Tag Archives: Copenhagen

A Little Bit of Halloween in Copenhagen

27 Oct

I bought this little guy at Tivoli during Halloween celebration last week.  I am not sure whether it is a ghost, a white pumpkin, or what.    But he is stinkin’ adorable and my only Halloween decor here with me in Copenhagen.  Any name suggestions?




My Autumn Lust List

20 Oct

Being in Copenhagen can make me a little sad and nostalgic for autumn at home at times.  Yes, the weather is already chilly here.  Yes, everyone gets all cozy with blankets and candles.  But where is the cider?  Not the alcoholic cider, but the good old-fashioned childhood apple cider.  Where is the pumpkin bread?  Or pumpkin anything for that matter.  And the leaves… some seem to be changing color, but the color palette is nothing compared to the colors in the North.  And to curl up with a blanket next to the fireplace with a really good book?  Yeah, I miss that.

But I guess one way to overcome that is to window shop for fall clothes, because everyone knows that nothing is affordable in Copenhagen for an American.  And did you know that window shopping, or online browsing, releases feel-good endorphins?  Or at least I heard that somewhere.

Anyhow, J. Crew is having a great deal! 25% off orders over $150 with free shipping.  So I picked out a few items I am craving to ease my autumn longings.  Too bad I do not have a monthly pay check to breeze through while I am here.

Merino boyfriend sweatshirt, heather fern

Minimalist mock neck sweater, henna

Suzette blouse, ripe melon

Perfect shirt, tartan

Minnie pant, wool herringbone

City mini, heather fern

Quilted sweatshirt, heather flannel

Suede MacAlister boots, stone

Pearl stud earrings

Printed iPhone case, royal purple

What is on your autumn lust list?

Toilet Seat Mummies

16 Oct

In the States, or anywhere in the world for that matter, I am guilty of creating toilet seat mummies.  I am grossed out by toilet seats and will not sit down on the them without them being covered with toilet paper first.  Not very environmentally friendly, but my delicate skin thanks me for it!

But as I have been traveling around Europe (and recently, Asia!), I have discovered a great invention!  Toilet seat sanitizer!

Nearly all the bathrooms at DIS where I study have it!

Even my hotel in Istanbul had it!

So simple!

Not only does it save time and nixes the problem of placing toilet paper on the seat only to often have it fall off immediately, but it also saves toilet paper.  Good for the environment, good for the bank account of whoever supplies the toilets.

I really think the idea could catch on in the States.  At the University of Richmond, I would love to see toilet seat sanitizer implemented.  You would have to refill the toilet paper in the stalls less often and could add another check under the green initiative column.  If Turkey can do it, so can you!

Why is my donut $3?

11 Oct

So after grocery shopping on Sunday, I decided to snag a donut from 7/11 to reward myself.  Reward myself for what you may ask?  I’m not so sure.  For making it back from Turkey and staying in all weekend, alcohol-free, rejuvenating my energy?  Sure, that’s the reason.

But on another note, my donut cost 15kr … costing almost $3 (Okay, $2.75, thanks to the super strength of the dollar lately!)  That is because as of October 1st this year, Denmark passed the first ever tax on saturated fat.

Their goal is to curb obesity in Danes.  It is estimated that 10% of Danes are obese.  In America, over 2/3 of the population is overweight and 34% is obese.  It’s pretty sad that Denmark is making such an effort to curb obesity by imposing this tax while America is over 3x as obese and doing nothing of the sorts.  Take notes future government of America!  Because 4% of deaths per year in Denmark are attributed to obesity.  I cannot imagine what the numbers are in America.

The tax is as follows:
For every solid kilo of saturated fat, 16 kroner will be added.  So that might not make a huge difference day to day, a package of butter being 2.5 kroner more expensive.  But it is estimated that if an average family with two children do not change their fat purchasing habits that it will cost the family an extra 1,000 kroner a year, or roughly $183.

Fair enough, cut out the fatty foods and make the population healthier and thinner!  But apparently the tax has been taking some heat because of some of the foods that the tax has been added to.  Basic foods such as low-fast yogurt, lunch meat, etc. are having the tax added to them.  I understand that for whole-fat milk, processed snacks, etc. the tax should be enforced, but I don’t find it fair to tax literally everything with fat in it.

We will see how it goes! I wonder how much the tax will cost me for the remaining 2 months I am in Denmark.  Perhaps not much, but maybe it will inspire me to cut out those super tasty pastries at Andersen Bakery I pass every day on my way to class.  Not.

Why Agnes Only Got 30 of My Kroner

2 Oct

I know I raved about Agnes Cupcakes earlier this month, but I have not bought a single cupcake from them since. There are three reasons:

1. They are 30kr a piece ($6 USD)

2. My mom tried to get them to deliver cupcakes to DIS on my birthday and the guy told her he would take care of it, but blew her off. I ended up getting nothing on my birthday. Thanks Agnes

3. I found a new cupcake shop: Serenity Cupcakes!!!!

Alright, I clearly admit it: I have a cupcake problem. While I am in Richmond, I religiously check the Facebook pages of Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe and Carytown Cupcakes for the flavors of the day/week. So once I got here, naturally I would seek out some new cupcakeries. Unfortunately, everything in general is more expensive in Copenhagen. But $6 for a cupcake? And I thought $2.50 was a little much. But so be it, that is the way of Copenhagen.

But in browsing online, I found a new place to try out: Serenity Cupcakes. Agnes has certain flavors for each day of the week, but Serenity’s changes it up day to day, often with new surprises that the adorable lady who owns it whips up. Not to mention, their cupcakes are only 25kr, an ENTIRE DOLLAR cheaper. Okay, so that’s not a huge difference, but hey, I am a broke college student; I’ll take what I can get.

When I first entered the bakery, I fell in love. The decor is exactly how I would imagine my cupcake shop to be if I were to open one some day. Lavender EVERYWHERE! Everything was so girly and adorable, exactly how a cupcake shop should be. Agnes on the other hand is way too commercial for my tastes; it does not invoke the Danish concept of hygge in my opinion like Serenity’s. Okay, so great great, the venue is perfect. But what about the cupcakes? All I can say is super-lækker (or incredibly delicious)!

Serenity Cupcakes

So far, I have been back three times for cupcakes.  The first time, I dragged Robin, my visiting family brother, along to try them out with me one day after class.

Blackberry Cupcake
Note the cute sparkles and sprinkles on top!

Then it’s totally possible that the very next day I dragged Kali along with me.  We each bought a cupcake and shared them.  Sorry for being a bad influence… I know I’m a cupcakholic.  The first step to recovery is admitting the problem.

Our cupcakes at Serenity’s!

Autumn in New York
Pear and Plum cupcake

Rocky Mountain
Where Kali is from!

And then 4 days later I convinced Avery to go with me.  Told you, I am a horrible friend.  Unless getting my friends hooked on cupcakes is a good  thing!

Pumpkin Paradise! Cream cheese frosting!
My absolute favorite so far. It was moist and so tasty.
Perfect for welcoming fall.

On a side note, I am writing this post from Istanbul!  I will be writing many a posts in the next few days/week about my adventures here.  To tide you over, here is the view from where I ate dinner tonight of the Blue Mosque.

No I did not use zoom.  Yes Istanbul is now the most beautiful city I have ever visited.  Yes I have only been here for a day.

Danish Red Cross – New Times

27 Sep

Yesterday was my second time volunteering at New Times, a publication put out by asylum seekers via the Danish Red Cross.  I learned of the opportunity through my Cultural Conflict class and thought it would be a great chance to assist those in need and learn about their cultural struggles in Denmark.

My position as a volunteer is to help the asylum seekers who write articles for New Times with their English.  I assist them in writing articles by helping them come up with an idea to write about, formulate a plan for the article, and editing their work.  When they complete an article, there seems to be a great sense of accomplishment for the individual.  New Times in this sense provides them an outlet for their creative abilities while seeking asylum in Denmark and provides them with a break from the waiting game on their decision.

Also in the process of helping the asylum seekers with their articles, they have the chance to talk to me in English and share their stories with me.  It is hard not to side with the asylum seekers when they tell me stories about their lives and the difficulties they have faced, but it is important as a volunteer of the Red Cross to remain neutral and not take the side of the asylum seeker or the state.  But none the less, I have learned so much already.

I currently am working with a man who is about 30 on his writing skills.  He had written a few pieces already that I have reviewed with him.  His English is not bad, with only minor grammatical errors.  However, his organizational skills in regards to writing an article are lacking.  His pieces have great ideas behind them, but they do not flow well and it is hard to dig out the key idea of each article.  I often find myself almost re-writing the articles with him based on the information he already has.  But this is not what will teach him how to write better articles.  So I am trying a new approach.

I thought back to how I learned to write a paper when I was in middle school and high school.  Before you begin writing, you have to have a main idea with the article and then formulate an outline on what you would like to discuss.  When we were talking casually about things non-New Times related, he told me how excited he was for a concert this weekend that he is attending.  The artist is an artist he grew up listening to in his home country.  He had been asking me for ideas on what to write next and when he told me of this concert, I instantly knew that this is what he should write about next!  When he told me that he did not think anyone would be interested in it, I told him to make the focus of the article not on the concert itself, but the emotions and memories that the artist evokes for him.  From this, I helped him draw up an outline on what type of material to include in the article and in what order.

I made him promise me that he would have a rough draft for me the next time I am at New Times.  I normally will be volunteering there on Mondays, but this coming Monday I will be in Istanbul for a class trip.  Therefore, I have given him two weeks for the assignment.  I think I will e-mail him before next Monday to ask him how the concert went and remind him of the article I hope for him to write.  I have made it so that he knows how excited I am about the potential article so that hopefully this motivates him to write it.

I am interested to see how this method works in the outcome of his article.  I am also excited to follow his progress through the semester that I am here and also to meet new asylum seekers along the way.  I wish I could share the stories of the asylum seekers on my blog, but my position as a volunteer is more focused on building their confidence and helping them with their English and sharing their stories seems tobe a breach of confidentiality in my eyes.

Getting Sick in Denmark

25 Sep

On Wednesday, I went to the doctor’s because I was feeling ill AGAIN. I was interested to see how the Danish health care system works, being a welfare state and all.

To begin with, I have not received my CPR card and number yet (sort of like a social security number), which basically registers me as a resident in Denmark.  That number also comes along with the doctor I am supposed to see if I get sick.  However, because I do not have my card yet, I had to schedule an appointment with a DIS-recommended physician.  The trick is, you must call between 8 and 9 in the morning to make an appointment.  I called all three doctors that DIS provided, and all of the numbers went through to an automated message in Danish, of which all I could understand was the number 8 on one of them and pressing it did NOT get me a live person.  So I had DIS make me an appointment.

The office is literally on the same street as the Market Halls at Israels Plads, so not too difficult to find.  When I entered the building that my doctor’s office was supposed to be in, I was a little confused.  The hall into which I entered was grandiose and beautiful, something out of the 19th century, yet with the dim lighting courtesy of only a few windows, it was a little eerie.

The eerie lobby

Pretty staircase

Entrance to doctor’s office

The waiting area was normal enough.  But I was so delighted that my appointment was at 1:00 and I was called in by my doctor at 1:02.  What a difference from home!  I had heard so many negatives about universal health care and that it takes forever to be seen.  But I called the day before and got an appointment and she was almost precisely on time for it!  So much better than waiting 30 minutes to an hour to be seen in the States.

When I walked into her office, there wasn’t the medical sterile environment one finds at the doctors offices at home.  She met with me outside her exam room at her desk.  Her wall had a floor to ceiling painting full of colors and glitter.  Next to her desk was an old wooden rocking horse.  She was not wearing a lab coat, bur rather she had on a white button down, jeans, and a pair of Converse (the Danes love their Converse!).  It was such a relaxed environment.  She took a look at my throat and told me I would be better in a couple days and that it was just a common cold.

When I paid I had to pay with cash.  300kr was the cost of my visit, equating to $60.  However, because health care is free once I get my card, DIS reimburses me!  Obama Care may be just what we need…

No I did not get a free Strawberry tart from the doctor’s
But I did grab it afterwards at Market Halls to cheer me up 🙂

FLASH FORWARD to a few days after I had originally written this post.  I am 5 times sicker than I was on Wednesday.  Thanks, but I did NOT get better in a couple days it is NOT just a common cold.  I likely have a sinus infection.  So back to the doctor’s I will go this week…. I currently am living off of chamomile tea, ZYX lozenges (they are like cough drops, but with intense medication in them), and 12 hours of rest a day.