Tillykke!

Let me start this post by saying that I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone so happy (and cute!) as the Danish handball team.

The Danes won the Euro Cup today against Serbia, and the following footage of the team celebration was like watching ridiculously happy seven-year-old boys whose hyperactivity doesn’t wear off.  Aww…it was so cute, I cried a bit.  And the keeper, Landin, got the best player award which was SO exciting because he is my favorite player.  I mean…he’s gotten nailed in the face with a handball, gotten back up (after shoving some cotton junk up his nose) and saved two more shots in a row!  Plus, he can do the splits.  That’s all I’m really asking for in a man.

In other happy news, I got another poem accepted!  It’s my pet poem, to boot!  I wrote it first in Danish and then translated it to English, and it’s all about my mother-in-law.  I knew it was special when I first wrote it, and I’m happy to see it find a home.  It also gave me the push I’ve been needing to go out and actually SUBMIT stuff, so I’m feeling motivated.

The last week or so I’ve been feeling pretty down and useless.  I’m not a particularly self-motivating person, so when I don’t have a purpose, or a reason to get up every morning, it’s easy for me to fall into a bored rut.  Now that my husband has graduated (with top marks, yay!) we’ll get to spend more time together, and he always helps me stay on top of my projects, so I’m looking forward to the next “hunk” of time until we move to Sweden.

Also, I’m going to start doing push-ups and sit-ups every day!  We’ll see how it goes.

I also experienced my first bout with homesickness the other day, though it was more family-sickness than America-sickness.  I have four sisters and two brothers, and now that we’re (almost) all grown up, we’re very spread out.  Over Christmas, we managed to gather all but two of us for a few days, and that’s the largest family gathering we’ve had in years.  This means that I often get “homesick” for my family, even when I lived at home, so it really can’t be helped.  Otherwise my transition to Denmark has been smooooooooth.  Tomorrow we have to go out shopping (my husband owes me a chocolate bar on a bet!  Candy is a bit more expensive here, so this is a treat.) and I’m excited for it (even though we’re just going to BILKA or Netto).  Also, I’m determined to take Andreas and my sister-in-law ice skating before we move!  Adventures!

Thank goodness the gloomy depression fog has lifted.  Thank you, handball team!  I’m convinced they played a part.

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Starting Over

I’ve been working on a pair of legwarmers for a while (I’m an avid knitter, for those who don’t know).  They started out as socks, but for some reason, turned into leg-warmers.  Sixty rows after that, I realized I was doing the pattern wrong, and though everyone said it looked fine, and it did, I had to restart anyway, so I decided to re-start with some new yarn (yay! new yarn!) and decided to learn a new cast-on method (that you can find here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf8cY_djTRI )

At this point, with my new (slightly larger gauge) yarn, the legwarmer was too big (way too big) so I started over with fewer stitches and now, a hundred or so stitches in, it’s too small.

Nuts.

I sometimes feel like I have the same problem with my Danish, but it’s probably just all in my head.

In other news…….
I won the Danish version of Monopoly (Matador) and felt terrible, taking everyone’s money.  How do real businesspeople do it?!  Probably by not looking their debtors in the eye.

Also, I’m pretty excited that I don’t get to see *any* of the political campaign ads on television for the next eight months.  Go me!

Today is the only day this week that Andreas doesn’t have to leave, so I’m hoping to enjoy it.  I know I am not completely alone, since I’m living with his family, but in some ways, that makes it even worse when he’s not here because I lose my “safety net” and feel slightly uncomfortable being in someone else’s house ALL the time.  Only about a month until we move to Sweden, though!

Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2012

Tonight I officially became a Dane!

Well, maybe not, but I DID get to watch the competition to find the Danish representative for this year’s Eurovision contest, which apparently almost qualifies me to be a Dane. I liked the singer who won, but not the song (it sounded a bit country-western, and that’s something I can’t ever get over, having been forcefully exposed to 15 hours of it every week on the bus ride to and from school for 13 years).  Overall, it was a good show, and now I can’t wait for actual Eurovision!!!

I also watched the Denmark vs. Macedonia handball game which was THRILLING to say the least, and I can’t even share the thrill on Facebook, considering that most of my friends don’t know what handball is, and the ones that do were in the room watching with me.  I don’t get excited about sports in general (I went to college in Green Bay and the only reason I wanted the Packers to win the Super Bowl was so that my entire city wouldn’t be grumpy the next day), but I get excited about soccer, volleyball, and now—handball!  Honestly, when I was a kid, I thought that handball was the same as baseball except that you hit the ball with your hands instead…the real game makes a lot more sense.

I know I have a long way to go before I am even slightly Danish, but I’ve got basically the rest of my life (yippee!)  One goal that I hope to accomplish a lot sooner is to become a better blogger, with pictures and everything!  At the moment, I’m trying to solve the case of the Missing 4GB SD Card, and until it’s cracked, I can’t promise much, but I’ll do my best.

I’ve been doing some experimental baking and cooking (we made Indian food with naan tonight which was great, though we accidentally bought the tomatoes with basil instead of plain) with my husband and sister-in-law, and I should be a lot more diligent about photographing our cooking adventures.

There’s not much else for now.  I’m still doing my darndest to learn new Danish words every day, and I find myself using Danish phrases as well (“nååååååååårh, ja” is a particularly common one).

It’s late, so we’re going to hygge os i sengen og sover snart.  I realize that I don’t actually *do* much here, but I’m considering going to school with my husband on Monday to collect some more writing fodder.  We’ll see what happens.  Meanwhile, I have to try to work on my poetry and knitting while Andreas studies and “use my time wisely” as my elementary school teachers always said.

Vi ses!

On being terrible at Danish

Instead of another rant about my jet lag, which by the way, is the worst I’ve ever had it, I thought I’d start in early about my language skills.

I’ve only been in Denmark for…four days, but I’m already feeling the pressure of not having particularly good language skills.  One of the worst parts is that I feel I can’t even complain about it because every time I do, somebody jumps in quickly to assure me that I am, indeed, “god på dansk.”  However, it’s not really reassurance that I’m looking for, and the pressure comes only from myself.

I’ve never been very good at dealing with embarrassment.  Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I was always one of the “smart kids” in school and I always try to be really nice to people.  Maybe it was all a desperate attempt to avoid embarrassment.  Regardless, it’s hard to immediately become good at Danish, and the panic that sets in when I have to say “hvad?” three times and still respond with nothing but a blank look is overwhelming.

I’m moving tomorrow to my in-laws’ and while I’m excited to spend more time with my family and become even more comfortable with them, I’m also nervous about the hit my pride is going to take, being surrounded by nothing but Danish.

I know it’s just a stage I have to get past until my vocabulary and comprehension improves, and I also know that spoken Danish is ridiculously hard to understand (they only seem to want to say the first few letters of each word, and you, as the listener, have to puzzle over what they’re really saying.  It’s like a game they play with every sentence.)  However, it just feels like a stage that will never end.  I feel that I’ll never be good enough at Danish.

One of the only things that keeps me hanging on is that my mother-in-law, who is German, learned Danish around the same time in her life as I am, and *she* has a job and functions normally in Danish culture…

I’ll just have to follow in her same-size-as-mine footsteps and do my best.  If nothing else, my sense of humility is really improving.  Yay virtues!

Lag of Jet

Oof.

I have unofficially expatted.  My plane left Minneapolis on Monday night, and as I was getting my boarding passes printed, I was informed that because I don’t have a return ticket, or any specific visa, I could be denied entry into Denmark.  That *would’ve* been the perfect start to my trip if I had wanted to spend the entire time nervous, anxious, upset, and fully expecting to turn around at the end of it and come right back.

Those 8 hours stuck in limbo on a plane over the Atlantic, with no choice but to “live in the moment” were quite an experience, but one that I’m still processing.

In other news, I’m badly jet-lagged.  Up to now I’ve usually been pretty good at adjusting to the time zone, and generally my stomach is more jet lagged than my sleep cycle, but this time, I can’t seem to be able to sleep past 3 in the morning, or take a nap any shorter than five hours.

I don’t really have anything to do that’s keeping me from just staying up and being a zombie all day until I conk out at night, but…being tired is so unpleasant, and duvets are irresistible.

However, I’m just still so relieved that I am finally, finally with my husband, in Denmark, and on our way to making me a resident in Europe!  And now that it’s 11 am, I’ll be taking a “nap.”