12 July 2009

two decades

on friday i turned twenty. it was really amazing to celebrate here in denmark. even though i've only been here for three weeks (as of today!) i feel like i have, or at least am making, friends here. plus, two of my old friends were here to celebrate with me: lotten and andreas stopped here in copenhagen on their way back from a month traveling eastern europe! it was absolutely wonderful in every way to see them again. for a whole day we just hung out, made food, ate, and talked. it was exactly what, i think, all of us needed.

i had language class on friday morning, during which our teacher taught us the traditional danish birthday song. it's really complicated compared to the american one, with four different verses. it's also ridiculously cute. it roughly translates to:

"today is (name)'s birthday,
hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!
she surely will receive a gift
that she has wished for this year
with lovely chocolate and cake.

and when she goes home from school
hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!
she'll go home and have a party
and whoever comes as a guest
will get lovely chocolate and cake.

how she smiles, how she's glad,
hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!
but this day is also nice
because at home mom and dad wait
with lovely chocolate and cake.

finally we sing loudly,
hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!
may (birthday person) live long
and have her wishes fulfilled
with lovely chocolate and cake."

aside from class, i had that song sung to me a couple of times later in the evening: first when my exchange student friends gave me a lovely chocolate cake, and then when my hallmates surprised me with two homemade traditional danish birthday cakes! it was really nice and i really did get warm fuzzies from all of it. it was great to be with so many of my friends in one place. it did storm briefly, but the rain pretty much vanished by the time we left to go out.

lotten and andreas and our midnight dinner when they first arrived

learning the birthday song in language class

people came over

since it was raining outside (and by raining, i mean thunder and lightning and water gushing down from the sky) it was nice to hang out inside

in denmark, flags are a symbol of happiness, which is why they're used when celebrating birthdays and christmas. additionally, stores put flags in their windows when they're having sales.

that's just about everybody

my hallmates wrote me a note saying "tillykke med fødselsdagen," which means "happy birthday" in danish

they also made me these two lovely cakes! the cake my exchange friends made me is there too. i have never had three cakes on one birthday before.


later when we went out, we of course had to stop at a pølsevogn, or hot dog wagon. danish hot dogs are so, so good. i don't know why. i'm not really a fan of hot dogs in general. maybe it's all the toppings!

although i did miss my american friends and family, i had a fantastic birthday here.

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