September: A Review

Happy October, everyone!

Thought I’d start with a post that was representative of my first full month in Copenhagen. 1.5 months gone and 2.5 to go!

SEPTEMBER UPDATES

Copenhagen explorations

  • Norrebro/SuperKilen — Superkilen is a 1km long park in Norrebro, that has a lot of fun activities — boxing ring, circular swings, and spongey floors. This area is eclectic and has a very different vibe than the historic inner city. Graffiti lines the streets and walls, the area is significantly more ethnically diverse, and that is evident through the people walking around the streets and restaurants/cafes. I enjoyed a Lychee Black Milk Tea at the Madhatter Tea Emporium (nom), but need to go back to a café called Grod. Apparently they have the best porridge.
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  • Glyptotek — created by the Carlsberg Foundation, apparently the founder of Carlsberg had a huge collection of artwork that he wanted to share with the public. A truly beautiful space and building. My favorite exhibit was the Degas Dancers — one of four places in the world with the full collection. I saw pieces while I was in Paris at the Orsay, but it was impressive to be able to take in the artwork in a room collectively. FREE on Tuesdays 🙂 and I don’t have class, so my host sister met me here to exploreeee.
  • Meatpacking District/Warpigs/V1 Gallery — A Friday evening exploration. We visited an older part of town, the meatpacking district, which is relatively new. My host dad said that back in the day nothing much went on down there, but now the area is lined with cozy/industrial buildings and pop up galleries — V1. Warpigs (3000 Google reviews) looked like too good an opportunity to pass up, so we went there for dinner 🙂
  • Fredericksborg Slot — A past summer house of the royal family, this palace in Hillerod is truly a tourist destination.
  • Host Fam Adventures — Farms and Trams
  • Louisiana Museum — One of the top museums in Denmark, take this trek away from the city for a modern art exhibit. While I enjoyed their permanent exhibits more, the Manen exhibit, focusing on man’s relationship with the moon was really well put together… Unsurprisingly, a lot of artwork/materials were sourced from the United States and NASA, but many maps and documents from the Royal Danish Library.
  • Baking Bread and Pizza – Homestay Network Events!

SEPTEMBER IN COPENHAGEN

September is truly the most beautiful month. The air is crisp, tourists are few, and the weather is still sunny and transitioning into fall. How blessed I am. Cultural tidbits I want to remember:

  • Debunking the happiness myth
  • Welfare State success?
  • Immigration/Ghettos/Education/Crime — Approximately 5% of citizens in Denmark are foreign. While a majority originally came from Poland, many more come from Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. The latter of these migrants often live in Denmark’s ghettos. Which to be fair, aren’t really ghettos (at least according to American standards). But, like the U.S., Denmark combats issues of immigration, assimilation, and improving the education system for this demographic. Because schools are not as “successful” as schools in the city, Denmark has considered ways to improve the school system for migrants. Should they be allowed to travel to better schools outside their school district? Would it be fair to force them to commute a significantly farther distance? How do religious migrants change Denmark’s secular culture?
  • Finding identity/uniqueness in a culture that prefers equality and similarity — I think this is an interesting question.

Well, I am sleep deprived, body tired, frequently zoning out, and my cuticles look like I’ve been wrangling with a black bear. So it’s been a journey y’all. This is probably just me and not at all representative of a typical student’s study abroad experience. But between homework, personal projects, life contemplations, and exploring CPH, I’ve found myself a little worn out, struggling to maintain relationships with friends and family, and most of all, stuck on auto-pilot. It’s incredible. I think I’m really in the thick of the semester. I realized that once I get used to a place/a lifestyle, I really easily forget what life was like prior to this. But humans are forgetful (and this is why learning and documenting history is so important – but this is for another day). Yes. The life I lived and daily routines I have spent in St. Louis/Milwaukee/Chapel Hill feel like wisps in my memory that I can’t quite grasp onto.

In the midst of studying abroad, I think that the hardest aspect has been attempting to stay on top of my life that I will eventually have to return to. So yes, summer internships are a thing and applications are still in question. And yes, questioning your future path is also still a struggle. Unfortunately, these struggles don’t just disappear when you’re abroad. That being said, my coursework at DIS has been specifically catered toward interests that I have always wanted to explore more thoroughly, so I’m thankful for that opportunity.

** NOTES** I think it’s funny. People tend to use social media/technology to project their best selves, but honestly, these reflections tend to be written in the throes of deep questioning. Which is why I blog — as a way to sort out my thoughts!

MY FUNNIES

  • I HAVE BECOME A true city transit, bus navigating, train riding, metro sitting pro. Ty. I got a bloody nose on the train one day and didn’t have a tissue so basically just sitting there thinking that I’m boutta start the next plague. But there was a nice woman who offered me a pack of tissues! Wow. Honestly what a life saver, thank you so much.

 

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