19 July 2009


i never really wrote about my first twenty-four hours in copenhagen. they were, to say the least, strange ones. my mentor picked me up at the airport, and immediately started in on me, saying, "it took you a long time to get out here!" well, see, i had to get my luggage. and change money. and figure out where to go. and that was just the beginning.

my mentor's name is lisbeth monsted larsen. she is forty-five and lives in farum (forty-five minutes away from the center of copenhagen by train), so there is quite a gap between us. when i arrived in copenhagen, she picked up me at the airport as promised, but she forgot to bring my keys (which she had already picked up the previous week), so i had to go with her to her house in farum in order to get them to get into my room. i wanted to come back to tietgen, my residence, that afternoon, which was sunday, june 21, in order to get settled in before starting language class on monday morning, but lisbeth made me stay with her for the night, saying that it wasn't safe for a young girl such as myself to travel to and through the city alone, especially in the evening or at night. she also warned me to watch out for anyone of middle-eastern or gypsy descent, saying that they would throw rocks at me because "they hate girls." I would like to attribute this insight to a cultural difference, but I have never, ever encountered such strong racism before.

at lisbeth's house i slept on the couch in her living room with her four dogs, three greyhounds and a whippet that she spent my entire stay telling me about. At 4.00 a.m. she got me up to walk the dogs with her before we went back to the city, so i could get into tietgen just in time to drop my stuff off before my language class started. i went along with everything she asked of me out of politeness, but i will not be meeting with her again, as she put me in a plethora of awkward, difficult situations. she came across to me as being very lonely and needing a friend, all the while telling me about how much she loves her solitary life with her dogs.

and here are some haikus i wrote while unable to sleep that first night:

around two-thirty
the birds begin to sing: day
breaks, day breaks, day breaks!

her house: an homage
to dogs of royal blood from
madrid, bin liners

she has no children
never will. instead, keeps blooms
on the white bookshelf

anyway, that's that.

i got a new (old) bike! my green bike, while beautiful, is too much for me to handle, and i'm going to sell it. i am now the proud owner of a silver three-speed danish bike that i bought for $50. i don't recognize the brand, but it fits me really well and i've been riding all over the city, especially this weekend.

here i am with stella ruth.

she needs a little love, but she's in pretty good shape.

on thursday afternoon i finally took some pictures of stuff that copenhagen is famous for while enjoying the late-evening sun.

den sorte diamant - the black diamond, copenhagen's royal library. i'm going here with my class in a couple of weeks!

the graffiti on that bridge says "be happy" in yellow bubble letters. i live on the other side of the bridge, behind all those buildings.

i don't know what this lion's about, but i like it.

just another beautiful canal.

nyhavn. denmark has seagulls, too!

more nyhavn

kongens nytorv - the king's new square

i'm not really interested in architecture, but i just thought the contrast of textures here was so, so cool. and very danish.

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