Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recent happenings

Okay I think I officially win the award for being the worst blogger in the world and I apologize for that! I honestly didn't realize it's been a full month since my last update! Time has never moved so fast in my life!

I honestly can't even remember all of the fun things I've done since my last post. I'll do my best to cover the important things:
  • I went to a sommerhus (summerhouse- it is basically a smaller vacation house in a more remote area where families go to relax for the weekend or during one of their holiday breaks. Most Danish families own one.) My Rotary club president and his wife have one in an area about 1 hour away. I went with them along with my friend Nanna (it was her family I lived with for the week my host family was gone. She has now been chosen as my club's future outbound and she is hoping to go to the USA). We had an amazing time just relaxing. I also made rice krispy treats for everyone (they sell marshmallows and rice krispies and yet no one here has ever heard of rice krispy treats).
  • My town had their annual "Due dag" (and no, for once google translate isn't lying- it does actually mean pigeon day!) It is a long standing tradition in my town. It originated as a day where people would bring prized pigeons to show and/or sell. Then it eventually branched out. They still sell birds, but they aslo sell cats, dogs, bunnies, chickens, mice, etc. (Don't worry mom and dad- I won't be coming home with a new pet, although I was very tempted). They also sell lots of other random things and it's almost like an outdoor market mixed with a flea market mixed with a garage sale. It was definitely an experience!
  • My Danish is improving by leaps and bounds! I have actually caught myself thinking in danish a little. Now in my head, instead of saying but, I say "men" and instead of saying if, I say "hvis" and a few other things. For about a month, my host family has spoken mostly all danish to me and lately I have spoken almost all danish to them. I still have a longggg way to go though!
  • My french class won a contest so we got to spend a day in Aarhus (one of my new favorite places in the world- it's DK's 2nd largest city) and we went to a french rap concert. My french teacher lives in Aarhus, so before the concert, we went to her house for brunch (I found this odd that a teacher would actually invite students to there house, but everyone in my class acted as if nothing was weird about it).
  • My music class took a field trip to the Aarhus concert hall and listened to some classical music.... not going to lie- It was just as boring as any other symphony, but we were allowed to go shopping for 30 mins after (my friends and I went to McDonalds, I actually remembered where it was from the other time I went while at intro camp). It was nice to have a day off from school as well.
  • I can now say I have seen a handball game! For all of you reading who are unfamiliar with this quite strange sport, I will attempt to explain it. The average number of scores (goals? I don't quite know the lingo) and the pace is similar to basketball. There are 6 people playing at a time (basketball has 5, so pretty similar), but I forget whether that number includes the goalie or not. It is almost a mixture of soccer and basketball actually, except that all the players (aside from the goalie) play both offense and defence. It was actually interesting (which is more than I can say about basketball or soccer, sorry...). Oh and I would like to add here that forgive me if I said something wrong about any of the sports I listed, don't even bother emailing me to tell me, first off- I don't care, second off- I'm sure my little brother will set me straight!
  • I have seen more farms than I thought imaginable. I have been to multiple cow farms (one of which had a cow milking robot- not going to lie, I was amazed), seen a pig farm, and a mink farm (that one was not very amazing for me, although the pig farm was also one where the animals would be killed, at least it was for meat, I honestly couldn't look the poor little minks in the eye without seeing a fur coat... I guess you'll never be able to take the animal lover out of me!) I always knew the area around me was full of farms, but holy cow there's a lot!
  • I have now been to a danish movie theater! On monday night, I went to have dinner with my Rotary club president and his wife and after we went to see the movie "One day" (which is a very good movie and I highly reccomend it!).
  • I got lost on the bus system! I guess now I can scratch off the ultimate bad experience that all exchange students are bound to have. I was taking the bus to go to my exercise class. I had only been once and that time my host mom drove me, I didn't know what town it was in. I get to the bus stop and there are two busses, so I ask which one goes to the Ungdomskole (the place it's held at), someone directs me to a bus, I sit down and after a short drive, the bus driver stops and says "this is it". I look out and realize it was the wrong place, and just my luck that was the last stop and there wouldn't be another bus going back to my town for like 5 hours! I got out, sat down, and called my host mother only to remember she was at the Rotary meeting. Long story short (well... shorter), she eventually came and picked me up and I survived to tell the tale!
Other than that, I've been busy with school, friends, and language classes. Next week I will have a school holiday. I will get to spend some time with my next two host families, tour a cookie factory (Kjeldsons which is known as "Royal Dansk butter cookies" in the states), and my host family will be taking me to Copenhagen! I am so excited about that!

Also, I figure I should try and remember all of the differences I've noticed from DK and the USA:
  • You call your teachers by their first name, if you try and say Mr./Mrs./Ms. then you're wierd
  • It is actually allowed to have computers in class and you can do whatever you want. If you feel like taking a nap, that's cool. Rather go on facebook than do your chem work, that's cool too! Heck, don't wanna go to class, see ya later! Students here are allowed to do what they want in class, but they rarely ever skip and usually pay attention, even though they're allowed to do otherwise.
  • There are way less police officers/ambulances/firetrucks around here. I was probably here for aver a month before I saw a cop, only saw an ambulance when I was at the big festival in Silkeborg, and saw my first fire truck last week! I'm sure the low crime rate helps (seriously crime is almost nonexistant here! My classmates will all leave class and just leave their computers lying around and come back a few hours later and they'd be untouched.... I have a feeling I will have problems coming back to America after being used to virtually no crime).
  • When the stop light goes from red to green, it goes red, red and yellow, green.
  • They don't have a lot of intersections with stoplights, they have a lot more round-abouts here!
  • Teens drinking is quite common here. The schools will throw parties with alcohol and on fridays after school, they have something called a "fredags cafe" where they sell beer and soda and students just relax together for a few hours. Denmark actually has the highest number of teens who drink in the world (when the teens tell me this, they are proud of it, but when adults say it, they same "it's such a shame", but yet they go along with letting their teens to drink! I suppose it isn't as bad though, because they don't have serious problems like drinking and driving).
  • The weather here is the most bi-polar thing I've met in my entire life! On any given day, you can walk around and see people wearing shorts and a tee shirt or a sweater and boots. What they're wearing depends solely on how the weather was when they left the house, because it changes so often.
  • Potatoes (or "Kartoffler" in danish) are a constant at dinner. Almsot every dinner here, I've had potatoes. And they actually have dishes depending on the season, because the potatoes do better with certain things at certain times. Summer is boiled potatoes (tasty, but since it's "special" to have a sauce on them, it gets boring at times) and winter is mashed potatoes (can't wait! yummm).
There are lots of other things but I can't remember them now, so I'll add more some other time. I'll try and update soon!

Vi ses,


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