un-under-over-qualified

So the other day I dipped my baby toe into the world of job searching.  I found a pretty standard job search site, which, while it was in Danish, I could figure out pretty well.  Then it all sort of went to hell.

I have no idea what I can do here.  I occasionally curse myself for not having a very valuable college degree, and not a whole lot of work experience.  I don’t know how to make a Danish CV (although I’m sure Andreas and probably the job center can help me out with that when I’m ready) and I don’t know what I’m qualified to do.  I don’t know how far I can get with the Danish skills that I’ve taught myself, and I fear that it’s nowhere near far enough.  There are a few jobs I think I’d like, but besides the possible language barrier, I don’t know if you have to have any specific education to have that sort of position (a helper at a daycare).  The ads didn’t mention anything like that, and although I’m sure they could let me know, if I called, I’m not quite to that point yet.

I’m not feeling particularly discouraged, (surprisingly, considering my history of being easily discouraged) but I am feeling a bit confused and leery.  I’d like to have work, but I should first probably concentrate on wedging myself into a Danish class as soon as I can.  I have a feeling I’ll have to pass a certain level before I can start midwifery school (if I even get into midwifery school) so that’s the priority, really, but I am also looking forward to maybe being able to contribute a bit, and since we’ve just moved and still need to buy quite a few things, we could use the extra money!

I’ll do a better search another day, maybe with Andreas peeking over my shoulder, and then after that see what the job center can help me with, but first, I’ll see what I can do about these Danish classes…

It’s really strange, having things to arrange and think about.  I have to shift out of neutral and get to work, but it’s pretty hard, considering I’ve been keeping myself in neutral for a pretty long period of time…we’ll see how much luck I have on that front…

Anyway, I almost blogged every day in November, and am pretty excited about that!  Now for the first day of December, and a nearby flea market!

OOOOOOOps.

So I dropped the ball yesterday.  I am a bit bummed that I didn’t mange to post every day (and SO close to the end!)  but I’ll live!  I promise I actually had a fairly good reason for dropping the ball.  But at least you can be assured that while I wasn’t blogging, I was definitely knitting!

We tend to keep our new apartment on the chilly side (something about saving money or energy….) and we have hardwood floors.  Now, this leads to cases of cold feet.  Fortunately for me, I have some knitters who love me and I have plenty of thick socks and even a pair of wonderful felted slippers (in green!), but Andreas, who always refused all requests for knitted socks from his mother, didn’t.  Now, this past year (and almost a half) that we’ve been married has made him pretty soft.  Either that or his feet were super cold.  Either way, he agreed to let me make him some over-socks.  Some extrabig slipperysock sort of things, and yesterday I did just that!

Andreas is modeling h2t in this picture…you can see his fingers on his knees totally match his foot-posture. Proud.

Slightly more normal photo…

Close Call

As I was in bed, just about falling asleep, I remembered that I did not blog today! So, with 24 minutes to spare, I let the bright laptop light assault my eyes, just for you guys!

I wanted to touch upon something kind of huge that happened yesterday.  I got a Danish personnummer!  It’s sort of like a social security number, only not nearly as secret.  Andreas decided to take off early so we could go to the office together (since he had to go too, to move his address back to Denmark from Sweden).  The nearest office was only about a 10 minute walk away, but when we arrived, we were informed that only one office in Copenhagen handles “moving-in” so we scooted off to the bus stop and were lucky enough to make it to the central office pretty quickly.  The wait wasn’t long, and while there was a hiccup in putting in the data, everything went smoothly.  It didn’t feel hard-won or difficult.  It felt really easy.

I thought I might get a packet…something like “Welcome to Denmark, Foreigner!” but I only got a piece of paper with my personnummer on it, that I can use until I get the actual card.  This (I think) means I can do all sorts of official things now, like get a bank account, sign up for language courses, etc.  Now, I haven’t done any of those things yet (I’ll figure them out with Andreas as we get to them) but it’s still exciting that I CAN!

In other news, the construction workers managed to flood my kitchen today (which resulted in a short circuit and turned off all the power in my apartment).  Luckily, I’m not completely helpless (sometimes), so I was able to sop up the mess, figure out which socket was shorting and turn the power back on myself.  The fact that I couldn’t watch Netflix unless I fixed it was motivation enough.

 

Weird Day

Originally, I was thinking to myself “I’m having a bad day.”  The type of bad day where it suddenly dawns on you that this is one of those bad days that happens in the beginning of romantic comedies, where the main character is running late, gets electrocuted by her hairdryer, spills cereal and milk all over the couch, and then runs into her newly-ex boyfriend while she’s springing down the street with one shoe on, staticky hair, and cheerios stuck to her bum.

Only mine was a lot more boring than that.  Mine started by realizing that they start construction at 7:30 am in this apartment complex.  They’re redoing the garden of where I live, and also probably some other things, because by the sound of it they were trying to drill upwards into my bathroom.  As I took a shower.  I could hear men’s voices echoing up through the pipe and was a little more than slightly worried that if their voices carried so well, maybe so did their vision.  I would have waited until the drilling stopped to shower, but I was afraid that the backhoe right outside my bedroom window was going to make a wrong move and I’d rather be showered and wearing clothes if the construction workers accidentally (and literally) break into my apartment.

It was just one of those dumb days when the mousse falls off your hand onto the bathroom floor before it makes it into your hair, and then you bang the back of your head on the sink when you straighten up.

So I decided I needed some breakfast, and was peeking into the fridge when the backhoe “bucket,” or whatever they call the thing on the end of the arm, swings within a foot of my kitchen window, and freaks me out so much I actually run from the room.  So, peeking between the blinds of my bedroom, I realize it was because they were trying to knock down the railing (around the outside stairs to the basement)…with the backhoe.  One bar at a time.

I think they’re just having fun.

PS: I wrote this in the morning, and they jackhammered and backhoed all day long just under my windows, but they moved at the end of the day, so I’m hoping they’ve done what they have to do.  Otherwise I have no choice but to go out exploring tomorrow just to get away from it all!

Coming Home

We’re back in Copenhagen, after a weekend in Odense, visiting Andreas’s family and having our first Thanksgiving!  It was also Andreas’s and my first Thanksgiving as a couple.  Even though all the time apart during dating and even after we were married was difficult, it’s kind of exciting that we still have some firsts to experience together.

This weekend, was also the time I felt most at home with Andreas’s family.  He stayed in Copenhagen to party it up (read: play indoor hockey) with some of his coworkers, so he wasn’t around for Friday, or a lot of Saturday (seeing as he was so tired from being out late the night before that he fell asleep at 8 pm) but it didn’t seem to really make a difference to me.  I definitely missed him still when he was gone (just because we’ve spent nearly a year apart in the past, doesn’t mean that I still don’t miss him when he’s gone for a day), but I was perfectly fine hanging out with his family on my own.  Just another thing to scribble onto the long list of things I’m grateful for this year.

Anyway, coming back home was wonderful, because we finally have one!  I really feel finally like we’re coming home.  Not coming to that place we’re staying for a few months while we wait to move to the next place we’ll stay for a few months.  So even though we’re missing a lot of important house-y things, I’m feeling more at home (in this particular apartment, and in Denmark in general) than I’ve felt in a long time, and that, I think, is really, really good for me.

I thought that making the Thanksgiving dinner my family makes would stave off my homesickness, and it did, in a way.  But to be honest, I was a lot less homesick than I thought I might be.  I couldn’t feel so lonely or far away from my home and family when I also feel like Denmark is my home and Andreas’s family also belongs a little bit to me.

PS–I still miss my family.

My First Danish Thanksgiving

So this year was the first year that I wasn’t home with my family in Central Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  I anticipated the homesickness, especially since Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I decided to make everything exactly how my family makes it back home.  And it was awesome.

The menu included:

Chicken (not a turkey, since there were only four meat-eaters, and turkeys are ridiculously expensive in Denmark anyways)

Mashed potatoes with gravy (and mushroom gravy for me!  Usually I don’t get any gravy at Thanksgiving, so this was a huge improvement)

Sweet potatoes- These fell flat.  I didn’t cook them quite long enough or add enough butter or something, so they were pretty bad, but I’ll do it better next year.

Stuffing/Dressing- This caused a whole lot of controversy (“it’s not dressing!” “Well, it’s not stuffing, you don’t stuff it into anything” etc.) but was well-received.  I think it was the thing we were all most skeptical about, but it turned out great!  I almost always end up cutting the bread into too large of chunks (even when I try really hard not to) but I think I got it just right this year.  I even put mushrooms in (in an attempt to make it as Moserish as possible) and I thought it was fantastic!  I think I’m slowly winning the battle in willing myself to like mushrooms.

Fresh veggies and dip-This is fairly self-expanatory, but was also well-received, especially the dip which I had to improvise

Applesauce/Cranberry sauce- I don’t think most of the Danish family cared much about this, but I love it, and I’m kind of glad they didn’t eat so much of it because there’s more left for meeeee!

Pumpkin Pan Rolls- there was so much other food, that not a lot of these were eaten, but they work better for breakfast anyway, so we’ll see how they’re received tomorrow.

Celery with Cream cheese- This is something that my family does at Thanksgiving, and it’s one of my mom’s favorites, so I had to have it!  Usually the youngest in the family makes them, but I had Andreas make them, and he did a stunner job 😉  Anyway, we used garlic cream cheese, and they tasted even more fantastic than usual.  I was pretty sure the Danes would think it was pretty weird, but they really liked them!

Pumpkin Pie- my family usually eats pumpkin pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving day, but I knew I couldn’t convince the whole family here to do so, so we had it for afternoon coffee, and it went well!  They liked it for the most part, even though it looked pretty weird, and I was glad since pumpkin pie is one of my favorite things to eat!

The thing that was on the menu, but not on the table, was a tray of assorted pickles and olives.  I bought them…but…you know, forgot to put them on the table.  No big deal!  We might have leftovers tomorrow, and we can add them then, otherwise I just get to eat a lot of pickles and olives over the next several weeks, and that’s fine with me, too…

The day was perfect, we all made dinner together and hung out and teased, and the actual food went over better than I thought it would, so I’m happy.  I was so happy I almost cried during dinner…(shh, don’t tell!)  It’s definitely a holiday I’ll be stubbornly celebrating every year in the wrong country!

I LOVE THANKSGIVING!

EDIT: We also had fruit salad, a staple of Moser Thanksgivings, but we were too full to eat it, so it became a nighttime snack, and it was great.  Note to self: fruit salad with whipped cream is awesome.

Thanksgiving Eve

Today I made the journey to Odense to hang out with my in-laws for the day and begin preparations for Thanksgiving Saturday!

I’ve already started on the pumpkin pan rolls, we went shopping for what we didn’t have, and I’m making pumpkin pie (without the crust) after…well, after a while.  I didn’t remember everything I was supposed to remember, but luckily I can make Andreas take the important things with him tomorrow, and hope he remembers better than I did.

Everything went smoothly on the way over, as did the afternoon and evening.  We’re having a cozy time, and it’s actually kind of fun to be here without Andreas to hide behind.  I think I feel even more like I belong than I felt before.

Happy Fake Thanksgiving Eve!

Obligatory Thanksgiving Post

Just to be clear, just because this Thanksgiving post is obligatory doesn’t mean that I don’t looooooove doing it!  Because I do!

However, I nearly missed making this post because I totally forgot today was Thanksgiving.  In my defense, we’re celebrating on Saturday and this whole week has been weird.  It was Tuesday already before Andreas told me that our Thanksgiving celebration was in five days, not twelve, like I had been thinking it was.  Oops.  With no hype over here, I’m inclined to lose track.

Anyway, we’re not celebrating today (other than celebrating the fact that we got our internet connection fixed!) but I wanted to count my blessings and remind myself of all the good that’s happening in my life right now.  The goal is that this post, with all the warm fuzzies it will probably contain, will cancel out yesterday’s not-so-happy post!

In no particular order (except for the first one), lots of things I am thankful for:

  • Andreas.  He is the downright best person on earth there was for me to marry, and I’m thankful all the time that I did.  I love him for calling me a “gentle soul” instead of a coward, for getting excited about my knitting projects, and for not making fun of me for being a vegetarian.
  • My Danish visa.  We had no idea when we’d get this.  We originally thought maybe sometime in July.  Then we thought maybe August sometime.  Then we gave up a little bit and thought we might get it in early spring of 2013.  Then we actually got it on the first of October.  Thank you, Denmark!
  • Our Apartment.  We LOVE our apartment.  Every half hour or so, one of us turns to the other and says “I LOVE our apartment!”  It’s perfect for now and for the near future, and we’re incredibly grateful that everything worked out with it.
  • Our internet connection.  ‘Nuff said.
  • My families.  I’m thankful for both my regular family and my in-law family.  I’ve said before how lucky I feel to have each of them, and I’ll say it again.  I’m the luckiest.  Also, as a sidenote, I’m incredibly grateful for my parents-in-law who drove all the way over to help us move all our stuff (including a giant shelving unit which trapped my father-in-law in the kitchen while we figured out how to actually get it through the crooked hallway into the room) and gave us so much of our start-up things (like kitchen chairs and the prettiest, coziest couch-blanket ever.)
  • That said, I’m also thankful for Skype.
  • Our new duvets.  They are fantastic!  They’re just the right amount of heaviness to coax me to sleep, and just the right amount of “warm” to keep me there.  Plus, they match and make our bedroom look extra cute!
  • Yarn.  It’s helped me feel relatively productive (and therefore sane) over the last several strange months, and has given me something to be excited about when I wake up in the morning!
  • My blog.  And the people who read it.  Being able to write this blog and connect with other people through it has been a real lifesaver, and I’m so, so glad I’ve kept it up.  The best thing it’s done for me has been to remind me constantly that I’m not alone in what I’m going through, and I’m incredibly grateful to have found friendship, gotten good advice, and had a reason to keep up with writing and taking pictures!

I’ve got lots more, but I’ll keep them for myself, as the list is plenty long already and it doesn’t really do much good to tell other people what is wonderful about my particular life.  What’s most important is to take some time for yourself and recognize all the amazing things that are happening to you and around you, and to be grateful for them.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Negative Nancy

A lot of the time, I’m really happy.  I finally got my Danish visa, we’re finally moved into a place of our own (with our own furniture!) and things are generally going really well.  But sometimes, I still get down, and go all Negative Nancy, like I have been the last day or so.  I’m happy to finally be building our home together, but sometimes it’s really frustrating to be in this little period of not-quite-there-yet.  We don’t have any plates or bowls (or mixing bowls or baking dishes) and only a couple pots and three plastic cooking utensils.  That’s pretty annoying.

Our internet, which was supposed to be up yesterday isn’t up.  I think there’s something wrong with our phone line (through which we’re getting the internet) and it might not be up for a while.  In the mean time, I can occasionally connect to some random open network that works when you sit near the living room window.  That’s pretty annoying, too.

The grocery stores here are filled with meat.  I knew this.  I remembered it from all of my visits before, but the lack of things I can eat is really frustrating, especially when we’re looking for convenient foods that we can cook with our two pots.

Meanwhile it’s gray outside, and I’m getting a little tired of being cut off from the outside world and chain-watching Friends while I switch between my knitting project and Skyburger on the kindle.

It will get much better soon, but I’m having to work pretty hard to not get consistently frustrated.  Meanwhile, I leave Friday morning to Thanksgiving Weekend at my in-laws!  Andreas is staying here for a fun night with his fellow coders, so I’ll be doing most of the prep and cooking with my sister and mother-in-law!  I’m excited, but I wish Andreas could be with us.  My favorite part about Thanksgiving is everyone doing everything together!

In other news we got fantastic new duvets (and duvet covers!)

Danish Plumbers and lessons in Danish

 

So, as we were moving into our new apartment several days ago, we happened to turn on the kitchen tap to do something as innocuous as fill a glass with water, you know, to drink.  And the faucet hasn’t stopped running.

I’m slightly exaggerating, but it’s leaking pretty badly, running about 2 liters of water an hour, and since my dad the handyman still lives in the US (what’s that about anyway?) we had to call the plumber’s!

Our landlord and Andreas set everything up, but I’m the designated stay-at-home-and-wait-for-things person, and I did just that.  The appointment was for this morning at eight, but he dropped by yesterday just to see what he’d need to take along, and how to turn off the water and other important plumber-y things like that.  (And I found out how to work the buzzer!)  When he announced himself at the door, it sounded like gibberish.  It sounded like I have never learned or heard a word of Danish in my life, so I quickly told him I don’t understand Danish so well, and he switched to English.  I learned that our kitchen faucet is “bad….very bad…” which I already knew, seeing as the hot and cold water taps are backwards, the hot water handle is loose and wiggly and…you know…it leaks a lot.

Today he came at around the right time, and has switched back to Danish!  I can understand him much better for whatever reason (I think the Danish word for “plumber” which I’ve never heard before threw me off) and he’s there with our super in the kitchen clanking around and mumbling.  So far, I definitely like Danish plumbers.  He seems lovely and a bit jolly, and lets me abscond into my corner of the couch, and I haven’t seen his buttcrack once!

This was also my first real contact with a Dane who wasn’t part of my family, and it’s brought a few aspects of my language learning to light.  First of all, it’s a lot harder for me to understand people I don’t know.  I need to be more used to the rhythm of a person’s speech.  I can understand almost everything Andreas, his sister, and his mom say, most of what the rest of his family says, and maybe about half of what regular people say.  I’ve also learned that I’m not exactly sure how to be polite in Danish.  Polite is my default setting, and since I’m just learning Danish by ear, I think I’ve been learning pretty informal ways of saying things.  To make up for what might be too familiar or not the most polite speech, I smile a lot.  Now, I generally smile a lot, but I’ve noticed I smile a lot more when I speak Danish, just to get my point across that I am not grumpy or rude, and that it’s alright to laugh along with me as I stumble through my real-world Danish lessons.

And now the plumber is finished, and he even put on a whole new faucet and knobs!  How exciting!  Hmmmm….I just realized I got excited over a kitchen faucet, and the other day I caught myself paging through the grocery store ads without skipping straight to the candy page.  If this is what being a grown-up feels like, it’s not so bad after all.