It was 9A.M. and I woke up to the radiating smell of coffee and bacon. I picked up my heavy head and slumped my way over to the kitchen. As I entered the kitchen, my host family greeted me with a friendly smile. They were surprised I was able to get up so “early”, given my rough day earlier. The familiarity of the breakfast contrasted my new kitchen and new backyard (for the next 4 months). Pancake, Bacon, Eggs, and Coffee.
With a full morning stomach, I was about to enter a food coma. Though more sleep sounded incredible, the idea of getting my expedition of Europe started pushed me through that mental block. And there I was, finding myself heading to Copenhagen on the coveted Danish public transportation all the DIS (the study abroad program) staff was raving about. My host mother took me to the city so that I could familiarize myself with the location of popular destinations and my classrooms in the city center. This was nothing like home. Home to me is New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia. Copenhagen resembled nothing of the heart(s) of America. No skyscrapers, no trash all over the roads, no cars trying to run you over every five seconds. Copenhagen has modesty, history, and cobblestone roads. I would find out later that it also has much higher prices. Not only are the base prices higher, but everything is taxed heavily. 25% heavy. My tomato soup at a local cafe came out to about 120DKK (~$16) after tax; my host mother graciously paid for my meal.
After only spending about 2 hours in the city, we head back. The train ride was an experience in itself. Going through cities, suburbs, and the countryside, it was a sight to see.
The rest of the day I was getting to know my host family a lot better. Exchanging experiences, cultural differences, high pitched remarks with my host sister, and scratching the dog’s head, I was beginning to integrate myself into the household. After all, I would be living with them for the next 4 months.
As was with the previous day (talked about in the preceding blog post), I ended my night pretty soon after dinner. Though plagued by jet lag, DIS had their kick-off orientation planned at 8A.M.
The next morning, after an early breakfast, my host parents had offered to give me a ride to the orientation. Another bit of news was that we would pick up another DIS student living close by to give her a ride as well. She goes by the name Kacie (not her actual first name) and would appear many times throughout my journey in Copenhagen.
After somewhat of a cold struggle, we made our way to a table inside the Circus House (location of the opening ceremony). Before my heart could settle, the director(s) had begun their prepared speeches. Lots of words of inspiration and advice was given. We also were graced with a special live performance from an award winning, up-and-coming Danish band by the name “CHINAH”. The orientation left me anxious, but little did I know that there was a lot to come.
Much of the day was spent exploring many interesting and historic landmarks throughout Copenhagen. I got to see the changing of the guards at the royal palace, visit the parliament buildings, play house, the famed “Nyhavn” (pronounced New Haueun) that you see in all touristy photos from Denmark, the spiral tower, and more. Copenhagen has much to offer and I am just getting started…