I am so happy to report that I have now finished all my final papers. Aside from reading them each one more time before submission and memorizing my Danish oral exam script, I have no more work, which means I can have an enjoyable last few days in Denmark. I may have been dreading all those papers a little, but I am so glad I have them out of the way.
Anyway, here’s a recap of the week.
- Adina and I went on a short run on Monday morning, as the weather was beautiful, and we knew we’d feel better about our long day of work if we got a little exercise first. It felt good to be back; it’s been a long time since we’ve run together!
- I did some grocery shopping after that to get myself set up for the week.
- Next, Adina and I stopped at the Glass Market quickly before we parked ourselves in Emmery’s for the entire afternoon. We picked up smag salads, which we ate while we worked. I actually hadn’t been planning on keeping Passover while I’m abroad, but I’m also not trying to go out of my way to eat gluten-free bread this week, and most of the other things I eat are kosher-for-Passover, anyway. So, I was mostly keeping it.
- I was really productive during the day, and I completed all the items on my to-do list.
- Emmery’s closed early for Easter Monday, so we left around 6:00. On the way home, we stopped in a poké bowl place on our street that we have been meaning to try. It was pretty good; we ate these once we got home.
- I went to the gym and did a few more errands for the week before settling in to do some work in the morning.
- Continuing my tradition of doing something new each Tuesday, I went with a girl from my class to Cafe Oha, which requires taking the metro. We needed to work on a paper together anyway, so we just did a working-lunch there. It was a good change of scenery.
- I got back to the city in the middle of the afternoon, and I spent an hour with Goldie catching up on our breaks. It had been a while since I’d seen her.
- Then, I met Adina at Emmery’s once again. I got started on one of my final papers, which was great in preparation for having the class later in the week, so I was able to ask appropriate questions about it.
- Our plan was to pick up dinner from Netto, but when we passed Dalle Valle, we decided to eat a buffet-dinner there instead, as it was another place we’d been meaning to try. (We have already been there together for brunch.) They had plenty of kosher-for-Passover options, and it was a fun break from work.
- I continued doing homework for the rest of the night, and I also went to bed early because I had an extremely long day on Wednesday.
- I had to wake up early for a field study with my Danish class, which was really long and different from what I imagined it was going to be. After meeting my class at Norreport station, my teacher treated us all coffee from 7/11, which was a nice surprise.
- Then, we walked to a nearby park, where we had an hour-long discussion on the Danish welfare state and its connection to homeless people in Copenhagen. My teacher wanted to know if we were disappointed by the welfare state, and if it was different to us now after living here for a few months. We also talked about the comparison of homeless people in the United States as they compare to Denmark.
- To complement this discussion, the original plan was to go on a walk of the city with a man who is actually a Danish homeless person, who could tell us more what it’s like to be homeless in a welfare state. However, that person had canceled on my teacher at the last minute, so she found someone else within the same organization to spend some time with us. Maynard is an American Native, who moved here about 20 years ago, and he has lived through periods of homelessness and addiction to drugs and alcohol. We walked as a class to Vesterbro to meet Maynard on a sidewalk, and my teacher hustled us along, as she didn’t want to be late.
- Maynard first gave us some background information about his life before we followed him through the streets of Vesterbro, which is known as not the nicest area of Copenhagen. There are lots of homeless shelters, as well as drug addict spots, with which Maynard had personal experience. At first, I was impressed by Maynard’s ability to talk about all this tragedy that’s happened in his life with the understanding that he overcame these hardships. However, he later pulled out a cigarette and lit up, and I was not only disappointed but also confused. He kept claiming to be “clean” and free of all these drugs; does he not consider nicotine a drug? It sounded like there may be some other issues he has to work through in the future, but it was interesting to meet someone in Denmark with such a differing perspective.
- I walked with a friend in my class back to the DIS area when the field study ended at noon, and we decided to get lunch at Café Emma on the way back. I needed to be ready for a 2:00 field study, so I definitely needed some lunch. We both got huge plates of nachos, which was really fun.
- My afternoon field study for the Psychology of Peak Performance was not quite so exciting. It was merely another lecture that my teacher couldn’t fit within the established Monday/Thursday syllabus, so it was basically the same as having another class session.
- After my long day of field studies, I had a meeting with my Travel Writing teacher, as I had submitted the first draft of two final papers, and we were meeting so he could critique them before I submit the final version. This went very well, and I’m feeling proud of my work, as he asked to use one of my papers in a DIS book called DISoriented, a resource for future Travel Writing students.
- I went to the gym quickly before coming home to do the apartment’s dishtowel laundry (my last week of the semester on cleaning duties!).
- Then, Adina got home with her friend Adina, who was visiting from home. It was fun to chat with them. Adina (visitor) was extremely jetlagged, so she went to sleep at 9:30, and Adina (roommate) and I sat on my bed and did a bit of homework before going to sleep ourselves.
- My core course no longer meets, so I was able to sleep in before my first class, which felt really nice. Before going to Danish, I picked up a Paludan smoothie for breakfast.
- We had time in every class to work on our final papers, and although it wasn’t too much time, I was still able to be productive. In addition to the papers, I have two presentations next week, as well as my Danish Oral exam.
- After class, I was able to take a fun break from work with Adina, Adina, Goldie, and my friend Sara from class, who knows Goldie and visiting Adina from Brandeis. We went to ride swan paddle boats on the canal near Norrebrø, which is where roommate Adina and I typically run in the afternoons. Adina has been wanting to ride the swans ever since we first saw them in January and February, so we finally checked this activity off the bucket list. It was a lot of fun, and paddle-boating reminded me of being at camp. And, we got super lucky with the weather—it was 65 degrees and sunny and warm, which was amazing. The extra bonus was that we went to the Glass Market beforehand to pick up snacks, and I got my favorite gelato. 🙂
- The group went to Tivoli for the evening, but I picked up a quick dinner and came home instead to work on one of my final papers, as I decided I needed to accomplish a certain number of pages each day this week in order to be done by Sunday night. I was very productive, and I even had time to hang out more with Adina and Adina when they got home later. I know I’m going to Tivoli at least one more time before I leave!
- I woke up early to make time for the gym before my day of productivity. I didn’t even need a jacket on the way there; it was so warm!
- After showering and getting ready for the day, I went to brunch with Adina and Adina at Paludan, and I got my usual brunch there. It’s one of the few places I have repeated again and again, but it is so close and so yummy that it’s one of my only exceptions to the try-something-new rule I made for myself at the beginning of the semester
- I took my bike to the Royal Library, and I couldn’t help but sit outside in the sun for a few minutes before heading inside. Although I would have much preferred to spend the day outdoors, I am very happy to report how extremely productive I was. I knocked out five pages in one sitting of a few hours before becoming antsy and needing to take a break. I sat in the sun on the water before biking back to the city center.
- I picked up a few items at Netto, walked around the neighborhood with an iced coffee, and threw my laundry in. Then, I met Adina outside our apartment with her travel bag, as she was in a huge hurry to catch her flight to Rome. It was super weird that this was my first weekend in the apartment without her (aside from when she stayed with her parents and I had Emma visiting); I’m glad that didn’t happen often this semester! It was very quiet, and I am happy she’s coming back tonight!
- While my laundry was downstairs, I did a few more hours of work in my room, completing a couple of pages and some research, too. I also worked on creating my script for my Danish oral exam.
- It was supposed to rain, but I went for a walk while it was still light out and not raining for the time being, which was really nice. There were so many tourists enjoying the warm weather.
- I definitely did less work than I had done on Friday, but I was no longer feeling the pressure of all the papers I had to write; I was ahead of schedule.
- I woke up and had a quiet morning at home; it was raining outside. I began to memorize my script for Danish.
- I met my host mom at noon near Central Station, as we were going to have brunch together at Apropos, a delicious restaurant in the Meatpacking District. Unfortunately, Oscar and Oliver were working, so they didn’t join us, but we had a really nice time. I haven’t seen her in so long; there was a ton to catch up on. We talked about London for a while, and how the pulse of the city is more similar to NYC, and Pernille said that she enjoyed the quietness of Denmark. I was also able to reflect on my time abroad with someone who lives here all the time, so that was cool. We had an interesting discussion about the open prison system in Denmark, which is the topic I chose for my Danish culture final paper. Essentially, I have now read a bunch of articles on this system, whereby prisoners are not only able to keep their identity, wearing their own clothes but also they are able to live in rooms similar to fancy hotel suites—or at least college dorms. There have been millions of dollars poured into such prisons, so Danes debate whether these prisons are actually effective in helping to prevent crimes and whether prisoners should have the benefit of these luxuriously comfortable cells.
- The weather cleared up after lunch, and I decided to bring my backpack to Matcha Cafe; I really like the environment there.
- After a little while of getting more work done, I decided to go for a bike ride before dinner. I went on the route that I typically run with Adina.
- For dinner, I met up with visiting Adina, Sara and Hadas (my friends from core course) at Reffen. It was so much fun to be back there again, especially because it was much warmer than when I went with Rachel a few weeks ago. We all got food from different trucks; this time, I tried a polenta bowl with salad and melted cheese on top. It was amazing. There was also a beautiful sunset that we enjoyed on the water before heading back into the city.
- The last activity for the evening was XocoVino, the wine and chocolate tasting bar. The owner now recognizes me when I bring new people, which is really sweet. All three wines and chocolates we tried were paired expertly, and it was fun.
- I attempted to go to sleep early, but unfortunately, there was some special occasion happening on my street, with booming music that made it impossible. It was only when the music stopped at 5:30 in the morning that I was able to fall asleep (it was already starting to get light in the room!), so that definitely made me more tired today than I would have liked. I tried reading and talking to my parents in the middle of the night, as well as blasting white noise music next to my ears, but the music outside was too loud for any of that to help. I feel like I can’t really complain about this because it’s only due to my extremely central location in the city that this even happened in the first place, so hopefully, I’ll just recover tonight and over the next few days.
- After waking up a little later than I had originally planned, my first stop of the day was brunch at Cafe Baryl, which is a little outside of the city. However, because I was already purchasing a train ticket for later that day, it made sense to try it. Cafe Baryl has been on my Copenhagen bucket list for the entire semester—and with good reason. They have a plate called “the gluten allergic,” with chia pudding, a smoked salmon-honey mustard combo, and a section of egg, avocado, and carrot hummus. The food was definitely worth the travel to get there.
- I took a half-day trip to the Kronberg Castle, which is in a northern part of Denmark called Hesingborg. I knew the train ride to get there would be long, so I decided to bring my work to do while commuting. The Kronberg Castle is most famous for its prominence in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but I ended up learning that the castle has a much greater significance in Danish history than this fun fact alone. Similar to the Fredericksborg Castle, which I visited back in February with Josh, Kronberg is located in a small town with huge bodies of water surrounding the castle. I learned that on the other side of a narrow canal is actually a city in Sweden. I bought a student ticket, which included an hour-long guided tour, plus access to explore any part of the castle that I wanted.
- Our tour guide took us through many different areas of the castle. We first visited the chapel, which was gorgeous. Apparently, soldiers used to use this space as training grounds for their fighting, and it was only decades later that people began to respect the importance of a religious space. We visited the thrown, and our tour guide pointed out that everything was written in German. The last part of the tour included a walk through the dungeons, which, in addition to being pitch black, were stooped so low that I had to duck to avoid hitting my head on the ceiling! It smelled weird, and it definitely felt like a dungeon. This is where soldiers were tortured if they didn’t follow instructions, as well as where some prisoners were sent hundreds of years ago.
- I walked around by myself for a little longer before heading back to Copenhagen.
- I am now getting myself all ready for the week ahead, finishing up homework for tomorrow (and preparing for a final presentation), and getting really excited for Dad’s visit! It’s going to be a fun week.