Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sorry it took so long!!!

My last post was over a month ago and I apologize for that!! I've been really busy :-/ I took a bus to Stockholm where I saw the city again, experienced a real swedish sauna before taking a two day sea cruise to Tallinn, Estonia and back. I ate traditionally made deer (or bison? or something not normal?) soup in a candle-lit old-style cafe and bought skinny jeans from a Spanish store called Pull & Bear while in Tallinn. It was a CRAZY wild experience and I can't mention it all now, but feel free to ask me about it!

 

The guy in the middle picture passed out on a bench and was oblivious to us stacking all these things on him. Even when we posed next to him for a picture and accidentally knocked it all over...no movement. But then a short while after we left him alone he was up and back on the dancefloor XD


Then after that I went on an ESN trip to Berlin which was also amazing. I have been wanting to visit Germany since my first day of German class in High School and it lived up to its billing. It was quite a different feeling than the other cities I have been in, both because it was bigger than most of them and also because it is "newer" than them with history that I can immediately relate to. It is "newer" in that it was destroyed in WWII and then was oppressed and is now flourishing as a European capital. When touring the city I could feel this, there was a tangible feeling of recovery and progress when walking past a section of the crumbling Berlin Wall next to a shiny skyscraper. Also, when visiting the other places, of course you could tell there was rich history but it wasn't "my" history, nor was it recent enough to relate to. But walking around Berlin and seeing Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (which we visited on the way to Berlin) was VERY relatable. It is history that my grandparents would have experienced, something recent, and something far more relatable than the wars of kings of centuries ago. The first night we went to a traditional German restaurant to have some crispy pork knuckle. It was pretty good, but a bit too much work to eat for my taste. I asked for water and realized that it was about 3 dollars for a class...so then I ordered a beer. It was bad...but that's probably because I don't like beer :P but afterwards we tipped our waitress and I said to her "We were hoping we could get a picture with you" because she was wearing more traditional German clothing and so she did. Then she says to me "I can take a picture with just you if you want" and I was like "uh what?", really confused, but she was cute so of course I did haha then I walked around Berlin with my friends at night and saw the Brandenburg Gate which is BEAUTIFUL, far more so than during the day. Needless to say, it was great and I wish I could say more!


 



Above you can see the gate at sachsenhausen that says "Work Makes Free" in Sachsenhausen and picture of a weird guy being talked to by the police. I took this picture and the police got super mad at me and rushed at me and yelled at me to delete the pictures. Oops. I guess I missed one ;-)


Recently HCO celebrated its birthday which is basically VEISHEA for just our dormitory in Denmark with Danish laws. That means public drinking is fine, streaking is not a problem, etc. So the first major event that I participated in was the Bilka Marathon. I wouldn't usually describe drinking, but this event is just so bizarre and something we couldn't do in the US that I have to. Basically, a group of 100 of us walked 1.5 miles to Bilka (their walmart) to buy about 14 beers (or more if you're a real viking) and then walk back to HCO with our full shopping carts stopping at each of the 14 benches and drinking a beer while talking, having fun, etc. This could never happen in the US. Firstly, public drinking isn't legal. Secondly, our university students would do things to get hurt, to hurt others, or damage property. That's why we can't have nice things :-/ The police actually stopped us once, but only because we were blocking the bike path and they said we just need to be more aware of people wanting to use the bike path for its intended purpose. Danish police are very chill. Beyond that, there were also sport tournaments for football (soccer) and sand volleyball. One of our football players was injured during the Bilka Marathon so I ended up having to play for my kitchens team. They were actually surprised by how "not bad" I was which I took as a compliment. I didn't make us lose the semifinals, and we did ok in the finals (lost in shootouts after a tie game). There was also a few streakers a few different times, but here that's not considered a big deal at all. For getting second, we won a case of beer. Again, would that be a prize in the US at a dormitory event? Probs not. Then, on one of the nights, a tree ended up in the window of our Kitchen. It used to be a yearly tradition to hang a tree out of the window of my kitchen at HCO, but they were threatened with eviction if they kept doing it so they stopped for a couple years. But this year we made t-shirts with a tree hanging out of the window, so what choice did we have? The results speak for themselves. See pictures below :D





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