Archive for August, 2010

mmm… metro!

Copenhagen really is an incredibly cultural city. Last night I went to Mmm-Metro, part of the Copenhagen Cooking festival.

There were heaps of announcements while I was waiting, but couldn’t really understand them.

waiting for the metro.

I ended up running into Bryce, and then Harold. Then the metro came (I keep wanting to say train…) and it was quite packed, but we got on anyway, and we were greeted with a small dish of what looked like an egg, some strange yellow-orange berries and what we were told was edible paper.

bryce and harald.

Turns out it was: sea buckthorn sphere served with fresh sea buckthorn, a piece of Denmark and a chilly scent of the North Sea, all together served in a white porcelain bowl.

mmm... metro!

sunset from the metro.

Bryce and Harold got off at Christianshavn, and then with a yelling of ‘Let’s eat’ (or something equivalent in Danish, I didn’t quite catch it), we were served with the second dish: smoked cheese, radish, edible dirt with a dry vinaigrette flavoured with cucumber and served in a flowerpot. The ‘edible dirt’ was a mixture of flour, malt meal, hazelnut meal, sugar and beer. It was definitely an interesting concoction.

smoked cheese, radish and edible dirt.

with servings 1 and 2.

By the time I finished, the metro was reaching Frederiksberg, the end of zone 1. I noticed a Metro inspector getting on to check tickets, so I got off, and waited for it to come back around towards Lufthavnen.

waiting at frederiksberg.

Got back on to the Metro when it came around, and then waited until the third ‘course’ was served: salty Danish pastry (wienerbrød) with bacon cream and beer flavoured edible packaging beans served in a cardboard box. The pastry was actually really nice, really light, but the ‘cream’ didn’t really taste like bacon…?

wienerbrød.

There was music playing on the Metro as well, and there was this one song that was ridiculously catchy. After much Google-ing and YouTube-ing, I have discovered its awesomeness. :)

Anyway, a few of the ‘crew’ (because I’m not sure exactly what to call them) started dancing and stuff, and it was quite amusing.

inflight entertainment.

I ended up getting off at Amager Strand, intending to check out the beach by night but it was a bit creepy dark, so I didn’t end up venturing too far away from the station. Then headed back home… for some Mi Goreng. :)

by night, amager strand, and ørestad.

I also spoke Danish for the first time last night. The second Metro inspector I ran into asked me if I had liked the food in Danish… and then I asked him if he could speak English! :) Haha.

All in all, an interesting night. :)

misselty.

some observations about copenhagen.

So I realise that it has been quite a while since I updated, particularly on what life has been like. I’m nearing the one month mark, so I thought I would write a little bit about what I’ve been up to, and a couple of things that I’ve noticed. It’s a pretty dry post in terms of pictures (there is one at the end, I promise!), but more will be coming soon for sure!!

After my first day I wrote up a couple of things that have been sitting in a document on my computer, and I’ve added some more now that I’ve been here a little longer.

  1. Bilka does not stock Skittles. I am not sure if this is a prevalent attitude in Denmark, or if Bilka just has something against Skittles. They have M&Ms aplenty, just not Skittles it seems. (And yes, of course, this is very important.) Good thing I brought one packet from home! I still haven’t found a place that has sold Skittles! :( Thanks to Mum and Dad who are bringing me some more. :)
  2. While Australian powerpoints consist of a little on/off switch that we flick to know whether the powerpoint is on/off, in Copenhagen (and I am assuming throughout the rest of Copenhagen), the switch that serves the same function takes up an entire panel on its own. At first, my inexperience thought that it was in fact a light switch…
  3. Danish pillows are square. While a little bit strange to me, used to my rectangular pillow, and with my rectangular pillow case, this has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because all of their square pillows are quite soft. Crammed inside my pillow case, and problem solved. The smaller case has ‘densified’ the pillow, making it absolutely perfect.
  4. Something that is not so much an observation, but more a failure of my adjustment skills, is that, as you may be aware, cars on Danish roads drive on the opposite side of the road as to what we Australians are used to. For me and my lack of adaptability thus far, this is has led to a lot of anxiety when crossing the road, even when there are no cars present. The stress of remembering which way to turn my head before I step onto the road will no doubt be my eventual downfall… :P I’m still working on this one! Just today I looked the wrong (right?) way…
  5. I have mentioned this before, but I shall elaborate. The guidebooks made me quite aware how long days were in the summer. However, I was not prepared for the balmy conditions that greeted me. The sun at 5pm is like the sun at 1pm during an Australian summer, altogether quite a nice, yet confusing experience. While the heat is somewhat offset by the breezey-ness, there are no windows in my room and there is only a door that leads out on to the balcony, which we are not meant to leave open, without propping it open wth something. Contrast that with the warning not to put stuff on the balcony, and therein lies a problem. The weather has certainly become more interesting. The past week has been a bit cloudy and rainy. But it’s strange, because there are some moment of sunshine, like this afternoon, after a particularly cloudy and windy day, the sun came out to play for a little while.
  6. THERE ARE WHEELY BASKETS. I think this is genius. Shopping baskets are by no means the most comfortable of things to carry, particularly when it starts to get full. Also, you never usually carry more than one, right? But wheely baskets solve every problem. 1) You don’t ever have to really feel how heavy it is, except that it takes that little bit more effort to pull it along; 2) If you’re a ninja, you could ideally push/pull 2 baskets, giving you more space to load up your shopping. And sometimes you kind of need that!

As for living here, I’m getting quite settled. There are a lot of things that I had to do upon arrival.

  • Registration: Getting your CPR number is pretty much the first thing that you have to do. Everyone in Denmark has one, and a lot of services require you to produce your CPR number.
  • Bank account: I went with Danske Bank, and had to pay 300 kr. Other people have told me that it should be free and what not, but for me, I think it was better to get it done, so that I could get money transferred over. I’m still waiting on my PIN though for my MasterCard, and that is something that I shall be chasing up tomorrow…
  • Moving in: Sure, moving in seems quite simple, but the difficulty is trying to feel at home in a new place. I am going to be living here for almost 6 months, so I have to get a little bit comfortable. It’s strange trying to get used to putting things in the ‘right’ place, and trying to figure out where exactly that right place is. It’s difficult trying to work a washing machine and dryer different from your own, where everything seems to be in Danish. Feeding myself has definitely been an interesting one. A few days go by when I can’t be bothered to try to cook, and I just eat sandwiches. Then some days, I spend a while trying to make something, with the result being 10 minutes worth of eating. As a student, it’s hard to go to the shops and look at things and struggle to decide what is really essential, and what I can do without. What are the things that I can just… figure out another solution for, without having to buy things for it? Yesterday, I changed up the layout of my room, moving my bed and the small table around, because it was just not feeling right. And I have to say, I did a little bit of shopping today, but now I feel like everything is finally in order.
  • KU stuff: I have started Danish classes (more about that later) but we’ve also had our first taste of an orientation. On Monday 9th August we headed over to sit down at a huge Orientation Meeting, seeing (mostly) the entire exchange cohort for the first time all together. They gave us an introduction into all the things that we should be doing as exchange students, as well as an introduction to some of the activities and things that the university offered. While it was somewhat informative, it was information that we probably should have already known, and was readily available already on the international office website anyway. We were also given the chance to pick up our ID cards as well as the invite for the Matriculation Ceremony in September. Invite I got, but my ID card did not appear to be in the pile. When I headed to the Admissions Office today, I was told that it was still not ready. I am apparently waiting on an email to tell me to pick it up…

As I mentioned before, I have started Danish classes! It’s a three week intensive course, 9-12.30 everyday, but it’s been pretty good so far. Danish is definitely a difficult language to learn, both in terms of pronunciation and grammar. Luckily, we have a good teacher, Anna, and she’s pretty patient with our repeatedly horrendous pronunciation. Unfortunately, this does mean having to do homework, which is something that I should be getting onto right now! I’m enjoying it though, and even considering taking it on for the semester… although I can imagine that it could only get more difficult… It’s been a good chance to get to meet people though. My class has quite a number of Aussies, a lot of them from USyd, and pretty much everyone is in their final year, which makes me feel like rather a young’un. Also, a number of people from my class actually live at the same kollegiet as I do, at Signalhuset, so that’s kind of cool too. :)

Anyway, while I could launch into an essay about the composition of our class (in Danish too, if you’d like!), I really should get on to looking at infinitive and present tenses… >< Wish me luck!

københavns universitet, city campus, main hall at frue plads.

As the Danish say, hej hej!
Which actually means bye.
Even though hej means hello.
I did say it was difficult, didn’t I? :)

misselty.

twin edition.

In light of the news that Crown Princess Mary is expecting twins, it is only fitting that I update on my first visit to Amalienborg Palace, Tuesday 27th July. (Yes, I am finnicky with dates, and like to keep a record.)

But first, I headed back to Rosenborg Slot, since I hadn’t really wandered around the first time I went there because I got distracted by the changing of the guard.

rosenborg slot, with blue skies.

but then those skies turned to grey... and it started to rain...

walking through king's gardens, i spy a marionette theatre.

copenhagen has a lot of these pretty coloured houses.

frederik viii's palace (aka the future residence of the crown prince and princess) at amalienborg palace. andi also managed to catch the end of the changing of the guard on the other end. :)

(i think i'm getting better at these!) me and christian viii's palace, which now houses a museum, and with frederikskirke (frederiks church) (aka the marble church).

i love that the guard house things have little hearts carved on them.

frederikskirke. it's a bit weird to take pictures inside a church...

hello ceiling.

later, walking along strøget, i got ben & jerry's. :) phish food. yum. :)

and then 30kr. chinese takeaway.

I ended up going back to Amalienborg today, because I realised that the opening of the residence ends tomorrow. More about that later.

I also need to post my week in Munich and my day trips to Salzburg and Prague. :) But I am getting lazy. I think this is a good thing. It means that I am settling in to everyday life. :)

Church tomorrow, and I might check out Kulturhavn as well if I have the time (and if I can manage to find it!).
And then it’s language course on Monday!

misselty.