Saturday, January 23, 2010

Retracing My First Week

So I have not written since I got to Denmark and I'm laying here in the living room floor watching a movie with my new host family and I just realized that this time last week I was on a plane beginning this adventure that I have embarked on. This past week alone I have made memories that will last me my entire life and I will not to go back retrace my week in this foreign place.

It has been unbelieveably cold here in Denmark and I pray to God that I adjust soon .... or I may actually die. It has snowed every single day so far! What makes this even worse is all the locals repeatedly telling all the Americans that it is the Coldest winter they have had in 23 years. The river is mostly completely frozen over and it looks completely awesome where the free flowing water meets the frozen river:)

When I landed here in Copenhagen I thought it was really ugly! Little did I know that we landed in the "industrial" CPH and that I probably would not see that again until I got on the plane to go home. The first girl that I met when I got off the plane goes to NC State! She is seems really nice, but I'm not really sure what this name is ... I think it's Elizabeth ... but I would not bet on that. After we checked in with the DIS people at the airport they bussed us all to a school? called IUT and this is where we got the money for our transportation card, our schedules, and a bunch of other crap. Then I had to wait there for like 5 hours with 700 other students for my new family to come. During this time I mostly talked and met new people but I did call mom and aunt scooter on skype to let them know that I did not die on the plane ride over.

I remember that I was really nervous about going home with these people and meeting them was rather scary. They all semmed nice but I still was not really sure of them. The ride home was akward and we stopped to get my transportation pass, which my "brother" Magnus took care of for me ... Thank God. We went home and they gave me a quick tour of the house and it's really cute! There is a lot of open space, five bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I thought it would be really hard to sleep but I was wrong .... I about died as soon as I hit the bed because I did not sleep at all on the plane ride over.

Monday came and went with out too much happening. I met Becky who is another DIS student, and she lives right down the street from me. We sat through an opening ceremony and then they told us to find the next building we had to be at .... and this is when we met Ashley. There were quite a few of us standing in the middle of the street because none of us knew where to go (by the way it was totally around the block) and this is how most of us met a lot of new people. Between Becky and I it was fairly easy to get home ... we live in a village called Hareskov that is in a town called Vaerlose. :)

Tuesday was another day that I do not remember all that well ... I met up with quite a few of the others that I was lost with on Monday. I learned that Ashley lives in Herlev and is from "upstate" New York.

Wednesday was the CPH scavneger hunt ... aka they gave all 700 Americans a map and told us to go and find random landmarks. It was way too cold and the snow was blowing sideways but it was a lot of fun! Mine and Ashley's groups ran into each other at The Black Diamond (The Royal Library) and decided two stick together. We had this great idea to ride the harbor bus (which is a boat) Because it would cut out a lot of time walking and would drop us off near our next stop. So we waited ... for like 30 minutes and then decided two give up, but of course after we had walked a decent way the boat appeared - so we ran for it. Picture this: 12 Americans sprinting, on a snowy day, near the water, after a boat. We knew we looked stupid but we really did not care! After we got on the boat we went to the Royal Square, which is where the Queen lives and while we were there we saw the changing of the Guard! It was amazing! Ashley and I got a picture with one of the guards and he got really mad at the two of us and kept screaming to get back 2 meters ... too bad we do not know how far a meter is. After this stop we decided we were too cold and we wanted to be warm again so we found our way back to DIS for our course orientations.

Thursday was my first day ever to go sledding! I went up into the forest (at the end of my road) with Mathilde (one of my sisters) and Ingeborg (mom). We went sledding down the hills. It was a lot of fun and it was really nice to be able to spend some time with them for a little bit. I completely got covered with snow and after about an hour or two we walked back to the house. That night Neil (dad), Magnus, Mathilde, and I went to IKEA. Neil was super excited about taking me here once he realized that I had never been to an IKEA. It is super big and believe it or not it is next to a McDonalds and a Toys-R-US. We bought Mathilde a new bed and walked around for a little and then went home.

Friday (night) was the welcoming party for all DIS students. They rented a really nice night club--this included free coat check, entrance, soda, champagne, beer, and fruit. It was so much fun and it was a cool way for us to meet more people and to hang out with the friends we had already made that week.

Saturday I went the Lousiana Museum with my family to see an exhibition by Jakob Holte. It was made up of pictures and stories that he taken and seen in America. I thought it was very interesting but I also feel that it was giving the wrong impression of Americans in general. The pics only showed poor blacks and the KKK...umm hello?? I didn't think we were still in this stage and everyone there thought that this was how the ENTIRE USA was and I had to explain how yes it is true, but not everywhere is like that to my family.

My first week in Denmark I really wanted to write down and try to capture some of the things that happend mainly because I didn't want to forget the this time I'm not home sick and I really am happy...yes things are really different than back home. Such as we drink hot tea everynight and I don't like hot tea, everywhere is cold and we open the windows everywhere to change over the air, I'm not used to riding a bus or train everywhere I go, everyone speaks another language and you feel like you're in a glass box because everyone speaks both Danish and English but you only speak English. Things are strange yet their not horrible but it will take some time to adjust to being here.

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