Friday, June 22, 2012

Beer Bottles, Hospital Visits, and Goodbyes

Last week was, by far, was the craziest week of my Erasmus experience and possibly my life. And that is saying a lot...(my terrible start with messed up flights getting here, losing my baggage, and my computer charger breaking right away; 80% vodka induced sickness on a cruise from Stockholm forcing me to buy new clothing in Estonia; BILKA Marathon and putting a tree in our kitchen for my dormitories birthday, etc.)

Wednesday June 6:
Spent the afternoon preparing presentations for my exam the next afternoon before going to the final quiz night for Team COCO with the addition of Julie as our Danish translator and some other friends. It was fun, but of course we did terribly and lost. So, as with every Wednesday, we went afterwards to LA Bar for an hour of free beer and so Christina and Julie could attempt to find "Snake Juice" from Parks and Recreation. (Video here) I don't think they were successful, but it was definitely a great night!

Thursday June 7:
Woke up and relaxed a bit before taking my Project Work exam which I rocked and got a 12 on as I said in the previous post. Then my group and I continued working a bit more on our project and made our personal presentations for our exam the next morning at 8:30. We thought it would be at the main campus where our supervisors office was, so we made plans to meet there at 8am and I set my alarm so I wouldn't oversleep the next day. Then we went to LA Bar at 10pm for hour one of free beer, then ABar for their hour of free beer. Andreas, one of the ESN Board members, convinced me to try this thing called a Lamborghini which starts with lighting a sambuca shot on fire in a normal glass and then having a shot of tequila, bailey's, and something blue ready. You drink the sambuca from a straw and as you finish it then you pour in the next shot, then the next, blah blah and do it all in one go. It was actually pretty fantastic. Then I danced and had a great time and then somebody that I have a history of not getting along with approached me and said something stupid. Not sure what happened next, but then we were on the floor and our friends made us separate. There were no punches or anything, it wasn't a fight, but it was enough to make me look at my watch and realize it was 3 am and that I needed to go home for my exam. So then I went home and fell asleep at 4.

Friday June 8:
I woke up and looked at my phone to see the time: 8:29. If you recall, my exam was to start at 8:30. Oops. I panicked and put on clothes, ran down to my bike, and biked as fast as possible to the main campus. I called my groupmates but didn't get an answer until I arrived at the campus. They informed me that the exam was, in fact, at the engineering campus and I needed to turn around. I rode back there but, because my bike is a POS, my chain fell off along the way forcing me to run with my bike to the school. I got there and walked into the exam room as my group finished up with the group part and so we immediately walked back out into the hall. So that was a great start...then I nervously waited for 30 minutes before it was my turn to do my individual presentation. I took a couple mints to freshen up, and then I went in. My presentation went fine (though I couldn't really stand up straight) and I knew the answers to the questions they asked me, one of which was to describe if there were any software models that we'd considered implementing in our project and I was able to explain the lack of separation between GUI and Business Logic in Android and how that prevented us from truly implementing Model-View-Controller. So, despite my showing up late and disheveled, I was able to prove that I put effort into the project and knew what I was talking about and earned a 10 out of 12 on the exam (10 is the second highest grade and equates to an A or A- on the US Scale. 12 is the only higher score and it really means that you learned MORE than you needed to, so it's more like an A+/really high A in the US.) So that was a crazy morning...

Then I took a nap to get the energy for Friday night. I started out by watching the opening game of the Euro cup, the European football championship, between Poland and Greece. I don't usually watch football, but I really do enjoy it when it is at this level (i.e. the big national teams). Then I was invited by some Italian girls to their flat with a couple other friends for an Italian dinner of pizza, meatballs, and some home-made salami (by the girl's father! how cool is that??) and washed it all down with an Italian drink called Spritz (White Wine, soda water, and Aperol). We had some good conversation and then played a home-made board game before going out for the night. I met up with Christina at ABar and met her sister Veronika who was visiting for the weekend with her parents. Veronika greeted with me chocolate cake that she'd snuck in. I knew right away we were going to be best friends. Nothing crazy happened this night, though!

Saturday June 9:
Day of sleeping and being lazy followed by the Denmark/Holland Euro game. Nobody expected Denmark to win, but they got an early goal and kept the lead throughout! Amazing. Then I went over to Rasmus Rask dormitory to meet with the Lithuanian girls and share the pictures we have of each other. So Aurelija, Gintare, Raimonda and I spent an hour looking at pictures and then making a cake for the going away party some others were having later this night.

Then we went to that party. It was a joint affair between a Spanish girl named Silvia and a Polish guy named Kamil. That meant that all of the Spanish people and all of the Polish people (two of the larger groups of Erasmus students) were there plus all their friends, so it was pretty big. Everything was going really well, but since there were too many people to fit into the small party hall that they'd reserved, a lot of the people were outside. This meant that it wasn't hard for some uninvited Danes to show up and join the party. I was talking to a friend and took a step backwards and accidentally bumped into one of them. Of course, I apologized, but it shouldn't have been a big deal. To him it was, though, and he started yelling at me. Then he shoved me into another guy, causing him to drop his beer. The second guy started yelling at me too and telling me I owed him a beer and stuff. My friends did their best to separate us and make the guys leave, but as they did so the second one grabbed a broken beer bottle from the nearby trash can and made to stab me with it (This I did not know at the time but was informed by a sober spectator later. Thanks George!) but since he was being escorted away he threw it at my head instead. Who does that??? Seriously? But when that happened I was already talking to Veronika and I just felt a tap on my head and thought nothing of it. It wasn't until somebody told me that I was bleeding that I realized my face was covered in blood. Maria, my Spanish friend, as well as Sandra and Laura were the heroes of the night though.  They got me to the bathroom and cleaned my face and then encouraged me to go to the hospital. It took them about 40 minutes though, because I kept wandering off to say goodbye to every single person at the party and to dance. Then finally they got me into a cab.

The Danish emergency room is pretty nice. You walk in and tell them your CPR number (basically social security number) and they take care of you, free of charge. I got 4 stitches in the top of my head and then I was good to go. I wanted to go back to Rasmus Rask because a) that's where my bike was b) as part of an inside joke I brought eggs that I was going to make for eggs for breakfast the next day and c) More reasons. But the spanish girls decided I needed to go home so we went back to HCO. When we arrived around 5am I woke up my friend Cecilie on our floor. She is a med student and works in the Emergency room so I really wanted her to know what had happened (she later gave me a mock bill for her services. It's really clever and apparently I owe her a cake now). Then I went back to my room and called my mom so I could let her know what had happened. I should have gone to bed then...but I got a text from Christina saying that Cal had held up his end of the aforementioned inside joke and brought bacon. I really wanted eggs and bacon. So I ran the 6.5 kilometers/4 miles from my dormitory to Rasmus Rask. It sucked. But I got to hang out with Christina, Cal, and Arturs and eat some delicious eggs and bacon at 7am :D Christina's sister was asleep and didn't want to wake up to have the bacon though so she didn't get any. She missed out :P

Sunday June 10:
After a couple hours of sleep, Christina's parents showed up to take them out for the day. That meant I had to leave. I walked a few doors down and spent the day hanging out with Aurelija and Gintare and watching Good Will Hunting which was amazing. I can't believe I'd never seen it before! The girls loved it also but were surprised by how many F-Bombs there were in it. Frankly, I was too haha but it was really good dialog so it was ok. Then I left and showered and met up with Cal and Olli at Arturs flat for yet another night out. Apparently Arturs was given 30L of boxed wine at his job because they stopped selling that brand, or something, and so needed to get rid of it. Christina and Veronika joined us a bit later. The highlight of the night was Veronika talking very protectively but proudly about her sister. Some gems: "I am my sisters sister and she is my favorite sister. She is my only sister, but I have seven others. She has really small hands" (all of these things are true. except the 7 sisters part. but especially the hands part) So yeah, that was fun.

Monday June 11:
Monday was the last day of "Monday's Cafe". It was also the France vs. England Euro game so the place was packed with French people supporting their team (there are very few Englishmen here). The game ended in a draw which is better than a loss because there was also free beer this night to celebrate the last night of "Monday's Cafe", and drunk football fans...well...You know what happens. The "meal of the day" was fried chicken breast (not breaded, just fried on a stovetop) with curry sauce, rice, and a veggie salad. By that I mean cut up lettuce, cucumber, onion, and peppers and guess what? I ate my entire plate. I know!!! I am as surprised as you are, but I actually ate vegetables. Then after an hour or two of mingling and talking to people I ordered a burger. Monday's Cafe wouldn't be Monday's Cafe without ordering a burger. It was delicious. And I ordered it just in time, too, because shortly afterwards they had to stop selling the burgers because they ran out of beef. After Monday's we attempted to go to Dexter, but it was closed, so we went to a different bar instead, followed by a birthday party/going away party for a German girl. At this point I am amazed that I am still alive and functioning. But anyway "alles gut!" Or, in English, "all is good" :P

Tuesday June 12:
After somehow still being alive, I spent some time thinking about what other American dish I would cook for the Spanish Dinner this night. Then out of nowhere the thought occurred to me: Sloppy Joes. A quick google search showed that they were easy to make from scratch (of course you can't buy a can of manwich sauce here. and we always make our stuff homemade on Tuesday anyway) AND they were invented in Sioux City, Iowa. How awesome? "Authentic" Iowan food :D The Spanish girls made another Spanish Omelette but this time with Tuna and Cheese (their first time making it that way) and I really liked it. Malu, my Kurdish ESN Buddy, and her friends came with some spring rolls, a rice dish, and something else. It was all delicious! But, like always, it was way too much food O_O And then afterwards, instead of going to bed like a normal person, I reheated leftovers and brought them to the University to Christina at midnight because she was still studying. Now, as I write this, it is 4am in the morning and I am still at the university.

Thursday June 13/Friday June 14:
Those of you that were around know what happened...but let's just say I turned my bike upside down and tried to open the bike lock with my credit card, I didn't want to take a cab home "because of wallet", and I lost my phone...but Maciek managed to get me home. The next morning Enrico and Daniele greeted me at my exam and dealt with my phone an bike confusion and congratulated me as I passed my final exam with a 10 (this was about Android programming and went really well!).

Saturday June 15/Sunday June 16/Monday June 17
Many goodbye events and riding around town to see everybody and tell them goodbye. Saturday was the big "goodbye party" at Retro, the final goodbye. I took my ESN Flag to have it signed by as many of my friends as I could and the marker left marks all over the bar...oops :D It was an interesting night, but definitely a great one that I'll remember for a while. Sunday and Monday nights were at Ryan's to say goodbye and watch the Euro games, and Monday night ended at Skt. Jorgens Gade 21 where we spent some quality time just talking. My Polish friends poured us a symbolic final drink of their Bison Grass Vodka and Apple Juice. It felt incredibly special for me to share that with them and end things in the place and with the friends that I started my Erasmus experience. I think I said goodbye to most people no less than 4 times (which gets really emotionally draining, but was definitely worth it), even the ones that I knew I would be visiting in Paris, Vienna, or Vilnius, but I feel now that it still wasn't enough :-/

Sorry for the lack of pictures, this post was more of a personal post for me so I can remember the things that happened here. Unfortunately I didn't write it in a timely manner so many of the details are lacking, but o well, hopefully it will be enough of a trigger for me.

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