Tag Archives: Copenhagen

Welcome, I will exhaust you!

The extreme quick of it: That subject line probably isn’t the best way to start a blog entry, but you’ll understand if you read it all. I am no longer in residence permit limbo. I have been granted Swedish permanent residence for five years. Before that, in about a year, I am eligible to apply for Swedish citizenship (while retaining my Americanosity). So that’s that. I’ve also been on vacation back to Louisiana with a sisters-only vacay at a resort in Turks and Caicos. For more information on those, you’ll have to wait until next time, because I’ve apparently managed to delete all my vacation photos save those on the trusty iPhone. MUTHAFUCK. So I’m going to have to figure that out. Merp. Alas, per usual, there’s…

The long of it: Those who aren’t strangers know I thrive on a delicate balance of being a happy homebody and a wonder-struck wanderer. Moreover, those who have traveled with me will admit, perhaps after a bit of prodding, that I am exhausting. It’s not my quietness, my disappearing to take photos, my fear of sneaky meat or my reluctance to ask for directions. It’s just that I don’t.stop.going.

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Moving on up/over/out

Before I knew better, whatever direction I faced was north. Wasn’t that the direction I was meant to be going or something? Despite this prior misunderstanding, I now possess a rather functioning sense of direction and knack for finding my way around. Even still, I’m bound to missteps or vague references in speech. I often drove “up to New Orleans” from Baton Rouge or just “over to Tampa” no matter the facts or details. So excuse my err in saying I’m moving up/over/out. I can’t seem to make up my mind though I know I’m at least going somewhere. Cause hitch up your wagons, kids, I’m moving to the great Southwest [of Sweden]! Let me exercise some precision. I’m moving from Lund to Malmö. At the end of the month, I’m hauling my shit (Somehow I’ve managed to amass quite a load, yet I don’t spend money. What is this madness?) to Karl’s apartment’s basement storage. Then we’ll hole up in his room for a month or so while sharing the apartment with his two human roommates and two feline roommates. After that, ho ho! We’re moving on up/over to our own place in Malmö with two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a balcony, a bathroom w/ bathtub and indoor cycle parking. How luxurious. We even managed to land a firsthand contract versus a sublet, which is a feat. Remember how I’ve mentioned that Swedes like to stand in lines and take numbers? Well, yeah. They do that for housing too. It’s not uncommon for people to sign their children up for housing queues when they’re born (especially in places like Stockholm) so their odds are better once they’re old enough to want/need their own apartment. But when you put two very determined people on a task, eventually things happen. We sent enough letters, made enough phone calls, walked around and sneaked out enough landlord information to land a contract. This was not fun.

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Ohhh, I want you back!

Yes, I’m using that as my blog title just in case it lures extra hits. Haha. But friends and family, I do want you back as readers. I want to make sure you’re still there. I also want to remind you to always buckle up. Please? Thanks. The public service announcement portion of the blog is now over.

For having such a lazy summer planned, I suppose I’ve managed to keep myself busy enough. Within an hour’s bike ride, I have three access points to beaches (Lomma, Bjarred, Malmo). Let me explain “beaches.” The water I’m swimming in here is cold and rather murky. Completely immersing yourself in the water is like procrastinating an essay. Not so bad once you get into it, but cleaning your bathroom with a toothbrush seems like a better plan. My friend Rachel likens it to swimming in a lake. But remember: I don’t usually swim in lakes at home though due to chihuahuas. (When we’d swim in summer waters in Michigan, we’d make mom swear there was nothing lurking unseen.) Waves? Nope. Warmth? Nope. Algae? Yep. Seaweed? Yep. Banana hammocks? Yep. Topless bathers? Yep. Saunas? Yep. Crappy early ’90s beach tunes? Yep. Fake tans? Yep. Critters? Sort of. You see there are jellyfish in many of these parts, but they don’t sting. It’s like nature put them here and said “Sweden and Denmark don’t have guns or predators. So I’m going to turn off your superpowers, OK?” Apparently it’s customary practice when you’re a youngin to engage in jellyfish fights, launching silicon breast implant like flying saucers at your sibling’s face. Yep, that’s basically what they feel like. Or like Jell-o in a Ziploc bag. And yes, I’ll back up for a second. Because you didn’t read that wrong. There is topless bathing for the ladiez. A few weeks ago there was a big fight whether or not to allow bare breasts on the beaches and in public swimming pools. Boob freedom now rings out and you can let it all hang out (most of it, at least).

I also went on a day trip to Copenhagen to let my nerd flag fly full staff. I think most of you know I’m obsessed with stuff. Not owning stuff really, but appreciating it, staring at it, willing stuff to tell me stories. That’s part of why I’m here. I’m convinced I can get people to care more about their things if they know the stories behind them. Anyway. It gave me some validation when I found out a documentary was being made about stuff. It’s called Objectifed. It’s directed by Gary Hustwit, of Helvetica cult fame. Anyway. I started following this dude on Twitter just so I’d know immediately when the film would be screened nearby. I’m sad. I know. This is why you love me, right?

Here’s a trailer:

In summation, go see it should it come near your theater-going eyeballs. It was everything I wanted, if not a bit short. Cinematically titillating it was not. Informative it was. Porn for the design happy? Kind of. My desktop kangaroo even made an appearance! Hustwit was there for a Q&A session too. And duh. I asked a question, which lead to him saying he can’t live without a piece of aluminum (i.e. his Macbook Pro).

Also, there was Midsummer in these days of yore. This is when people drink and dance around a phallus-y, fertility inducing pole because it’s the longest day of the year. I did both of those tasks. We sang songs about small green frogs and searching for lovers. (On Midsummer, you’re supposed to pick a particular mix of seven flowers and put them under your pillow to dream about your future husband. No word on how this works for lesbians or straight men.) We also divided into teams and played games like potato sack races. During the egg-on-spoon-in-mouth race, we were even provided with napkins to sanitize the spoon handle between players. Haha.

And in a “sometimes I have to be a grown-up” moment, I decided to nix my July plans for Germany and Switzerland. My Ides of March mixed bag tides of luck went into full force lately, resulting in a string of unfortunate events. Cell phone = lost. Gully the wonderbike = stolen. So those factors mixed in with needing to get more things done for myself have taken those trips off the calendar. And yeah, yeah. When one door closes, another one opens. I get it. But here’s looking forward to Barcelona sometime in late August. And until then, I obviously have lots to keep me busy. Malmo and Lund are chock-full of outdoor film screenings, free concerts and ice cream. It’s amazing what summer can do when it’s actually tolerable, much less enjoyable outside. I wish you were all here to enjoy it with me. Until then, please live vicariously by rummaging through the photo album below.

Dat's just my desktop kangaroo. Click it for photos!

Dat's just my desktop kangaroo. Click it for photos!

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Getting schooled in Copenhagen

Let’s talk Copenhagen (English), Köpenhamn (Swedish) and København (Danish). If you’re confused, welcome to the effin club. Thus far, I only know a few key Swedish phrases–basics like hi, thanks, etc.–that are essentially useless in Denmark. They’re probably not useless if you’re Swedish, but they’re not practical if you’re a fake Swede like myself. So I couldn’t use any of the niceties I know, but my comrades and I managed to flag people down and speak at them in English every so often.

Here’s why we went. One of my professors, Max Liljefors, was presenting a paper as part of “Atrocities and Imagination: Extreme Imagery,” a two-day symposium at Copenhagen University. He thoughtfully arranged for us masters students to come along. Let’s just say the second day was better than the first because it was more thought-provoking and in general featured better speakers. Note to people presenting papers: I realize this is what you do when you’re an intellectual, but it’s boring. Please make eye contact. Please use visuals. Bonus points if you have a sense of humor. One of the presenters brought his dog to the symposium. It mostly slept by the portable heater and would occassionally fall asleep on a random presenter’s feet, thus forcing the presenter into uncomfortable stillness. Anyway, we talked about everything from Holocaust imagery to images of anonymous murder victims printed in local newspapers in the favelas of Brazil. (The newspaper makes up didactic stories about their deaths since nobody knows why they died, but they figure they might try to teach others a lesson…) Yours truly even asked a question.

Three of us–myself, Lucy and Svea–went back to Copenhagen last week for a concert at a venue called Vega. We were in the front row for Bon Iver and I wept (sap. I know). Several times, the lead singer reiterated how fortunate he felt that four guys from a small town in Wisconsin could end up in Copenhagen. I feel much the same way about being here except I suppose that my situation is more of a choice and not so much based on the whims of the indie music business. Here’s a crap video from the concert for any interested parties. Note to self: Always get on the train no matter how hungry you are. In buying snacks for the journey home, we missed the last train to Lund from Malmo and thus paid way too much for taxi.

Most importantly, I found MIRACLE WHIP in a grocery store in Copenhagen. For those of you who don’t know, Miracle Whip is my staple condiment–so much so that I considered bringing a jar of it with me. Since I was a wee one, I’ve eaten Miracle Whip sandwiches, which consist of MW goodness and bread (only). During grade school, this meant my mom was often grilled as to why she forgot the meat in my sandwiches. Twenty years later, I still can’t resist. It’s that tangy zip.

Please enjoy the tangy zip of my photos by clicking my face below. I’ll probably update again this week because I have a few more class-related bits (and a break from class) to speak of. Until then, happy October.

Random note: After our class had already been going for a two weeks, one girl showed up late to the class. Nobody had seen her before. She came in and apologized for being late. “I am sorry I am two weeks and seven minutes late.”

Click me and the tangy zip for some tasty photos of Copenhagen!

Click me and the tangy zip for some tasty photos of Copenhagen!

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