Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jelling Musikfestival - day 2

Day two was cool. Actually it was great except for the fact that I came home a lobster (burned to a crisp), which is pretty disappointing because I was enjoying being pale with no weird tan lines. Now it looks like I'm wearing a white tank-top over my red skin.... ouch.

The highlights for day two where Franz Ferdinand (a scotish band) and Nephew (a danish rock band). Saai told me that they played Franz Ferdinand on the radio a lot and that I would recognize them; I didn't, but we were right up front jumping around, swinging our arms and yelling our lungs out with all of the fans (she was actually a fan, I had never heard them before) and it turns out that they are pretty good and I liked them. (picture down below) Nephew is a very popular Danish rock band who, well, rocked. We didn't stay for all of their performance (they started playing at 00.30), but we stayed for the song that I wanted to hear by them, Igen og Igen og. Their performance was stellar, seriously.

Another highlight was the colouring of Saai's hair. She has black hair so coming up with a colour that would shown was difficult, but we choose red coloured hair spray and of course I wasn't sober for that adventure. We took video with her camera. I'll have to try to upload that eventually so you can see that adventure....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jelling Musikfestival - the morning after

Yesterday was the start of what is called the Jelling Musikfestival. I have in the past, called it another excuse for the Danes to drink, but in reality, the Danes don't need an excuse to drink. So, I've revised that earlier statement to the current one; the Jelling Musikfestival is a fantastic concentration of Danes who love to drink surrounded by cheap (not in the money sense because it's actually very expensive) food, alcohol, and lots of music.

Yesterday's highlight was Nik og Jay who played at the main stage at 18.35 until 19.00-something (I can't remember). For those of you who don't know Nik og Jay, I recomend you look them up, but for those of you who I know won't YouTube them, they are an extremely popular danish rap group. Though I only know the course to 80% of their songs, it was a lot of fun.

I forgot my camera yesterday, but you better believe the thing isn't leaving my side today and tomorrow. The weather is totally cooperating with us so there should be some great pictures. For now, I will let y'all suffice with some horrible morning after pictures complete with the bad hair naked faces (no makeup...). Dun, dun, duuunnnnn.....

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Lego is something known around the world as colourful interlocking builind blocks key to one's childhood. Lego rose from the ashes Ole Kirk Christiansen's crumbling carpentry business. It is commonly believe that Lego comes from Latin roots meaning "I put together" or "I assemble", but in actuallity this is just an ironic coincidence. Lego is actually a combination of the to Danish words, leg godt, meaning play well.

With that said, Saai and I, decided to take one of my free passes curtise of Flemming Efterskole for a test drive. Lucky her, she has a season pass and goes all the time. Me, I have two more gratis tickets to use. As it turns out, legos really do play well. I have to say that my favorite part of Legoland was Miniland and just the actual things made of legos. There is nothing more cool than seeing mini-versions of things that you have seen in real life especially when they are constructed out of thousands of legos.

Legoland isn't the amuesment park in the same sense of what we think of in America. This place is primarily geared toward the kiddies. Mom, Dad, pack the PB&Js, juice boxes, and Advil because you're in for one heck of a day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Extra, Extra!

Extra, extra; read all about it!

So some news that most of you probably already know (this is for the benefit of those behind the time) I will be returning to hell,,, I mean Ridgecrest. This is unofficially official - don't ask me how that works, but it dose. So, in honor of this revelation we're going to look at the pro's and con's.

- I will know somebody when I move (a first)
- I will know where everything is when I move (a first)
- I won't have to make new friends for school, my senior year in particular (a first)
- My new blog might retain a desert theme
- I can embrace all that the desert has to offer (maybe if I beg enough I can get a dirt bike...)
- I have the perfect environment to learn to drive
- The unofficial house rocks (I have my own bathroom!)

- You may never see me again (I'll have been evaporated by the ridiculously hot weather)
- I won't get to see a thunderstorm like I really have been wanting to (I miss it)
- I'll be stuck in the middle of nowhere (I can't even drive yet)
- Shopping includes Wal-mart and K-mart
- My Euro-lifestyle will be shot to hell (no trains, buses, good shopping, traveling, nothing...)

I guess we can conclude that besides environment, I'm actually excited to return to Ridgecrest. (I can't believe I just said that.) I have never moved someplace where I new somebody. It is actually refreshing, especially since I hadn't planned on seeing my friends again. It's a good thing I still keep in touch with them. The biggest downside is the weather. I hate the hot weather and lack of moisture.

Welcome Home!

Srog -> Language

This will be the first of six posts on cultural aspects of Denmark. The first one, and a pretty important one, is language. Before I continue I'd like to make note that some of my references come from a book called Xenophobe's Guide to the Danes. This aids me in saying things better than I can. (It's actually rather funny to read because it's all so true!)

To start with, Danish is an impossible language to learn and I, along with the other exchange students and probably any foreign, are all resigned to the fact that if you are not Danish you can't speak it properly. The Danish alphabet is the same as ours with the addition of three letters; æ, ø, and å. These come at the end of the alphabet and the double 'a' (aa) is just another way of writing 'å' (f.eks. Aarhus or Århus). The letters c and q are almost always only present in foreign words.

Danish is was can only be described as an economically well off language. They have relatively fewer words than we do. Like the Germans, they find little need in creating new words as opposed to just sticking two already made words together (f.eks. 'flying machine' is an airplane, 'swine meat' is pork). They also have words that mean very different things. We have this in English, but not to the degree which I believe one may find in Danish (f.eks. fyr in Danish can mean fire, pine, or young man in English). Another confusing thing (my cousin pointed it out) is hello and goodbye. In Danish, hello is hej (pronounced hi) and goodbye is hej hej, but often times people will say vi ses (see you later) then just hej instead of hej hej.

Reading Danish and actually speaking Danish are two completely off the wall things. Reading is one thing - you see a certain letter combination (word) and associate a meaning (definition/translation) to it. Often times when we don't know how to say the words we kind of make up our own and go on with it. Doing this in Danish will make you fail miserably! Many of the vowels are soft in Danish along with some consonants so they are often missed to the untrained ear (mine is still in the wild stage). Two letters really stick out; the 'd' and the 'r'. The 'd' is what we exchange students (at least the ones in my language school class) call the retarded 'd'. It sounds like an 'l' to most of us, but it is said like a 'd'; however, if you say an 'l' in place of the soft (retarded) 'd' you end up saying something else. The 'r' is something I'm convinced only Danes can say properly. In a lot of romance languages (Spanish, Italian...) the 'r' is rolled with the tip of the tongue. The Germans have a guttural like 'r' and we Americans over pronounce the shit out of ours. The Danes somehow manage to fetch their 'r' sound from behind the tonsils with muscles that I nor most of the world have. One of the most difficult phrases that all Danes will ask foreigners to say is rødgrød med flød (berry pudding with cream). It has the 'r' which we can't say, the vowel 'ø' which we are puzzled by and that stupid, retarded 'd' in all of them. It's a real dozy.

Reading is the easiest party of the language, in my opinion, but this only applies to reading done in one's own head. Reading out loud is a joke. The Danish language written and spoken could easily be mistaken as two separate languages. In Danish, your best bet is to mumble everything and not say half of the letters. Hvad in Danish means what. It is said (in American) 'vel' but you have to stick your tongue out as you say the 'l'. It can also be said 'va' which is slang (like saying huh in English). The one that really puzzles me, and I just kind of found this one out at language school yesterday, is arrangerede (arranged). When the Danes say this at normal cadence it sounds to have only two syllables, but if they slow it down just three. I swear to the heavens above and all that has ever been deemed holly, that they are saying 'a-rang-sher' when they speak slowly and 'ang-sher' when they speak normally. They also love to shorten their spoken language (f.eks. ikke to ik', tage to ta', give to gi', have to ha').

You will be beyond puzzled, that is if you aren't already. Just ask me to read something to you and I guarantee you won't have a clue how I survived for 11 months.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pratik -> Internship

School has ended (thank god...) and because that leaves me with lots of time and not a whole lot to fill it with, AFS has required us to do what is called a pratik {internship}. Basically, we have to volunteer somewhere for about two weeks. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to experience a job that I'm interested in.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been interested in horses. It only seemed to make sense to see what it is like to work/own/be involved with a running stable. Efter long hours of searching and 8 rejections, I was finally given a call back.

I now have a pratik at Egum Rideklub {Egum Riding Club} in Egum, Fredericia. I will be working along side one other in the line of getting horses ready to be ridden for the trainer, Kasper Olsen. The job also entails grooming the horses he is working with and warming up and cooling the horses down.

I'm pretty excited about the job because it will allow me to work around horses again (something I have really been missing) and I get to see first hand what a schedule of a trainer is along with the inner workings of an establishment such as this.

It is a pretty loose pratik for me. I will probably work with them for two weeks from half eight or nine to probably half two.

A/N: Ask me sometime about visiting them for the first time... ha ha...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bellow Sea Level

There is something tranquil about being underwater - not just being, but breathing. One's first breath is, I suppose, one of those feelings that you will never forget. Through my city's Ungdomsskole (youth school), I began taking diving classes that will eventually lead to Open-water Diving Certification. It started with reading and first dives in a pool and is now coming to an end with adventures in the sea.

We will do two open-water dives (one of which was completed yesterday) in what is called Ebeltoft (I've provided a map so you can see it). It is about a two hour drive from Vejle.

The dive consisted of basic exersices - buddy breathing, controlled emergency accents, clearing your mask, etc.. Even though it was still ''the classroom'' it was still unbelievablly cool, for lack of better terms. Denmark's waters don't have much to offer by way of scenery and it is no Carribean clear water your swimming in, but seeing crabs and little bottom feeders while ghosting along to bottom was still exilerating. Part of the exileration comes from the fact that you know that 80%, if not more, of the country has never seen it like you have.

The difficulties of being a part of the diving class really boils down to two things; the climate and my gender. The climate is a pretty obvious one. Just like the water isn't Carribean clear, it is also not Carribean warm. We dived suited up in thick wet suits, gloves that hinder dexterity, hoods that mat your hair beyond recognition, and boots that are a pain in the ass to fit in the fins. Add the regulator and the mask and the only parts of your body that actually touch the water is your lips and parts of your cheeks. And just for the record, no suit has any right to be that tight or hard to get off. Those things hug every curve you have, whether or not you like them or hate them. The second difficulty I mentioned was gender. I am the only girl. That wouldn't normally bother me, but Danes have different ideas when it comes to bodily exposure. Americans would probably call them conservative exibitionists. The lack of privacy beyond a few cars and bushes was definitly a problem when trying to suit up and suit out. Well, a problem for me. The guys had no problem at all.

Now, if only I could swing a week diving in Thailand as a graduation gift..... *hint, HINT ;)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Game Plan

Okay, people, here's the game plan:

20.5 - last day of school
29-30.5 - Jelling Musikfestival
27.6 - farwell camp, København
29.6 - ultimate travel day
14.30 29.5 - officially state-side

With that, I can say that I now have just 1½ months left :( , though Im not necessarily counting (I really love it here), I do have about 45 days left. I prefer saying 1½ months, it sounds longer. During that time a lot will happen.

I, of course, will try to see and do everything that I ever wanted to do here. I actually don't have a game plan for that, but Legoland is a must. I still haven't used my three free tickets. I'm also going to try for modul 4 at language school. I don't really have enough time to prepare properly for it, but I figured that it is at least worth the try. Worse case senario, I fail.

The point of this blog page was not only to keep the my friends and family up-to-date with what I'm doing 6.000 miles away, but also to examine the cultural aspekt of Danmark. With that said, I'm preparing six posts (one per week) on a different aspekt that I feel is important.

For my very few and far between loyal readers, you may be pleased to know that I plan on keeping this blog going for a week or two after I return. Those will probably just the reverse culture shock-like posts. I have made plans to make another blog though. This one will appropriately be on my senior year and a follow-up from my year. It will map changes in me and my life as I become released back into the wild that is the American teenage scene. I've been toying with some names for my blog and right now I'm stuck on ''A Day in Laced up in my Connies".

For any questions, comments or requests by way of Danmark, Danish culture, me, myself, or Irene, please let me know!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

the other side of the bench

I've always found people watching to be one of the most intriguing passive activity society offers. The world caters to all different walks of life, then tosses them together like a mixed salad and even though onions, feta cheese, and raisins don't emit positive vibes it all seems to go down smoothly anyway.

She was young, he was old. She was thin, he was thick. She drove there in her car, he rode in on his bike. She was dressed for style, he was dressed for work. She ate from a bag of chips, he munched on an apple. She played on her mobile, he read a book. She sat on one side of the bench, he sat on the other side.

I was sitting on a bench in a park in front of Føtex (supermarket) by the harbor today when I spotted these two. She sat down first, proceeded to eat her chips while sending sms's, and took no notice of the man as he walked past her. He stopped on the far side of bench, ate an apple while reading a rather thick book, and took no notice of the girl who sat to his left. There really couldn't have been two more contrasting people in such proximity and yet they didn't show any signs of having acknowledged each other's existence.

Are we really that different or are we more similar than we think we are?

- thoughts, 14.5.09

Monday, May 11, 2009


'World of Warcraft' (W0W): an online-roleplaying game also called a 'Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game' or MMORPG for short.

I came across a rather interesting article in one of the newspapers, metroXpress, today. The headline read this: "Unge bruger 35 timer om ugen på net-spil" {{Youth spends 35 hours a week on Internet gaming}}. Quite catching if you ask me. In fact, it is estimated that a large group of Danish Internet gamers spend up to two years of their life playing World of Warcraft, one of the most popular online games today.

One man was interviewed for an article extending this article. Steen Ostermann Sørensen is a 28 year old mechanic apprentice who spends his spare time (any time he's not working) playing WoW. What really caught my attention in this article was his confession that he didn't smoke because WoW is more addictive than cigarettes.

I'm not really sure what to make of this. It doesn't surprise me to see an article such as this and I know they would be a bit more common in an American magazine, but what really sent me over the edge was the Discovery Channel marathon I had last night. Just as some background noise, I turned the telly on to the Discovery Channel. For the next couple of hours said channel played back to back programs on futuristic technology - from electric cars to 'Smart Dust' which detected just about anything and everything personal about you.

I've come to the conclusion that we are entering a society where we will loose any and all forms of people skills and independent thought. We will have a hand-full of ridiculously smart people who are so brain-washed by other scientists of government officials that all they do is pursue ways to make things smaller, quicker, more economic, and way less personal. Then we will have this giant population of people controlled by the technology which surrounds them.

Apparently one day we will all be flying in our own personal jets that fly themselves, have microchips surrounding us that automatically ring our floors in the elevators, and start harnessing the energy we expel from walking through energy harnessing panels on the sidewalk.

A/N: I was looking through the set up on my blogger and the albums weren't showing up so I figured I never uploaded them to Picasa. I went through my memory cards and totally flipped because none of my England pictures where on there and I had just recently deleted everything from my computer pic and doc wise. Turns out they were on Picasa anyway. Three heart attacks and two brain aneurysms later, all of my England pictures are posted for your enjoyment.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I'm sad to report that the writer of this blog, myself, is currently MIA in the war on life. It coupled with a never ending bout of writer's block has created a monster - one which has not been updating for your reading pleasure.

I'm pleased to report, however, that said MIA person is happy and healthy and has just two months left. During those two months she will spend her time living large with lots of shopping, traveling in Denmark, and parties.

For further updates or information concerning our MIA blogger, please email her. She just might reply :D

A/N: Currently taking healthy doses of life vitamens in order to defeat her disease of writer's block. Maybe she'll come back from the dark side....