Hygge, Louisiana, and adventures in Gaucho ball

I’m writing this wearing a grey sweater, black pants, black nail polish and black boots. With my hair in a bun on top of my head. And a larger-than-necessary scarf. Assimilation into Danish culture: complete.

The past week has been pretty uneventful. Just regular class and such. Although, the weather has taken a turn for the worse, and so the time of having hygge dinners is now in full swing.

September 11th

I had a presentation in my ethology class on Tuesday about the welfare of broiler chickens in the meat production sector. It went from talking about solutions to lameness to a discussion about the international need for large scale chicken production. Definitely wasn’t prepared for that. And I wasn’t ready to be the only one answering questions because I was the only one in my group that was comfortable answering in English. But I definitely learned a lot.

After class, I went to Kevin and Lauren’s place up in Østerbro to make dinner because they have a communal kitchen with a real oven and more than 5 sq. inches of counter space. Kevin and I made AWESOME burgers. They were so awesome that we forgot to take pictures because we were too busy eating. They had swiss, avocado, hummus, fried egg, lettuce, and tomato. Lauren and her friend Csilla that was visiting made this delicious lentil dish. We ended the night just drinking wine, talking, and playing cards. Sooooo hygge.

September 12th

Wednesdays are just the absolute worst. Unless you’re into that whole straight class from 8am-5pm thing. Then by all means, go ahead.  After enduring 9 hours of torture, I continued on with my usual Wednesday routine and went to Studenterhuset for international night. A few of us decided to leave and go to the Jazz House for a concert. We somehow got in free and caught the end of an experimental jazz trio.

  it was cold…so this made sense.

September 13th

Thursday, I had my Danish culture class again. The topic of the lecture was Nordic mythology and literature, which sounds interesting, right? Nej. The lecturer didn’t really try to keep it interesting and it ended up just being a two hour class where she just talked AT us. No visual aids, no interesting examples. I honestly don’t think I retained anything. I miss the first lecturer…

After that class, I metroed up to Nørreport to get to my next class, “An Introduction to Medical Anthropology”. The North Campus of KU is absolutely beautiful.

When I signed up for this class, I was really really excited for it. I thought it would be a good way to see the more human side of biology and health and I thought it would be a good break from the more hard science side that I worked with at HGS this summer. After about an hour (it was a 3 hour class, 4pm-7pm), I already knew I wanted to drop it. It was TOO social science based. I know I was being too literal with the assignments because I had more of strict science background when it came to health and healing but I couldn’t handle the things my classmates were saying. The class was interesting, just not for me. For example, some of the students were convinced that a cold was caused by bacteria. Um…nej. I know when it comes to a holistic approach to healing, it doesn’t really matter what actually causes the sickness, it was just getting really frustrating. Like no, hot tea does not kill bacteria in your sinuses. No, vitamin C does not cure colds. And NO NO NO, you cannot get a cold from being outside in the rain for too long. After I decided I was going to drop the class, I didn’t hold back on correcting people…oops. My bad. Sorry I’m not sorry.

After that horribly frustrating class, I picked up some wine and went to Kevin and Lauren’s again for dinner. Our Danish friend Maj brought her famous lasagna and ooohhhh my god. Mental note to always make lasagna with lentils.

We also made obscene amounts of garlic bread.

I was there until about 1:30 until I realized that I had absolutely no idea how to get home because my normal bus, the 4A, was no longer running. I ended up having to take the 18 to some random stop in Frederiksberg and then walking for about 20 minutes. Oh well, learned my lesson to keep an eye on the time and know all the buses that go near me.

September 14th

Kevin and I decided to go to a Greek buffet for lunch to get ready for our October vacation. Their dolmas were to die for. I’m pretty sure I had an entire plate of them at one point. We stayed there for a long time in order to make spending 59 kr worth it. Although, we also had to pay 15 kr for a single glass of ice water – no refills. It’s hard to do a buffet correctly without refills on water, so we had to ration it. Quite ineffective.

Later that evening, some of Prue’s international friends came over to Kevin and Lauren’s and Kevin and I tried to teach them a classic IV game, Gaucho ball. (NO, it is not called Rage Cage) Turned out to be really fun after everyone got the hang of it. We ended up going to a “boat party” a little later, but it was honestly a bit of a let down. It was just music and dancing on a boat that was still docked…and the music was just techno remixes of popular music. AKA any party in Isla Vista. It was like I was back at home.

September 15th

Yet another delicious buffet adventure on Saturday. This time, Indian. And yes, we had to ration water again.

Scott (from UCSB) had his birthday party that night at the Åboulevard dorm. Yes, there were mustaches involved.

– Lauren likes adding cats to pictures. Basically the best thing ever.

September 16th

On Sunday was the first excursion with my Danish culture class to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. We were supposed to meet at the main building of KU at 10am but hey,  Denmark usually has a 15 minute grace period in their classes so I assumed being even less than 5 minutes late would be OK. We got off the metro at 10:03 and we saw all of the buses pass by…Damn. So Kevin, Greg, Nick, Elissa, Matt, his parents, and I decided to take the train to Humlebæk to meet up with the class. After some frustration with the 7-11 clerk, an 84 kr ticket, and a missed train, I finally made it. Since Greg and I missed the train that everyone else took, we got there too late for the lecture (but at least we were able to get in for free). So, naturally, we found somewhere to eat. And it involved another buffet. This time with really really good Danish food.

The museum was awesome. The grounds were beautiful and the exhibits were really interesting.

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-pickled herring with mint and dill…questionable.

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– The grounds of Louisiana are absolutely beautiful.

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– Appropriately placed mirror at the beginning of the self portrait exhibit

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– Really cool room with LED lights suspended from the ceiling with mirrors and a floor of water to help with reflecting the light

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-Norway’s “New Nordic” concept house

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– Finland’s

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-Denmark’s

Later that night, Nick (he’s also in my ethology class) came over for dinner and we made awesome grilled cheese and potatoes. And yes, I took pictures.

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– They had sauteed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, avocado and Swiss cheese and toasted ciabatta. SOO good.

September 18th

Getting ready for another hygge dinner with Kevin and Lauren. So excited for this to become a Tuesday tradition. We’re going to attempt to make “gourmet” quesadillas tonight.

***Picture update from gourmet quesadilla night!

– Too happy.

A few additions:

  • We got onto google street view at Paludan!
  • It’s currently 7:30pm…and it’s pretty much dark. What happened to it getting dark at 10?!
  • Finally have my Danish CPR number! (That’s pretty much their equivalent to our SSN) That means I’m covered under the Danish health care system (if I get hurt, I get treated for close to nothing) and I can now open a bank account. The conversion rate between the Danish kroner and the US dollar went downhill recently so I’m basically losing money by having money at Bank of America still. (It was 6 DKK to USD when I got here, and now it’s close to 5.6 DKK to USD)
  • This week has been filled with awesome dinner parties and hygge. Fall/Winter here doesn’t seem so bad now.
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