And Then My Stomach Burst

God I just want to tell everyone everything but not actually write a post. That may be a bad sign.

Things. All of the things. I guess I’ll number them. The things I remember since my last post. You may be able to tell I’m rather tired.

1) I went to Tivoli with Amanda and Gabrielle last Wednesday, to see the Christmas markets and the amazing decorations. As with any time you go to Tivoli, we were not disappointed. We saw reindeer, drank some gløgg (hot spiced red wine) and ate some æbleskiver (think spherical pancake) with strawberry jam and confectioner’s sugar. It was a good time, and I bought some small souvenirs for some people back home.

The entrance to Tivoli

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Hotel and giant white peacock. There were live, real peacocks just strolling the park, too.

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Carousel in the Russian-themed area

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THE WORST PRIZE EVER (or maybe the best one?)

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Gløgg og æbleskiver

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More holiday cuteness

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the most magical place on Earth

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2) Thursday was Thanksgiving, but since my core course final was from 4:30-6:30pm, there was no chance of even making anything special for dinner. But I did skype with my Dad, Harry, and Nicole (Harry’s gf) from my Dad’s house in Mass. It was really nice to see them, hear about their Thanksgivings and talk about stuff a little. Harry’s moving (has moved, now) to the Boston area, which he’s really pumped about. And I taught my dad how to say “gløgg is good” which is very easy “gløgg er godt.”

3) On Saturday, we did Thanksgiving at my house. I got up and started to cook– cranberry sauce, cranberry relish, apple sauce, and apple crisp. Then I cleaned my room and waited for Becky and Bonnie to arrive from the city. They did, and we had a hyggeligt time making mashed potatoes, roasted green beans, and butternut squash latkes (for me, baby’s first latke cooking experience, for them, baby’s first latke eating experience). Becky also brought a brussels sprouts and apples dish, which was nommy. We even had a lot of extra time and oranges, so we made what I’ll call a bittersweet orange compote, and chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. Gabrielle came and we made some incredible stuffing, before sitting down to  dinner at 6:35. It was a perfectly planned and executed meal if I do say so myself. I love Thanksgiving a lot and it made me feel so happy to have that holiday. I was seriously beaming all night and then my stomach burst from food and wine and like 4 hours of talking. The group of the four of us also went for a very dark walk in the Slotspark, which was a little creepy (bats abound and Becky told me that 90% of bats carry rabies. Ha! Now that fact is on you to struggle with). And then I got them on the train, came back, ran the dishwasher, wiped down the counters, and went to bed. It seems that the cleanup impressed the host fam even more than the food did. What can I say? My parents raised me right. (But the food was pretty damn good).

Latkes and Cranberry relish

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Green beans, brussels sprouts, and stuffing

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Round 1: My plateIMG_4539

An unfortunate light fixture (seriously, one step to the right would have solved this problem) but over all a cute pic of my and my short friends

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I realize I have NEVER BEFORE posted a pic with the host fam. That’s because this is the first one I’ve taken.

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Dessert (tastier than it looks)

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4) This movie happened with my class, designing communication campaigns. The process of making it was much too embarrassing for those involved to write about here, but we had a good time. I did next to nothing but am still really proud of how it came out. I’m the featured disembodied hand writing at the end. Wait. I actually can’t post it here until it’s on YouTube. Check in next week for the updated version!

While we were not working on the project, we played a lot of games with this whiteboard, including one where you stand against it and the two others write speech bubbles. Then you make a face having never read the bubbles. Then you take a picture. This one is incredibly me. (besides the incorrect grammar)

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5) Uhhh… I bought a bunch of souvenirs after a trip to the fabric store for my mama turned into a trip to the fabric store for me. That’s right, my mom sent me into a fabric store and expected me not to fall in love with yarn and beautiful, beautiful fabric. Not likely. Unfortunately, out of my relatively small reader-base, and there is an even smaller gifting-base. Stuff is pricey pricey pricey here, and I still need to finance another month!

6) Speaking of which, my ticker on the right tells me my time left in Europe is no longer at months, we’re at days!! It would actually make more sense to do weeks next, but whatever. On December 15th, I’m headed to Berlin for 5 days, then on the 20th, I’ll go west to Dortmund for Christmas, to spend with former host-sisters Lara and Lena, and their parents, as well as a teacher my mom hosted, Friederike! I’m really excited for that part of the trip. Then I’ll go on the 27th to my FINAL DESTINATION: PARIS and spend New Year’s there, hopefully living it up by myself, with my friend Nancy from DIS, and with new buddies from the hostel (just speculating). At the very least I’ll see the Louvre and walk by the Seine (swooning as we speak). Then home on January 2nd– Paris to London, London to Boston, Boston to Grafton. This trip is what’s keeping me going right now through an emotional finals season, the horrors of packing (haven’t happened yet), and a lot of homesickness. As much as I have love love loved seeing things and experiencing and living it up, there are few things I look forward to more than hugging my parents, seeing my cats, and baking cookies.

This post feels like it needs this:

Love, Eleanor

P.S. I wrote this post in about 20 minutes. If that’s not something to be proud of, I don’t know what is.

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Who Can Say? The short version of two crazy weekends

HI WORLD. It has been a crazy week. Just a week ago, I’d just thrown Rachael on a train and another train and plane to go home to Madrid. So. There’s that part, then the boring school part, then the this weekend part.

So, Rachael got into Copenhagen from Madrid on Thursday evening (Rachael’s my roommate from last year and a dear dear friend for my rare reader who doesn’t already know that). Unfortunately, her flight was really testing the public transportation system by being so late. Because trains kind of wimp out after midnight on a weekday. In that way, they’re a lot like me and Rachael. But we did get home, we just had to take a rather pricey taxi. Which Rachael kindly and unnecessarily paid for.

Then on Friday morning, set out to do Copenhagen, but first did a walk through Fredensborg Slotspark, which is the park behind the castle near my house. I know a fair amount about the royal family and the grounds so it was fun to see that and be a tour guide. It was actually pretty great being a tour guide all weekend. In Copenhagen, there were just some things we HAD to do, like see Strøget (Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping street) which also included a venture to Magasin (see my post “Less Ironically Good, More Actually Good”); a Danish interior design store I’d meant to hit up, Illums Bolighus; went to a very old, amazing bakery near DIS called Sankt Peders Bageri (I’ll bet you can translate that); The Round Tower (but our picture at the top has inexplicably disappeared from my camera), went to a Christmas Market; rode the water bus (great, free experience); The Black Diamond Royal Library; The København Bibliotek (main branch); Nyhavn; saw Amalienborg Palace and the Opera House from across the harbor; got super-lost, and ate some Chinese-ish food. It was a busy, busy day. And then we went home and had dinner with the host fam. Who loved Rachael, obvi.  I hate saying and then, and then, and then. But… I have to. We do a lot. What can I say. After dinner, we skyped Elana (a mutual friend and my future roommate) and watched Michael Cera’s masterpiece “Youth in Revolt.” A great movie, but we were really tired. Did we finish? Who can say?

Nyhavn (pronouced Nu-haun)

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The Opera House from across the Harbor

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Day two was day of castles! We went up to Helsingør (translates to Elsinore in English) and saw Kronborg, Hamlet’s Castle. It was a very quaint little town but a scary and forboding castle, and we walked around and hit up the gift shop and some shops around it. We also both enjoyed some laks (smoked salmon) sandwiches at KulturHus in Helsingør. We headed back south to Hillerød to see Frederiksborg Slot, which is crazy pretty, but sadly was closed. There was a wedding happening in the church there and we could hear a choir and saw a beautiful car to come pick up the happy couple. It was great, but would have been a little greater if we could have gone in!

This strange but cool shiny boy statue (Hamlet? Is that you?) and Kronborg in the background.

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Kronborg with a model of Kronborg in front of it.

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This picture came out cool (well, the car is in focus and the back isn’t, say what you will, it was an accident). A great wedding day for some people!

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Some call us RachaEleanor.

Some call us Ghost Cat.

Some call us crazy.

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It came to be snack-time, and we went to a cafe that advertised cake and coffee for around $10. Which sounds like a lot, but is actually a great deal in Denmark. We went in and asked the waitress for whatever that special was, and she looked at us with a dumb stare. She even went outside because I guess she’d never seen the sign before? Even the manager was confused. I guess no one had ever asked…? Anywho, we ended up getting it and then going home to a big family dinner and eating some chocolates Rachael brought from Spain. We then watched similarly stellar film “Me and You and Everyone We Know” by Miranda July. She’s a genius. It’s so funny and so real. That’s all I’m going to say about it. And this: ))<>(( Rachael got on a late train and and early plane and before I knew it was back in the land of Espana. Sad. But it was a great time. Rachael brings out the goofy in me in a way that few do.

Then there was school blah blah blah no one cares. Except I did see a great exhibition of Barbara Probst at the Black Diamond Royal Library. She’s very talented and has a great conceptual mind. Look her up.

Then this weekend, weekend of culture!

On Friday, I got a cheap ticket to a ballet called “Come Fly Away” which was a lot like the music of Sinatra set to the dancing from Guys and Dolls. It was good but not the best dancing, costumes, or music. It didn’t blow me away (though there were a few sets of abs in the cast that DID blow me away).

View from the nosebleeds (I could touch the ceiling while sitting)

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Saturday was the Hunger Games: Catching Fire with Bonnie. The movie was really fantastic, and at $20, it was the most I’ve ever paid for a movie ticket. The theatre was the biggest I’ve ever been to, also. And clean. And in Danish movie theaters you buy your specific seats. We had great ones. I’m team Peeta, and Jennifer Lawrence can do no wrong. That’s what I have to say about the Hunger Games. I’m ready to see it again.

Sunday SUNDAY (today) was the Royal Opera with an old buddy who I haven’t seen since September (sad). We went out to this kind of famous restaurant called Grød (pronounced kind of like gruel) which is a new nordic cuisine restaurant specializing in porridge! I got rice porridge with tarragon sugar, toasted hazelnuts, and Asian pears. I like to eat things I’ve never eaten before because I know I won’t hate it. It was beautiful and interesting, which are great words for a lot of things, but not the highest compliment to pay towards food items, if you get what I’m saying.

The green stuff is sugar.

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Then we booked it across the city to the opera where we saw Verdi’s Macbeth (in Italian with Danish subtitles).

That opera house from before but sunny and close-up. Sunny-side up?

Apparently Danes think it looks like the grill on an American car. Huh.

 

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These beautiful lights.

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There were only maybe 4 people in the cast of 50 who I actually knew who they were (the characters, I mean.), but the show was conceptually very strong, innovatively (that’s a word, right?) executed, and haunting. Lady Macbeth was a stunning soprano (side note, her name is Anne Margrethe Dahl, she’s Norwegian, and she’s 53!!! An incredible lady). She stole the show, but then again, so did the sets and costumes. To see it all, here’s the link. Really though, go look. The only bad part was an inexplicable topless pole-dancer at the beginning of the 2nd act. Wait. Another bad part was that someone took my scarf home with them. It wasn’t there when I got up to leave the theatre. It was probably a cheap scarf, but I got it from my mom at a really hard point in my life and it was special. Hopefully it will turn up but I doubt it.

That was my CRAZY week, and I have another one coming up with will culminate in Saturday Thanksgiving! Yup, not Thursday because I have school until late on Thursdays. Happy Thanksgiving team!

P.S. Enimen just came up on my “Upbeat Work Mix” on 8tracks. Um, no.

Less Ironically Good, More Actually Good

What can I say about this week? I feel like the week kicked my butt, but I also kicked its butt. Butts were kicked all around.

My goal is to have a shorter post than weeks past. Let’s do just the highlights reel, shall we? With lots o’ pics and vids? AAANNNDDD GO!

Monday: Started with a splash booking hostels for Rome and Barcelona with Bonnie! We read reviews, looked at prices, and tried to figure out logistics for our trip. E.g. (one of my favorite abbreviations right there) How will we call the hostel and tell them we’re going to check in later than expected if neither of us have working phones? Is a question we asked ourselves. But it’s all booked. So now we just need to pack, plan museums and stuff, and GO! Also, this other girl from Smith (Bonnie’s from Smith too) is meeting us in Barcelona! Yay friends.

Tuesday: I discovered a quiet part of the large square near DIS. The square is called Gammeltorv, which translates to Old Square. Nytorv also exists (New Square!) I journaled, read, listened to music, and had lunch. It was really nice because the area around school is SO touristy with a lot of stores, so it was nice to find something quieter and outside.

In my Danish class, we ALWAYS watch Danish music videos. We watched this VERY popular *in 2007* song called “Lægger”, (which means “Delicious”) by a “famous” Danish rap group, Nik and Jay. We translated the chorus. Here goes:

“Excuse me baby, I’ve seen you before, somewhere in Copenhagen? And excuse me baby, allow me to ask, who are you? And what is your name? Because you’re delicious” (repeat word approx 100x)

After class, Chelsea and I went to Magasin, that amazing store that I went into for a little bit last week. On  our way, we saw the most mind-blowing street performers. HOW?

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Once in Magasin, the setup of the store is like this, by floor:

0 (Basement): Snack stands, magazines, and a little grocery store. There’s also the entrance to the Metro. Endlessly handy.

1 (Street Level): Cosmetics, gifts, jewelry, accessories, shoes, lingerie.

2: Men’s clothing and accessories. I’m looking for a really nice beautiful sweater, and that’s where I think I’ll find it. It is a bit awk, for me as a single woman to shop there by myself, but if I pretend it’s for my imaginary boyfriend… still awk.

3: Ladies clothing. We noticed that close to the escalator is like “Misses” whereas farther away is “Women” if that makes sense. It gets a little older.

4: Housewares! Also interior design type stuff. We found this wall of KitchenAids that I HAD to take a picture of. Chelsea and I share a deep love for KitchenAids. Also for shopping, though neither of us bought anything. We were happy to find shopping buddies.

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5: Toys and kids clothes and juniors clothes and Topshop. And a couple other young people stores. It was a weird combo, but we were loving it. Although I pretty much just gushed over sweaters and Chelsea shopped as a normal person does.

6: Another cafe, but it’s really nice and more like a cafeteria. Think like the IKEA food court, but better.

When we got out of the store we were really hungry and found these reasonably priced “pancake sticks” which were like long waffles, and mine was tipped in dark chocolate and rolled in hazelnuts. Chelsea ordered hers IN DANISH and did not get nuts. Look how beautiful and tasty.

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And I finally took a picture of this graffiti in the subway. I see it every day and I’m not a huge fan of it. But I translated it, and it means “Good Morning Angie! Remember to smile today.” So that’s nice. Classic Danes, using their graffiti for the good of Angie.

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Wednesday: I had a field study with my Food Systems class to this place called Christian Hansen. It’s a company that manufactures pro-biotics and is very hard to explain. Activia yogurt uses their products and is their most popular consumer product. But most of their products make corn easier to feed corn pigs and cows. Which is awful. Because they shouldn’t eat corn anyway. So, mixed feelings on that.

I wasn’t really sure how to get home from the place, but it was geographically close to my house, so I tried the bus. It ended up taking over an hour, but it was cool to see more of my area, as I always take the same train. I even got to go to Helsingør, which is where Hamlet’s castle is, and the coast.

Thursday: I started my work study job at the housing office. As I write this on Saturday morning, I have worked 5.25 hours. Which means $$! Hooray!

Bonnie came over for dinner, and we went on a short walk through Fredensborg Slotspark so she could see the castle. I’ve been there a few times before, but because I was alone, I wasn’t able to take a picture before. (Because I’m not going to take selfie in front of the queen, really). It was a nice, clear night. And c’mon. Lookit that castle. That’s pretty plain for Danish standards.

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Friday: A really great song in Danish, “Klar til Kærlighed”, which means “Ready for Love.” The artist is half Danish and half South-African, and the video was shot in NYC, in Danish. Soo, it’s actually really good. The video is a bit like “Same Love” by Macklemore, which means I love it. If you watched Lægger up at the top of this, change your mindset, because this is less ironically good, and more actually good.

Then because it had been the longest week, I went home after my day of work>school>work, and hung out, planned on making slutty brownies (cookie/brownie combo which usually also includes Oreos but won’t here) (they’re called slutty because they’re so easy, and no, I did not make up that term) for my host sister’s continued birthday celebrations, and watched The Bling Ring. It was a fantastic movie. Really, really well done.

There was my week. I think a little less verbiage than the last few weeks. I hope. It felt like less. Talk to y’all next week!

You may also begin seeing advertising on my blog. Which is yucky, but unless someone wants to pay for me to upgrade to ad-free wordpress, it’s a necessary evil.

A Long and Short Week

So, I just got home from 10 weeks working at a summer camp in Vermont. It’s called Farm & Wilderness, so you can imagine the surroundings (farm-y, wild). Here’s a cute picture from the summer.

Oh look! It’s a picture of me facilitating a rousing game of “Sharks and Minnows” on the waterfront. (I’m in the background on the dock in a red one-piece looking particularly lifeguard-y)

This photo is credited to Indian Brook Camp

Anywho, that was my summer. I have gotten some very important emails this summer, my favorite was one from my host mom, Jytte, introducing herself to me and her family (dad Ole, and daughters Maria and Linea, who are 18 and 16).  I’m soo excited to meet them. The whole family seems artistic, and altogether like me, so I’m glad I spent so much time on my host family letter. They sent me this really cute website which they seem to have made for me and the other DIS student, who they hosted last fall: They don’t live in Copenhagen though, they live in Fredensborg.

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I live on Slotsvaenget, which as you can see, is really close to Fredensborg Slot, aka the royal palace, aka, I’m the luckiest ever. This photo is from the Danhostel website

The cool things about Fredensborg: It is the home of the coolest royal family in the world in the spring and fall (aka– now!) and is close to a beautiful lake, national park, and isn’t too far from the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a place I have wanted to go for years. It’s one of the world’s most famous modern art museums.

The uncool things about Fredensborg: It means I have a 45 minute commute twice per day. ew.

More on the host family all semester as I learn about them and we have adventures.

Right now, as I get ready to go (ON SATURDAY! SO SOON!) I’m trying to get my stuff together. First I’m unpacking from camp (10 weeks of my life, taken out of my luggage) and then I have to begin packing for a very different climate (20 weeks of my life, put into luggage). And get my finances together (stressful, but not really stuff I can go into detail about here) and have to buy  my return ticket back to the states and saying goodbye to my family and friends. It’s going to be a very long and very short week.