A lesson in Påske!
02.04.2012 - 04.04.2012 2 °C
This entry is loaded with stuff...but I wanted to dedicate it to Påske, which is Easter in Danish! It seems that I decided to move right before a GIANT holiday here in Danmark! Yes, we all know Easter is a holiday we celebrate in the States, but I had NO IDEA it was SO BIG here! SO much, that they even have a special BEER that they put out for it! Unbelieveable!!! The two special beers they put out during the year are the Påske beer, and the Jule beer (Christmas beer) And if THAT wasn't reason enough to celebrate, I have noticed in the last few days, since EVERYTHING is basically closed from Thursday until Tuesday, everyone is stocking up on food, (mostly salmon), chocolate, and flowers! The Danes LOVE their sweets, and their flowers! It was so refreshing to see everyone grab a bundle of tulips, or a spring potted plant to purchase with the rest of their grocery lists. Gotta love the Danes!
The last few days have been full of....everything!!! I spent Monday with my friend Martin out in the country...it was his turn to show me where he calls home and all of HIS hangouts. First off, I was just proud that I was able to take the train there by myself. Ok, so maybe it was just one train, so it was SUPER EASY, but it was a mini-victory for me, so there! We started by having an AWESOME lunch at this Kebab place. Such a bargain for this amazing lamb wrap. And they have this chili that goes with it, with so much flavor...wow! That was my only meal that day. Seriously, I didn't eat dinner! Then afterwards, he took me for a walk around Frederiksborg Castle and the Royal Gardens! It was so pretty! Only problem was it was 2 degrees out, and SO windy, so our leisurely stroll was more of a brisk, short walk.
The cool thing about the garden, was that they actually had 4 monogrammed gardens for the royals! Each garden had the initials of the Queen Margarite II, Prince Frederick, Princess Mary and the Queen's French husband. I thought that was a nice perk for the Royals! Where's my monogrammed garden?! Things to buy when I win the lotto...
Then it got to be too cold, so I phoned a friend...
And we went into the city to have some tea and coffee, and warm up. Hillerod is a nice little city in the middle of Sjælland, which is the big island that we live on. It was a hygge time just catching up and enjoying each other's company. Then Martin took me to Hundested, a little harbor town where he is from. I used to go there when we would visit with my family, because I had family who lived there. It's one of those places, where during the cold months, it's very small, but since it's right on the beach, and only about an hour and a half drive from Kobenhavn, a lot of Danes like to go there in the summer, so it doubles in size! So he showed me around, and before I took the train home again, we stopped in at the local brewery and had a Påske beer! It was pretty tasty, and the alcohol content was higher than regular beers, so after just a small one it went to my head. Craziness!
On my train ride home, a little light headed, looking out the window, I was just so happy, and I was really excited for my job interview with the tour guide company! Things seem to be going pretty well, and I seem to be making progress, so that's a good thing! Also, I was VERY excited because Martin gave me a bike lock, and I bought lights for my bike so I can ride at night....yay! These are all essentials to living in Danmark! But it wasn't just ANY bike lock...it's none other than a LIZARD bike lock! So now, try to picture me with this nameless orange bike, with an AWESOME lizard bike lock. That's right people...I am going to have the BEST bike in Kobenhavn...and I'm going to be AWESOME!!
The next day, I am READY for action! A job interview, and a Påske dinner! I feel like a real Dane! I begin my day with news that the CPH Food tours received my application, and they will get back to me. A little glimmer of hope, and at least they got it, so that's good!! I then take the bus into Copenhagen, and I find my way to the meeting place. I have my interview with the walking tours, which seemed to have gone well, and am handed my "training packet"....which is essentially TWELVE PAGES of a walking tour in the city. OMG. This will be the role of a lifetime! I am giving myself a week to learn it because the sooner I begin my training, the sooner I can begin working! But I have to pass a test by giving the "manager" a tour. This will all be interesting. I hope I can pull it off....
I then go back home, apply to a few more jobs online, freshen up, and take my bike out to my friends for her Påske dinner! It's great because it's with all of the other tour guides of my soon-to-be-new job, so it will be a great get-to-know-you dinner! Everyone is very sweet, and obviously speak English, and I come to realize how well traveled so many people are which brings me to my next point.....Soapbox please...
Why can't we just travel more as Americans? It's something that out culture ceases to accept. I have thought about this for many years, yet it still hasn't been resolved. Let's call it a cultural thing. But none the less, we haven't completely accepted it. Sure, people love to travel in the States, and we love our vacations, but the emphasis on it is just not there like in other places in the world where I have lived. I'm sitting at a table full of people my age and younger from Canada, Poland, Sweden, Norway, and they have all been to multiple continents, speak multiple languages, and studied in multiple countries. I'm in awe at how "little" I have traveled compared to these people, and am frankly embarrassed at how I am currently working on my second language. Yeah, I know it's different because they are forced to learn English in elementary school, but still! I don't know. It was refreshing to be with such an eclectic group of people, many who have 1 Danish parent like myself, and it gives me something to strive for! So what's the lesson here kids?? TRAVEL!
After many hours of talking, drinking, eating, and having a hyggelig time, we call it an evening, and go on our way. Now, I must admit, I had a few ciders, and was feeling it. And there's nothing like the brisk, FREEZING air to wake you up, and remind you, hey you have a job to do...get back home in one piece...on your BIKE! So I put my new lights on my wonderful bike, unlock the lizard, and head home. Let me tell you, riding while intoxicated...everyone should give it a try! At least I wasn't driving! I might've gone on the sidewalk a few times, and been a bit wobbly at stops, but I made it back in one piece. As I drifted off into slumber, I thought it had been a rigtig Dansk day! (very Danish day!)
Today I had no plans but to DIVE into my BIBLE of a training packet, and begin my quest. However, the day began with a wonderful surprise! My phone rang from an unknown number. Huh, what could THIS be. It was a manager calling from a hostel I had applied to, to work as a BARTENDER! NO WAY! I just applied yesterday! He really liked my resume, and wanted me to come in TODAY! It was 11, and he wants a meeting at 3. Ok, I can totally do this! But not before heading out on my bike with Bedste to do grocery shopping for the day. So here we go...me and my lizard bike, and the cute old lady in her fuzzy hat! We hit up not one....not two.....but THREE different places! After all of our bike baskets are full, we come home again, I get ready, and then head back out on my bike, to go to the bus, to go to the city! (Hey, I'm getting the hang of this now!)
I stop by my friend who I had dinner with last night, grabbed some notes for the tour, and then headed back into CPH (that's short for Copenhagen for all you clever people!) I have my interview which went REALLY well....and an hour and a half later, I'm asked to job shadow tomorrow....yay! It seems like it would be a fun place to work, and most of the guests will be speaking English so that's a plus. The employees are Danish, so I can work on my Danish with them, and the manager said he will work with me when I start Danish school hopefully next week! This is all sounding good! I'm on a super high when I leave with the possibility of a job coming even sooner than I imagine, and then I catch the bus to take it home. I tell Bedste the good news, and she is thrilled! We have an amazing Danish dinner called Hakkebøf, which is essentially a pan sauteed hamburger patty made with seasonings, topped with sauteed onions, served with new potatoes, brown gravy, and we added a side salad. SO GOOD!
After dinner, I have a girls night with a couple friends I've known forever! We grab our bikes, and bike to a cafe to have cozy evening coffees while catching up. I can't help but think as we rode our bikes home again, "We are like Sex and the City!! Only in Copenhagen....and on bikes! How awesome IS this!" Looking back on the last few days, and with SO much happening, it's weird because I feel like I've been here forever, yet it's all so new. I then think to myself...yeah.....life is pretty good right now
Words of the Day
bestemmer (bee-stem-er) - decide
hver (vahr) - every
skraldespand (scral-a-spent) - trash can