Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2-day whirlwind

Well HELLO and good eve to you!

Or should I say, good afternoon!

It's 10:50 p.m. here in the land of Denmark, but where you are, 'tis the bright hour of about half past 4. Having got here Sunday afternoon, my Dad and I have been in Aarhus for 2 days now, but it actually seems like we've been here for 67.

For the past 2 days, we have been running around this city like we're in a Danish action movie.

Monday: Day One (or really, first FULL day)
  • Stop at the Visit Aarhus centre to pick up bus information
  • Try to get a Danish SIM card for my Bell phone = FAIL. Freaking bell locks their phones, so I am forced to buy a new one.
  • Take Bus 3 NORTH to Ikea
  • Make a quick stop by my school, which is along that route, and explore a little bit - looks really CoOol!
  • WALK the rest of the way up the highway to Ikea
  • Shop at Ikea = always an enjoyable time.
  • Take Bus 15 back to my residence, all while carrying, (between the 2 of us) a bedside table, a carpet, a shelving unit, a garbage can, tupperware containers, and a lint roller.
  • Drop my new stuff off at rez and try to set up internet in rez = FAIL. My computer isn't recognizing th network.
  • Meet a person in rez (FINALLY) --> His name is Martin, and he's from the Faroe Islands (a part of Denmark)
  • Get told that it's my turn to clean the kitchen, or else I'll be charged.
  • Clean the kitchen while my paj sits in my room.
  • Take bus 15 back to downtown Aarhus.
  • By this time it's 9:00, so Subway restaurant outside the hotel is closed. I got a salad from 7/11 for dinner.

My residence room, day one. Now, it may not look THAT bad. But trust me. Ya gotta be there to get the vibe of the place. My plan it to take you on a walking tour soon, starting from the outside in.

Ultimately, this day was not so great. By the end of it, I was EXHAUSTED, but also felt really defeated. I didn't get a phone, the internet wasn't working in my residence, and I had only met one person in my building. I also found out that the program that I'm taking at school isn't necessarily an undergraduate program...which explains why many of my classmates are 30 years old!! I was rather on the stressed side, and I didn't fall asleep until about 2:30. The next day, and all I had yet to accomplish, felt daunting...

TUESDAY! Day two (second FULL day)
  • Wake up at 8:30 for breakfast downstairs.
  • Go to City Hall to register for my CPR number (to acknowledge that I am indeed a citizen in Denmark)
  • Search for a phone --> After going to 3 different stores to find a cheap one, we were successful!!! I now own a crappy little Nokia - the iPhone1999 - and I have a Danish number. (I'm gonna look into how must it costs to send texts and call internationally, or if it will even work between your phone and mine. I'll keep you updated.)
  • Take Bus 15 up to residence.
  • Meet with Ernst, an colourful old man, with a dry sense of humour, who is very genuine and warm, but a little distant and the same time, who smells of smoke, and who is also the caretaker for my residence, (of which 1,000 people live in!!!)
  • Take a trip to the "furniture room" and pick up a free desk, chair, lamp and armchair!! Very garage sale-like, but I really got a bang for my buck.
  • Set up furniture in my room
  • Walk to "Bilka," a Wal-Mart type store 20 minutes away to buy a hammer and screwdriver, and a few other things (like a hair drier that is compatible with Danish voltage)
  • Walk back to rez from Bilka and set up my shelving unit and new clock radio
  • Take bus 15 back to downtown Aarhus
  • Make one more stop at Telenor, the phone place where I bought my SIM card to ask them some final questions
  • Walk to "Pinden," a restaurant in the older part of Aarhus with real Danish food...I'm talking herring with capers and curry sauce, boiled potatoes and bread served with PORT FAT instead of butter. AHOY.

Residence room, day 2!!! Ikea does some magical things.

PHEWF!!! So here I am in this hotel room for the last night. I feel more at ease than I did yesterday, but my Dad leaves at 10 a.m. tomorrow and I'm actually dreading it. I wish I wasn't dreading our goodbye...I know I'm a big girl who is more than capable of living on her own and figuring out new things by herself. I conquered Toronto, a city of 3 million people, so why should this city of 300,000 be such a challenge?

...It's because everything here is in Danish...It's because I have no idea how to use the bus system...It's because I don't know anyone...It's because I live in what resembles a prison...It's because my friends are across the Atlantic ocean...

BUT. On the flip side, how often in life am I going to get to say all of that?? I am in Europe, about to spend a semester studying in Aarhus, Denmark. There are people to meet, places to see, fried pork and potatoes to mange, and for better or for worse right now, it's an adventure!!! And it continues tomorrow at 8 a.m.

So goodnight for now. The internet is my residence wasn't working today, but the Danish chap on the phone said hopefully by tomorrow they would make it compatible "something something something" with my computer. May not be able to blog for a few days...but I'm thinking it might be a tad sad tomorrow lad, so here's hopin' for skype!!

The Great Dane
Portrait by Kimberly Ivany
225 Kroner

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