Saturday, November 3, 2007

Exhausted

It is absolutely exhausting listening to people speak Danish all day!! I have to listen closely to try to figure out what they're saying, as well as paying attention to hear when they switch to English and talk to me. It makes my brain so tired to be so hyped up all the time. And jetlag is still affecting me too. I made it through most of the day, but hit the wall around 7pm.


Today:
-went to a costume shop with Bettina and the kids to try to find costume pieces for a party they're going to at Malthe's school tomorrow afternoon. (I've gracefully backed out of joining them, since the kids don't speak English and it would just be a long afternoon of awkwardness!)
-then back home to meet up with Jan, then they dropped Malthe off to go play at Anna's house for the day & sleepover.
-took the bus to the center of CPH called Amager. Jan pointed out lots of cool things to me and I know my mom's going to love all the fancy architecture around here!! He also got me a bus/train/subway map and started marking where things were.... yes, my own "YOU ARE HERE" map! =)
-got some food at a cute cafe that I believe must exist in NYC too because they had some pictures of various NYC things on the wall. They ordered me a panini-type sandwich that had turkey, some white kind of creamy cheese (I think?), pesto, and tomato on it. Yes, mom, I did actually eat it without pulling the tomatoes off! (I just swallowed it quickly... I still think tomatoes are gross!)
-wandered down the street for the next 1.5 hours, very busy place! I tried to talk to Victor in a combination of English and Danish and he still had no idea what I was trying to say. So frustrating not to be able to communicate with him!!!!
-met Saskia for a few minutes while she was working. She seems nice and we may get together with her sometime next week too.
-saw a sign for Tivoli! =) And took a bunch of pictures of buildings and stuff.
-were freezing at that point, so we walked back to take the bus home and Amalie went off to visit a friend for overnight. (Sat next to a really cute guy on the bus home! hehehe)
-got home and I went to read in my room for a little while, then went out with Jan to drop Victor off to sleepover at his (female) friend's house. I don't know how to spell the girl's name, but I got to meet her mom and dad because the mom's father is American, so she could speak English perfectly. (Such a nice break!!)
-I talked to Jan in the car about the whole coed sleepovers thing and he said it's very common for kids of all ages to do it. That amazed me, since I don't know any 12 year olds that are allowed to have coed sleepovers in the U.S.!
-Had reheated lasagna for dinner with Bettina and Jan. It was a little awkward at first because it's so quiet without the kids, but we got into a big discussion about what animals we have in our countries and then another big talk about ADHD and pros/cons of using Ritalin. The more I talk to them, the more things I find that Victor and I have in common. I suggested that they talk to their doctor about finding another med for him, since the Ritalin is bothering his stomach. I'm also going to bring my meds downstairs and put them in the kitchen next to his, so he can see that he's not the only one on meds. (Apparently they only know one other person who's ever been on ADHD meds and they were a completely different kind.)
-now I'm home alone because the kids are gone and Jan and Bettina went out to see a movie. But they're coming in the door right now, so I'm going to go talk with them in a few! =)


More differences I've noticed:
1. They don't have regular baby carriages here, they use prams instead! So cute to see the little tiny babies all bundled up in a huge pram. But I have noticed that the prams are much easier to navigate on and off buses than regular carriages would be!

2. It is very stylish to wear black here! I almost lost the family a few times, but could find them only because Victor was wearing a bright red vest and stood out among the sea of khaki and black. There aren't very many bright colors around.

3. The stores close wicked early here!! And it's also the opposite of the U.S., because their stores close earlier on the weekends than during the week. The big shopping street's stores all close at 4pm on the weekends and 5pm on the weekdays. I'm pretty sure this is because family-style dinner is so important in their culture. Everyday we are all together at dinner and then Bettina, Jan, Amalie, and I always sit and talk for another 1-2 hours afterwards! It's really nice actually. =)

4. There are so many people here! And then I was listening to Victor's friend's mom talk and say that Stockholm is so much better than Copenhagen, because it's so small here!!! It was so intimidating to be on the streets and surrounded by people and huge buildings.

5. Danes = extremely skinny. Like whoa, skinny. Case-in-point, I just realized today that Amalie is about the same height as I am. I thought she was shorter because she probably weighs about 95-100 pounds; she's very tiny!

6. Not many Danes wear glasses. I looked through Amalie's yearbook-type thingy this morning and I think I saw maybe 2 kids who had glasses. Tall, skinny, beautiful, AND perfect eyesight I guess! Totally not fair.

7. However, Danish/European guys seem to be big on the whole "metrosexual" thing. I can't tell who's straight and who's gay!! I did see a cute gay couple walking down the street with their arms around each other though, which I couldn't imagine happening so casually in the U.S. (except for in certain areas like P-town and such, but not in NYC or Boston)! Very interesting.

8. I've seen way too many people wearing Yankees hats here! I'm sure they don't know that the NY symbol stands for the Yankees (or even the significance of the Yankees in general), but still! DOWN WITH YANKEES FANS! ;)

9. It feels like time is flying and passing slowly at the same time. I realized today that it feels like I'm dreaming or in a movie or something. Aren't I supposed to understand people talking all around me??! lol. Gotta work on that I guess...



Still enjoying Denmark and the family. Still not being allowed to pay for anything or help out at all. Still nervous about going in to the school on Monday to meet the teachers & students!

Bedtime now. Goodnight, folks! Remember to change your clocks so you'll be SIX hours behind me!!! =)

5 comments:

Chante said...

Hello Abby,

Ran into your mom today at the PTO Craft Fair and she emailed your blog address. Sounds like a great adventure so far. Enjoy EVERY moment....it's such a great experience!!!

Hope your catch up on the jet lag stuff...time change is tough....We are about to experience only an hour and that's hard enough!

Enjoy!
Chante

Sue said...

Good to see you're still alive! Very impressed with all the time and effort you've been putting into the blog :) Love all the stories and the detail so far. Glad you're having a good time. I hope things are ok once you start working!! Hope you'll still get enough time to enjoy yourself :)
Hopefully talk to you soon!

Mom said...

Hi,
I can't wait to join you. At least you will have plenty of English chatting for a week! I hope the school is VERY English speaking for you.

I must learn a few words in Danish... "Yes", "No", "Thank you", and "Where is the bathroom?" ... that should help me, huh?

Time is flying by and standing still here in Orange, too. Of course, it will repeat an hour tonight... That will take me at least a week to recover from. What will happen when it's 6 hours??? YIPES!

Take care and stay warm.
Love you.

Anonymous said...

hey ab it sounds like your having an awsome time. and it is a great experience. i love reading your updates keep them coming miss you

love stef

Kimberly said...

Abbster! Oh my god, youre in Denmark. That is awesome. It sounds like the family you are staying with is pretty cool! (Ok, Im totally in agreement about the shower thing...I feel for you man!) I wish you lots of luck in shcool and maybe you can get the kids to teach you bad words in Danish since they know so many in English ;)