Monthly Archives: December 2008

Dutch Goodbyes

Last Wednesday was quite a long day.  It began with me finishing my last final for my MBA at 8:00 am.  Next I coerced some friends to go to The Malmo for drink.  This was followed by watching Elf and then a quick nap.  This evening we would be celebrating Giulia’s Danish birthday and Willemijn’s last night in Copenhagen.  We all headed to a nice Italian restaurant for dinner around 8:00 pm.  The restaurant was quite nice and the food was definitely better than what I’ve been cooking lately.  (In attempts to eat everything in my cabinet and not throw anything away I’ve been whipping up some pretty weird dishes.  Note to self – rice goes a long way.  I’ve had rice with “fill in the blank” all week.)  Anyway, after a wonderful Italian meal we headed back towards Nyhavn and city center to go out for the night.  Our first stop was LA Bar.  Yes yes, I think it’s a bit tacky to go to a bar in Copenhagen called LA Bar, but it is cheap and lots of students go there on Wednesdays.  So we headed in, found a good spot and settled in for a few beers.  At first the place was kind of empty, but quickly we began to realize that everyone in Copenhagen seemed to have the same plans for their evening as us.  The LA Bar became as crowded at the freeways in LA. . . so I guess the name was suitable.  It was some sort of CBS exchange student reunion.  I saw people there that I hadn’t seen since the first week of school.  A few people I ran into were quite emotional with the goodbyes.  “Keep in touch.”  “You have to come visit me.”  “We really should plan a reunion.”  To which I thought, “I haven’t seen you since August at orientation week.  Um so probably no on the reunion thing.”  But I guess in a way it is a nice idea to think I’d see everyone that I’ve met here again, even if it was just waiting in line at the first club we all went to in August.  

A few other of my friends and I decided it was a bit claustrophobic in LA Bar so we headed next door for a beer and to gain a bit more real estate.  Next door Helena and I ended up with prime real estate at the bar!  We struck up a conversation with a few Danes.  For some reason Helena told them I was from Norway.  She must be an exceptional liar because no one believed that I was from the United States.  Eventually I had to pull out my US Drivers license to prove my nationality.  I pretty sure these Danes had been out for a while, so I’m sure under normal circumstances they would have never thought I was from Norway.  Although once they really believed I was an American there was a strange fascination with if I’ve ever seen Zoolander.  Not really sure why.  

After we wrapped up our entirely confusing Danish, Norwegian, American, Zoolander conversation, Helena and I headed to Sam’s Bar to meet our roommates.  Sam’s Bar is a notorious tourist trap on the main walking street.  You can go there to meet some Americans, pay half a month’s rent for a beer, or most importantly – sing Karaoke.  We went to support Sarah, Will, Giulia, and Helena’s singing debut in Denmark.  After a some bad singing we decided to call it a night.  The Dutch goodbye night was the longest yet.  We went from a classy dinner to a crammed tacky bar to being Norwegian to perfecting Billy Joel’s Piano Man.  Most people don’t know how long it would take you to complete all of the above. . . let me tell you. . . it takes 9 hours to check everything off of that checklist.  We wandered in together at 5 a.m. and all promised to be up to say goodbye to Will the next day.  So in all seriousness, the Dutch goodbye is a challenge of will power and perseverance.

Goodbyes Are Hard To Handle . . . Physically.

It’s started.  People have begun to pack up and leave Copenhagen.  On my floor, out of ten bedrooms, four lie empty.  It’s eerie to walk by a vacant room.  I’ve become so used to seeing these little rooms with my friends and their belongings inside.  Now each vacant room has resorted back to it’s penitentiary feel. Where as the aftermath of someone leaving is sad, the night before each person leaves we strive to have the best night ever!  So far I’ve experienced three send off evenings. . . which have been fun. . . but it has been a physical challenge as well.  I’m starting to get tired and I still have four nights left.  So far though. . .

German Goodbyes and Birthdays – We’ve determined that birthdays happen 5-7 days earlier in Denmark.  Our German roommate, Philip, has a birthday that falls on December 20th.  Since Philip will already be back in Germany on the 20th we found that is was incredibly convenient that his Danish birthday fell on December 13th.  To celebrate our floor decided to cook a nice holiday meal.  Giulia cooked homemade lasagna, Helena cooked Swedish sausages, T cooked Canadian Maple Syrup Pie, Sarah made some Mashed Potatoes, and Will and I tackled stuffing a couple of chickens.  I’ve never stuffed anything before so it was pretty funny.  We whipped up a great meal to celebrate Christmas, Philip’s Danish Birthday, and our last night with everyone in Copenhagen.  Since our kitchen isn’t big enough for everyone to eat we had to think creatively.  We planned on eating in Giulia’s room because she has a very large bedroom.  We wanted to bring the kitchen table down to her room, but were unable to fit the table down the hallway due to the mental ward width of the long hallways in our building.  Instead we moved my gigantic desk into Giulia’s room and made it look like a fancy restaurant. . . um where you eat on two desks pushed together!  It did look very lovely.  There were candles lit, we turned Giulias bed into a sofa for the “lounge” area, and there were streamers and ornaments hanging.  

The meal was great, everything tasted amazing. . . even my chickens came out well.  I attribute the success of the chickens to the Old Bay.  (Thanks Julie and Melanie!)  After dinner we had a few friends from upstairs down for drinks and dessert in the “lounge and restaurant” of Giulia’s room.  Quickly singing and dancing to Christmas songs took off and before we knew it it was 2:30 am.  A few of us went out for a “nightcap” (although I don’t think you can call it that at 2:30 in the morning) near Kongens Nytorv.  And before I knew it, our German roommate had gone back to Germany.

Canadians Deserve Two Send-Offs – I’ve become quick close with a few of our northern neighbors.  My friend Andrew and my other American friend, Aaron were getting ready for their last night in Copenhagen.  Since Aaron had a final on the morning of his last day in Denmark, he was a bit more hesitant to go out and celebrate.  However, Andrew took quickly to celebrating!  He celebrated with a Gin & Tonic while cleaning and packing.  He continued to celebrate with me in our kitchen over some Polish Vodka.  Then the celebrations moved to my favorite pub, Charlie’s Bar.  When we first arrived it was quite crowded and we could only score a little window ledge to sit and enjoy our beers.  After about 20 minutes, a few people left and we got to move from coach to first class and sit at the bar!  We sat and reflected on the semester and talked about future plans.  As with everyone getting ready to leave, there is always a conversation of our next reunion, where and when.  This held true with my Canadian friend.  Apparently I’m supposed to go to Seattle and then British Columbia next October.  Sounds great. . . hope I have a job by then.  Anyway, we sat and talked for a while and then decided to head home around midnight.  Upon returning to our building we ran into  a group of our French, Italian, and Dutch housemate that were heading out to celebrate.  (The Frenchies were leaving the next day too.)  We were convinced to turn around and head to Trykbar.  At Trykbar the proper sendoff encompassed fooseball and card games.  Eventually we all got tired and decided to head home for real this time.  I said my goodbyes to my new Canadian friends and promised not to make fun of them so much anymore.  I may have even promised to defend the Canadians whenever Americans spoke poorly of them. . . although I think that was the beer talking.  

Dutch Goodbyes are the HARDEST – My roommate Will left today.  Last night is a whole other story. . . so this will have to be continued at a later time. . . I have to attend a Swedish goodbye tonight.

I Never Have To Learn Anything New Again. . .

I’ve been working on my MBA for two and a half years now.  Yesterday I finished.  It’s as simple as that three worded sentence.  I sat for my last exam at 8:00 am, wrote for four hours, finished and handed it in.  When I walked out of the exam room I was partially expecting Ed McMann and the Prize Patrol.  Well, or maybe just something or someone to mark this occasion as momentous.  It was strange to complete something that’s taken so long, cost a lot of money, and so often been the end of many sentences. . . “I wish I could go, but I have school”.  Since Ed McMann and the prize patrol failed to get the memo about my completion of my MBA, I walked off campus and bought myself a cookie to celebrate.  When I got home I found a few of my roommates and coerced them into going to The Malmo for a beer.  The Malmo is a little værtshus (read: dodgy pub where old danish men go to smoke cigarettes and drink beer during the day.) right below my apartment.  We went around 1:00 pm, which is prime time for The Malmo.  We sat in this smoke filled pub and enjoyed our 17 kroner beer.  One of my roommates lifted her glass and made a toast to all of us being done finals and to me for never having to learn anything else ever again.  I’m not sure if she meant to be funny or if the way she translated from Italian just came out that way.*  But nevertheless, it was such a funny toast to make.  

We sat around The Malmo for about an hour and returned to our residence to watch ELF.  Everyone decided it would be good to rest up in the afternoon since we would be going out that night for our Italian roommate’s Danish Birthday (her real birthday is December 23rd, but we’ve decided that birthdays happen a few days earlier in Denmark.) and my Dutch roommate’s last night in Copenhagen.  All in all, the cookie, a beer, and ELF with some foreigners. . . not a bad way to wrap up my MBA.  Maybe I really do know it all now?  

*  I speak of translations this way because my Italian roommate was commenting on how some days she feels like she can’t speak English and other days she can’t speak Italian.  She told me that she was so confused the other day when her phone rang that she couldn’t remember if she should answer in English or Italian.  Instead of saying “Hello” she answered her phone with a nice polite and enthusiastic “Yeah!”.  I guess this is the cross between an english and italian phone greeting.

Danish Final

I just sat for the written part of my Danish Language final. I was asked to write a letter to a dear friend inviting them on a trip to Rome for a summer holiday. I was supposed to talk about the weather, what we could do there, and what we would eat. My first clue that this would be a tough letter to write was the fact that I didn’t know what “dear,” was in Danish. hmmmm.
Basically I wrote to my new fake best friend, Gitte. I asked her how her family was and told her I was planning a trip to Rome. I asked her if she would like to come because I know she likes cannoli and pasta. This was the most simply worded and stereotypical letter about Italy possible.
Thank goodness I won’t need to know Danish for my next job. Oh and now I think the oral portion of this exam on Monday will be comical. Some of my roommates want to try and videotape it so they can watch and laugh later. . .

Can I Please Have a Learning Disorder?

It’s the start of finals here in lovely Denmark.  This week I have three finals of various varieties.  I just completed a 48 hour 10 page take home exam for a leadership course.  Tomorrow I have a 4 hour written (literally hand-written.  If I want to type the exam I have to supply my own printer. . . and wouldn’t you know it I forgot to pack that!) exam for Social Entrepreneurship.  And Friday I have the written portion of my Danish exam followed by the oral portion on Monday.  (I can’t believe I have to learn the danish language in 48 hours!)

Anyway, I’m sitting here. . . obviously procrastinating because I’m writing this instead of figuring out what Social Return on Investment is. . . and it has begun to snow again!  Now I can’t help staring out the window at the lovely snow and thinking how beautiful it is here in Copenhagen.  I should look up what Christmas stuff is going on in the Copenhagen This Week guide book.  That means I have to go to the kitchen to get the guide book.  Maybe someone will be in the kitchen that wants to split a pot of coffee with me?  Maybe I should get something to eat while I’m there too.  Man I need to do Christmas shopping for everyone at home.  I hope that stuff fits in my suitcase.  I wonder what it would cost to ship stuff home.  I should check that out online right now.  Oh I should check and see what the weather will be like tomorrow too.  Oh wait, I’m in Copenhagen. . . weather is always cold and dark.  No need to check.  Oh wait, look a shiny object!  I should stare at the snow some more . . .

This is what I have done for the past hour instead of studying.  I seriously think I have some sort of ADD.  Or maybe I have OCD?  What other acronyms could I use to blame my severe lack of concentration on?  Ok well I guess I should get back to it.  I hope everyone in America is more productive then me today!