but as the days lighten up - have i mentioned that the sun doesn't set until after 6 p.m. now? - i become exponentially happier for my time in denmark. with three-quarters of my stay here under my belt, it is hitting me that i am really concerned about going back to the big old u.s.a.
one thing i really appreciate about denmark is that - and i don't necessarily think this is unique to danes, but bear with me - although the people have such a "good" state system in which every member of society is cared for from the cradle to the grave, where everyone is well-fed, educated, and has free healthcare (foreign residents included, surprisingly enough), the people aren't satisfied. they want better healthcare, a better political system (dansk folkeparti can suck it), more asylum, and better universities where 40% of the biology department doesn't get laid off. for a long time i was thinking that this is an awfully selfish mindset of the spoiled danes. "you have no idea how good you have it," i'd say. "what are you complaining about?" and they do have it a lot better than a lot of the rest of the world. but i think it really says something about the "culture" that people want to create positive change in their country. because of this drive, there are a lot of young people in politics. they have organic food in the discount grocery stores (with the slogan "organic for everyone!"). and, for whatever reason, they still have a royal family, but that's beside the point.
i don't really know where i'm going with that. back to spring: it's raining today (surprise, surprise) but i'm just full of joy because i'm going up to a friend's cottage in the forest on the coast to celebrate the equinox with flowers, bonfires, and friendship. i'm excited about the mini road-trip (we have to drive for an hour to get there) and fresh air.
signs of spring:
a burrito from the taco shop!! one of the stranger burritos i've had in my life (the inside was only chile verde pork, no beans or rice!) but it was deeeeelicious nonetheless. i was so happy - and overcome by the smell - that i almost cried.
i made dairy-free risotto from scratch - my first time making risotto - and a salad sprinkled with strawberries. i was told it tasted like summer. in copenhagen i've had the chance to discover that i love cooking. i know my parents will be delighted to hear that and probably force me to cook for them when i finally make it home.
what's up, swans. they were just chillin' on the canal outside of my building. apparently this is normal for spring and summer. you know what that means? the warmer half of the year is upon us!
but it's kind of gross that there are cigarette butts and can tabs in the grass where they're poking about.