Saturday, March 30, 2013

God Påske!

Or, as it took us a while to figure out, "Happy Easter!"

Turns out that Easter/Påske (said like "poh-skuh") is a way big deal here.  We're talking, like, a week of national holidays, kids get two weeks off of school, grocery stores are closed for four days kind of big deal.

A few things we've picked up just from wandering around/Danish class/observing what is for sale in the grocery stores:

1.  YELLOW!  So much yellow.  Yellow flowers put in your windows and on your doorsteps, yellow plates, yellow dresses, yellow socks, yellow hats, yellow napkins, yellow tablecloths, yellow chicks that look like peeps but are actually not edible in any way, yellow candles--just yellow.  It's a thing.

2.  LAMB!  Eat it.

3.  CLEANING WINDOWS!  I don't actually know if this is an Easter thing or not, but we live on a tiny little street and so we can see a lot of people's windows and a lot of people cleaning those windows this week.

4.  EGGS!  Mostly of the chocolate or chocolate/marzipan variety.  But also, as I learned in Danish class, it's really traditional to eat this particular boiled egg dish for Easter dinner (with the "LAMB! Eat it." remember?).  So, if you'd like to add this really simple dish to your Easter dinner to add a little Danish twist, here's the recipe below (which I will translate into English language and American cooking amounts, you're welcome):


Skidneæg, or (no joke) "Dirty Eggs"

1-2 boiled eggs per person
3.5 tablespoons butter
3.5 tablespoons flour
2 (and a little bit extra) cups milk
3 tablespoons mustard (your call on what type, it's for a mustard sauce)
1 teaspoon salt (it says "coarse" salt, so maybe kosher salt is a good option in America?)

Directions:  Melt the butter in a saucepan, add flour and stir them up together nice and good and let them combine a bit (for, like, 30 seconds to a minute).  Add the milk, little by little, always stirring, to make a good thick sauce.  Add the mustard, salt, and pepper to taste and cook for about 5 more minutes to thicken.

Pour over boiled eggs in a serving dish.  Serve with optional watercress and rye bread (it's a thing here).


Happy Easter! (And sorry it's been so quiet around here recently--things have been busy and new and overwhelming.  Hopefully we'll be back to more regular updates soon.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

5th Engageversary

Friday was our 5th Engageversary.

On March 8, 2008, we were alone on a hidden beach in Oregon.  Paul's knees were wet, I was still a little
     carsick from driving through forested backroads, but we were pretty cheery all the same.

On March 8, 2009 and 2010 and 2011 we went back to that same beach.  The first year, in a fit of romantic
     insanity straight out of some 18th century novel, I thought it would be a memorable idea to both drink a
     bit from a waterfall near the cliff where we first got engaged.
            "Come on Paul!  It's, like, a testament to our love!" I said, as the water trickled down off the edge of        
                   a giant cow pasture.  
     We didn't get giardia, so win!

On March 8, 2012, we went to Warnemunde beach in Germany.

And on March 8, 2013, we went to Kerteminde beach in Denmark.  This year won, hands down, for face-
     smacking coldness, but we still went.  We still walked.  We still took pictures.  And we still have our
     tradition!  Because when you make up a word like "Engageversary" just because you want an excuse to
     say the phrase "testament to our love" and drink cow pasture water... you have to follow through on that.

So now March 8 always means beaches.  And if we ever live somewhere that is more than a ten hour drive away from a beach, we will find a sandbox, fill part of it with water, and walk back and forth across it.  We're not crazy, we're just sort of stubborn.  And romantic.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


We took a 15 minute bike ride here today--obviously Google Maps doesn't take imagery in the winter (it was still pretty)

We have been in Odense (oh-OON-suh) nearly one month now.  And in that month I have been knock-down flabbergasted at the resources that have been offered to help us "integrate."

Really.  So much more help than in Germany.

In Germany it was like:  "PASSPORT!  FINGERPRINT! SIGN THIS!  GO AWAY!"

Here, it's like: "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey buddy.  Have a cup of tea.  Sit right on down on this comfy sofa.  We'll get you all sorted out in no time while this string quartet plays a little music in the background."

First, the office where we registered for residency did everything in English and helped us with our tax forms (not because it was their job--just because they wanted to be helpful).  Then, they practically pounced on me to enroll in the city's international citizen "Spouse Program"** where you go to seminars about work culture, job seeking, writing CVs and cover letters in the Danish style, interview suggestions, and networking advice.  (Also, they serve cake?  It's unbelievable.)

THEN I was also assigned my very own employment case worker who has been personally contacting the HR departments of my dream companies on my behalf for international citizen internships (which is great because, you know, Danish and all).

AND THEN the international citizen program enrolled me in an intensive Danish course (14 hr/week) that is completely paid for by the city.  AND I was told that I can take these courses for up to THREE YEARS, all for free.

And that's just for me!  Paul has had his own share of Danish course enrollments, international researcher integration programs, etc.

This, of course, doesn't include the fact that, one week after applying for residency, we received health insurance cards and a friendly letter from our doctor notifying us that we could come in for a get-to-know-you and check-up anytime.  (?!)

Or the invitations I've received to join book clubs, Friday cafe meet-ups, and the "American Women's Club of Fyn."

Or the Swing Dance Club here which, seriously, made me feel more welcome than anywhere I've ever been in my entire life.

I mean!  So helpful!  So friendly!  So many bike lanes!

Sure, not everything is perfect (amiright?), but I have to hand it to Denmark--they have some fantastic things going on for expats.  If they're this conscientious towards us, imagine what life must be like if you're actually Danish!

**  I didn't think that I was going to be anything special, but I was surprised and thought it was really cool that, in the Spouse Program, I was in the bottom three of twenty for level of education.  Almost every husband and wife there who had accompanied their working spouse had a PhD.  Huh!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...