Spontenaity

Today, my friend Nis and I had a very simple-but-excellent plan:  hanging out in the sunshine drinking slushies from 7/11. Of course, Copenhagen weather being mysterious and unpredictable as usual, five minutes after we met up, the big marshmallowy clouds took over and our plans of sunshine were somewhat foiled. So this necessitated some improvisation!

We decided to walk to Christiania, which is a sort of independent little town in the neighborhood of Christianshavn. The Copenhagen authorities have had a few historical struggles with the inhabitants, but for the most part the Christianianites (?) are pretty self-governing, in a strange way. It’s an.. alternative lifestyle. Lots of the areas within the main town streets are no-photography for, ahem, certain reasons. But not ALL areas were no-photography!

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We hung out by the moat area surrounding a majority of the town. There were random ducks and jellyfish (?!) in the water by our feet, so we made animal friends!!

After Christiania, we decided to go to an outdoor movie showing at a local park — taking a gamble on the weather. But of course, we stopped for coffee first 🙂

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The park, Kongens Have (at least I think that’s what it was called), was gorgeous. We walked around for quite a bit before grabbing some food and settling down for the movie. We got there around 19:00 (7pm) but the movie didn’t start until 21:30 (9:30pm) so there was tons of time to hang out on the lawn with all the other early moviegoers. And the weather decided to be really nice and stop raining!!

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This was a “mansion,” not a “castle” in the park. It’s called a “slot” which is pronounced a lot more like “slut” which I thought was hilarious.
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Of course, I can’t get enough of that Copenhagen sky.

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The movie was fun, and then we jumped on the bus to get home. An excellent way to spend a day full of spontenaity!

 

 

Mom’s birthday!

Today is my mom’s birthday! 🙂 I think this is the first time in 20 years that I haven’t been there for it. Wow, that’s weird.

Anyway, this picture is from Mother’s Day this year, when we went out for tea. Love you mommy!!

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The Week in Pictures

Sorry I’m so slow at uploading pictures, but here are some random ones from throughout my week.

 

 

"why are you taking a picture of a FIELD?!"

“why are you taking a picture of a FIELD?!”

THIS IS THE AWESOME FIELD THAT I THOUGHT WAS REALLY PRETTY. But Gandalf and Du laughed at me. “It’s just a field!” Hahaha.

 

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Here’s a Danish beach!!!

 

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This is Gandalf and Du making dinner at DTU.

 

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Nom so many veggies

 

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The weather for the last week has been incredibly sunny (apparently this is rare for CPH) and hot, but it did drizzle one day, and I thought it was gorgeous.

 

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Right behind Tietgen is Amagerfælled, a GIGANTIC park full of wildlife and running trails. I went for a walk through it one evening.

 

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Um like the biggest snail of life, with shoe for comparison.

 

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On an average day, I will go on Yelp in the morning and find a coffee place in a neighborhood I want to go to, then memorize the directions and walk there (remember, no Google Maps!). This coffee and chocolate croissant was from Sweet Treat in Christianshavn, and I sat outside reading a book while I ate and drank. Wonderful day.

 

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This is a church I stumbled upon during my wandering in Christianshavn.

 

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On Saturday, Sarah and her friend Sofie took me to a traditional Danish lunch in another neighborhood, Vesterbro. We had smørrebrød, which is an open-face sandwich usually on rugbrød (rye bread). I had a smørrebrød with eggs benedict and bacon (the one in the center) and it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten!! And yes, mom, that is beer.

“Why Denmark?”

This is a question I’ve been getting a lot, mostly from the Danes. But it’s a good one!

I decided I wanted to study abroad a year ago. Caltech offers several different programs, and Copenhagen was my first choice for several reasons:

  1. It’s not in the UK, unlike 3 of the other programs. Not that there’s anything wrong with the UK, but I wanted to be as far out of my comfort zone as possible.
  2. Consequently, I would get to learn a foreign language!!
  3. I had the option to come at the beginning of August for an intensive Danish language course, and thus that made the CPH program the longest one — a full five months!
  4. The Danes have a fascinating political system, and Denmark has been called “the happiest country in the world” 🙂

So I will be here for five months – from July 23 to December 23. I am enrolled at Copenhagen University (Københavns Universitet) and also at Danish Technical Institute, which is located outside the city in Lyngby (pronounced sort of like loong-boo ?). I’m taking two classes at each university:

  • Planetary Physics (DTU)
  • Earth System Science (DTU)
  • Søren Kierkegaard and the Challenge of Existence (KU)
  • Danish language (KU)

My Danish class starts on Aug 1, then all the rest start in late August. I only have class on Mondays and Wednesdays, but the classes are very long, usually several hours each. This is because in class (from what I’ve heard), there are lectures, group discussions, and homework problems. So this means there’s not a ton of work outside of class (yesssss!! So different from Caltech). I get Caltech credit for the classes I’m taking, so it fits in nicely with my planetary science major requirements.

KU assigned me a “mentor,” and her name is Sarah. She is a third year European Ethnology major, and she is super awesome! She picked me up from the airport and gives me advice on how to get around Copenhagen and where to buy things, etc. It was so great having a friend right away in CPH.

So that’s a basic summary of “why Denmark” and what I’ll be doing here! Post questions if you have them 🙂

Transportation Triumphs

Okay, first of all, I promise not all of my blog posts will be titled with cheesy alliterations. Just a vast majority of them.

I TOOK PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Intense. Adventure.

I’m sure it’s actually very easy if you’re a normal person, but Lori-of-suburbia was slightly terrified of getting on a bus. Especially a bus where all of the stops look like “rysverghyvnervej” (which might actually mean something in Danish) and my stop was “Rævehøjvej” (which means fox hill road, so my friend tells me. I also learned how to pronounce it but I forgot). Also, I didn’t know how or where to buy a punch card. And with the lack of a data plan comes the lack of Google Maps. Thus, after triple-checking that I should take the Islands Brygge Metro M1 to the Nørreport Station and then the 150S bus to Rævehøjvej… I set out into the world!!

And it was fine 🙂 It took me a while and a lot of asking random people, but I did it! I feel triumphant. Also, while I can’t speak for the buses, the Metro here is exactly like the one in LA! So I felt super comfortable after I took it once.

Hey, time for more Danish language fun, something that I thought was funny: when I wanted to ask the bus driver if the bus went to Nørreport on the way back, I realized that I couldn’t really pronounce it correctly, and thus she couldn’t understand me and I had to write it down. lol. You’d think it’s “nor-re-port” right? It’s actually something like “neur-poh” but with an intense accent. Again, the phlegm with the “r.” ha. I love this place.