Friday, May 17, 2013

Up the Skaggerak and Down the Kattegat


"Wonderful, wonderful Cooooooooopenhaaaaaaaagen..."

Will be in our heads all day--because that's where we're off to on toget (the train) in about an hour.  I have to go get my passport renewed.

It will be my third passport, which kind of tells you how old I am...and, I guess, how long since I've been off in international lands (about 14 yrs. old, when we moved to Japan).    One time, when I was on Study Abroad in London, an old guy coming from a Duran Duran concert had a stern chat with me on the tube about how only one in ten (? Is this true?  I have no idea) Americans ever owned a passport and how that made us all really narrow-minded.  There are a few logical counter-arguments to his point, but I like to think that maybe since I've had three passports now, I'm picking up some of that slack.

Also, it seems appropriate that, since this is the 29th anniversary of when my mom was in labor with me while having a broken tailbone, I'll be seeing the original of her favorite statue in the world.  [This made way more sense when I first wrote it at 6:30am...but now it sounds completely unrelated and crazy.  Statue?  Labor?  What?  Just roll with it.]

So, "let us clink and drink one dooooooowwwn!"  To Copenhagen!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Romsø: Land of Magic and Ticks



Last week, on Ascension Day, we got on a tiny boat with twenty other people and set off into the Baltic/North Sea (I'm not really sure which one it is because we're right in between?).  For a three hour tour (a three hour tourrrrrrr).

[Not really.  It was more like a six hour tour total and only thirty minutes on the tiny boat.]

And after a little journey, the boat totally left us all alone on this completely uninhabited island a few miles off of the completely inhabited island we live on.  For hours.  Just to wander.

It was amazing.



And so we're stomping through the woods and trekking along the coastal cliffs and peeking into old, defunct village schools and cottages...



And crawling over stone fences and through windswept bushes, through tall grasses.  Keeping an eye out for pheasants and swans and the almost-tame herd of deer left on the island...


Spent a good amount of time stalking a huge group of them, trying to get a shot of the awesome albino deer with its usual entourage...


And then, after a bit, sitting down with the rest of the co-workers on the grass and enjoying a nice picnic when someone casually noticed that everyone had their pants tucked into their socks, and then someone else casually noted that there totally were a bazillion ticks everywhere on this island and, oh hey, here are two just right here on my blanket...  so don't even bother tucking in your pants because we're all doomed so have a strawberry and c'est la vie!

TICKS!  I hate ticks.  I hate ticks so much.  I HATE ticks.  And I've spent a good amount of time making sure that I never have had a tick in my life and for some reason I thought that this mystical island would never have anything as bad as ticks on it which I now realize is completely insane but, I mean, there don't really seem to be mosquitoes here so was it really that insane etc.?

When we got home, everyone reported their tick kills -- two on the back, one on the knee, between the toes!

And Paul tick-checked me.  And guess how many ticks I had on my tick-virgin body?!




Not a flippin' single one.  

I am invincible.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Taste of Satan

Today is a gross day.

Seriously gross.  So gross because I feel like a zombie and I went to Danish class and was like, "Nope, this isn't happening" halfway through.  And because I have to wake up at an ungodly hour tonight to give a proposal presentation to the entire GIS department waaay over there in east-coast-time-land.

So, I'm a frizzy stressball that is simultaneously exhausted (and perhaps a little sick?  I can't tell if it's just being tired or am I tired because I'm sick?).  And I'm sitting in Danish class thinking, "Maybe if I eat some chocolate then I'll get some energy..."

And I go to the vending machine.  And I put in all the tiny bits of change I can find in my sad, sad, exhausted, sad pockets.  And I type in the number to get a Yankie bar (sort of like a Milky Way?).

And the Yankie bar falls, and I reach in, and I pull it out... aaaaaaaand...


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

LAKRIDS!

The danish word that means "satan."

Okay, not really.  Really it means "liquorice" but liquorice in english means "satan" so...

Why is everything here tainted with the sin and horror of lakrids?!  Breath mints, cough drops, gummi bears, cake, gravy (?!).  

So...that's my sad story.  And yes, I did try to "give it a chance."  Nope.  Nope that was a bad idea.  

In happier news, if you're a person who is able to and actually enjoys tasting satan, then Denmark is the country for you.

And we got to go to the zoo for free on Saturday.  




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lisboa



It's pretty cold here still, even though the sun is up at 5am and down at 9pm.  And, we're still taking a break from our usual every-two-month explorations to make up for the beating our bank account took when we moved from Germany.

BUT, we're planning for a short, weekend trip this August to Lisbon and Evora to see us through the chilly spring.

I can't say that Portugal was on our exploration short-list, but now that circumstances have lined up to make this trip possible, we're getting pretty excited.

Portugal really is a mystery to us-- is it like Spain?  Is it like Brazil?  Is it like Greece?  Is it like...whatever Portugal is like?  And what is Portuguese food?  Is there a particular Portuguese architecture?  How did such a relatively small country stick around with such consistent borders for so long?

Has anyone out there been to Portugal?  Any tips?  We're all orelhas.


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