Things keep getting busier and busier here in Denmark, but I’ll do my best to update you on my last few days here. After class on Thursday, I went over to an old firestation near all of the DIS buildings to help set up the haunted house for Kulturenatten, or Culture Night which happens every Friday right before the autumn holiday for Danish students. A bunch of things like museums, the botanical gardens, parliament, the Round Tower, the Copenhagen Zoo, and the Church of our Saviour, stay open late that night and you can go into everything with your Kulturenatten pass which costs 90 DKK. It’s a pretty good deal, but since I was volunteering through DIS, I got my pass for free! Jessica and I helped set up the morgue in the haunted house, which involved a lot of tearing up garbage bags and duck tape. It was a good time. 😛 Then in the evening, our host brother Andreas invited the family over to his new apartment for dinner! He is famous for making pizzas, so Jessica and I were lucky that we got to try it!
Then Friday was Kulturenatten! Jessica and I met up with some friends and walked around to the Glass Market, which was near the metro station at Nørreport. They had a ton of food stands there, so we ended up getting our dinner there. Then we took the metro to Christianshavn because our friends were telling us about a pirate fight that they wanted to see. However, the shows only happened every hour, so Jessica and I didn’t get to see it because we had to go to our volunteer shifts from 9-midnight! I signed up to volunteer at the pumpkin carving station. Most people seemed to know what they were doing, but there were some who asked me questions about pumpkin carving or needed some help. Halloween was brought over from the U.S. to Denmark, so they don’t really do everything quite like we do. I talked to some of the Danes, and then were all pretty excited to hear about Halloween in the U.S. or just to talk about culture night with me, since I didn’t get to see very much. Some of my Carleton pals stopped by to carve a pumpkin too! My friend Morgan carved a cat jack-o-lantern for me to bring home. 🙂 At the end of the night, these two Danes came and wanted to carve a pumpkin, but they only had 6 minutes until we closed. They just grabbed a pumpkin and went crazy because they were trying to finish it before we closed! They carved it out and emptied all the guts out just in time! I was really impressed because they had never done it before. It was pretty entertaining to watch.
The only bad part was that I WAS SO TIRED! I was even tired when we left to go to culture night, so going to bed at 1:30 wasn’t too fun. Especially since I had to wake up at 6 in the morning for a field study the next day! My marine biology class went to the Odense Zoo and the Fjord and Baelt center all day on Saturday, and it takes about 2 hours to get there. I was ready to go to bed on the bus, but then when our professor asked us if we wanted to watch a movie, only ONE PERSON had said that he wanted to watch it. I didn’t really care, because I was just going to turn my iPod on and hit the hay. But then when our professor asked if we wanted the volume up, THE SAME PERSON was the only person to say yes. It was so loud and sleep did not come easily! What made it even worse was that I saw the guy who wanted to watch the movie sleeping. Some people, I tell you! After those two frustrating hours of not getting to sleep, we made it to the zoo! We had some time to walk aaround the zoo on our own, see the sea lion show, watch some seals during their feeding times, see the manatees(they have 7!) and then we had a little tour of the African Safari part of the zoo at the end. It was pretty cool to see the training, and I learned that it is just as important to reward the seals when they are not being asked to do certain behaviors too because it’s harder for them to sit and wait then to actually do something. The seals were adorable! As were many of the other animals there.
After the zoo, we drove another half our to the Fjord and Baelt research center. There we also watched the seals and porpoises being trained. The center is located right next to a harbor and they use a special netting to keep the animals in their enclosures. That way, the animals are in a totally natural environment as opposed to an aquarium for example. Each animal has a colored shape that represents them, so when they see them, they know it’s their turn to show off their skills. They are all so smart! At the center, we learned that this is helpful not only for research, but also to do ultrasounds, blood tests, and general check up on the animals because then they don’t have to sedate them to check them. It’s so much easier for the people and less stress for the animals. Win win. 🙂 Another interesting thing about the center is that the first baby porpoise born in captivity was born there! She isn’t a baby anymore, but we still got to see her! I was still tired though, so I was glad when it was time to head back home. I definitely slept on the way back! Coming home was wonderful because the lovely miss Wu was making dinner when I got home! That way, I didn’t really have to do anything which was great because I was so exhausted! Then we watched the newest episode of Modern Family (you need to watch Phil’s Osophies because they are great), The Big Bang Theory, and then a bunch of videos of baby animals. 🙂
Today is Sunday, and this morning we had our host brother Søren and his girlfriend Oda over for breakfast. I made pumpkin pancakes and everybody loved them! I cannot stress enough how much I love all things pumpkin. Jessica made the scrambled eggs and toasted some buns, and we were all really full when we finished eating! We had such a good time talking with them!
After that, I went to Klampenborg to meet my buddy network! This was only the second time I met with them, and I’m glad this was one of the activities I could go to! We went on a walk through what Charlotte, the network coordinator called the oldest Tivoli as well as the “magical” forest. It was raining the whole entire time, but it was still beautiful. There are a ton of deer as soon as you get out of the train station and turn into the forest. It was ridiculous! We also saw some albino deer which was pretty cool! We got lost on our walk so we walked for about two hours. 😛 Eventually, we made our way back to the train station and headed towards Hellerup, where our buddy network coordinator’s parents live. There we had a bunch of pastries and hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream on top. That was my lunch I guess, hehe.
Jessica and I invited our friend Annie over for dinner, so when I got back, they were both there! We ended up listening to music in the kitchen while making pasta with basil and tomatoes. It’s one of my favorite recipes to make when I’m lazy because it’s pretty easily and doesn’t take long to make. We just chatted it up for a while, but then Annie had to go home since she has an 8:30 class tomorrow morning.
Every day is so so busy! I’m looking forward to one day where I just sit at home and do nothing. Who knows when that will be!?