone (they gave me permission) and asked him to skype me. I went on to the piccell website and found the pin code, typed it in and it worked. I was worried my phone wasn’t unlocked and it wouldn’t work.  I don’t have service in my room so when I tried to end a call in my room, it just froze. When we took it to the kitchen, it worked. That was a very stressful and nerve-racking twenty minutes, fighting with my phone. But now it works and I have a new phone number for now. I’m glad both my families have a way to contact me.
Julie agreed to meet us outside vestergarde 23 and help me get home. Cheng tagged along too. I’m so glad we had her. It was a miserable walk to the train because I had my heavy backpack and was carrying an awkward IKEA type bag of my textbooks. My shoe came on tied on the escalator and I made sure it didn’t get caught in the stairs. At the train station, the platform was so narrow I was scared someone would push me onto the track. These are both sort of irrational fears, but still crossed my mind. When we finally made it to our home train station we rode bikes home. I thought I was okay at bike riding but was pretty lousy. I struggled with the hills, swerved a lot, and braked wrong (using only the front brake). I hope I have a better bike ride tomorrow. I rode Julie’s bike because it was shorter. My host father helped me lower my bike so it should be a bit better.
To be honest, when I got home, I went to the bathroom and cried. Not because I was homesick or really sad, but just because I cry really easily and was overwhelmed by the stressful day I had. The language barrier is much more noticeable that I thought it would be, like for signs and things. I keep telling myself it will get better and that things can only get easier. It’s 11pm already so I need to shower and get ready for bed.
Oh yeah, my host mom took me shopping at the grocery store. Its a lot smaller that America's. I got shampoo, conditoner, detangler, shaving gel and a razor. She bought fruit, salad, meat, apple juice, milk, bread, etc. Their carts are baskets with wheels and a handle. I recognized a few brands. When we got home I helped a little with dinner and we talked about politics and cheese. haha. 
I didn't take any pictures today. Be patient.  

1 comment:

  1. No worries, it will get better! :) A lot of people who study abroad go through that kind of culture shock at first, but you should get used to everything soon enough.