Arts and Crafts with Peter

When I woke up on Sunday morning, I was surprised by a freshly fallen snow!  I was so excited that I put on my boots without socks and walked outside in my pajamas.

Snowing sometime between 6:30 and 7 in the morning.

Snowing sometime between 6:30 and 7 in the morning.

Although I was still worried about one of my papers at this point, I wasn’t going to let it ruin my Sunday.  My MPP doctor, Peter, invited my whole class to his home for social, which included Christmas goodies and arts and crafts!  He lives in Farum, so I was there yet again.  Except, this time I had to take the S-tog.  The B-line is the only line that stop in Virum, so I had to take it a ways in the opposite direction of Farum before I could get to the A-line.  Farum is at one end of the A-line and it took me about an hour to get there vs. the ten minutes it took us on Saturday.  The class met Peter at the Station with his youngest daughter and they took us on a lovely and snowy walk to his house.  When we got there, the table was beautifully set and there were Christmas decorations everywhere.  We snacked on the homemade goodies, and later had arts and crafts time.  I absolutely love doing stuff like this.  We all felt like we were 5 again.  I learned how to make a Danish star from one of Peter’s daughters, and then a heart ornament that they put nuts and candy in, from Peter’s wife.  It was so sweet of Peter to have us all over and his family was adorable.  We all had a jolly ole time!

Part of our scenic tour in Farum.

Part of our scenic tour in Farum.

Hygge

Hygge

I made the one on the right.

I made the one on the right.

And a heart ornament!

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A Birthday Blast

After breakfast on Saturday, Karin and Steen took Jessica and I to a flea market in Farum. It’s put on by the Boy Scouts who collect knick knacks people don’t want anymore and it is only open on the first Saturday of the month.  We were there maybe 10 or 15 minutes early and there was already a crowd outside of the building!  People were rushing inside once it opened.  It’s basically a 2 floor building covered in stuff.  A hoarders dream come true I’m sure.  It was hard to move around because of the sheer number of people, but it was so fun to see everything!  Karin and Steen ended up getting 6 plastic chairs for their summer house, a basket for the dogs to sleep in, and a lamp for my host-brother Andreas.  We had to put the back seats in the car down and Karin and I sat where the chairs were supposed to be, so essentially in the trunk, with all of the new purchases!  Steen said it was a good thing we only had a 10 minute drive!

The crowd waiting for the flea market to open.

The crowd waiting for the flea market to open.

A hoarders dream come true.

A hoarders dream come true.

I love clocks.

I love clocks.

In the afternoon we headed to the Statens art museum for Morfar’s birthday!  We had a guided tour and our guide did the tour in both English and Danish.  I always love guided tours in art museum because there are many things I would never pick up by myself.

The Statens art museum.  The sun was setting around 3:30 in the afternoon.

The Statens art museum. The sun was setting around 3:30 in the afternoon.

After our tour, we went to Morfar’s flat in Hellerup for pizza!  We also had æbleskive, which is a sort of Danish fritter.  So yummy!  Later in the night we played a very intense game of bingo.  The bingo cards look a bit different than the ones I am used to, but it’s pretty much the same.  There were three rows on the card.  Whoever got one row first one a prize (which was why it was so intense!).  The next winner is the person who fills up two rows, and then the third winner is whoever fills up their whole card.  Sadly, I never won.  But it was still really fun!  Andreas won a pack of jumbo playing cards.  Jessica and I along with Andreas’s cousin Oscar ended up playing a very disorganized memory game with the cards, go fish, and attempted to make card houses with them.  Andreas was also throwing the cards at his younger cousin, Victor, but Morfar was not pleased, haha.

Sadly, I never won. :(

Sadly, I never won. 😦

Victor trying to avoid Andreas's attacks.

Victor trying to avoid Andreas’s jumbo card attacks.

Beer and Ballet

Hey everybody!  I know that it has been a while since I have posted anything.  I’ve just been so busy writing papers!  I finished my third of four papers and have written 26 pages so far.  I have one more ten page paper due on Friday and then I’m done with those!

Last Wednesday I had the best field study ever.  My Enemy Within class went to the Carlsberg Brewery in Enghave.  My professor sent an e-mail saying “Wednesday we’re going to Carlsberg, and yes, there will be beer in limited amounts + actual Cold War content (also in limited amounts).”  We were originally going to meet at 1:30 but then some people had field studies that conflicted, so he changed the time to 8:50 in the morning.  I left on the 7:43 train and arrived in Enghave with plenty of time to reach the brewery.  First I stopped by the Carlsberg business center because they were decorating a Christmas tree in front of the building!  Then I walked to the Visitor’s Center where all the touristy things are, and because that was where my class was meeting.  On my way I walked by Elefantporten, or Elephant Gate.  It was really cool!  Carl Jacobsen had the gate built to represent his four surviving children (he and his wife had 8 children in total), and he used elephants to represent strength and faithfulness.  The rug on the elephants has the New Carlsberg brand, and the initials of his children, Theodora, Vagn, Helge, and Paula.  You would probably initially thing that there is a swastika on it, but it’s not meant to be Nazi propaganda at all.  In India, it is a symbol for good fortune, luck, and well-being.  And that’s why Carl Jacobsen used it as his symbol.  I remember going to India when I was younger and not knowing why there were swastikas everywhere, but I eventually figured it out!

Christmas trimmings Carlsberg style.

Christmas trimmings Carlsberg style.

Elefantporten.  It's pretty darn neat!

Elefantporten. It’s pretty darn neat!

I eventually reached the Visitor’s Center.  There were signs for it everywhere since it is a big tourist attraction.  However, I did not see any of my classmates or my teacher when I got there.  I called my friend Loren because she told me that she was there too, and I asked her if she wanted to meet me by the Elephant Gate.  However, she thought I was referring to something else (there are a lot of elephants things around) so I ended up walking back for no reason.  At this point there were 10 minutes until the actual field study was going to start.  I walked back to the Visitor’s Center and saw my professor!  I was so relieved and he told me that the center actually didn’t open until 10.  But, since he had requested a guide, we got a tour of the brewery before it even opened!  I eventually found Loren along with some of my other classmates, but I swear, not even half of my class showed up.  There were maybe 9 or 10 of us altogether.  Our tour guide had just retired from Carlsberg 3 or 6 months ago (I can’t remember exactly) and was called in to be our guide for the morning.

Carlsberg was founded by J.C. Jacobsen in 1847 just outside of Copenhagen.  The Carlsberg Foundation was created in 1876.  J.C. Jacobsen ended up having a huge rivalry with none other than his own son, Carl Jacobsen.  Carl opened up his own brewery which he called Ny (New) Carlsberg, and then J.C. changed the name of his to Gamle (Old) Carlsberg.  Also, when J.C. past away, he did not give ANY of his fortune to his son.  All of his money went to the Carlsberg Foundation.  Eventually in 1906, years after J.C.’s death, the two breweries joined forces.  I also learned that Carl was quite an artsy fellow, and you can really tell because the style of New Carlsberg is pretty different from Old Carlsberg.

Apparently a new Carlsberg district is in the making that is called “Our Town.”  It is supposed to encompass 3,000 more flats, a university for nurses and technical schooling, cafes, shops, and everything you can imagine!  The buildings are going to be environmentally friendly and focus on sustainability.  There is a rule that you can only build buildings as tall as the buildings that are in the area, but an exception was made for this project.  Our guide sounded really excited about it because in about 10 years or so,, Copenhagen will have a skyline!

What the new Carlsberg district should look like.

What the new Carlsberg district should look like.

After touring the New Carlsberg brewery, we headed down to the cellars.  It was a bit creepy and dark, but still pretty cool.  Then we got to the part that was actually relevant to our class, a plotting station in the brewery!  You can only get in if you have the key, as it is not part of a regular tour.  I felt special. 😛 This was one of the many plotting stations where potential bomb threats were put on the map during the Cold War.  They had to use magnets on the map and move them with a hockey stick like thing because the image of potential had to be clear and not obscured with people’s hands trying to move the Warsaw Pact signs.  It was pretty cool to see!

Inside the New Brewery.  You can tell that Carl liked art because these are so pretty!

Inside the New Brewery. You can tell that Carl liked art because these are so pretty!

Uhhhh, where are you taking us?

Uhhhh, where are you taking us?

Better figure out where those nukes are headed.

Better figure out where those nukes are headed.

Then the class went to the Jacobsen Brewhouse & Bar and got 4 free drinks because a ton of people did not show up.  I only had one and it was a lemonade.  Lame, I know, but it was 10 or 11 in the morning!

On Friday I went to my first ballet every!  I went with my friends Jessica and Annie to see the Sleeping Beauty ballet.  We bought pretty cheap seats, but luckily some people either didn’t show up, or it just wasn’t a full house, so we got to move from seats where we couldn’t see very well, down a row so we could see the whole stage!  I was afraid that I would get bored during the ballet, but it was absolutely beautiful!  The end dragged on for a bit with a ton of solo dances.  I remember always thinking it was over after the prince and princess danced together, but it wasn’t.  That happened maybe 3 or 4 times.  There were little boys holding on to the king and queen’s long robe during the last dance sequences, and you could see them fidgeting because they had to sit there for so long.  It was pretty amusing.  After the ballet was over, I was humming Once Upon a Dream all the way home. 🙂

If you’d like to see the photo gallery from the ballet, check out this website!
http://kglteater.dk/whats-on/performances/season-2012-2013/ballet/tornerose

Inside the ballet theater before the show!

Inside the ballet theater before the show!

Christmas Before Thanksgiving

Last Wednesday my Social Brain class went on a field study to the Police Museum in Copenhagen.  If I remember correctly, it is the only or one of the only museums in the world created and funded by the police.  There is a fairly new exhibit in the museum called “Evil” and it is on all of the infamous murders that have occurred in Denmark.  One of the historians working told us three different murder stories, and some of the murder weapons are on display in the exhibit.  One of the murders involved the burning of a body, and then combining the bones with cement to create a new floor and get rid of the evidence.  Of course the criminals were caught, but the museum had a piece of the cement with the bones in it, and the historian talking to us passed that piece of cement around. The exhibit has been a great source of controversy because the families of those murdered are understandably very upset with it.  It is quite a chilling exhibit.  What made it even worse was that the day after we came back from Vienna, we had found out that there was a murder in the town I live in!  Ahhhhhh, to much.

On a much much more happier note, Copenhagen is all dressed up for Christmas!  After the field study, I went with a bunch of Carleton friends to Tivoli to see all of the Christmas decorations.  It was just like walking in a winter wonderland.  I just need some snow!  Jessica and I got some churros at my eldest host-brother’s favorite place to get them, and we also walked through the Christmas market.

Decorations up in Copenhagen. 🙂

The St. Petersburg of Tivoli

Beautiful ornaments at the Christmas market

They even had reindeer at Tivoli!

On Thursday night (happy belated Thanksgiving everybody!) Steen, Karin, Jessica and I started preparing for our Thanksgiving feast!  Karin bought a 4 kilo turkey!   We did not celebrate until Friday just because it was more convenient that way.  They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Denmark of course, so people unfortunately still have to go to work and school.  Boooooo.

I was hoping to get out of my medical class early on Friday so that I could come home and help cook before all of our guests were to arrive.  My class was on gynecology and midwifery and I learned how to give gynecological exams and deliver a baby!  I got out of class on time, but the Metro was stuck for a good 10 to 15 minutes because the door wouldn’t close for some reason.  That was pretty annoying.

I finally made it home and finished up some of the dishes.  And then everybody came!  We had 11 people in all because we invited our friend Annie and her host parents over too!  Our menu consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, apple walnut stuffing, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts with capers, roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes, my host grandfather’s breads, cranberry sauce, and Annie’s pumpkin pie.  We were definitely all full by the end of the meal.  It was pretty funny, because Karin and Steen did not know Annie’s host parents, but when the started talking they ended up knowing a lot of the same people because Annie’s host mom grew up where Karin’s mother was born.  It’s a small world!

Our Thanksgiving feast! Photo credit to the lovely miss Wu. 🙂

Maysi sitting under my chair just hoping for some crumbs, haha.

Now I’ve finished one of my four papers.  It’s hard finding motivation to work when you only have so many days left abroad and there are still so many things to do!