Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out

Now 5 days into my European journey and I've encountered several noteworthy experiences. We've had orientation over the past few days - consisted of an opening ceremony, the University of Copenhagens string quartet played a few pieces for us, including God Bless America which was kind of funny. The director of the program gave a witty presentation with his lovely accent and two interns spoke to us with encouraging words on how to handle the adjustments, how to embrace Copenhagen, and how to get the most out of our study abroad experience. One of the interns actually graduated last year from St. Mike's and returned to Denmark to work in the IT department here at DIS.

After the opening ceremony - we were put into groups and walked around the city with a scavenger hunt, familiarizing ourselves with the area. Saw lots of cool places and had a great group of people to walk around with. The next day of orientation we did a similar walking around activity with a new group of people, this one was more exciting- we learned a lot about the history of denmark and the current goverment system. We went to a part of the city I didn't even realize exsisted with even more beautiful structures and buildings - incredible historic architechure that dates back to the 12th century I believe. That's what is so amazing about Europe so far, realizing that the history that lies within these cities goes back way before the US was even a thought. I've never been one much interested in history but I'm experiencing a bit of a change of mind - i'm incredibly intrigued by the history of this place, and the ability to see with my own eye where everything took place - it's very neat. and still so much more to learn and explore.

I'm having some trouble adjusting to certain things here - for one, it's very gray. Not only is the daylight painfully short, the sky is always gray! Yesterday for a brief minute, the sun came out, and it was beaaaaautiful. You really start to appreciate little things when you embark on such a drastic change, something as small as sunlight has so much meaning. It's been tough getting used to things here but the sun will come out! I'll figure it out.

So the grocery store was a bit of a tragedy for me - spent an absurd amount of money on things and I really wasn't sure what a lot of things were. It was overwhelming, I wanted to use a carraige to put all my things in but all the carraiges were locked up to each other and the idea of asking someone what to do was incredibly daunting so I struggled with the basket, nearly cutting off the circulation in my arm as I stuffed it with groceries, until I just couldn't take it any longer and had to ask for help. Asking for help wasn't as bad as I thought - and the carraige made for a much more pleasant grocery experience so i'm glad I asked.

My dorm is located about 20 minutes outside of the city which is kind of inconvenient and I'm having a little trouble with that - I don't know my way around here at all yet and I hate that feeling of being lost, just need to get more comfortable with my surroundings. I live with some pretty cool people - we all just hang out in the common room where we can enjoy some social beverages together and watch futbol! It's been nice - still getting to know everyone.

It's a really weird feeling not using a cell phone. I can't use the one from home, and I haven't needed to use the one we got here to keep in touch with people from here much. Its an interesting feeling of disconnect that is a little bit scary - unfortunately. It's not even that I need to communciate with people more, just the feeling of being so disconnected is a bit frightening. It's just the technological habits and dependencies i've developed in this virtual world we live in that are making me feel this way - hopefully once the discomfort of this disconnect settles, I can enjoy being less connected, might be a good thing for me.

Tomorrow night is the Arrival Party for DIS students at this discotek located in the city. An open bar and a bunch of dancin for the new students - yep sounds good! I'm looking forward to it. Tomorrow i'm done with classes at 11:30 so i'm going to check out Christinia, this talked-up part of Copenhagen. Should be pretty cool, i'll let you know how it goes!

ta ta for now

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rachel,
    So glad to read about your adventures in Copenhagen so far! Joey, the intern-now-DIS-staffer from SMC, took Jerry Swope and I to Christianshavn last summer when we were there. It's amazing and you will have a blast. Keep up the posts!