Thursday, May 29, 2008

Missing you...

Kate asked me what I missed most from Copenhagen, lots of things:
  • Late night tea chats with E.
  • Watching Desperate Housewives with M and E.
  • The gorgeous view as I walked down my street of the canal.
  • Living in the center of town.
  • Hanging with friends.
  • Monday night ladies dinners.
  • Exploring Copenhagen on the bus.
  • Walking to church on Sunday mornings
  • Chilling with my hallmates as they pre-gamed on a Friday.
  • Making dinner with the hallmates.
  • Coffee with L, complaining about class.
  • Shopping with Mi.
  • Getting weekly flowers from Magasin.
Saturday, I start back up at Nissan Pavilion and in the evening have a sleep over party with some old college friends. I can't wait!

On a few side notes, I continue to boycott Burger King, they refuse to give their tomato workers a penny pay raise, I wish Hillary would bow out gracefully, I hope Obama picks Jim Webb for his VP pick, I pray either Stephanie, Antonia or Richard wins Top Chef but not whiny mean Lisa! and I'm frightened by the rising food shortages around the world, this should give us pause to think not to waste food at all!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

To Do List

Returning to the States finds oneself with an ever increasing to-do list, isn't that always the case, eh?

1. Check all my financial statements, make sure they match what my spending activity in Denmark was.
2. Clean up all the outstanding mail and requests that have piled up for four months (despite my sister helping me out, there is still even some stuff she can not do).
2. Finish the paper for my Economics class and mail back to Copenhagen Business School.
3. Reconnect with friends (let them know I'm back and hopefully get placed into the social scene).
4. Catch up on all my favorite television shows (the ones I could not see via the internet in Denmark, like Ugly Betty and ER).
5. Find a job (Uncle Sam is going to want to be paid for the money "he" lent me for the trip to Copenhagen).
6. Refresh memory on where I put all of my stuff - it is amazing what you will forget in a mere four months.

Aye, the real world is hitting me hard, gone is my Danish vacation, but such is life.

But to remind me to take it easy...a picture snapped from my Copenhagen room window of the other side of the street (and my view), where during the day, there often sat a little doggie in the window.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Back Home!

I am now in the good ol'e US of A. Look what awaited me - a fresh bouquet of flowers, from my mum's garden. I love them!! Also, I returned to a home-cooked meal, yummers!

Trip back was rather uneventful; my suitcase was overweight by six kilo's, but SAS did not charge me (lucky day!), passport control was smooth but customs was unbearably long, processing over seven international flights at once.

Drove down to Richmond, Virginia for my last MBA class today - glad to be in a American classroom setting again, with proper goals and a teacher who clearly is invested in teaching.

Happy to be home but definitely miss my friends and vacation lifestyle in Copenhagen, but all good things come to an end and I am optimistic another adventure or beginning for me is around the corner....

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Closing Time

(A view of the street I live on in Copenhagen, from Knippelsbro Bridge, on the other side of the canal).

Two days left on this fabulous adventure that has been my time in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have so many fond memories and I thought a self-made survey might be a fun way to put into words some of those here goes!

Favorite Spot in Copenhagen - Kongens Nytorv, where I live!
Favorite Non-sport Activity - flower shopping
Favorite Sport Activity - walking along the canal
Favorite Food - $12 hamburgers at Restaurant Chili, cheapest food in town!
Most Memorable Royal Moment - watching the ballet with the Queen of Denmark, eeck!!
Most Memorable Non-Royal Moment - to many to list, but a sample includes ice skating in the first week, Oslo cruise, trip to Legoland, ladies movie night on Valentine's Day, ghost story telling with the Singapore crew, religious discussions with Peter and Hannah.
Favorite time of the day - love those early Copenhagen mornings when I feel like I have the city to myself : )
Most fun sightseeing spot with a group- really enjoyed Helsingor castle.
Most fun sightseeing spot alone - Christianberg Castle, within walking distance of my apartment, where I got to pick the brains of the tour guide on all the latest details of the Danish Royal Family
Favorite Side Trip - Gothenburg, Sweden for the 2008 World Figure Skating championships!
Favorite Freebie - its a toss-up, last week got a purse for free from the flea market, but yesterday got beautiful sunflowers from Magasin flower market for gratis.
Most Frozen Moment - touring Roskilde in early February, I think my toes were going to fall off.
First Time I sweat in Denmark - Last week at the flea market, it was in the 80's over here!
Danish Language Experience Moment - speaking with an Italian guy on the Metro in Danish, since I don't speak Italian and he didn't speak English.
Best Deal at the Cheap Grocery Store Netto - LOVE the four chocolate muffins for less than $3
Funniest Time - laughing at one of Wan Shan's stories at Monday night ladies dinners, or when Leah would write me a note during HR class about how stupid the class was...
Best Store find - again a toss up, the Noa Noa outlet or the little used book store on a side street of Stroget.
Best Business Connection - oh too many to list, but I now have friends who this summer are going to work in Phillip-Morris, NovoNordisk, AXA, PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as having made some connections with Maersk shipping company, Cathey Pacific airlines and Siemens Consulting.
Some Lessons learned - 1. NEVER walk in the bicycle lane! 2. A smile goes a long way even if you don't speak the language. 3. People, on the whole, are very nice and friendly. 4. Danish dogs are very well behaved. 5. Find the love within and you will radiate light throughout. 6. Stay true to your morals and people respect you more. 7. When someone is willing to take the lead on a group project, let them! 8. In the end, we humans are very much alike despite what others may want or lead you to believe and hopefully this faith in our commonality will help shape a more peaceful future.

(a daily two man peace protest in front of the Danish parliament)

Closing time - time for you to go back to the places you will be from...
Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end... (lyrics from "Closing Time," by Semisonic)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lazy Days in Copenhagen....

This weekend, my last full weekend in Copenhagen, has been a whirlwind of activity. Friday night one of the girls on the hall had her 21st birthday. Since this undergrad was from America, you can imagine the hi-jinks that ensued...I played the "mom" role, cleaning up after the party and insuring that someone made sure the birthday girl got home safely (since the festivities moved on to a club, which I didn't join in with).

Today, Sunday, was an afternoon spent with my friends from Singapore, picnicking in the park. As you can see, many Danish had the same idea - lots of sun-bathers (though I stayed in the shade of a pretty tree). [plus you also see the bikes, what did I tell you about the bike culture here, eh?] The weather in Denmark has turned into something just beautiful (how ironic as I'm about to leave), which makes studying incredibly hard; but I did come in by 8pm to work on my exam stuff for next week. Blah.

Saturday (sorry the days are out of order), my friend and I went early in the morning to various flea markets around town. It was AMAZING! I got so many things for very cheap!! Plus the best part, one lady gave me a purse for free. When I first went to her stall, she quoted me 30 kroners, but I came back later (like 1/2 an hour later, still middle of the day) and bought a pin of Denmark from her for 5 kroners and she said, "here take the purse as my gift to you." Can you believe it?! I was so floored, I thanked her profusely and volunteered to pay something for the purse but she wouldn't have it. I just hope if she ever comes to visit America we are as nice as she was to me.

The picture above was from the Whit Sunday Carnival parade they held here in central Copenhagen, not on Sunday but Saturday. It was so hot, I felt bad for these dancers, they were sweating and you could see their skin already getting red. Lots of the lady dancers were barely clad (bikini, feather wearing attire, like the ones you see in Brazil) there were a lot of men on the parade route (more than the kids, aye!).

Today starts my official last week in Copenhagen...its been so much fun. Now I'm off to bed, tomorrow is Whit Sunday holiday here and I plan on using the day productively!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Evening Strolls in Denmark

As my time draws to an end here in Copenhagen (I leave May 18th for the States), and the weather here has gotten nice and spring-like, I have taken to going outside and just sitting, reading, watching, strolling. This picture above is Kongens Nytorv (Kings Square, funny since its actually a circle), where I live. Isn't it lovely?? This is the heart of Copenhagen. I've taken to sitting here in the evenings with a book, just soaking it all up - to be in the moment - really when will I ever get such a chance again in Copenhagen, to call Kongens Nytorv my home and this my front yard?? It doesn't get dark here until 9:30, so after reading my book or just people-watching, I'll stroll along the main canal, walking, meditating and enjoying - before heading home to say my Magrib (evening) prayers.

On a completely different note, I passed my Danish language level one exam - yay!

In preparation of the exam I began reading the free newspapers they hand out in the Metro. In the paper I picked up yesterday, this ad was inside. It is for some radical racist party here in Denmark (because all countries have these loons), opposing Muslim women judges who wear head scarves in the court. They say that because these women wear head scarves they are certainly going to start implementing sharia law in Denmark. It is a bit ludicrious, but there you have it.

What makes me scared is the tag line at the bottom of the ad, it says "Gi us Danmark tilbage," which essentially means "give us Denmark back." To which I ask...back from whom? Muslims in Denmark are for the most part Danish citizens, so who do you mean when you say "us" - white Lutheran Danes only? Does that mean that despite having Danish citizenship, speaking the language, serving the military, a Muslim cannot be a Dane? It is the same radical ideology the Nazi's had, that no matter that the Jews spoke German, had German citizenship, were fifth or sixth generations German, served the military, they were not German. Could it not be possible that Denmark, like the rest of the world is diversifying, so this idea of "giving back," really just means "we don't want anything to change, we liked it the way it was," in which case, I worry...because it is radical parties like these ones who when the economy goes south, rise up and attack minorities (in Denmark Muslims are the largest minority). I just pray that what happened in Germany in the 1930's, doesn't happen to Denmark in the future.

Finally, to end on a happy note - take a look at my little plant, its blooming again - see it seems I'm not an all-out plant killer after all! I've already found a loving home here in Copenhagen for said little guy and the other plant I have, who is also alive, just not blooming : ) So my wanted picture can come down off the plant world post office's : )

Monday, May 05, 2008


Not a lot of words, more of a pictorial....went to Legoland Billund, Denmark on Saturday (school trip) and all I can say is.....TONS o' FUN!!!!

Capital made of legos!

Just the attention to detail in everything they do in Legoland, you can see the street sign in the background, amazing!

As you can see EVERYTHING is made of legos. iIt is wild, besides these made structures, Legoland has put lego creatures EVERYWHERE! For example in Pirate land, my friends and I were standing in line and there up on a perch inside the ride's building, a lego parrot!
A view of the park from their observation tower.

Legoland is definitely for small children but when you go with a school group, the trip can be mad amusing! We rode almost all the rides (one roller coaster) and played the games (like the one where you pretend to be firemen and try to put out a fake fire, much harder than you would think!). Plus the fun of this trip was just getting to Legoland. It was interesting to go to a different part of Denmark...Legoland is in Billund, which is on Jutland, the bigger portion of Denmark. Copenhagen is in Zealand, which is the smaller part of Denmark. To get from Zealand to Jutland you have to cross the world's second largest suspension bridge and Jutland is definitely more country than its city cousin Zealand.

I highly recommend if you make an extended visit to Denmark to do this amusement park, especially if you have little children! an aside to my sister, they had Spongebob Squarepants key chains and I went a little crazy, you will see soon!

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Just some photos of my adventure yesterday - Tivoli!! Tivoli is THE amusement park here in Denmark and Copenhagen. The official tourist book describes it as pleasure garden with rides and entertainment. I agree, wonderful orchestra bands, a plethora of ways to turn you upside down, groomed plant beds and a fun pantomime show. Tivoli has been in Copenhagen for centuries, some argue that its the world's oldest fun fair. Its a Danish staple, people say one of the things you have to do during the summer. Whatever its heritage, Tivoli is a MUST-SEE if you come to Copenhagen!

My friend L and I went with her mom (whose visiting from the States) yesterday. It was nice, cost of entrance is about $20, but you have to pay for the rides separately...I chose not to ride (save some cash that way). Tivoli is a calm little park-like oasis in the middle of this major city. I was pleasantly surprised when I entered. Certainly from the outside, one cannot tell how deep and lovely it is, with gardens (so beautiful both L's mum and I were tempted to pluck the flowers) and all these variety of rides and amusement games. Tivoli is set up with different country themes, so in one corner is Asia, one Arab and one historic Europe - with a pirate ship. American amusement parks would eat this one in a single gulp, but what Tivoli lacks in size, it makes up for in charm!
At night it is just gorgeous with lights everywhere (including hung in the weeping willows that border the lake...yes there is a lake inside the park). It is just the kind of place to dress up nicely and swing a parasol; think that first location on the Willy Wonka factory tour (smile).

In other news, I can't believe I only have two weeks left here..I'm excited to go home and see my family and friends but this has certainly been for most intents and purposes (yes Joe you are right) a four month vacation and honestly, who likes to leave a vacation, no? Though this week working with my group on our Emerging Markets paper has brought home to me quite well that I am attending school here. Ironic eh, first three months here, my classes go swimmingly, last two weeks and one stupid class has me screaming and pulling my hair. Aye!