Too sentimental to function

June 9, 2011 § 4 Comments

I’ve had a very busy (and wonderful) past few days, but no time to write. Since the weather is less than perfect today, I’m sitting down to catch up:

The weather on Sunday was amazingly beautiful. I met some friends at the Islands Brygge harbor bath where we sat in the sun, sweated profusely, and made occasional trips down to the freezing cold water to dip our toes in. (We also ate ice cream). The area was even more crowded than it was on Saturday since everyone was hanging out after Distortion (a huge street festival I didn’t really take a part in– just too many super drunk people peeing everywhere). It was an incredibly lovely Sunday and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect final Sunday afternoon.

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Afterwards, I went to meet my friend Tinne for dinner. Tinne is the first Danish friend I met and made when I arrived in Denmark: I had asked a question about a group she was in on facebook, and she answered and helped me with a few other things. On my first full day in Copenhagen, we met after I went to get my CPR number and she showed me around the center of town and took me to Netto and Tiger. On Sunday, we went to this restaurant in Nørrebro that I am a fan of (it’s an African restaurant, and I know that’s ambiguous and Africa is not a country but this restaurant has food from a bunch of different areas in Africa and proclaims itself as an “African restaurant”… anyway, the food is really good, and at least relatively authentic judging from the fact that I’ve always been the only white person there every time I’ve gone), then we took a short walk around the cemetery (not before stopping at a kiosk (convenience store) and buying a bunch of candy by the gram). Tinne is actually going to be studying in Seatle this fall and winter, so maybe she will stop by and visit me in the midwest.
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I decided that this week would be the week (due to lack of alternatives) that I would do all the touristy stuff I hadn’t yet done. So on Monday, another gorgeous and hot day, I went and did the canal tour. While I didn’t learn much new information (it was at a very basic level and contained mostly facts I already knew just from living here for six months), it was nice to see the city from another angle. I especially loved boating past all the people and kids laying out in the sun and enjoying the day… there was something so Danish about it. And I liked the juxtaposition of the built-up urban city with the calm and almost pastoral boats and docks on the water. I didn’t know it was possible to have that summer beach house feel right in a major city. (I stupidly did not take a picture of this… the picture below is of Nyhavn, where the boats leave from, and one of Denmark’s most famous streets). A favorite part was when we motored through a more narrow canal, and groups of younger teenage boys would do cannonball jumps into the water right next to the boat, trying to get us wet. For some reason I thought that was really charming. I am obviously getting too sentimental too function…

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Afterwards, I stopped in Christianhavn and got coffee with a friend, and then headed back to my kollegium for my last common dinner. I had volunteered to make mac and cheese since I had a bunch of boxes that my sister brought me when she visited, and it is a typical American food that has, for some reason unbeknownst to me, not made its way across the globe. It was sad having my last common dinner, but there is a “see-you-again-soon” common breakfast tomorrow that I am super stoked for.

On Tuesday, I met up with my friend Valentina (who I went to Venice with) and we headed to Christiania for lunch at Grønsagen.

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Of course, this also entailed a stop at Sunshine Bakery for some chocolate dream cake. Excuse me while I go drool everywhere…

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There is this big church, Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Savior’s Church) right next to Christiania and you can, for 30dkk, climb to the top of it and look out over the city. This is something I’ve wanted to do since I got here, so Valentina and I decided to. After climbing about a billion steps, we got to the first outside level. At this point, I was so petrified (I am severely scared of heights) that I almost didn’t leave the doorway of the stairway… but then some people needed to get down (the stairs were too narrow for two way traffic), and I was forced, trembling and sweaty, to go outside. This was only the first level of outside, but no way was I going any higher… (you can kind of see in the picture that there is a first balcony, and then from that balcony there is a spiral stairway going all the way to the top.)

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Afterwards, we went to Tivoli, which is the world’s second oldest amusement park (right behind another amusement park just 8km away). As you may be able to deduce from my experience with heights at the church tower (combined with my propensity to get nauseous), I am not a fan of amusement park rides, but Tivoli is a historical site and supposed to be very nice inside. In this respect it did not disappoint. Unlike my experience with American amusement parks, this park was not jam packed and there were actually very pretty, open green gardens. It also didn’t seem nearly as consumer driven as US parks; while there were obviously food and drink stands, there weren’t people bombarding you every second with tchotchkes (Yiddish word, can’t come up with a good English one) to buy.

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Tivoli is also home to the world’s highest carousal (I wouldn’t call it a carousal, but they do). You can see it high above the city from far away. I, for some reason, do not have a picture of this but you can get the idea from this picture (found here), albeit it is not in context with the surrounding city. I think I will try to get a picture tomorrow… (June 11th– Updated with the second picture, my own picture I took on June 10th during a concert at Tivoli)

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Valentina and I then said some sad goodbyes and I cycled back to my apartment, where I picked up a few things, and then headed to Nadine’s where I met up with Katy, Lis, and Nadine. We went to Netto and got some fixings for dinner and then had a nice, low key dinner of bread, cheese, olives, and my special addition of fish frikadeller. I then departed and met some other friends at a bar. That was super fun but it fits in with a different blog post that I am planning, so I will save it for then.

I then cycled back home with a simultaneously light and heavy heart. The experience of having another wonderful day, cumulating in some good laughs with friends and a warm bike ride home made me want to stay here more than ever…

Yesterday, Lis, Nadine, and I went to the Experimentarium, which is a hands on science museum. They had the body works exhibit running (where they plasticize people for anatomical demonstration) and we spent a while there. Everyone got to witness my super low blood pressure, otherwise known as “how is Hannah still standing?” I also had a resting heart rate in the zone designated for professional athletes, which we had a good laugh over.

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The “kids” part of the museum was super fun as well, and there were a lot of great hands on activities, including (all these following pictures are courtesy of Lis):
– making a giant bubble around yourself (this was one of my favorite activities at this children museums I would go to as a kid)

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– A tug of war game using pulleys (I lost this)

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– This lion’s mouth you could put your head inside and then scream as loud as you could, and there was a bar that would register how many decibels your screen was. I single-handedly won this 😉

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– This “magic carpet” that was supposed to function like an air hockey table, allowing you to glide around… unfortunately I was too heavy for this to work

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– A spinning platform you stood on with a spinning bike week, and rotating the wheel would make you rotate on the platform

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– A flat bed you could lie on and then flip a switch and a bunch of nails would rise from the bed so you were lying on a bed of nails

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Lis and I then biked to Christianhavn (the pic of me below is a little outside the Experimentarium) while Nadine took the train, and we got schwarma (well, I got schwarma pizza). I then had to head home to finish my last exam (the topic was just released on Monday so this wasn’t me procrastinating.) I finished by about 10:30pm and then Nadine and Lis came over and we ate a lot of junk food and watched some TV.

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This morning, I got up and turned in the exam I finished yesterday (for my Theory of Mind class) as well as the exam for my Welfare Model class (I finished that exam a month ago but hadn’t turned it in yet because the office is kind of out of my way, but it was due tomorrow). Afterwards, I went to Christiania to have one last (delicious) meal at Grønsagen. Afterwards, I wandered around Christiania little feeling sad about leaving… What better way to alleviate sadness than with chocolate dreamcake? So I stopped at Sunshine Bakery to get a piece. I was also going to get another couple pastries since it was probably my last visit there… I was taking a bit deciding what to get, so I explained to the guy in the booth (a middle aged heavier Asian man, so that I remember who it is) that I was leaving this Sunday and this might be my last time at the bakery… the guy was super nice and he put two extra pastries in my bag for free since it was my last visit!! He asked if I was coming back, and I said hopefully in a year, and he said he’d be there and he’d see me then.

This super happy exchange re-lifted my mood and I left smiling hugely.

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§ 4 Responses to Too sentimental to function

  • Mary Clare says:

    Hi Hannah! – I’ve loved reading about your amazing travels. Your trip to Italy had me green with envy. At least we got to live vicariously through the blog! German (and Dutch, for that matter) toilets have confounded me as well. But the Dutch have those great bike lines like you described, and now Chicago will too! – protected bike lines are now under construction. Article attached. A little something to look forward to. Have a safe trip back to the States!

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/5829886-418/kinzie-to-get-chicagos-first-protected-bike-lane.html

    • Hannah says:

      That is super great news!! I somehow doubt though that people will have the same amount of courtesy for other bikers as they do in Denmark… and same goes with car/bike interaction at intersections… But still great news!

      Glad you enjoyed the blog!!

  • MAW says:

    hmmm. I would have thought that such a great “athlete” withso low a pulse would have won at tug o war…

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