Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Little Bit of Everything

So on Thursday, it was my half birthday. As a joke, I wrote it on the family calendar, however, my family thought it was a great idea to celebrate it! Usually this wouldn't be celebrated, or barely even mentioned, but since I won't be able to celebrate my real birthday in Denmark, my half birthday was good enough! I made macaroni and cheese for dinner, and then we celebrated. We made half of a lagkage (layer cake), we put Danish flags up all over the house, we sang, and I even got a few presents :) My class also sang Happy (half) Birthday to me at school, and I brought in flødeboller for everyone to eat. It was a terrific half birthday, and I'm very glad that I got to experience (half of) a Danish birthday.

Thursday was also my first guitar lesson! Okay, technically it was my third.. but it was the first one I actually got to go to. January 6th was suppose to be my first lesson; so I biked up to the Music School, cluelessly walked around for 15 minutes, finally decided to call my teacher only to find out he was sick and classes were cancelled. The second lesson I was suppose to have was on January 13th, and for some reason I completely spaced it out, and consequently missed that lesson. So last Thursday at 5 o'clock, I biked up to the Music school with my guitar, walked up the stairs (now knowing where I was to go), met my teacher Niels, and was then told my class didn't start until 6:30.... So I biked home, relaxed for a bit and then biked back to the Music School. Finally I got to have my guitar lesson, and it went really well! At first I was worried that it would be a little difficult for me to learn how to play guitar in Danish, and that maybe I wouldn't understand everything Niels was teaching me, but it was no problem at all! I feel like these will be really fun lessons, and I'm excited to learn more. I'm now practicing my new song for next weeks lesson!

I sometimes surprise myself with how much Danish I know. I've been here for almost 6 months already (eek!) but with so many English speakers here, people say that it's hard to actually learn Danish. And that is true, but I remember when I was first learning Danish, my classmates would teach me new words and phrases in Danish everyday. And when we were all hanging out and they were chatting away in Danish, I wouldn't let me speak to me in English the whole time because I really, really wanted to learn Danish! My classmates have been a huge help with my Danish, along with my families, but I still feel like I've learned the most from other exchange students. It's so easy to talk to them, and that's probably because we feel most comfortable with each other, and we can understand each other even when we say or pronounce things completely wrong. But for example, with the other exchange students at my school, we only speak Danish together because there isn't any other language that we all know well enough to communicate in. And when we're all together, we can just sit and talk for hours with each other in Danish, and it's such a great feeling! If we don't know a word, we either attempt to describe it using other words we know (and lots of hand motions), or we just make something up.. I still feel like it's easier to understand Danish than to speak it, but when I'm speaking it at home, at school, with friends and with other exchange students, I know it's only getting better!

This weekend I was in Copenhagen visiting our Uncle and his two daughters, Anne and Beatriz. It's Beatriz's Birthday on Wednesday so we celebrated that while we were there. I also took a walk along the beach with Anette and Torben, and it was just gorgeous outside. Blue skies, not too cold, WINDMILLS galore; I loved it.
Our last day there, Anette, Torben, Stig, Lise and I took a little trip into the city and walked around so I could see a little bit more Copenhagen culture. We went to the Round Tower, a 17th century tower that you can walk to the top of, but instead of stairs, there's a round ramp that leads all the way up. At the very top you can look out and see Copenhagen's beautiful skyline, and this is actually Europe's oldest functioning astronomy observatory! It was another beautiful day outside, so the view from the top of the tower was great. And as we were at the top, it was noon, so all of the church bells around us started ringing :) Then on the way down, we decided to run down the 210 meter long ramp, which was also quite fun! After the Round Tower, we got some kabobs and falafels for lunch, used an underground bathroom, and then drove back to our wonderful island of Fyn!

Now all of a sudden it's Monday again! The weeks are just flying by way too fast.
All the best,

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