Monday, 28 February 2011

Vinterferie

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. ~St. Augustine

This past week, week 8, was winter break. I have two things to say about this sentence. First, it bugs me how they count in weeks here. Whenever I ask when something is, the answer is always given to me in weeks. As in: “When is spring break?” “Week 15.” Like, that means nothing me to me. Do they expect me to get out my calendar and manually count out 15 weeks to find the date? And secondly, I love how many school breaks we get here. Fall break, Christmas break, Winter break, Spring break, and of course Summer break. Canada should take some lessons.

My break actually started a week early because I got a wicked bad cold or something and felt so gross and Europeans don’t have strong over the counter cold and flu medication like we have in Canada, so my body actually had to *gasp* fight it on it’s own.

February 19th my host family took me skiing in Sweden! In Canada I ski at least once a week, so going almost the entire winter without skiing has been wicked hard. I’ve pretty much told anyone who will listen how badly I wanted to go skiing, so I guess my host family got tired of my begging and they finally took me! It was so amazing, I can’t even describe it. It’s amazing how some things feel exactly the same no matter where you are. The hill was very small, but it didn’t matter. Just being on skies made me so happy. Even though it’s been almost 9 months since the last time I’d skied, it felt like it had been only yesterday and I felt like I was back home. Being back on skies was just the pick-me-up I needed, and it put me in such a good mood.

(Me and my host sister, Carina)

Monday through Saturday I was with my second family at their summer house. It was really nice to spend the week with them because my time with them was really cut short, so it’s nice that I got another chance to be with them. And boy did we keep busy the whole week! We went to a reptile zoo where I got to hold a baby crocodile and a huge snake. The crocodile was cute, but the snake...not so much. I didn’t freak out though, so I’m proud.

We also went to the ocean and walked along the beach. I love living so close to the ocean, and even though it’s really cold, it was still really beautiful! We did a lot more over the week, but those were kind of the highlights. We also went to this restaurant to watch some soccer game, but Maria and I got a bit bored so we just got ice cream instead. I guess I’ll never be a big sports fan.

(Me and Maria)

I guess I just don’t have much to say at the moment. I’m feeling pretty...content. Well actually, I’m feeling really tired. I got up this morning at 7 to skype with my mom, but I only lasted about 3 minutes before falling back asleep. I should probably practice getting up early because when I move families I will have to be on the train by 7.12, which means my ass has to be on my bike seat by no later than 7.03. Yeah. We’ll see how that goes...

I have a whole bunch of ideas for blogs, so hopefully March will be a very blog filled month.

Kærlighed fra Danmark!

Andrea


Friday, 18 February 2011

Happy Days!


It might not seem like it, but it takes mad willpower to sit down and write out a full blog post. And I have finally sat my self down and told my self I cannot log back onto facebook until I’ve written another blog.

I forgot to mention it in my last post, but February 1st was my six month mark! Yes, that’s right, I have been in Denmark half a year! (Well, by now it’s almost seven months...but whatever.) To celebrate, Chelsea and I went to the South African/British food store in Copenhagen. We had come across it a few weeks ago, but it was never open. I walked in and I was just running around like a little kid, and I wanted to buy everything! I did manage to only buy what I thought was absolutley necessary... Dr Pepper and Betty Crocker! (And canned spaghetti and skittles.) I have been craving Dr Pepper since I got here, and it was so exciting to finally buy some, even though it was like, 30kr (5 dollars).


So anyway, back to the present. Or actually, no, back to last week. Last Wednesday (February 9th) was the most perfect Spring day ever. The sun was shining, the weather was in nearing double digits, and it was just one of those days that would be a crime to waste. So Emily, Claude and I, along with some of the South American’s, met up in Copenhagen to just take advantage of this perfect day. First we sat in a cute little cafe and drank coffee. (How European are we!) And then we went to this gorgeous little park and just sat around and really just enjoyed the fact that we’re in Denmark, surrounded by so much beauty.

(How can you not just be so happy when you standing in front of buildings like this?)

(Me and Claude in the park. It was warm, but not warm enough for no jackets, sadly.)

While we were sitting there, we heard this parade-ish music, so we ran over to the street, and it was the changing of the guards, or something like that. It was really cool! Here’s the video, in case you’re interested!

video

That night, after Rotary, Susanne and I went to visit Candice, an American who now lives in Denmark. She had her baby on January 24h, an adorable little girl, and I was so excited to finally see her! I’ve been pretty close with Candice since I got here, since she was an exchange student in Denmark in 93/94, so we have lots to talk about and she always has good advice.

Last weekend, Friday afternoon until Sunday night, I was with the other exchange students. Friday night Claude and I slept over at Emily’s. We were going to go bowling, but it was so expensive, so instead we baked cookies and had a mini party at her house. I love going out, but I also love spending nights in too. It feels so normal to just be hanging out with them, baking cookies and dancing around her kitchen. Saturday afternoon Claude and I walked around Hellerup, one of the riches areas in Denmark. The houses were all just stunning. They aren’t like the huge modern mansions you see in Calgary, they are more like these old European houses with amazing designs and just, I can’t even describe it, so here’s pictures:

(Denmark is really big on wind energy, which would make sense considering how windy it is here)

We finished off our walk at the beach, (yes, not only are these houses gorgeous, they are also beachfront). And if anyone is interested, these houses go for between 1.3 and 1.7 million dollars.

Saturday night I slept over at Claude’s, and we just had a Disney movie night. It was a nice change from what we normally do on the weekends, but it’s nice to spend like one on one time with people, rather than shouting over the music when we go out.

Sunday morning I went back home, and my newbie, Laura came over. Newbies are the Winer 2011 arrivals, and it was really cool to finally meet her. It made me realize how long I’ve been here, and how far I’ve really come since I walked off the plane 202 days ago. She was really sweet, and we made awesome snickerdoodle cookies!

Sunday night I started to feel kind of sick, and Monday morning I woke up feeling half dead, so I spent a few days in bed catching up on old TV shows and enjoying a nice break from school. I still have a bit of a cold, but I’m at least up and running. Winter break is next week (Yeah, in Denmark there’s Christmas break AND winter break!) and I’m really excited. Tomorrow we are going skiing in Sweden, and Monday-Saturday I will be with my second family at their summerhouse.

So that’s kind of it for the past week and a half! Except for being sick, it was so great, and has sort of renewed my love for Denmark.

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the cold! There’s a bit of frost on the ground, but I’m still optimistic for Spring!

Kærlighed fra Danmark!

Andrea!

And ps, if you want to leave a comment, that would be much appreciated! I love hearing what people think!


Monday, 7 February 2011

Carpe Diem

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”

-Oprah Winfrey



I’m sitting in class right now and my school’s wi-fi isn’t working and I think it’s safe to say that I’m having a minor panic attack. In Danish Gymnasiums it’s totally normal to be on your computer while the teacher is teaching, which works out very well for me. But today there is no internet and I don’t know what to do with myself, so I decided to update this.


Last weekend I went up to Horsens to visit Emma! Wednesday night Emma called me and told me that she was really sick, and that it was still okay if I came, but that she wouldn’t be able to pick me up from the train station. So she explained the busses to me, and told me exactly what to do and I left the house Thursday confident that I knew what I was doing. The only catch was that the bus only runs once and hour, and it left eight minutes after my train arrived, so I didn’t have much turn around time. And of course, when I got to Høje-Taastrup Station, I see that my train is 14 minutes delayed. I really didn’t want to miss the bus, so I just got on the first train that came through. I made sure it stopped in Horsens, so I figured I was all good. The guy came around to check tickets and told me that I was on the wrong train, and apperantly you can’t just get on any old train. This was the express train, and my ticket was just for a standard train. I played the stupid foreigner though, and he didn’t give me a ticket or kick me off.


Finally I made it to Horsens, and after a short phone call to Emma asking where exactly the bus picked me up, and I made it on my bus and arrived in Brædstrup (Where Emma lives) all in one piece. She was pretty sick so we had a really quiet afternoon. We just leyed around and watched movies and slept, but this was totally fine by me. My host family pretty much tells me on an hourly basis that I sleep too much and that I’m too lazy, and they don’t seem to understand how exhausting it actually is to be an exchange student, and how much I sometimes just want to take a break and sleep or watch movies on my own or whatever. So being able to just spend a whole weekend doing nothing was actually really great. Thursday night we watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose with Emma’s host sister, which was really fun. I love watching horror movies. Simone and I used to watch them all the time, but Carina isn’t as interested, so it was nice to have someone to watch some with.

Friday morning I woke up and had a craving for Risengrød, which is like a rice pudding that you put cinnamon on top of. It’s so amazingly good! So I walked down to the store near Emma’s house and bought a box, and then we made it. It was supposed to only take half an hour, but it ended up taking over an hour to cook properly. But it doesn’t even matter because it turned out great and totally satisfied my craving.


(Risengrød--One of my favourite Danish foods.)


Saturday we decided that we wanted Mexican food, so Emma and I went and bought beans and cheese and chips and we made nachos and been and cheese burritos. It wasn’t the same as Taco Bell, but it was close enough.


Sunday, Emma, me and her host parents went for a walk around this lake near her house. We had pretty much spent the whole weekend lying around, so it was nice to get out and actually see the sun. The part of Denmark that Emma lives in is so geographically different from where I live, and it’s really beautiful. There are rolling rills and open farms and it’s so quiet. I love living near Copenhagen, but sometimes it’s nice to escape and get away from the big city.



And then after our walk, they took us to a chicken farm where they get fresh eggs from. Emma and I were like little kids looking at the chickens and imitating the noises that the roosters made. (Okay, well that one was just me. But it was funny to see the roosters freaking out trying to find out where the noise was coming from.) And there was also the cutest dogs ever!!


(How cute is that dog? I mean like for real <3)


And then all too soon the weekend ended and I had to go home. It always sucks having to go back home after spending the weekend with my friends, but hopefully I’ll see her again soon.


Monday I started on a volleyball team, which I really like. It’s so nice to be doing team sports again, and I definitely need the exercise. I played volleyball a bit at school last year, so I know the basics, and hopefully by June I’ll be pretty good. I play every Monday and Thursday, so I’m pretty busy now. Monday is volleyball, Tuesday is language school, Wednesday is Rotary, Thursday is language school AND volleyball and then Friday and Saturdays I try to be out with my friends. But being busy is good because it doesn’t give me much time to miss home.


And then this weekend I spent with some of my friends who live near me. Saturday night we went out, and then a few of us slept over at Emily’s house, and then because it was the first Sunday of the month, the trains were free and the stores were all open, so we spent the day in Copenhagen, which was a lot of fun. I love the other exchange students in my district, and because we are are the Copenhagen district, we are known as the party district, so our Eurotour bus is going to be so much fun! It sucks that I won’t get to be with Emma for Eurotour (she’s in another district), but I will still have a great time with all of my friends near here.


(Me and some of the other awesome exchangers.)


The weather is warming up, and I’m ignoring everyone who tells me that it’s going to snow again, and I’m choosing to prepare for Spring. The only sad thing about winter ending is that Spring is my last season in Denmark. Time is going way to fast, and I’m tying my best to hold onto every second, but it seems to be slipping by faster and faster.


I have another blog post in the making, so expect that sometime this week!


Kærlighed fra Danmark


Andrea


And p.s. I added a flag counter, so now I can see where in the world people are reading from!