Thinking of new titles is irritating
3 months since my last real post, what a poor effort. I still remember when I first started this blog and I was pretty determined to post at least once a month. Just like almost every exchange student, I have not lived up to my blogging expectations. For that I apologise. However, I guess the monotony of my everyday week is just not worth blogging about sometimes.
Let us go back into the past and see what I’ve actually been doing…~~~####~~~
I last posted after coming home from my brother’s wedding in the Czech Republic. Since then the have seasons changed and September brought with it some really, really cold weather and pretty leaves everywhere. Although that might have been October. In any case, it was cold and rainy. So Denmark as per usual. I moved to my third and last host family. My second family lived ‘out in the country’ (so 5km from town and 2.5km to the nearest bus stop) but now I’m back in town again, where it is a mere 2km to the bus station (possibly less) and a town bus comes every so often 20m down the road. So it’s definitely easier for me to get to school now, and if I ever need to come home late at night it’s not too much effort. My third host family is really great and I think I have been very lucky with families.
The day after I arrived at my new host family’s I was up at 5am to go to Portugal with my class for a week. We were driving down to Hamburg before catching a flight to Lisbon. The journey was uneventful and most of my classmates slept, which apparently led to some embarrassing photo-taking (as is the norm).
Lisbon was absolutely amazing. It was just such a stunning city that was full of life no matter the hour. There are many places where you can get a view of the whole city from above, including the Castelo de Sao Jorge. We went on a few day trips out to smaller towns about an hour from Lisbon, where the climate would be completely different. Some of my favourite places include the Jeronimos Monastery and Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. We also went to a brewery, a winery, a shopping centre, the Danish embassy, to Cascais (beach town) and Sintra (mountain town), as well as having lots of free time to ourselves just in city centre, which was great. We were required to be up at a certain hour every day to begin the day’s activities so it was sometimes difficult to restrain our urges to explore and come back to the hotel instead. The scorching weather was nice for maybe 3 hours until everyone realised how much it sucked. I was going to put some pictures up but my computer is being annoying so I might just put them up in an album on Facebook instead. This album should be up some time before 2014 if I actually get round to it. But all-in-all a pretty great week.
Following that, it was back to school again for about a month, after which we had autumn break. Of course that meant that I did not actually get much rest, but went about doing things I wasn’t able to do during an ordinary school week. Met up with a few exchange student friends, went places, saw things (I feel like I should be award some sort of prize for how well I paint a picture of my life for my readers). To be honest there are just a few gaps in my memory which is why I can’t be too descriptive. I’ll probably remember details 2 seconds after I press the ‘Create Post’ button and then wallow in self-disappointment.
Where were we? Ah, autumn holidays. In the latter half of the holidays I went with my host father, host grandparents and 2 of my 3 host siblings to Berlin. I’ve been to Berlin a few times before but it was a still a lot of fun and it was about 10 degrees hotter than Haderslev which is always pleasant. We saw parts of the original wall, went to the City of Lights Festival(? not sure that’s the right term) which was all throughout the city centre, and discussed why they would do construction on Unter den Linden, a pretty popular street in Berlin. Turned out it’s to make way for a new underground station. Is that a good excuse, I ask you? We also went to an awesome ice hockey game (I think I posted about it a few weeks ago). So that was 4 days in Berlin. Unfortunately every time I go to Berlin I discover something new I want to see which I don’t get enough time to see. But there’s always next time.
The holidays ended and school began again. Around 3 weeks ago we had a Rotary G2G in Holbæk (which is on Sjælland, about an hour from Copenhagen) from Friday afternoon-Sunday and decided if we were going to Sjælland (maybe 3-4 hours from where I live) we could make a day of it and go to Copenhagen during the day. I was up at around 6 to catch a 8am train from Kolding and got to the capital around 11. A few of us exchange students spent the day wandering around, shopping and occasionally eating. The weather was actually pretty great considering it had been raining for a few days beforehand. We got to Holbæk around 6 where the G2G had already begun. With 200 exchange students all in one school, things are bound to get chaotic. The G2G was run by former exchange students so unlike our first G2G, we had a lot of free time. Of course this meant we didn’t get much sleep and with little sleep comes over-emotional exchange students. It was a lot of fun to meet some new exchange students but at the same time depressing because we knew we didn’t have much time left. I feel like I may have scared some exchange students with my terrifying ‘Cereal Killer’ costume. Although probably not. It was somewhat difficult to explain to some non-native-English speakers why the pun was funny. There was also a strange rumour going around about me befriending a certain Canadian which put a slight damper on the weekend but in the end everything was fine and dandy. By Sunday everyone was exhausted and went home ready for a good night’s sleep. I am unsure of just how many exchange students actually went to school on time the next day.
That’s just a summary of some of the bigger events happening in the last few months. If you have any questions about anything don’t hesitate to ask, I’ll probably be much more informative speaking as opposed to writing stuff down (which can be such a bore and way more time consuming). Might also upload photos some time in the decade? If you ask nicely.
Right now it’s the 21st of November and it’s been 10 months since I left home, which is a bit peculiar. I’ve got less than 2 months to go before I fly back to Sydney and I’m trying to do as much as I possibly can before I leave (including Tivoli!). Christmas and NYE are coming up which should be great and then not long after it’s time to fly. It hasn’t really hit me that I’m leaving yet and I’m hoping it doesn’t for a while. Although it would be better if it were gradual and not just me lying in bed on my last night in Denmark curled up in a ball and crying.
This will probably be one of my last updates (either the penultimate post or third last) so next time I write it will be about Christmas, Danish winter, and how well I’m making use of my Rotary allowance in the final weeks. Until then.
So yesterday I went to my first ice hockey game ever. It was most definitely the craziest game I have ever seen. There were around 15000 people in the O2 stadium in Berlin, and it was intense. Upon arrival, I was wondering why many people were wearing scarves tied around their wrists. This became clear to me when ‘Eisbaer Berlin’ scored their first goal. The thousands of Berlin supporters began to wave their scarves in the air to the music of the Can-Can. Bear in mind that the game was in Berlin so probably around 99% of the crowd were supporting them (I felt sort of bad for the other team). After the Can-Can, the crowd mocked the other team (it was a strange combination of English and German, using expletives of course), and the commentator gleefully said ‘Eisbaer Berlin!’ with the crowd yelling back the score of the Berlin team. Once he said ‘Augsburg’ (the name of the other team), the crowd would reply with their score (which was 0 or 1 later on) as well as some more German expletive chants.
This of course was just a taste of what it was like in the standing ranks of the stadium rife with Eisbaer fans. It was absolutely insane and I loved it.
Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. In fact, I am very much alive. Just not very good with the updates. I have a ton of posts still to write that I think will never be written (EuroTour anyone?) and a few that I think will be written (like my school trip to Portugal) but that might not be for a while because I am leaving for Berlin in a few hours, so it’ll have to wait until I come back.
Poland/the Czech Republic/Wedding
Summary of August thus far.
At 7.30pm on the 13th of July, we drove out of the house and began the long journey to Switzerland.
I feel I haven’t really been writing much here lately (I’m not even going to talk about how long ago it’s been since I wrote in my journal) so I figured I might try and catch up a little on what’s been happening since EuroTour.
Man have I not been bothered to post anything on EuroTour. I guess it’s just really hard to put 18 days of amazingness into words. But I can try. Here’s Berlin.
Written on Sunday 13th of May.
Today is my last day to write a post before I go on EUROTOUR! I’m packing tomorrow morning (after having my first sleep-in in a while), then going to Kolding with my host family. Coming back at night and then getting picked up by the bus at 9.30. I have a feeling I won’t be able to sleep tomorrow…
I haven’t posted in the last few weeks so here is an adequate summary.
Monday 30th of April
I went to Schlesvig (Germany) with Hunter and two of the Rotarians for a dinner meeting. The Schlesvig Rotary club is our ‘sister’ club, so we see them quite often. It was my first time there, however, and I have to say it was pretty beautiful. The meeting was quite a bit more formal than we expected, so it probably would have been a good idea to wear better clothes. But alas. We came back pretty late which wasn’t the best for going to school the next day although driving extremely fast on the German highways meant it could have been later.
Wednesday 2nd of May
That day we had a sports day for all the Handelsskole students. Each class had to play around 4 sports and play against various classes (ranging from the 1st grade to the 3rd grade). It was great to spend some time with my classmates outside of the classroom and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves. I actually came back home with a sunburn (which shows just how easily my skin burns :|) but in my defence, it was pretty sunny!
Thursday 3rd of May
Catherine (one of the Rotary exchange students who lives near Germany) had invited me to come with her and Hannah (another exchange student) to Hamburg on Friday. However, we were leaving earlyish, so she suggested I stay the night before. After my Rotary meeting, I caught the bus down to Aabenraa, met Catherine there, and then we went to Sønderborg to meet up with Hannah and chill for a bit. It was very beautiful down there!
It was such a fun day with Catherine and Hannah. We saw the Rathaus, went on a canal tour of the harbour and wandered around the Botanical Gardens, as well as other places. Seeing some of the best parts of Hamburg really was amazing. One of the most notable sights was the St Nikolai church; bombed in WWII, the spire was still 142m high. We got to go 75m up and the view really was breathtaking. The three of us also ate hamburgers, having spent the better part of an hour trying find a place that sold them… making good use of our time! There are some photos up on my Facebook, which can be found in the ‘about me’ section.
Saturday 5th of May
After getting home at midnight the day before, I was up the next morning to spend the day with my third host family, the Mikkelsens. We were driving to Assens (on Fyn) to try something new; skinnercycler! This is basically a type of machine which operates on train lines but you ride it like a bicycle. It’s a bit hard to explain. Either way, it was the most picturesque day ever and spring was everywhere.
Nothing much happened for the rest of the week- I just spent the time with my first host family and finished school for the academic year.
Friday 11th of May
This was the day I moved host families for the first time. I’d done most of my packing before which was good. It was extremely strange to say goodbye (but not really) to the Kristensens- I think because it was my first move, I didn’t really know what to expect. We drove to the Clausens’ house with all my things and I started to do a bit of unpacking because I needed my suitcase for EuroTour. The Clausens live just outside the town (around 5km to the main bus station in Haderslev) and although the nearest bus stop is 2-2.5km away, I can easily ride my bike into town. It’s lovely living more in the country than ever- definitely a new experience!
Saturday 12th of May
The following day I was up early again to go to Schlesvig with one of the Rotarians from my club. Because Hunter couldn’t come (she had prior engagements) I asked one of my friends to join us. We drove down at a painfully early hour and had breakfast with the Schlesvig club, talking with a few of the Rotarians there. Following that, we headed down to a museum about the Vikings who’d established an enormous trading town there (because of the river that crossed through the land, making it easier for travel). We got English audioguides, as the tour was in German/Danish. It was a lot of fun wandering around the museum with our audioguides, they are surprisingly fun sometimes. Afterwards, we had lunch with the club again, then went on a long tour of the river on a boat. It was a pretty good day, even though we probably drank too much coffee (we’d both had late nights the night before).
Right now I have a mostly-finished draft of my weeks before EuroTour (Hamburg etc) and a whole EuroTour post to write. Although I’ll most likely post the pre-Tour post some time this week, the EuroTour one won’t be up until next week (which is when I get my photos back from a friend). Bear with me, because I will have them both written…eventually.
Last week was quite a busy week. Although I was lucky enough to get Friday off, it still felt extremely long. My Rotary club had invited me to a military air base (Skydstrup Flyvestation) and we had one of the men working there take us on a tour of some of the hangars and aircrafts. The base was so much bigger than I thought it would be, so we had hired a bus to take us from Haderslev and to transport us around the air base. Unfortunately a lot of what was said about the helicopter and planes we saw was lost on me (my limited Danish vocabulary does not include technical words about aircrafts) but it was still really cool to see them.