Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ode to Danish Pastry Desserts

So I have done really well at avoiding the bakery shops, but earlier this week I caved. I didn't actually cave, I just felt that I deserved something since it was midterms. I walked into Albertslund's bakery, where they speak no English, and looked at my dozen of options. Plain tarts, whipped cream cinnamon pretzels, chocolate, of these just look like all of my favorite ingredients combined into the cutest, most delicious looking pastry desserts.

I could not choose. Katie chose for me. It was a pastry rolled around some kind of cream and half was dipped in chocolate.

My first bite was revolutionary. NEVER have I tried such a great pastry. Katie laughed at my expression...but it was absolutely AMAZING. So good even that I decided to save it for until I got to my room and brewed coffee. Each bite followed by coffee was equally amazing and for a moment I believe I found my heaven in Kobenhavn. I decided to try one new pastry until I left for travel break...which is like in 8 hrs. The next day was so oatmeal, chocoalte sprinkle mess. Good, but not like the first one. Then today I bought a peanut/nutty sandwhich with that same almond flavored cream in the middle, also dipped in chocolate. It was delicious...but I devoured it immediately.

My goal is to slowly narrow down on the best three pastries, and then bring these back to the US, particularly for my mom and Crystal to try. I need to share this wealth!!

Okay, Friday was my last Kobenhavn night before travel break. It was Kulturnatten (Culture Night) in the city, and for 75DKK you buy a pin, and get into over 200 events for free. There are light shows, staged fighting, singing, dancing....the zoo was open and all of the museums were open until midnight. Me, Kelly, Katie, and Robin went to the zoo first. We saw like a dozen simbas. Then we went to the oldest building in the a museum...but on this particular night it was opened for Halloween card-making. The average age participating was six, but it was by far the best part. We then met up with others at the City Hall for dessert pancakes, followed by a quick stop at the Dansk Design Center. There we posed in pictures with BMW's. After that we planed on attending a fashion show at the Museum, but didn't get there in time for tickets. We then tried to find a light show, but it was lame. At the end of the night we made it to a mock version of "Oktoberfest". It was okay but there was one bartender who was mean...and the beers were too expensive, so we didn't stay long. last reflection on Danes pre-study tour is that they think they have a lot to offer...but not really. Oh well, it is still a city full of many, expensive options. I can't wait to see Italy and take a Tuscany cooking class and Chianti wine tour. will seem like home soon once I get sick of being lost down south. Oh well, at least I will be warm.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Danish teachers make me laugh

Okay, so I knew it after the first couple of classes...but it is now verified. DANISH TEACHERS ARE CRAZY.
How are they crazy?
>disorganization in the classroom...everyday
>assigning 200 pages of reading a night in binders we are not even allowed to annotate in
>having papers due the same day as midterms
>asking the same questions repeatedly
>not actually ever discussing what we read in class but putting it on a midterm
>forgeting thier own questions

the list could go on...but then it would become way to specific. anyway, we aren't really mad anymore, we LAUGH. None of us our the same students here as we are back home, none of us can be. We don't know what to read out of the hundred of pages assigned and we don't know how to prepare for tests or papers with ambiguous guidelines. It seems like a hopeless cause at this point. However, after brewing several cups of black coffee I am hyped enough to randomly be productive.

From now on, I will never believe a Danish teacher when he says, "You'll have plently of time." or, "The questions are really general."

FYI: I have only been in Denmark for 6 weeks and do not know enough to anwser the following question:

"Name 6 positives and 6 negatives corresponding to the PESTLE model in Denmark." This question is neither short to write in time or general...but whatever.

We LAUGH a lot, and it is a learning experience all in it's own. Family friends of my visiting family who have been through the Danish education system, which is free for them of course, confirmed my assessment. They said, "Yes, Danish professors are scatterbrained, disorganized, and anything they have written down or say means nothing." I guess when social institutions are paid for by the government, quality is a little lower. Like the same family friend had to weight over 8 HOURS WITH A BROKEN ARM IN THE E.R.!!! Joke? No, it is not.

My last reflections on this post are as follows:

First econ lesson: There is a tradeoff for everything in life.

Basic proverb from somewhere: The grass is always greener on the other side.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Stick Shift

So it finally need to drive stick shift. Of course i figured it was never important enough to know back in the US since everything is automatic, but in Europe, if people drive, they drive manually. If you are driving an automatic, it is bigger or luxurious, and thus costs way more to rent for a trip down to Oktoberfest. I know this now after talking to ten car rental places in the airport when we found out the car we booked for a small fee of 50 euro was stick. All of the automatics were 2000 to 3000 kroner.

Oh well because planning Oktoberfest a year in advance is necessary for better places to stay and tent tickets. So maybe I will go back when someone else I know is studying abroad another semester.

One last note about the cars here...the taxi's are all Mercedes. I guess that is why is cost like 300 kroner to go from town to albertslund, becuase it is a Mercedes. And no, they will not allow you to bring a piece of pizza in the cab with you.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Money, Money, Money

So I was starting to get use to the high cost of everything in Copenhagen until I went to Hamburg, Germany on a field study. We were given 10 euro for lunch...and i was thinking, how is this going to buy me anything. However, i bought a coffee (actually big), bottle of water, large snitzle sandwhich, 3 postcards and 3 international stamps, and still had 3 euro left over. This made me really upset that I am living in a city that charges so much for everything.

It is also outrageous that if you lose the ONE key they give, you are paying around 2000 kroner to get another one (500 dollars). It is also outragrous that the person to replace these keys is only open one hour a day at my kollegium...of course when I am in class. So today I stayed home from class so that I could get my new key, and of course, when I called, they had to call someone and said they would call back. Now it is after their office hours and they did not call back, so i guess i skipped class for no reason and will have to continue relying on people for another day. The only thing I could think of doing to make myself happier was to buy myself flowers from one of Copenhagen's hundreds of flower carts. I also bought some strawberries and dark chocolate to make chocolate dipped strawberries. They were delicious.