Boy oh boy, is Copenhagen starting to feel like home.
There’s nothing that settles you into a new place more than coming down with a 24 hour stomach bug and being quite literally bed ridden for an entire day (imagine me, my bed, and sick bucket; a very intimate time indeed).
All jokes (and vomit) aside, I really am starting to settle into my home here in Copenhagen. This past week, I began classes and had my first field study (a virtual reality studio in Vesterbro) which was super neat. We got to play with a bunch of VR technology and see how companies like the Copenhagen Tourism Department and Rigshospitalet (a hospital) use virtual reality for different things, like distracting a child patient with a VR game during a scary procedure. I also got my first taste of public transportation on the bus to said field study, and let me tell you: one bus and no air conditioning make for a very uncomfortable commute.
Aside from class, I’ve spent the past week becoming familiar with Copenhagen and spending time getting to know my housemates and fellow DIS students. I’m at the point now where I can get to the nearest grocery store or pharmacy without needing directions, and have frequented an adorable little coffee shop called Buzz Kaffebar twice before class (am I a local or what?) I know it’s too early to declare favorites, but I have a feeling I’m going to make this cafe a regular.
On the topic of food – I have spent a lot of time (and money) on meals while here. Am I complaining? Heck no! Coming into this semester, I knew Denmark wasn’t necessarily known for its delicious cuisine (unless you count the highly regarded Smørrebrød, which I have yet to try.) Despite this, I’ve found lots of tasty things to try with no problem at all! Last weekend, we went to Reffen to celebrate my floormate Grace’s birthday. Reffen is basically a giant street food festival on the harbor, with dozens of stands boasting countless types of food. I tried Filipino food, which I never would have dared try back at home, and I’m so glad I did. It may have been my favorite dish I’ve had so far (if you don’t count the delicious pastries!)
One of my lovely roommates, Diana, has been monumental in my food journey here in Denmark. She’s a great chef and even considered going to culinary school, which means she’s taken point in our little culinary adventures around the city. She loves sauces – and by this I mean anything that goes on top of a dish. We’ve affectionately dubbed her “the sauce queen” because she’s always asking for extra sides of sauces with her meals, which makes us all chuckle. She’s the one to ask when unsure if microwaving broccoli is a good idea, or consult on how much salt to add to a dish.
We’ve been eating a lot of our meals outside, especially since we’ve been blessed with a late summer here in Denmark. It’s almost a joke – everyone told me I’d freeze in this country, and yet all I’ve done is sweat! I didn’t bring nearly enough tank tops for this. A few nights ago, we cooked dinner in our apartment and walked a block over to Kings Garden to sit in the park and eat (which was lovely, even if we did have to dodge the bees gunning for our food). We bought a few bottles of wine (bless Denmark and the open container laws), a few others from our building met us, and we sat in the park until it got dark out and we were literally asked to leave because it was about to close. Little moments like this make me so appreciative of my time here, and I’m hoping as the weather cools down and things begin to settle, I’ll have more hygge moments just like that one.
Other small things that have happened:
- Theres a bookstore at the end of my block – can you believe that! If you know me, you know that this is very exciting (and also very bad for my bank account)
- My room continues to get bright at 6 AM – this late summer is a blessing and a curse
- Every time I see a dog on the street, I have a strong urge to call my mother and sit on Facetime with Mac and Millie for the rest of the day (I miss my puppies!)
In other exciting news, I’ve finally booked my long travel week trip! At DIS, we have two weeks designated for long study tours with our core course. During the first travel week I’ll be in London with my class, but that means that I have the second travel week off. I was a bit nervous because a lot of my friends and roommates have the opposite schedule and I wasn’t sure if I would find a buddy to travel with in time, but it all worked out because some fellow LLC-mates, sauce queen Diana and I all decided to visit Vienna, Prague, and Berlin! We booked our flights last night and I am officially allowing myself to get excited.
For now, this weekend will be a bit more low-key. Most of my roommates will be out of town on a trip to Bergen, Norway. I’m spending tonight with my visiting host family: for those not living with a host family full time, DIS offers the chance to having a visiting family, which you visit with a few times over the course of the semester. I’ve had a lot of contact with my family so far, with my host mom even helping me to find the Danish equivalent of Diet Coke (shoutout to Mette, a true lifesaver!) They live about a half hour north of Copenhagen, which will be my first time navigating the public transportation by myself. I know it will be well worth it – I’m ready to get away from the city for a night and spend some time with a family.
I hope everyone is having a great end of summer, and I can’t wait to see what this fall in Copenhagen brings!