Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello America

If Newark (or any international airport) is a foreigner's first impression of America I'd be looking for the next flight home - no joke. Being in lovely Denmark has made me completely gloss over the 'real' America. I've forgotten how rude Americans are and how big and uneccessary things are here in the US of A.

My day began at 05.30 Danmark time and ended at 03.30 Danmark time with sketchy hours of sleep on plans. I'm thorough convinced that no child under the age of ten should ever be allowed on an airplane. The flight from Cophenhagen to Newark went fairly smooth. The road got bumby after customs and pass check (which to my extreme surprise was cake). We were all scattered about trying to say goodbye and completely lost as to if AFS was suppose to meet us or not.

Nine became six past the exit point of Newark. Two were going to terminal C and the rest where to terminal A. One to terminal A was actually suppose to go to terminal B and another missed their flight. Over all it was a numbing experience. I don't think the fact that you may never see these people again really sinks in until you are home, sleeping in a familar bed. It is the next morning when you kind of come to the realization and to be frank, it sucks.

I can honestly say that all the while I waited at CPH (about five and a half hours) that all I wanted to do was go home and then that home wasn't America anymore. Hopefully America will grow on me more.

Friday, June 26, 2009


(my life as of 26. juni 2009 kl. 18.32)

Let me start of with saying that packing was and will always be the ultimate bitch of an exchange year. It was not so hard to pack to come because I could leave things behind. Not so much the other way around. One aquires so many things through their year that it is virtually impossible to come back with as much stuff as you came with (having not sent anything home via post).
After weeks of dealing with the mostrosity that was my room and probably around ten hours of packing (spread across two days - no joke) I was able to sufficiently reduce my life to two suitcases (near 23 kg), one duffle bag (about 6,5 kg), one bookbag (about 4 kg), and one box (13 kgs of books and papers). I am not exagerating when I say I probably packed everything about nine times, weighted each individual parcel no less than twenty times each, and ditched at least a fourth of my things. The real kicker in all of this is that I came with one suitcase at 22,7 kg and one bookbag at around 9 kg. Don't ask, because I don't have an answer.


Bittersweet Goodbye

(some of my classmates and I got together for a brunch like meal at a local café)

Saying goodbye to all of my friends here in Denmark has been the hardest thing I have had to do all year. Saying goodbye to my Danish friends is hard, but nothing is hard than saying goodbye to your exchange friends. Never will you get the year back, never again will you have what you have now. Sure, I can visit some of my exchange friends at their homelands, but never again will we all be together again, living in the harmony that was 2008/2009.

Not only am I saying goodbye to the people who I have come to know, but also the life I have created here. Going home means loosing my independence and freedom that I have gained here. I enjoy the lifestyle Denmark allows me to live. Sadly it is not a lifestyle that America supports.

Before you think I'm ready to never come home again, think again, because I am excited to come home. My exchange year has taught me more than amount of schooling could hope to learn me. I feel now, that though I am living, I'm still in a state of limpo. I'm ready to get home to apply everything that I know now. In a way, this has been a practical year long learning holiday. I feel like I have learned all I can learn and now it is time for me to get back and put all that hard earned knowledge to work. Plus, I miss the food. Oh, and my friends and family :P

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Wall - Revisited

Name: The Wall
Birthdate: 29. january 2009
Deathdate: 13. june 2009
Statistics: 5 pictures, 13 cards, 93 postcards

RIP min skat

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Project Wall!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Farewell Fest

My chapter held its farewell party today. We had the honor of making a powerpoint presentation for our year along with writing an essay on it. If you know me well, you know that I procrastinate. This was no different. I woke up at half eleven today in order to put the presentation together and write the essay.

In all it took me four hours to get it done. I had to sort through over 5.500 pictures, drank three cups of coffee, downed about 2 L water, took five bathroom breaks, and have a conversation concerning drama galore in order to complete it. Let's just say that it is not my best work by far.

My essay can be read here. It is in Danish so I know that the majority of my readers couldn't give a flying flip, but before you totally disregard it, take a look at it for the fact that it is Danish and you haven't a clue what it says.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Connies

Okay kiddies, I've got a new blog going for y'all to follow. It is called A Day Laced in My Connies and you can find it here and along the link side of this blog. It is a tribute to my senior year and will act the same as this blog has by way of informing you of my ways of doing things.

This blog will terminate probably within the few days of my return and will perminately switch to My Connies page. So this is a heads up for y'all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Perpetual Lightness

Living far from the equator has its ups and downs.

In the winter the sun hides itself until about 08.30 and decides it has had enough only to leave the poor Scandinavian people to see that it has hidden itself again by 16.00. This leads to a very dark and cold winter.

The summer on the other hand is quite opposite from winter: perpetual darkness turns to perpetual lightness. It never actually gets dark. Sitting in a dark room looking to the wil' blue yonder means being able to see the outline of the trees set against a dark blue atmosphere. Looking in the direction of Sun's last light reveal a lightened glow. By 03.00 it noticeably gets light, by 04.00 one has no problem seeing and by 05.00 if my shade isn't down I get the sun (I get the morning sun directly through my window and to my sleeping figure). It gets noticeably dark by 22.30.

This picture was taken at exactly 22.56 from my desk looking out to the sky. It is still noticeably light at 23.00!!

This one was taken at 02.42. Toward the far left of the tree line is a bit of a dip, the sun comes up right about here (obviously you can see that it is lighter there) and to the right you can see the moon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Law & Order

There are now just 19 days left before I cross the pond back to the big bad reality of life. I think it is only fair to establish what law and order would appear in my life should it have been as common as it should have been.

As of now I've begun to sort through my things into six main piles: Keep, Chuck, Donate, Use Until the Bloody End, Box Up, and Think of a Way to Creatively Get It Home Even Though You Know It Won't Fit and You Can't Afford to Post It. Basically, my room is in shambles and we can all thank distractive and putting-off tendencies. Instead of reading a biography on HC Andersen, 8 Fairtales by HC Andersen and an abridged version of Oliver Twist (all books in Danish) I've created tropical depression Jennifer. Meterologist predict the storm to progress to a category 4 or 5 before decipating in the Atlantic.

I'll shock the nation with that evidence in a few days. For now law and order. (Note: I've been in a B&W swing....)

Early Morning Walks

There is actually a ''forest'' just outside of my house. It's more like a patch of trees covering a triangular shaped plot of land laying a stream and some trains hidden. I discovered them probably a month ago out of boredom. It wasn't until this morning that I took my camera with me to try to capture the essence of a fogging summer morning in pixels. Because it gets so light so early (noticeably lighter around 03.00/03.30) I left the house at 04.00 and took about 2 hours to meander to the fjord and back again. Sadly it was quite difficult to take pictures. Under the protective coverage of the foliage light was not so plentiful. This required me to slow the shutter seed to 5 and 8 seconds. Any slight movement during those seconds makes the image blurry. I did manage to get a few decent ones though.

These things were crazy! I have never seen so many slugs of such variety in size and colour in my life. They came in traditional black and the shocking orange. I'm sad to report that there were casualties by the soles of my connies to the brown and darker burgundy lot as they were hard to see. I think I looked at the ground more than I did the scenery because of these buggers.

The beautiful Vejle Fjord with a view of the bridge which connects the gab.

I'm actually pretty happy with some of the fjord pictures I was able to get. It was hard to capture the right colours of the the sunrise because it was masked with clouds and fog.

The upper stream close to my house. I wasn't about to get a good picture of this in the beginning of the trip, so tried to get something visible on the way back when more light was available to work with.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Little Mermaid Exposed

I think it is safe to say that The Little Mermaid is a very well known fairytale. Made popular by Disney, the fairytale features a young mermaid who is fascinated by the world of walking humans. In an effort to live their life and find the prince she has fallen in love with, the mermaid, gives up her voice in place of legs. In the end, she is able to make the prince fall in love with her breaking the spell and regaining her voice to live happily ever after. The story doesn’t stop there though; Walk Disney has perused the entrancing fairytale to include the life of the couple’s daughter and her adventures with the sea.

I’m about to shatter every preconceived notion that you or others may have about this story. The Little Mermaid is a Danish fairytale written by the famous fairytale author, Han Christian Andersen. The thing that we must take into account is that the original purpose of fairytale stories was not to entertain children, but adult. Often the stories we have grown up with have been altered in order to accommodate a young crowd because their unabridged versions held things we would consider inappropriate for children. For example, Little Red Riding Hood has often been interpreted as a story about a girl’s rape.

The Little Mermaid in its original format does not include a happy ending. In fact, the prince falls in love with another woman and the Little Mermaid dies a death that sentences her to 300 years of good-doing in order to acquire a soul. When the Little Mermaid “looses her voice” she actually has to cut out her tongue and is sentenced to legs which cause her ten folds of pain with each step she takes. When the prince’s dog finds her, she is kept as a form of entertainment. The prince enjoys best his singer, but finds much entertainment when the Little Mermaid dances. In the end, when the prince marries another, the Little Mermaid’s five sisters come to rescue her they bring with them a dagger which will release her from the spell. She must kill the prince, but opts not to and turns to dust with the sun’s rise.

As you can tell, this is nothing like the story we all know. It’s quite interesting to read the original versions of some of his stories. Many of them are quite well known by Americans and world citizens alike. I find though, that no one actually knows who the author of these tales are and that, in fact, they are Danish.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Liquid Courage

The Danes can do three things really well; be modest, ride bikes, and drink. The Danes ability to drink is pretty phenomenal. From what I've experienced, the Danes try to get as drunk as they can as quickly as they can and stay that way for however long they can. The the Dane no party is complete without alcohol. I probably make the Danes out to be alcoholics, but what amazes me is their ability to balance their drinking habits and their daily life.

"What oil is to Texas, beer is to Danmark." according Xenophobe's Guide to the Danes. So true... Two major brewing companies dominate the beer scene in Danmark - Tuborg and Carlsberg - though micro-brewers are quite plentiful around the country. Holidays are often marked by the release of the special brews instead of decorations and other merchandise like in America. For example, jule øl (Christmas beer) is not only a sign of Christmas, but an essential drink during parties and dinners.

Interesting Fact: a bottle opener is an essential fixation in every Danish
household. Many people will have one on their key rings or can quite
artfully manage to remove the cap with a lighter (popular during parties amongst
younger people).

In the newspapers you see many articles are youth drinking and its affects, but in truth the Danes think they drink quite modestly. They believe in being able to hold their alcohol. I've been told that if you see a really drunk person in Copenhagen walking around that they are in fact not Danish, but Swedish (beer is cheaper in Danmark b/c of taxes).

Interesting Fact: there isn't technically a drinking age in Danmark.
You may buy alcohol from stores at the age of 16 and may buy publicly (bar,
club, restaurant, etc.) at the age of 18. This, mind you, is very loosely
enforced. As long as you don't look like a little kid your good to go.

Entering back into the American drinking scene will be interesting as at my age it is supposedly non-existent. In my opinion, we focus on not drinking so much that we actually encourage it through reverse psychology (tell them not to do it and they do for spite). In Danmark, however, I believe they it is such a part of their culture that in the end they end up teaching responsible drinking.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jelling Musikfestival - the last day

So the last day featured no artist in particular that either Saai or I wanted to see. It turned into a reflective day with lots of music in the background. Importantly, I scored some merchandise; a shirt, a 2009 program and a cool pin to add to my collection. Second, I took tons of pictures. Okay, maybe not tons, but hundreds (200-something in total :D). The highlight of the night was ZZ Top, an American blues/rock band who had some really wickedly long beards.

In honor of the pictures I took, I'm going to show you Jelling Musikfestival in fotos, so be prepared.

A/N: The pictures don't quite fit into the blogging box and I've tried and tried to resize them, but for the most part you see all of the picture except for a little bit of the right side. I believe if you click on the image it opens it up larger (maybe even to original size) so you can see it better.