Monday, January 29, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Posted by M. Kirstin S. at 1:06 AM
Posted by M. Kirstin S. at 12:06 AM
Monday, January 22, 2007
Posted by M. Kirstin S. at 3:19 PM
Let my goal for this semester resemble this delightful photo montage that greeted me at Kastrup Airport. Let me begin a baby -- innocent, disfigured, leaky -- and let me finish a man with reflective goggles -- inquisitive, focused, outstretched.
Taxi taxi, green light.
Welcome session for Family Stay and Danish Roommate students. At the end of the speeches, families and roommates stood outside the door of the auditorium with the name of their hostee(s). DIS officials read the names off one by one and each student descended the stairs to meet them.
My first morning bowl of cereal in a strange place. Special K, milk, spoon, counter.
Part of my room. Snow outside. Østerbro.
Snow in my courtyard.
The first leg of my commute, the staircase to the inbound H/H+ train at Ryparken.
Opening ceremonies at Ny Carlsbergs Glyptotek. In the words of my new friend Adam, seated to my right, "OHMYGOD EUROPPPPPE!!!" Chamber group + speeches heavily coded with words like "experience" and "cultural exchange" = WELCOME. Something about "Aha!" moments and having them.
Posted by M. Kirstin S. at 2:45 PM
I think I've made quite the impression on my roommate, Elizabeth. I don't mean that I accomplished conveying a deep sense of myself in the hours we chatted sitting on the kitchen countertops drinking tea; I mean that when I woke up from a three hour nap to find that she had prepared dinner for me, I entered the dining room only to shout in my delirium, "MEATBALLLLLLLLLLLLS!" Really, I was thrilled. She seemed thrilled that I was thrilled. She'd prepared a full Danish meal with authentic Danish meatballs (patty-shaped, pan-fried), plus pasta, Bearnaise sauce and a blood-red shredded apple and berry salad. Elizabeth is a beautiful Danish woman. 25. Political science student. Saavy, sophisticated, yet grounded ("I don't understand how some Danish women can spend up to two hours in the morning getting ready. I believe in upholding other values," she said, adjusting her skirt). She lit candles for the dinner and told me about the history behind her furniture. (Most of the pieces came from her family's summer house.) She'd designated a full cabinet for my use, along with a metal shower rack and a wicker basket for my toiletries. She even got me fully stocked with groceries and laundry things. She makes me feel immediately at ease and she runs a laidback household. I imagine that the easy-going atmosphere here is what I would cultivate in my own apartment five years from now. While eating the very meatballs I so enthusiastically salivated over, she dropped the bomb that she is leaving this Thursday for a week to snorkel in Egypt with her boyfriend. What a woman!
My travel to Denmark over Saturday and Sunday was as painless a trip as I could have hoped for. Sleep and consciousness became virtually indistinguishable within the eight hour flight. In the airport I met a ton of DIS students, one of whom goes to Brown with me (just met!) and another of whom went to high school with me. It was a literal party in the terminal with excited American students running around. I floated from group to group, making small-talk and participating in the inappropriate, though requisite ticking unattended luggage jokes. There were some Danes on the flight with us, too, identifiable by what else but blonde hair and sharp outfits. I read some of my New Yorker on the flight, watched some How I Met Your Mother and a documentary about savants.
Everything is beautiful here. I understand that I am in the honeymoon phase where all sidewalks and all spaces become holy places. I also understand that in this phase any successful movement from point A to B without angering any locals or being crushed by bicycles is tantamount to winning the Nobel Prize. I got through my first night of loneliness and isolation, sleeplessness and nervous excitement. I think now my job is, among other things, learning to be the best pedestrian I can be. I believe that this will have something to do with rhythm.
Posted by M. Kirstin S. at 1:11 PM