Did that title draw you in?? ‘Cause I thought it was the right mixture of mysterious and a builder of some great anticipation. I knew I wanted to blog, because I feel like you all, as my lovely readers (or what I like to think of as my fan base) deserve to know what’s going on in the country of Denmark. I feel like my writing is very random most of the time, but I figure if you decided to click the link to read my blog, than you know what you are in for.

First off, I would like to talk about a place I went to in Copenhagen last weekend. I went to the round tower, built by Christian IV (I’m sure you remember him from past blogs I have written). It was built between 1637 and 1642 as part of the Trinity Complex which “United three of the most important facilities available to 17th-century scholars: an astronomical observatory, a student’ church, and a university library” (Pamphlet given to me at the tower). There is a great view at the top and you can see so much of Copenhagen, and probably other parts of Denmark when it’s not cloudy!

A view:

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A fun fact about the Round Tower (Rundetaarn, in Danish) is that the inside was made so that a horse and carriage could make it to the top because Christian IV didn’t want to walk up to the top. This is what it looks like going up to the top:

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Christina and I went with a great girl named Sofie. She is related to our host mom and she has to be one of the funniest people I have met in Denmark. She is 15 and she is the most mature and knowledgeable 15 year old out there. Sofie, if you are reading this, we had so much fun with you that day and we will have to watch Die Hard from the beginning very soon!!

The three of us at the top of the tower:

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After we went to the tower we went to this great little cafe and had lunch/”brinner” together and were there for…maybe three hours? It is so easy for the three of us to talk and laugh!

Sooooo, I wanted to go a little bit farther into the past and talked about a museum that I went to with so great girls! I went to the Danish Design Museum:
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It was really interesting to see what kinds of things were in this museum (not everything was Danish, though). What I thought was cool was their instillation of album cover art was so cool! We weren’t expecting to see it there and there were rooms filled with Danish and British/American album covers. (Now, when I say album, I don’t mean CD, I mean vinyl. Beautiful, smooth vinyl.) As a pretty major music enthusiast I was excited to say the least. The exhibit talked about trends for different eras and how listening to music developed over time.

Some pictures of this awesomeness:

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Needless to say….it was awesome.

Also, there was a lot of other cool stuff in this museum, such as fun chair designs, different cultural designs from England, Asia, and other such countries. Here are more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

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Wanted to say that two of those chairs are especially amazing because they are both made out of recycled newspaper! It was super cool to see.

Besides those exciting things I have been trying to get sleep because you can never get enough of that in Denmark and I have been having so much fun in my classes as well as hanging out with fun people. Today, as some of you know, I ran for the first time in a while and it was awesome! Christina is sort of acting as my coach, which is fun. She is a great motivator and she will help me get to where I want to be when it comes to running. She is also really nice to bounce ideas and thoughts off of because she has been running for some time now, plus we both have the short legs problem. Running in my town is actually pretty easy and very pretty. We only ran a mile, to see how my body would feel, but it was fun to see different parts of the immediate area that I haven’t had a chance to see yet. We are going to run again tomorrow. Here is my game face:

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Notice the new kicks….they were great to run in, no complications. (For those of you know know me pretty well, you might be wondering why I have pink shoes. I hate pink. However, when a shoe is on sale, the color becomes null and void.)

Alright, well this has been a great chat. Not sure if you actually needed to beware, but again….it got you to read the blog, didn’t it?

Farewell, readers. Until we meet again.

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Sorry, my-faithful-readers-who-are-mostly-my-family-and-friends, for not blogging in a while. I know how much you hate it when you don’t get to read my blogs. I know…I have awesome blogging skills. What can I say??

Obviously because there is a different culture in Denmark compared to the US, there will be customs here that we don’t have. One of the customs here that is really fun and has been happening for about a week now, it feels like, is Festalavn. This holiday has been going on since around the 1700’s and the American equivalent (which still doesn’t quite add up) is Halloween. I’ll try to give you a background for the holiday as best as I can, but I still don’t exactly understand it, so don’t quote me.

Festalavn (pronounced festa-lawn) originated from Christianity and happens sometime after Ash Wednesday. It was thought that any plague could be avoided if a black cat was killed. You can actually see this kind of thing in many other European cultures as well such as German and French. So what happened in Denmark is a live cat was put in a barrel and people would try to break open the barrel with sticks/twigs. When they did break the barrel and the cat came out they would beat the cat to death. In 1830 they stopped using live cats and switched to dead cats. Now, however, it is more like a fun holiday for kids. The kids will dress up and beat a barrel full of candy. No more beating cats. The person who gets the bottom of the barrel to break off is called the King. (In case you are wondering, One of my very best ladies was crowned the king! King Liesje, shout out to my gummy bear! haha)

They have pastries they make special for this holiday in Denmark!

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They are a little hollowed out and filled with a huge amount of delicious cream then topped with more cream. You can’t go wrong with that, can you?

Today was very fun because I went to a more traditional birthday party. It was for my friend Ingrid and she turned 21 today. Her host parents wanted to throw her a Danish birthday, and let me tell you…we had a Danish celebration. It starts with showing up to the party, of course, and this is how you know it’s someone’s birthday:

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Danish flags in the yard. The flag is everywhere for birthdays. As you can see from the table:

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There are actual mini flags, flags on the napkins…and an American flag on the wall, which was pretty funny. That is Ingrid and I, just so you know.

I think we were continuously eating from the time we got to their house at 2:30 until we left around 10. There was cake, bread, sweets, a delicious dinner (I was so impressed and thankful because Ingrid’s host family made the three vegetarians – of which I was one of the three – a whole different meal because we wouldn’t eat hotdogs), and we even roasted marshmallows in the backyard.

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Her host family was so welcoming and I felt very much at home. It was great to hang out with some wonderful people.

Note to those who were there: We should camp out in Ingrid’s backyard when it gets nicer outside. I don’t mean to invite myself, ’cause I hate when people do that, but how fun would that be? Just sayin’.

I’m sure there has been a lot more lovely things that have happened since the last time I have blogged and I’m sure I will think of some stuff as I am trying to go to bed, because my brain thinks that’s a great game to play. Stupid brain.

Random: This is what Christina and I made our host family the other night for dinner:

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Also the bar that had some pretty great jams to dance to (for those of you not on Facebook, I went to a bar with some friends to dance and the music variety was pretty eclectic but very fun) was this place:

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Don’t ask me how to pronounce that one. I have no clue. I’m thinking gibberish.

So, I thought I might do something different in this blog: I’m going to ask my readers if they have any questions they want me to answer about anything Danish. Anything at all. ( When I saw anything at all, there are still boundries. Just pointing that out. Don’t be a smart alack. You know who you are.)

So, either comment on this blog posting or you can message me on facebook with your questions and the next time I blog I will do my very best to answer them!

Until next time…

I woke up this morning and thought to myself, “Some eggs would be great.” So, Christina and I decided to get the fixings together and make some eggs with spinach and other assorted vegetables. It was so good, but the best part about this delicious breakfast had to be the ketchup. That’s right. Ketchup. Why, you might ask? Because it was the first time I have had the wonderful red sauce in over a month and I forgot how freaking awesome it tastes! You wouldn’t think ketchup would be something you miss, but oh my gosh it was so wonderful. Great way to start the day!

I thought I would catch you up with the growth of the puppies:

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They are growing up so quickly! They are really funny now because they are playful and they think they’re so tough. It makes me laugh when I hear one of them growl.

Last night I went to a free concert in Copenhagen with some wonderful ladies. It was at this place:

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We were all pretty tired, but we figured what the heck. It’s free. We waited around for the doors to open and when they did it was insanityI have never been pressed so tightly to a stranger before in my life. Sorry about that, guy-who-was-taller-than-the-empire-state-building. They only let a few people in at a time because they didn’t want to overwhelm the coat-check. In theory that was a great idea, but being one of the people standing outside in the can of anchovies, I would have to disagree. There was one point when breathing was a little hard. These are my friends, Maddie and Morgan, about to escape the chaos outside:

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Once all of us made it inside and we gave our coats away, we went downstairs into the venue to see Foxygen:

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For a free concert it wasn’t too bad. The band was actually American, so it was cool that we could understand the lyrics. The lead singer was a bit of a jerk, and really liked to rant about random things between songs. For example, he was angry because his mike was shocking his mouth since the old and new equipment didn’t like to work together well. Oh, well. All in all it was a pretty fun and relaxing night. This is Foxygen onstage:

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Now for some random stuff –

I thought you all might be interested to hear about some cultural differences that can create a little bit of misunderstandings. Or at least, that I have dealt with. The other morning I was boiling some eggs and my host mother came over and moved my pot to a different burner and told me I was making my eggs wrong. She poured out half of my water and put a plate over it while it boiled. She asked me, “Haven’t you ever done this before?” I told her that yes, of course I have but not her way. At first I was really offended because, to me, it seemed like she was thinking I was stupid or something, but the more I thought about it and talked with a friend of mine, I came to the conclusion that she doesn’t think I’m dumb. In Denmark you don’t beat around the bush. You don’t sugar coat like in the US. None of this, “Hey, could I show you a better way to do that?” or “Can I show you a little trick?”. Here, people get to the point and are not afraid to be blunt. She saw that I wasn’t making my eggs “correctly” and told me so. End of story. You have to reevaluate when you talk to a Danish person because if they say something that is kind of offensive, what they tell you is not considered offensive or rude here. So heads up, if anyone comes to Denmark for an extended period of time.

When packing for Denmark, I didn’t think about sneakers or work out clothes because I was just packing with the thought that it is absolutely freezing here. After quite a bit of contemplation, I decided that I need to get some shoes and go to the gym in Albertslund. I don’t know what the gym is like and yes, I do have to pay for the gym every month, but I think it will be worth it. Going out to look for shoes tomorrow.

A last comment: Biking while it is snowing is not fun.

Hello there, my lovely readers. It’s been a while, huh? I’m sure you are all wondering where I have been since the last time I blogged. I’m going to enlighten you, but first I would like to talk about what happened this morning because not only was it funny, but it should go down in the books. It’s about my bike.

This morning Christina and I were on our way to the train station and everything was fine and dandy. I was eating my breakfast of champions (bread and butter because I was a little slow this morning) and we were on a role riding down the bike lane. When suddenly…Christina, who is riding in front of me, stops because a car wanted to go into a parking lot we were about to pass. I didn’t hear her breaking and I realized I was going a whole lot faster than she was. I quickly slammed on my break (you have to pedal backwards to stop) but I knew I wouldn’t stop soon enough, so I jerked to the right and proceeded to crash to the ground. Not too much damage came from the crash, but I have a pretty good gash on my knee that is not going to be fun to look at tomorrow or the day after. My bike? It is alright but I had to readjust the handlebars because they had been twisted and my basket is a bit wonky looking now. All in all Everything is in working order. My host dad is going to have a look at my bike just in case.

Alright, now to where I have been these last couple days. This week for DIS was called Core Course Week. This means that we don’t have classes and we travel with the people in our core course class to somewhere outside of Copenhagen. So, because I am in Child Diversity and Development as my core course, I spent three wonderful days with a great group of ladies plus one boy. We had crazy schedules, but I will try to tell you about our day to day activities, starting with Monday, February the 4th.

Monday

We needed to be on the bus in Copenhagen at 7am. I slept until 7:40am. Do you see the problem with this situation? I had set my iPod to a crazy early time because I had a few clothes that I needed to pack still since they were drying from the night before. And I didn’t hear it. Let’s talk about the alarm on my iPod real quick. It sucks. It decides when it wants to go off and half the time that means it doesn’t go off at all. Figures. (I’m getting my new phone tomorrow, so this will not be a problem anymore.) Plus I’m sick and when I’m sick I’m def. So, anyway. I missed the bus because they left without, which I knew could happen and has happened in the past. I frantically called Jennifer (one of the teachers for my program that was going with my class on this trip) and she was very nice and understand of my situation. She helped me figure out how to meet up with the group in Kolding. I had to take the Regional train, which was actually pretty nice:

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Very comfortable indeed! Andddd to get to Kolding (pronounced Cooling) you have to cross two bodies of water as you can see on this map

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Once I got to Kolding I went to the Koldinghus to wait. In case you don’t know what that is, let me show you:

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Yay, for castles! It was really fun to go inside once the bus of my classmates got there!

Once we were done at the castle, we went to the hostel in Kolding. This was so exciting because I have never been to a hostel before. I’m told that hostels in Scandinavia are really reliable and nice like the one we stayed in. This was my reaction to my first hostel:

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Once we had our rooms and were all set we had a very nice dinner together as a group and then it was lights out.

Tuesday

We got up early and had a nice breakfast at the hostel. It was sooo super tasty! Breakfast here is amazing. There is a lot of cheese, bread, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, oats, boiled eggs…mmmm. So good! After breakfast we drove to Odense (see the map previously shown) and we went to a school called the H.C. Anderson Skolen. It was really cool to go into the school and hear the teachers explanations of what the school is like before we went on a tour of the school. It is in a more lower income part of the city and it is known for being a troublesome, yet their idea of low income and “ghetto” as they said, was nowhere near what we think of as “ghetto” in America. The school was still really nice because of the welfare system in Denmark and how much money is put toward education. We talked with some of the older students their and helped them with the projects they were working on, which was fun. I helped one group talked about American football.

When we were done visiting the school we had lunch and then went to the Vollsmose Kulturehus and made some fun masks:

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After we were done with our masks we went to our hostel in Odense. Once we were settled we went on a scavenger hunt around the city center! It was great and we saw some amazing churches and gardens.

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When we finished the scavenger hunt we had dinner at a Turkish restaurant to prepare for our trip to Istanbul in March, just a few weeks from now! We stayed at the restaurant for a while and then went back to the hostel for bed.

Wednesday

Another morning of yummy breakfast and I actually ran into Christina because we were staying at the same hostel. That morning we had some time to ourselves to explore more in the beautiful  daylight. That town is amazing and is great in the sunlight! Our whole group met up around 11 and went through the H.C. Anderson museum, which was really fun and cool to see. In case you don’t know who he is, he wrote fairy tales, such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Emperors New Clothes, and more. We even got to see and walk through the house he was born in!

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To keep with the fairy tales, we ate lunch at The Ugly Duckling (a tale which Anderson wrote) and had some wonderful Danish food. It was so great and there were some things I had never had before, like mint jelly. After lunch we went to an art museum that was awesome. It had many exhibits in it that we got to see, but the reason we went there was for one particular exhibit. It was one designed for children dealing with the senses and it had some fun things in it.

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It was so funny to see all these 20/21 year old’s running around and having a good time with this exhibit. The rest of the museum was fun too, they had some really beautiful photographs there and some nice sculptures made of glass from the 1970’s.

The last thing we did before heading home was stop and get tea/coffee and cake at a place called the Cuckoo’s Nest. It was very delicious! This is what I had:

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Yup. Be jealous.

The ride home was about 2 hours and most people were asleep for that bus ride. When we got home we were welcomed with a nice snow fall that was really pretty and sparkly. And extra nice ’cause it didn’t stick! haha

Well, that was my weekend in a nutshell. I’m sorry it’s a bit rushed! If I’m friends with you on Facebook than you can go look at my pictures from the trip (which totaled to be more than 360 photos)! Thanks for reading, everyone!

P.s. For my Babajo….I will go back and edit this tomorrow. So, I’m sorry if there are really bad mistakes. I’ll fix it, I promise! :DD

In case you are wondering about the title of this blog (pronounced en god sill – the D is silent), that is the danish version of calling someone foxy! It literally translates to “one good herring”. We were learning some history in Danish class today and it was brought up because we were talking about an area of Copenhagen called Christianshavn. Christian the 4th built up this area of Copenhagen and modeled it after Amsterdam in hopes that it would become a big trading center. It was a little side comment about herring and their importance during the time, when my professor brought this saying up. It made me giggle, so I thought I should share it with all of you! I hope you enjoy calling everyone you know (even if you don’t find them foxy) en god sild! haha

On a sad note: I lost my phone. My fault completely. I had to file a lost phone report and all this nonsense to order a replacement phone…which was way more than the original. Which was free. Just sayin’. Now that the damage is done it is time to move on and be phoneless for a week while I am in Western Denmark with my program. It may be cleansing, when I really think about it, but the practical part of me also is freak out about being phoneless. What if I get lost? Gosh dang it, I’ll be using the buddy system like it’s nobodies business! I already warned a friend of mine that I may be clinging to her the entire time we are in Western Denmark. She was fair warned. 

Anyway, the trip will be great, but the more I think about it the faster my time here in Denmark seems to be flashing before my eyes. Time is leaving me behind! By the time we get back from this trip it will be mid-February. Then the beginning of March, I will be going to Istanbul with my program (super pumped! ps. It’s my birthday while I am in Turkey!). When we get back we have a week of class and then another travel break in which I will be going to Mannheim, Germany to be with wonderful family friends. When I get back I have two weeks of classes and then another travel week in which I will be going to Stockholm, Sweden to be with some great cousins. Then there is only three-ish more weeks and I come home! Geez. Before I blink twice I will be heading home! It’s crazy!

Random: I would like to make a statement. Kinder eggs are sold here. If you are not sure what a kinder egg is you are about to learn. This is what it looks like:

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You can see how it works in this picture. You take off the foil, split the egg open and not only do you have a delicious chocolate treat (which is saying something because I’m not a huge chocolate fan), but you also get a fun surprise in the center of the egg. IT IS FANTASTIC IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. Now, let me repeat my previous statement: They. Sell. Kinder eggs. Here. They sell them in the grocery store in packs orrrr you can by them individually. I tear up a little just thinking about it. *Delighted sigh*

I also wanted to mention in this blog the craziness that is called 7 Eleven. We all know what it is:

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(Note the amount of bikes in the front, haha)

In the US, this place is sort of going downhill…I don’t really see them very often anymore and they don’t have the greatest reputation. Here, though? In Copenhagen? I counted 13 7 Eleven’s from my train station in Albertslund to DIS. Can you believe that?? They aren’t doing too badly here, that’s for sure.

I have a few questions that people have asked me about Copenhagen.

Do they follow football? Not that I can tell. I have never seen it on the tv or heard anyone mention it. They are all about handball here. And soccer.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have noticed between here (America) and Denmark? I have to say it’s that people in Denmark don’t do small talk. If they can avoid talking to random people, they will. It’s not like in the US where you can strike up a conversation with the person in front of you in line, or the person sitting next to you on the train. They do not small talk. They don’t see the point in it. 

Do they have microwaves? Yes, but I have only ever seen my hose brother use it once and it dings like a toaster oven when it’s done.

Okay, that’s it for now. Keep tuning in for more!

There are a few things that I need to mention before I get to some pretty interesting information. One of them is that today is Simon’s – my host brother – birthday! He turns 21 today and while that may not be a big deal in Denmark’s culture, Christina and I were still excited. Habit, probably, since 21 is so big at home. A cool fact though: when Christina and I got home tonight there was a mini Danish flag sitting on the table. When we asked about it our host parents said that when you have a birthday in Denmark you put out a flag and have tons of flag stuff (they had flag napkins). That is just the tradition. They have the flag up during most holiday’s here, like on their Christmas tree’s, for example. I thought that was cool since the only times we really bring out the American flag is during the 4th or July and Memorial Day. Anyway…Happy Birthday, Simon! We made him a card with some funny Danish inside and I drew a paintball gun because he is super into that. Then we made a fun little box with a note on the inside saying that we owe him a dessert! He seemed pretty pumped about that. Who wouldn’t, right??

Ok, on a very different matter, look at this:

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All the places I will be/ might possibly be going to! On that list is: Denmark (home base), Turkey, Sweden, Germany, and (possibly) Belgium if it works out. I was really happy to see all those little flags on the map in my room. I’d say I am getting around Europe quite well during my time over here.

Also, look at this little ham:

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I mean, really?? How can you resist such a little hamlet?? So cute. We are bringing the puppies out of their little box a little bit more and while they cry almost the whole time, they will have to get used to it eventually. I also noticed while I was taking pictures that I took my first picture of my host parents without really thinking about it….so in this picture is my host mom on the floor trying to get a good picture of the puppies and my host father on the couch:

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I’m starting to really love living in this house with them. Not that it was ever bad living here, but lately I have felt as if I am fitting in with the family more. Like tonight for example, Bjarne (host father), Linda (host mother), Simon (host brother), Christina, and I were all in the living room talking and joking around and telling stories. It is so nice to finally feel like part of the family. I was telling Linda that I was going to the Free Market tomorrow (which is a place DIS opens and has free clothing you can have from students in the past who couldn’t or didn’t want to take these clothes home. Pretty awesome) looking for a better coat. She said that in the past she had given students coats to wear, since she had so many and she instantly went on this huge hunt for a coat that I could use. She wasn’t able to find one around the house for me, but she told me if I don’t find one at the Free Market to tell her because she has plenty of friends who have too many coats. It was great to feel looked after. 

Okay, enough of the sentimental for now and on to more Danish things. I had a field study today for my Danish language class to a place in Copenhagen called Christiania. And here is a picture of a friend and I at the entrance:

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We had a guided tour of the place, which was interesting given the kind of place this is, and I learned quiet a bit. Here is a bit of info on Christiania. This little district type area is a little spot in the middle of Copenhagen. Here is a map to show you the region that it takes up:

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All the darker parts of the map are Christiania. It is an interesting little community that first began in the 1970’s when a group of hippies were trying to escape from the political stuff going on in Denmark. They wanted to live in harmony with nature as well as peace and love and all that, but they also just needed a place to live in general. Well there was an old military base that no one was living in and so these hippies moved into the empty military houses and storage buildings. The beginning of the community now known as Christiania. There are about 900 people living in this community, compared to the original 100 or more people. This community is so strange because in the state of Denmark you are not allowed to have drugs, but within the limits of Christiania you can by pot right on the street. To understand how they are able to do that even though in Denmark drugs are illegal you need some more background.

They are a self governing community that is based on the idea of a Democratic consensus. They have meetings to go over what should be done in the town and the people can veto an idea or movement. They have a few basic rules a few being no hard drugs, no guns, no cars, no selling of firecrackers, and no wearing biker colors. The idea behind allowing pot is that if they allow that then there will be less problems arising because of hard drugs, which they had had problems in the past with when the community was first coming together. You might wonder about the bike colors rule and this is in regards to gangs. There was a big gang problem a while ago and in hopes of not having those gangs coming into Christiania and causing violence, which is completely not allowed, people are not allowed to wear colors or clothes that are associated with those gangs. There is a street called Pusher Street, also known as the Green Light District, and right on the street you can by pot from a vender You are also not allowed to take pictures on pusher street. You can guess why.

Besides the state rules that they are getting away with (for the most part. About once a week the police go through Christiania and clear them out, just for the sake of clearing them out), there is a lot of really great things happening in the community. There are a lot of house, made by the people living in the houses, that are made with all recycled materials for sustainable living. They have a whole wear hose full of recycled stuff that you can buy such as furniture, doors ready to be installed, lamps, glass for windows, and other such things for cheaper than buying the stuff brand new. It is so great how into recycling and sustainability the community is. They recycle 15 of the 17 recyclable materials Denmark is able to recycle. It’s amazing. Also the tour guide (who has been living in Christiania since the very beginning in the 70’s) showed us a house called “The Banana House”. It is a place that German carpenters built to live in that is literally the shape of a Banana:

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(Sorry this isn’t my picture. I didn’t bring my camera because it was raining this morning. I will be going back to take pictures, but this works until then.)

This is a house for German carpenters that come through Denmark and is open for them to live in while they are in Copenhagen because they have done a lot of things to help fix Christiania and the community is really fond of them. This house is so cool to see in real life…it’s hard to think something like this actually exists until you see it in person.

It was really fun to walk around the town, hear about the history, and how the town runs in conjunction to Copenhagen and the state laws. There is so much more I could tell you about this town, but we would be here a while and I think I have stolen a good portion of your time already.

Until next time… 

Wow.

Today was so cool! Before I talk about how awesome the Rosenberg Castle is, I thought you all might like to see some Danish money. Denmark has Kroner and the exchange rate is about 5.7 kroner for 1 dollar. Just to give you a little taste of what that looks like 20 dollars is equal to about 113 Kroner, or DKK. Pretty crazy right?? And coins here, unlike in the US, are pretty valuable. In coins there are, 50 øre (1/2 a Kroner), 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 Kroner. In paper bills there are 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 Kroner. They all look something like this:

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Also, It’s snowing like crazy outside right now…I tried to take a picture to show you all, but the picture did not do the snowfall justice.

Due to lack of snow picture I will just tell you about the castle I went to today!

This is what It looks like (with me in front of it):

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The castle was built in 1606 by King Christian the 4th as a private home. (This was one of the many buildings he commissioned during his reign as king that put the country into major debt.) The castle hasn’t really been used for living since the early 1700’s except for, I think, twice in emergencies. Everything that is in the castle is still property of the current queen of Denmark, the castle, however, is property of the state and only functions as a museum. On all the buildings that Christian the 4th built there is a symbol that you can find on the building to show that he was the reason for the building (it is like that with other kings as well):

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The first room we went into was the kings version of a living room, which looked like this:

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If you look closely, the symbol for Christian the 4th is above the mantel. The bust that you see is of Christian the 4th. If you can see it looks more the a Greek or Roman bust (with the toga and leafy crown) and this is because Christian wanted to make himself look like Caesar. This was his version of propaganda because he wanted to look powerful and respected and grand. Here is another picture of him:

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He was really big into expanding Denmark and the way to expand is to get into wars. So, during one of the wars (I’m not sure who they were fighting against), Christian was standing next to a cannon that accidentally fired and there was shrapnel that hit him in the head and eye. He survived the blows and this is what he was wearing when that happened (you can see on the collar the discoloring from his blood):

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When they took the pieces out of his head, Christian told them not to get rid of the piece and he actually had the bits made into earrings for his mistress, which was another show of how strong he was and how he could carry on after such a wound, showing the Denmark could do the same.
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We were able to go into the main ballroom/gathering room while we were there and it was very pretty. It had the thrones of the King and Queen as well as the largest collection of pure-silver furniture in the world. Even though silver was very expensive, they favored silver furniture because it would reflect more that 95% of light, which was very useful at night when they were just using candles. (Fun Fact: Denmark is the biggest buyer of candles because of something called Hygge, which is the feeling of being cozy, relaxed, and comfortable.) 

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(The chair on the left is the King’s and the Queen’s is on the right.)

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At Rosenberg they also keep the family jewels! We were able to see some pretty wonderful glitters! Our tour guide told us that even though everything was behind some pretty think glass, the alarms are pretty sensitive, therefore “if we want to see our parents and the US ever again, we won’t touch anything”. We all laughed, but we still didn’t know if he was just joking with us or telling us the truth. Either way there was some awesome stuff in there!

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This was Christian the 4th Crown from when he was crowned.

Then for the coronation these were the crowns for the king and queen:

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And the rest of the coronation goodies.

There was a lot of other jewelry and sparkly things that the current queen can still take out and wear when she likes. It was a very fun trip, but we didn’t see everything, so we will have to go back and explore the rest of the castle! 

I am actually being a tourist this weekend! It’s very exciting and needs to happen more, I’ve decided. Today I went to the National Denmark Museum. It was super fun and we (Christina, Liesje, and I) didn’t actually get through it all! It was so cool to go through and learn more about the history of the place we are living. Here is what the building looks like:

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It was huge! You wouldn’t notice just by looking on the outside, or just looking at the entrance hall either, but there is a lot more to this building than you think. 

Here is just a nice little taste of what I saw:

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Pretty cool, huh?? And, like I said, we weren’t even able to see everything at the museum because we got hungry around and hour and a half into the museum. So we decided that we would have to go back again and pick up where we left off (which was in room 20, in case I forget later and have to look at the blog to remind myself). 

We walked around and tried to find somewhere to sit inside and have some lunch. On the way we ran into this cool boat just chillin’ in the frozen water:Image

 

Also we saw this house that was just a little be off kilter:

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When we finally found somewhere to escape the cold and eat, we went to this place called Anytime Deliways, that has a 10% discount for students. It was really nice and small. Plus the food was super yummy! I had a chicken sandwich:

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And a very nice man from Scottsdale took a picture for us because we were obviously tourists:

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He was a very nice man, indeed.

When Christina and I were on our way home we stopped at the grocery store (Førtex) to get some snacks and chocolate milk and I thought you might like to see what the store looks like:

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Fun fact: Their yogurt comes in cartons like milk does:

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The little containers are not yogurt…they are filled with a rice pudding that you can mix with the fruit it comes with….kind of like “fruit-on-the-bottom” that we are used to in the US. 

Another fun fact: When I went to look at the shampoo and conditioner area, I noticed that the bottles were a lot smaller than in the US and Christina pointed out that it is probably because they don’t shower as often. I’m not sure if that is 100% true, but it makes a lot of sense to me!

Random, but in Denmark right now the stakes are high in the game of Handball. If you aren’t sure what Handball is I’ll let you know!

This is how Wiki describes it: two teams of seven players each (six outfield players and a goalkeeper on each team) pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team. A standard match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team with more goals scored wins. It is played indoors and Denmark’s team is really, really good. This is what the court looks like:

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All in all Denmark is really intense, for the most part, about their team:

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It is a very national sport and a big deal that their team is good because to find such good players is hard in such a small country (the size of Maine). The reason I am talking about Handball is because Denmark is in the semifinals! If they win the next game they are the champions of Handball and Denmark will go crazy! I hope they win so that I can experience what it is like here when that happens. This video is kind of long, but you can see how it is played, and how good Denmark is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZG8G0TvMcc 

Be ready for my blog tomorrow because I am off to my first castle tomorrow!

I’m sorry if this is a shorter blog, but I really have a lot of reading to do for my classes on Friday. Why not read tomorrow, you ask? Don’t you worry, I will. I just won’t have a ton of time during the day, so I want to make sure I can get everything done before my classes Friday.

What a good dooby, right?

Alright, my day. Today I decided that, because I had no Field Studies, I would get my souvenir shopping done so that I’m not scrambling around at the end of my stay here looking for gifts for my family. I came out on top, just so you know. I think I went into about 5 or 6 different shops that had Copenhagen/Denmark stuff to pick from. (I was especially proud of what I got my Aunt Amy, because it is absolutely perfect for her and I stumbled upon it by accident…so, watch out, Aunt Amy!) I even got myself a little something:

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I may not go to the University of Copenhagen, but it is a super awesome sweatshirt and it’s still from Copenhagen. It works for me. Plus it’s really comfy.The day was made extra wonderful because I went shopping with my lovely lady Liesje and we had a fun time looking through things for our families. Much needed time together, for sure. When we were done, we stopped at the Saint Peter’s Bakery for a really big and tasty cinnamon roll…

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….Oh, yeah. You know you want that pastry. I almost couldn’t finish it, it was so big.

After Liesje left to go home, I stayed behind and Debbie found me so we waited around for the Climate Seminars that DIS puts on. We met up with Christina and our friend Ingrid. It was a very cool seminar! The guy giving the lecture was a CEO for Copenhagenize which is an organization that is trying to work toward creating better bike infrastructure for cities and looking at how much faster and safer it is to bike in cities. It was a very cool talk. If you want to look into it here are some websites to look at:

 http://www.copenhagenize.com/

http://www.copenhagenize.eu/

Check it out if you’d like. I really enjoyed listening to this CEO guy talk about all of this bike stuff (especially because I just rented a bike) and how passionate he was about it. 

That was pretty much my day today. It went by pretty quickly! Just a week ago today I was doing the somewhat-dreadful “Amazing Race”, but it feels like I did that such a long time ago! Either way, it was a good Wednesday and I would say my mission was accomplished. 

 

Sorry about the title. I couldn’t think of a good one.

The video that I have put with this blog is just a little bit about the bike culture in Copenhagen. Christina and I got our bikes and we have been trying to figure out the “rules of the road”, if you will. There is a certain bike etiquette that we really need to learn. For example, you have you turn on the lights on your bike when the street lights come on or you will get a ticket.

For those of you with Spotify, this will be a fun little tid-bit for you. A lot of my commercials are in Danish now. The first time it happened I was completely thrown off, but I’m getting used to it.

I did laundry the other day and felt ridiculous because I didn’t understand how to use the washing machine. My host mom had to walk me through it step by step. It was weird to have to be taught something that I have been doing for years! Haha

Christina and I made our first dinner for our host parents! We made bean enchiladas which turned out to be pretty dang good, if I do say so myself. Here’s a picture of our yummy dinner:

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It was pretty good and we had fun making it!

Also, while I was studying on Sunday I had a little friend with me:

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Later Sunday night there was a random fireworks display right outside my window:

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Christina and I decided that our neighbors were giving us a proper welcoming to Denmark.

My classes are going pretty well so far, but I will have to get used to the schedule differences between DIS and Denison. At Denisn (and I think most colleges) Classes are either Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday. At DIS classes are Monday, Thursday or Tuesday, Friday. Wednesday’s are a day where professors can assign Field Studies, which are fun trips around Copenhagen that are related to the class in some way. It is a way for us to use Copenhagen as a classroom, which is really awesome. However, if you don’t have any Field Studies scheduled for a Wednesday, you get the day off with no classes, which is also really awesome. Besides the weird schedule differences, my classes are good. There is a lot more reading than I am used to and less grades, but I think I will get used to that fairly quickly. 

I found out why Denmark is the “happiest country in the world” from one of my professors today. She said it is because Danes have low expectations, which allows them to not get let down so often if things don’t go they way they want. I thought that was very interesting. 

Money is really confusing to me. I keep thinking that I don’t want to spend tons of money, and I’m not, surprisingly, but I keep thinking that 100 Kroner is the same as 100 Dollars. And they aren’t the same at all. So I feel like I am spending tons of money on a hot chocolate, when actually it’s just 4 or 5 dollars (which is still expensive in relation to what I would normally spend for a hot chocolate in America, but Denmark isn’t cheap). 

Also, when you get sick in a foreign country, you need to understand that medicine is not the same everywhere. I have a stomach bug at the moment and I would kill for some tums or pepto. Denmark doesn’t have tums or pepto. It’s a very sad situation. I hope that with my free day tomorrow I will take it easy and rest up. I’m sure the cold and bike riding aren’t helping very much. 

I know how to say some Danish Sentences!

Hej, jeg hedder Miaja. Jeg kommer fra USA. Jeg studerer politik (spelling for that word is probably not right). Jeg bor i Albertslund hos en Dansk familie. Hej, hej!

Can you guess what I said there??

I said: Hi, My name is Miaja. I come from the USA. I study politics (I don’t really but we haven’t learned what teacher is in Danish yet). I live in Albertlund with a host family. Bye, bye! 

Yay, Danish!

That’s all for now, folks.