Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Its always the weather...

One of everyone's favorite topics here in Denmark is the weather. Danes love to complain about it. Of course, if a non-Danes says something like, "the weather here sucks!" Danes will point out the glorious summers. When the non-Dane then says, "well, yeah, except for the glorious summers" the Danes retort, "except sometimes summer is only three days long."

You can't win a weather conversation with a Dane.

I find that the best I can do in a conversation about the weather is to say, "Danish weather is pretty bad, but it is a d@mn site better than Rhode Island weather." Rhode Islanders will be quick to point out that they have a very pretty fall, lots of colours on the leaves and a pleasant spring. But 4 weeks of habitable weather per year is HORRIFIC people! Admit it, RI, your weather sucks!

Denmark, on the other hand, more often than not, has lovely weather. The rainy summer of a few years ago aside. Summers, if not raining heavily, are heavenly, with crazy amounts of sun (18 hours or something) that lets you BBQ and enjoy the outdoors for weeks on end. (Yes, unless it's raining. I hear you, I hear you.)

Fall is fantastic (at the moment, but yes, I do know it could start raining at any time), crunchy leaves on the ground and wood smoke in the air and apple pies to be made. I wish the Danes didn't start setting up for Christmas already, but what can you do.

The build up to Christmas is actually fine, because Christmas around here is quite magical in my opinion. And as possibly my favorite holiday, I really enjoy all the traditions that make up Danish Christmas.

The time of the year that I hate, truly hate, is the three months after New Years. It's dark, it's cold, it's wet (either freezing snow or bone numbing rain) and there are no holidays to break up the horror of it all. Danes retreat inside their homes during this period and attempt to hibernate. This is the time of year that you can tell the Danes that their weather sucks and they will not object.

But then comes spring and we all breathe a sigh of relief.

So while I am enjoying the weather, the wood smoke and the apple pie, I am still a bit flumoxed. It's cold out. Really cold. And yet there are HUGE MOSQUITOS all over the place. I was pretty sure that mosquitos would go away when it's cold. I mean, all the birds flew south, the sun is barely up over the horizon, and I'm getting out my eggnog recipe and yet I still have mosquito bites!! They get in the house and then I have to chase them around and around before I go to bed. What's up with this?

On a different note, the Danish Boy has his "Panic Day" tomorrow. This is the day that all the newspapers/media organizations (that will be taking interns) begin the selection process. They start at 8 am and it's usually wrapped up by 11 am. I have one very stressed fiance on my hands. But by tomorrow it will be over, finally. We will know for sure if we have to move to Copenhagen or not (the odds are in favor of us moving, sigh).

Fingers crossed that he gets a good one!

Monday, October 22, 2007

So this is Sweden...

Last week the Danish Boy and I drove to Sweden. One of the best parts about doing this is *saying* "I drove to Sweden". But of course, if you know your Nordic current events, you happen to know that Denmark and Sweden built a bridge connecting them. And this is the bridge we drove across to get to the third nordic country I've been to. Finland, watch out!

So how is Sweden? Remarkably like Denmark, except where it's not.

Well, duh, you say. It is a different country.

Yes, but I expected it to be different. In the way that France is different from Germany. And Norway is VASTLY different from Denmark. Fjords, people, *fjords*!

So how is Sweden different ('cause you don't really want to know how it was the same - same is boring, different is cool)?
1) It costs about $50 to drive there and $50 to drive back. (For the bridge fee.)
2) There is a Swedish Kroner (they don't use the Euro) and it is worth less than a Danish Kroner and so it looks like you are spending a *fortune* on coffee, when really you are just spending *a lot*.
3) They took the idea of "city planning" to a whole new level. In a creepy good way.

Okay, that last one needs some explanation, but in a creepy good way. No, really.

So, in southern Sweden they are being overrun by ex-pat Danes who find living across the bridge cheaper than living in Copenghagen and all of those foreigners they keep letting in (Sweden has let in more Iraqis than any other non-Middle Eastern country and also are very flexable with their immigration laws). And they have to go somewhere. Enter the city planners. Sweden has a GREAT transportation system (and if the Danes don't agree, that's because you have a FANTASTIC transportation system too... take it from the Americans, we haven't yet figured out public transportation) - so instead of building ever expanding suburbia, they go a bit farther away from the town and set up a villiage. Connected by GREAT transportation. This villiage includes not only cute streets with the best sub-division tract-houses I've ever seen (each slightly different with YARDS) but centered around a SCHOOL and a COMMUNITY CENTER and, get this, a LIBRARY!

Now, I hate development. I hate tract-homes. I hate suburbia. But if I had money, I would move to one of these villiages in a heart beat.

Damn, I should have taken Swedish language classes when I had a chance.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Updates and things

The date is set for my wedding. I'm a little hesitant to post too much however since I got a rather creepy email from my ex, who seems to be cyber stalking me. However, after I realized that he had a facebook account, which meant that he might be able to view my facebook account, I blocked him and strangely he has not emailed since. Could be a strange coincidence.

However, let it be said that if I tell you: don't contact me, I'll contact you. And then a few weeks later you say: hey, I know I said I wouldn't contact you, but... AND THEN PROCEED TO EMAIL ME ONCE A WEEK FOR THE NEXT FOUR MONTHS, don't be all pissy because I don't email you back. And if you then at the end of this, email me that you googled me and have decided that there are not enough pictures of me online, and how are you supposed tosee me or keep up with my life now that I'm not emailing you information about it DON'T BE SURPRISED IF I BLOCK YOU FROM MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT AND GET REALLY CREEPED OUT.

Good lord.

Anyway, we have a date and a location that includes food and housing for 70 people. And it occurred to me that as far as my American friends and family are concerned, this means that I am having a destination wedding. So I googled that, to see what was what in regards to destination weddings, but all I got was a lot of sites about getting married on a beach in the carribean. Which I am not doing. Oh well, this wasn't going to be a normal wedding anyway, half of the guests will have never met the other half and that includes the families of the bride and groom.

The dissertation goes as one would expect. Painfully, slowly and with the odd bit of bad excitement (oh, my god, the Risley Park lanx in the British Museum is a FAKE? Sh!t, I have to rewrite that bit now!). I printed it out the other day, so that I could read what I had written (bad plan) and it was rather substatial in it's single-spaced-ness. This is good. The more I write, the more room I have to edit and POSSIBLY the less I have to rewrite.

Cooking has come to an abrupt stop now that the computer is fixed and the dissertation awaits. The Danish Boy is distressed. He knew it wouldn't last forever, but he sure appreciated it while it did.