Hello, Sweden!

That’s right, I’m in Sweden!  For a while, at least.  Yesterday morning we were all settled in Denmark, we woke up, packed everything, cleaned, everything, had Andreas’s dad graciously drive us all the way to Sweden, move everything in, had a very exciting playdate with our very exciting nephew, and are now all settled in.  In Sweden.

It’s feeling a bit weird, being in a place where neither of us “belongs,” where people speak a language that neither of us speak, but to me, I think the most novel thing is that we’re on our own in Europe.  When we lived in Denmark, we were always near to Andreas’s parents’ place and ended up eating dinner with them often, and borrowing the car to get to and from the grocery store, etc.  Now that we’re in Sweden, we live next door to his sister, but she doesn’t have a car (she does have a bike, which is more common around here).  I feel more independent, more free, and also (I do hate to admit it) a little more homesick.

Within the next couple of days I’ll have a post with pictures of the awesome apartment we’re subletting for the next few months.  I just want to show everyone!

Also, look forward to a post about a very special knitting project I just finished!  Now that all my exciting knitting is over, I have to get back to knitting a mate for my lonely legwarmer I finished a while ago before I start on the next exciting things 😦 But I guess that’s life, too…I had to put in my time in the US before I got to move to exciting Europe!

So, in summary: Living in America is like knitting a legwarmer, and this blog is going to get a couple more exciting (and pictureful!) posts soon!

 

 

 

Kokos Kage

One of the best parts of living with my in-laws is that I get to (very frequently) bake with my sister-in-law Rebekka!  How I managed to pick a husband with such an awesome family is beyond me, but for now, I’ll just try to be eternally grateful and bake cakes for them all.  This one in particular was a hit with my father-in-law who was “helt vildt med det” (wild about it).

I have to admit, it was probably the best cake I’ve ever made.  It was SO fluffy.  So.  Fluffy.  And the frosting was basically a huge bowl full of the molten insides of roasted marshmallows.  That good.

I got the recipe here.  I especially liked the fact that the original recipe was dated 1976.  The best things are always old.

Since we’re pretty close to the arctic circle up here, and it gets dark at about five pm, we do most of our baking in the dark which doesn’t lend itself to process pictures…or finished-product photos either, now that I think about it.  We wanted to share this one as soon as it was assembled!  But I did cut a fat slice the next day for a mini photo op.  I’ve never really done food photography before, so for now, I’m just trying to make sure to photograph in natural light.  Next week we’re moving to our new apartment in Sweden, though, and I’m excited to start trying to stylize my pictures, too!

Anyway, this cake was impress-a-Danish-man good (which is really, really good).

Bona Fide Culture Shock

I realize that I recently wrote a post on how I was not experiencing culture shock, but for the first time today I had a literally jaw-dropping moment of it.

It actually came from reading a few blogs here.  I’ve recently mentioned that people here tend to use baby carriages more often than strollers, and while I think this is adorable (and practical) there’s something I missed.  Apparently, mothers here will leave these carriages outside (winter and summer) while they go in to say, have a coffee with some friends, or do a little shopping.  To me, a dumbfounded American, leaving a baby unsupervised, outside, in the cold, with other people roaming around is against every motherly instinct (of which I have many), but here, it’s just a way of life. It’s not only permissible here, but promoted!

While reading up on happy Danes, one really good point was how trusting, and trustworthy Danes are.  I’ve noticed this time and time again in my own personal Dane, and until now, I never thought of it being a national phenomenon.  When I first came to visit here and went to the neighborhood Netto with Andreas, he was inclined to lay down our hand-basket full of groceries (and sometimes my purse!) in an empty aisle and go off on a hunt for ham salad.  I would nervously hover around the basket, bouncing between him and our groceries until we were ready to leave.  Now, I’ve become a bit more used to it, and can generally submit to leaving our unattended groceries around, but…a baby?

Maybe it will come with time.  Maybe by the time I have a baby, I’ll be grateful for the chance to leave it outside to nap in the “fresh air” while I go get coffee with the friends that I will hopefully have made by the time I have a baby.  Maybe.

A Warm Chair

First of all…one of the days I’ve been waiting for has arrived!  I am proud to announce that I’ve noticed in the past few days that I’m effortlessly understanding Danish (whether it be spoken to me, or if I overhear a conversation) without even trying!  For the longest time, I’d always translate in my head, slowly at first, then a lot more quickly.  Now, it’s finally as if Danish is burrowing in and making its own little home in my brain.  I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m really excited about how naturally it’s coming to me recently!  I hope that by the time I’m settled here and have a real home and a life, I’ll be able to entertain myself on the bus by eavesdropping again.  Haha, just kidding.  I don’t do that……

Also, I was watching a bit of the news with Andreas the other day and they were talking about…well, they were talking about something and the title of the piece was “Varm stolen” which really translates to “hot seat.”  Hot seat means the same thing here as it does in the states, and as Andreas just hypothesized, maybe it’s named for how hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable you feel when you “sit” in it.  Anyway, while “varm” means “hot” in Danish, it will never stop meaning “warm” to me, and this particular headline reminded me more of the uncomfortableness of coming to class and sitting in a seat that has been pre-warmed by someone else’s butt (thank you.).  Just another wee difference that keeps me appreciating that I am, indeed, an American in Denmark.

Rants and Ravings on Valentine’s Day

During my daily over-browsing of Facebook, I’ve noticed today that I’ve read more negative posts concerning Valentine’s Day than positive ones.  Now, given the big hoopla that everyone makes over Valentine’s Day (both those celebrating it, and those vehemently NOT celebrating it) I guess I should have expected this, but I really didn’t.

Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal for me, except in elementary school where I got to decorate a Kleenex box and everyone attached candy to their Valentines.  The best part was when we all got to mill around and deliver them (my love of sorting has not dimmed since then).

Anyway, I was thinking (surprising, right?) and I don’t see why Valentine’s Day is a big deal.  Originally it’s some celebration of a saint who got eaten by a lion or something, and over the years it’s been commercialized and made into a day where we’re supposed to buy things for the one we love.  But that does not change the fact that it IS a holiday (it’s on the calendar after all).  The thing I’m going to say next would probably spark a lot of controversy if anyone really read this blog, but as it’s mostly just my sisters (hi sisters!) I’m not too worried about it.  So here it is: I don’t think Valentine’s Day has been all that much more commercialized and over-celebrated than Christmas! So there!  Christmas is a celebration that Jesus was born (and it’s not even celebrated in the right season!).  So why do we feel compelled to buy gifts, eat lots of food, and have parties?  Because that’s what you do on a holiday.  So why shouldn’t we do it on Valentine’s Day, too?  Personally, I feel like Valentine’s day was created to nudge us all out of our depressed mid-winter rut, and I appreciate it as just that.  Anyone who hates Valentine’s day for its over-commercialization should also be required to hate Christmas for the same reason and not do anything except sit with his family and think about Jesus as a baby (hmm, that doesn’t sound so bad.  I’ll bet Jesus was an awfully cute baby.)

For the record, I didn’t feel any different about Valentine’s day when I was single.

And now to the present!  This is Andreas’s and my first Valentine’s Day together, and in celebration, he came on a walk to the neighborhood Netto with me (and without complaining), we bought chocolate (mine!) and chips (his!) and we’re going to watch a movie (his choice).  Perfect.  And to be honest, I don’t really care whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not, but it’s nice to have an excuse to do something special and fun and cuddly.

So for anyone who’s reading this, Happy Valentine’s Day!  I’d share if I could 🙂

An Extra Big (Swedish) Hazelnut Chocolate Bar

Licorice

There are a few foods that I have discovered at integral to Danish culture.  Hazelnuts, marzipan, potatoes, and rugbrød to name a few, but something it seems most Danes can’t live without is licorice!  Unfortunately, I hate licorice.  However, I decided around New Year’s to try to like things I don’t like, and while some people claim that not having to eat things you don’t like is one of the best parts about finally being an adult, I have this thing where I have this aversion to being picky.  Probably comes from my almost-youngest-child personality, in that I want to please everyone, and when people refer to me as “the girl who likes everything” I couldn’t be more flattered.  In college I was crudely known as the girl who would eat “everything, included reheated poo” which I think might have been a reference to the purple Skittles, but I might be wrong.

See, I’m already a vegetarian, and that limits what I can eat a lot.  I don’t mind, and I usually don’t miss meat (unless confronted with a spicy sausage) but I don’t like being a pain to feed, when I’m a guest.  So I figure, the more foods I like, the easier I am to feed!

Anyway, I’ve been trying to eat things I don’t like: mushrooms, pears, and now, licorice!  And I’ve come a long way!  I just ate a candy-coated piece of licorice and my face didn’t contort!  I even vaguely enjoyed it.

Salt licorice, on the other hand is something I don’t think I’ll ever like.  I might as well try to like eating asphalt or chewy bile.   I know, I know, that’s a gross image.  But seriously.  Salt licorice.  Barf.

Baby Fever

I’ve spent most of today in bed with a serious bout of baby fever.

Okay, so I don’t actually have to be in bed for this.  But I might as well be, seeing as how useless I’ve been because of it.  The worst part is that I have nothing to do!  I have nothing of importance to do to distract me from how terribly I want a baby.  (Yes.  I know I’m 22, and I know I’m an idiot).  In a valiant effort to stave off baby pangs, I decided to start a new knitting project, a complicated hat!  So I set about Ravelry to try to find a new pattern.  All I found were patterns for adorable baby hats with pictures of adorable babies wearing said adorable hats.  Cruel world.

Even as I write this, and my husband laughs at me as he reads over my shoulder, I know how silly I’m being.  I know that if I have to wait a couple years for a baby, it’s far from “the world’s end” as Andreas puts it.  I know plenty of people have to wait plenty more years than I have, and I know how lucky I am.  But dammit, I still want a baby, and I still want it now.

I even considered making a long list of entries like “do ten push-ups” and “wash your face twice” and making myself do one thing on the list each time I think about babies.  Drastic, I know.  But it’s like…what if you suddenly really wanted to eat pizza.  And what if you KNEW you could have pizza next month, but until then you had nothing to do but think about a melty, gooey piece of pizza with a thick, chewy crust, tangy sauce and molten cheese.

I’m beginning to feel again like I don’t have anything to contribute.  I don’t have (and can’t get) a job here yet, and since we’ve been staying with my in-laws, I can’t exactly busy myself with homemaking.  And to boot, I feel like I’m trying to keep up this blog and have nothing interesting to report.  And at the same time, I know, in the back of my mind, that moving across the ocean to start my life over here is one of the most interesting things I’ll do in my whole life and I can’t seem to stop thinking about how boring it seems to be.

A baby would definitely spice things up.  Haha.  Just kidding.  *sigh*

Superbowl…Monday

So.

I have never watched a Superbowl game before.  In fact, I have never watched a whole football game before (although apparently I did try to watch part of one with my roommate when I was a freshman).  But it somehow made sense to me that the first whole football game I watch be after I have left the states, so my husband Andreas (who also has never watched football) and I decided to sit down with some snacks and watch it.  Kickoff was at 12:30 am, and snacks consisted of a piece of bread with ham salad, a carrot, an apple, and an orange.  Bring on the football!

During the course of the game, we tried valiantly to figure out what was actually going on, but as it got closer and closer to morning, our commentary (which I was, of course, transcribing as it happened) got sillier and sillier, ranging from
Andreas: Timeout…what’s a timeout?
to
Andreas: Hi, I’m Brady, I’m made of bread.

First, we had to choose a team to cheer for:
Zeta: We have to pick someone to cheer for.   It’s the New York Giants against the Patriots
Andreas: Hmmm
Zeta: How about the Giants…because they’re…Giant!  And also, I’m an ex-patriot.  So we shouldn’t cheer for them.

Then we had to try to figure out how it worked:

Andreas: I think they have two points now.
Zeta: Two points?  We can’t have two points.  I thought you get seven points for a touchdown.
Andreas: What’s a touchdown?

Andreas: They had 12 men on the field?  Are they only supposed to have eleven?
Zeta: Yes…yes, that’s the right number.  I just saw that today in the picture with the Indian babies.

Andreas: What is this start here? They start by kicking it?
Zeta: Yeah, that’s called the kickoff
Andreas: And how does that work?
Zeta: They kick it…

Zeta: Maybe touchdowns are worth more or less, depending on how many downs it took them to get there.  wouldn’t that make sense?
Andreas: Are you just guessing now?
Zeta: Yup.

Zeta: They have three points, why do they have three points?
Andreas: I think they kicked one over.
Zeta: See…I don’t get…why…when do they do that?

Then I had to explain to him some of the less critical aspects of the game:

Zeta: Oh, and then they dance.
Andreas: Every time?
Zeta: Yeah.
Andreas: Why?
Zeta: I don’t know…
Andreas: I wouldn’t dance.

Andreas: What’s with those things they have, hanging out of their pants?
Zeta: I think they’re sweat towels.
Andreas: What, so they can take a towel out of their crotch to wipe their forehead?

Zeta: Look, he’s fat, too! Look!
Andreas: Oh my God, he’s fat.
Zeta: See, there are certain players that can be fat, because they’re just supposed to be like…blocks.  They don’t have to run that much.
Andreas: Yeah, but oh my GOD HE’S….well…I guess that’s kind of skinny for an American.

We also added our own spicy commentary, since the commentary on TV was in Danish and I wasn’t understanding much of it.  Fortunately, our own was just as informative:

Andreas: The flag…he said…I think the flag is on the Giants, he said “something something something” so I think someone gets the flag…

Zeta: Look, you can see his leg fat jiggling
Andreas: Oh, I didn’t see it…
Zeta: It was in the background. Maybe they’ll show it again.

Andreas: This just seems like a game with men tumbling around, but there are so many crazy rules.
Zeta: Yes, they have to tumble in a certain way.

Of course, the halftime show was also noteworthy:

Andreas: See look, the Romans came, too.
Zeta: Oh, whew!…..they look oily.
Andreas: Well, you can’t be Roman without being oily.

Andreas: Who’s she?
Zeta: Nikki Minaj, I think…
Andreas: I just saw part of her buttcheek.

Zeta: How did she change her clothes so fast?  I guess she just put it on over her other clothes
Andreas: Yeah…Plus, it’s Madonna.  She probably practices changing her clothes every day.

Towards the end, I think we were getting a bit delirious:

Zeta: Brady has something on his arm like Buzz Lightyear and then he opens it and he talks to the other men.

All-in-all, it was really, really fun to try to figure out football with my husband, and though we weren’t very successful, at least now Andreas can have a real opinion about the sport:

Andreas: Man, there are a lot of boring breaks in this game…what the hell…

Andreas: This game looks not very hard at all!  They have breaks all the time!  Like compared to…….any other sport…

It was well-worth staying up until 4 am.

The Big Blog Move

So, here’s the thing.

I started this blog ages ago, before most of the big events in my life had even occurred (graduation, marriage, moving to Europe, etc.)  and then promptly left it to die and whither on its own.  However, a bit ago, I started up a new blog on Tumblr before realizing that Tumblr is like Twitter except with pictures, and I fit in less there than I did in the ghetto I lived in while spending time in Illinois. 

Anyway, I’ll be transferring blog posts here in the next few days, and hopefully working on the layout…Please be just as easy to use as Tumblr, WordPress!

In brief other news, we’re ordering pizza tonight as Andreas’s parents are out of town and also…we want to!  Let’s see how my vegetarian Danish pizza comes out…as far as I’ve noticed, Denmark in general isn’t exactly vegetarian friendly…I’ll try to take some poorly-lit pictures for tomorrow.

Drinking…yoghurt?

Now, I won’t pretend that I haven’t heard of drinking yoghurt before, but I haven’t really thought about it.  However, during a recent trip to our friendly neighborhood BILKA, they were giving out free bottles of a new drinking yoghurt and since Andreas has never *ever* passed up anything free, we made sure to walk slowly by on our way out and got two free samples!  Nevermind that Andreas is allergic to dairy and can’t even drink it…

Look, full-sized samples!

So I brought it home, cracked it open and took a slurp.  After the first drink, I thought what is this, yoghurt?  It’s so thin…this is weird. ew. After the second drink, I thought this is like milk…except it’s thick…and there’s a chunk, double ew. and after the third drink I thought this isn’t milk…or yoghurt…this is…….delicious!

I now proudly proclaim that I am a huge fan of this delicious drink as long as I don’t think about yoghurt OR milk while I drink it!  Plus, it’s pineapple passionfruit flavor, yum!  I’m guessing that a whole lot of my future breakfasts/snacks are going to consist of this.

Also, as a sidenote, that little green “keyhole” symbol apparently means it’s healthy!  It’s actually pretty helpful to have such a simple symbol to determine whether a food is “healthy” and as far as I’ve noticed, it’s been pretty accurate (unlike in the states where I can’t even begin to rant about how many foods are advertised as “healthy” and are full of nothing but junk.)