Great news. Denmark has bacon. And lots of it! Yesterday was my first day in Copenhagen! DIS met us at the airport after we picked up our luggage and then all of us headed over to the Hilton Hotel where my host family picked me up. After we managed to fit my luggage into the car, we left the airport and drove around Copenhagen a little bit so that I could get a sense of where the DIS academic buildings and a couple of landmarks are. My family gave me a tour of their house, we ate a Danish dessert for a snack, and I unpacked my luggage. Don’t worry, I have space in my room for everything I brought! I joined Palle and Pia in the kitchen while they prepared dinner, meatloaf with bacon (they say bacon can be considered the most important spice) and potatoes. Palle and I watched the Danish handball team play a match while everything was cooking (I’m afraid I may have been dozing off a little bit because off my lack of sleep). After dinner and dessert, I fell asleep very quickly! Today, I had my first day of orientation and my first experience with Denmark’s weather. Palle rode the train into Copenhagen with me this morning, just to make sure that I knew where to get on and off the train. I found out that I have a zone 4 pass which means that I can travel almost anywhere around Copenhagen by train, bus, or metro, without paying an additional cost. While this morning was rainy and gray, it actually cleared up by the afternoon. After exiting the train station, we walked to Cirkusbygnigen, where the opening ceremony was to be held. Cirkusbygnigen is a building that used to be a venue for the circus, which was appropriate since part of the ceremony included a very impressive (and flexible) acrobat. The building is still used today for dining and entertainment. We heard from multiple DIS speakers, including one of the Danish Language and Culture professors who stressed the benefit of taking the class. Later in the afternoon, I had an information session about transportation and then a guided facilities tour. It is really convenient because most of the DIS buildings are on just three parallel streets (the main buildings are on Vestergade) and many of the buildings are actually connected. The buildings are old on the outside but very modern on the inside. There are a few official DIS student lounges and a bunch of bakeries, coffee shops, and boutiques lining the streets I will be walking everyday. After the tour I picked up my textbooks–classes begin Thursday!
Before I headed home on the train, a few girls and I went to Studenterhuset, a café where DIS and University of Copenhagen students can get a discount. There are a ton of tables with candles and a mixture of Danes and Americans chatting or studying while they enjoy coffee, beer, and pastries. It’s been interesting meeting a ton of new people these first few days, learning why they chose to come to Copenhagen, what they are studying, and what they plan to do with their free time in Europe. A glass of beer was 27 DKK which converts to $4.20–the first thing I have bought with my Danish krone. Tomorrow, I have a few more orientation sessions and then I will be going on a bus to get my Danish residence permit. Update: I still don’t know how to pronounce anything.