So I didn’t write a post yesterday, not because I didn’t do anything interesting, but rather because I just felt so horrible. I’m still not entirely sure what it is that I’ve come down with, but it seems to be riding that line between severe cold and something else. Regardless of that, I have been doing everything in my power to keep it from stopping me from doing things, though that’s much easier than it sounds.
Yesterday I definitely received some cultural points as I went and saw a classical performance, then visited one of the highest ranked breweries in Denmark. The concert was sort of a last minute thing, as I saw a message posted from one of the SRAs about getting in touch with her if you wanted tickets. Since the tickets were only 55 DKK (9.35$) I sought out more information, it turns out that the concert was the Danish String Quartet, who are international award winners. I of course decided to go, because not only would this mean that I got to see a classical performance in Europe of all places, but it would also give me a reason to were my dress clothes I packed, which have thus far been a waste of space. So, after class, I came home, fought off the nearly overwhelming desire to just go to sleep for the rest of the night due to my illness, got dressed, and headed out into the world. It was my first time using the Metro (different than the trains, or S-Togs, maybe I should write a bout the public transportation system at some point). Luckily we all went as a group, as I had no idea where the DR Koncerthuset (Copenhagen Concert Hall) was at. However, once we got off the Metro it became immediately obvious which building it was.
You can tell by the photo that its actually not complete, that’s because its went over budget multiple times, and has passed the 300 million dollar mark, officially making it the most expensive concert hall in the world. As such, the Danish Government has decided to stop funding construction, so things aren’t quite done, however the facility is fully functional. The unfinished exterior aside, the interior was AWESOME. While the plaza had a very cuboid style, the actual hall was very flowing and contoured, it was definitely worth seeing.
The organ seen in the background has over 6,000 pipes, just as an FYI. The show began soon after we were seated, which took a bit as our balcony had been closed, so we didn’t have “reserved” seats, which meant we had to move like 5 times because we kept sitting in peoples seats. It was kind of a joke, and kind of frustrating, made even more so by the fact that they were only speaking in Danish. But the show was absolutely awesome, one of the 4 musicians in the quartet is actually the conductor for the Danish Symphony Orchestra, and the last piece they performed was something he had composed himself, which was really cool. The best part was that they played a little bit of Mozart, which my inner child immediately recognized pieces of from the old Mozart CD. It kind of gave me goosebumps to be honest. As anyone who has been to a classical concert knows, pictures are a big no-no, so I have none of them performing, though I did capture this one during the moments before they played their encore. Its not great, but the lighting wasn’t really set up for good photography.
After the show was over, our SRA quickly abandoned us to go have coffee with a friend, this would have been frustrating had I not came to expect that DIS will in fact take you someplace, then leave you there with no guidance at every given opportunity. Luckily I did find my way back fairly quickly, though the other two people (who ironically were convinced I was going the wrong way) didn’t get back for over 2 hours. At this point I was feeling really sick, so naturally I decided to go out to a beer bar rather than sleep. Health-wise it probably wasn’t the best decision, but I didn’t want to pass up a chance to go drink really good Danish beer, as I haven’t been out at all yet. The brewery is called Mikkeller, and they have 20 beers on tap, most of which they make themselves. Its just outside of the red light district, but after my tour there in my last class I’ve learned how to navigate the area without being murdered. Because I didn’t want to mess with my camera, I took my iPod. Despite my best intentions, I am convinced I will never, ever take a good picture with my iPod. Literally every picture I ever take with it sucks horribly. Regardless, I had two beers, both of which were really good. The first was L.A. Lager, which is a Danish take on West-Coast American beer. The second was Marathon øl, which was a very summery-citrusy beer. Each was very good, and very expensive. I bought about the cheapest things on the board, and I still spent around 13$ on 1.5 pints of beer.
After drinking the two beers, which were exceptionally high in alcohol, I was feeling insanely tired and the illness was taking advantage of my now even more depressed immune system. Unfortunately for me, the other people there ended up talking for like an hour before we left, and it wasn’t actually until I got up to leave that they finally decided to go home as well. I got back shortly after midnight, then hit the bed harder than a sack of bricks. I had an extremely.. odd, nights sleep, in that I was really really hot, soaking in sweat at times, and I had really messed up dreams, I also woke up a lot. But I got through the night, to be woken up the next morning by the raging machinations of the garbage truck, followed by the recycling truck, followed by a delivery truck. It was literally 45 minutes straight of borderline ear-splitting noise. I don’t know what it is, but I swear to God the trio of trucks that comes by here every. single. morning. make more noise than anything I have ever encountered in my life. The recycling truck is by far the worst, as the 18 trillion glass bottles shattering all over its insides are a lovely way to be woken up at 6am.
Partially because I had planned it, and partially because the trucks willed it, I got up earlier than I needed to so that I could head to a museum that is free on Wednesdays. It is the Thorvaldsen’s Museum, which is devoted to the works of the famous Danish sculpture Bertel Thorvaldsen. Before coming to Denmark, I didn’t really have a huge appreciation for statues, but I have to say, they have really grown on me during my time here. I think its something where you have to see them in person, to touch them, and to smell that “antiquated” smell, in order to really experience them and their history. Needless to say the museum was awesome, the two big highlights for me were getting to see the death mask of Napoleon himself, as well as the breathtaking room with statues of Christ and the Twelve Apostles (including a rather menacing looking Judas who was wielding a halberd). Matthias was there, but in an adjoining room. The pictures really don’t do the museum even a fragment of justice, but here is a photo of one hallway, as well as a photo of the central plaza, which actually contains Thorvaldsen’s tomb.
After leaving the museum, I went to 7-11 and made my first purchase, a mango-acai smoothie, which sounded good and I figured it might help with my plague. I then ordered my first sausage from the pølsevogn, (sausage stand). I ordered one of the hallmarks, which is a long sausage placed into a baked french roll. The roll has a hole hollowed out in it, and at your request they place ludicrous amounts of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise in the hole, then place the sausage in as well. I opted for the ketchup and mustard, the ketchup was amazing, like, insanely good, it very closely resembled my Grandma’s style of ketchup. The mustard was standard fare spicy mustard, which I like. It was all really good, and I’m probably going to try to replicate it once I get back to the states.
After that was class, which was long, especially because I was sick. Once that was over, I waited on the bus, which was late, and then it was insanely packed because it was late. But I got home and that’s where I’ve been since. I wasn’t planing on going out again tonight, but apparently there’s an opportunity to get free food downtown, so naturally I will going to that. This week, the start of session 2, also signaled the arrival of a ton of new students, as well as the departure of quiet a few. DIS has 3 “sessions” during their summer program, Early Summer 1, Early Summer 2, and then Late Summer. The late summer program lasts 6 weeks, and is just for architecture and design students. Sessions 1 and 2 are three weeks each, so a total of six weeks if you stay for both sessions, which I obviously am. A lot of people only seem to take 1 session, as they don’t want to spend their whole summer in classes I suppose, and session 2 is the more popular session because it contains the study tour, in my case Scotland. So, there’s been a lot of confused and lost DIS students wandering around, as most of them got in on Sunday. They are essentially me from about a month ago. And just like the session 1 students, they have arrival activities for them, including a free dinner at Riz-Raz, a buffet downtown. I had this same dinner when I first arrived. So, a lot of session 1 & 2 students found out about session 2’s dinner time, and are now planning on attending, despite being told not to. I’m one of them, we’ll see if DIS is organized enough to weed out the repeat customers, I have my doubts. 🙂
Tidbit of the Day: Paper Size
I’ve typed a lot already, and I need to leave soon, so I’ll make this a quick one. Some things you just don’t hear about, or people don’t mention when it comes to travel. Some people don’t even notice them when they are here, but maybe I am just hyper observant. Anyways, one such difference here in Denmark is the standard paper size (It is also true in Spain, confirmed by SB). Here it is longer, which makes the folders I brought from the US fairly ineffective at preventing bends, etc. In fact, I’ve taken to using scissors to cut the paper down to Murkan’ size, because I am weird like that. Its nothing wild or magical, but its definitely one of those little things that I had never heard anyone mention before. I suppose I never really wondered that much though, to be honest. Here is a picture displaying the difference. On the left is a paper from the US, on the right is my Positive Psychology Syllabus (which has since been cut down to the universe’s intended size).