Monday, September 16, 2013

Je Suis Abandonnée

September 10, 2013

Je suis abandonnée
I cry into the next room
Lying under some sheets
He probably bought at Ikea

French and english scramble through my mind
Neither making sense
Or correctly reaching my tongue
Which is goopy with alcohol

Earlier, it though that
"Why is this happening?"
and "I'm too drunk"
meant no

Just like it thought
that forming flirts
and crawling into his mouth
meant I don't do one night stands anymore

My brain was turning to fluid too
Sloshing around the walls of my skull

Earlier it didn't understand the
equation concerning why clothes come off
until they were gone
along with its strength of will

And after the pain
It forgot how to stay awake
Sliding me into nothingness
Wilst around me unfolded everything

Coming back, it is done

Où sont mes amis?
Ils sont partis
Mais je veux aller chez-moi;
Je suis abandonnée

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Walk Through Aalborg

I made a video, mostly for my parents, to show a common walk I would take through the city (seems as effective as a million pictures to capture the city).



Monday, September 9, 2013

Life to him Brought Music

As part of my creative writing class, my professor gave us the task of "word hoard." What we had to do was pick up a random book, point to a random word at a random page, write down the three words before and after, and write a story in five minutes inspired by the phrase. Then we had to read our stories backwards and pick a backwards phrase to then inspire (and be in) another story or poem. My phrase from a book (which turned out to be "American Psycho," one of only two books I brought to Denmark) was:

"presence became more apparent, and the music"

The backwards phrase I chose from my silly little short story was:

"life to him brought music," or, in it's original forwards form "[the] music brought him to life."

I wrote a poem that I actually quite like:

Harp was his mother's instrument
And his father the violin
Yet young ole' Parker Jr. knew no notes
Cause life to him brought music

There was no need for a guitar
when the strum of feet would do
And who the hell needed a woodwind
to make the air sound nice?

The engines on the street
sputtered some real nice harmony
plus the yaking of the neighbors
served as decent dissonance

Then the quiet of the night
supplied quite the resolution

Parker saw no use for a drumset
when Sally Fisher was around
She made sure his chest
gave him a beat, loud and clear

And so with music in his ears
Parker didn't get
why his parents needed tools
to hear the humming beauty of life.
We watched a guy pull a mattress into the middle of the street with the giant bench, the one with no historical or cultural significance, on it. He tried to light it on fire but then gave up and went back inside, leaving his mattress for whoever wanted it.

I stopped looking out the window but continued to lean on it. Then, he kissed me. The kisses continued, right there by the window. I felt like part of the mural in Winslow, Arizona that's part of the Standin' on a Corner park. Right then and there I felt like a painting hanging over the old, beautiful street. A slice of living art for onlookers who weren't even there.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bicycle!

I finally own a bike! One of the main reasons I came to Denmark was because it was a very bike friendly country. However, so far it had seemed that I would never actually get to experience this culture. Today, however, I went to the Skalborg Flea Market and found a bike for 100 kroner (about $17)!


I am quite excited. Also, tomorrow I don't have to walk an hour to school. Thank the lord.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Walk Through the Park

The other day I went to go buy a bike only to find out that the one I was looking into was too big for me. While I was walking to the man's apartment, however, I stumbled upon a park in the middle of the city (it turned out to be Østre Anlæg park). While I didn't have time to fullly appreciate it yesterday, I revisited it today on my classless Thursday. It was perfectly lovely fully equipped with a pond, swans, gardens, playgrounds (that actually looked really fun), and a fountain (which I couldn't get a picture of because there was a creepy guy circling it over and over). After exploring the park, I sat down at a bench next to the pond and read "A Sweatshop Romance" by Abraham Cahan in my American Literature textbook, one of only two books I brought with me to Denmark.









A Poem

could you imagine
a time within the next ten years
where we could see eachother every day
every morning
every night
for like
the forseeable future

-Anonymous

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Homesickness

They say that culture shock sets in about a week into your stay. I've been here for a week.

I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is exactly culture shock so much as just intense homesickness and a bit of loneliness. I've never lived in an apartment by myself and I don't really know what to do with myself. Yesterday I went to class and then came home and made a collage. Today I went to class, stopped by a bike store and made a fool of myself asking if they had a bike for 600 kroner, and then I came home. I don't really have an excuse to leave the house and, if I did, I'd have to walk there. Getting to school today was already two hours of transportation by foot. (I really fucking want a bike).

I've made some friends here and I really like them but they just don't feel like my group yet. We are friends because we are Americans and live in the same apartment complex, or friends of someone who fits this criteria.

I've been thinking a lot about the places in my life where I have really felt like I belonged. Where I didn't have to put a smidgen of effort into being somebody I wasn't and was still accepted and even liked. These places are intermediate dance class my junior year of high school, all of my high school French classes, a group of friends from college that for some reason I didn't choose to be my main group of friends, church, and Chauncey Ranch, the summer camp where I worked this summer. I really just miss that. I've had a week of trying to be the friend strangers will want and I'm just tired of trying. And yet I still want the companionship the effort brings.

I have met some people that I do feel could be true, effortless friends but I just need to get the nerve to be like "we are kindred spirits. Come hang out with me."

Maybe someday. I still have a year ahead of me, although it seem that I might be heading either home or to another country after a semester. There just aren't enough English classes here for me to not get behind.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Resident Tourist

Shirt: Buffalo Exchange
Skirt: Betsy Johnson via Goodwill
Tights: welovecolors
Shoes: Forever21

Today was my first day of classes! When I woke up this morning, my roof was exploding with a howling rain storm that made me afraid for my prospects of possibly getting to class; I didn't think I had any kroner waiting in my wallet for a bus ride. I just went back to sleep and, when I woke up to leave, it was a perfectly beautiful day-- probably the best of the weekend. Oh, Denmark. I started having brunch with a few friends and then went to Literary Texts and Theory (see, an English major CAN make it by in Denmark) which I kind of sort of slept through. One thing I did catch: it is very strange to hear America referred to in the third person, something that American History, Culture, and Society will surely numb me to. My second class of the day, The Language of Poetry, I almost completely missed because the professor decided on a whim to start an hour early. Since I've been home, the most I've accomplished is making my international phone work (huzzah adulthood!) and making a collage from a Danish music magazine.
(While cutting this magazine out, I discovered two really good Scandinavian bands: Nelson Can and Agnes Obel.)

This weekend was considerably more exciting, however. Yesterday, a midst the windiest weather I have experienced in all my days, save maybe the plains of Texas, my exchange program and I toured the west coast of Denmark. First, we visited Løkken, a small town with an ancient cemetery being eaten by the sea. Nearly all the houses were for sale or simply abandoned. 


We played a game with the wind where we stood on this cliff over the ocean and leaned forward, letting the wind hold us up.


The only legible gravestone there.

A for sale sign.

Afterwards, we set onward to Rubjerg Knude, an abandoned lighthouse situated among some awe-inspiring sand dunes. The lighthouse is estimated to be eaten by the sea, like the town, in ten years's time. Here, among the sand dunes, the wind was not so friendly. I never thought my first sand storm would take place in northern Denmark, but alas it did. And it was awful. We were all simply bombarded with sand. My skin burned worse than a thousand sunburns could attempt. The attack on our eyes was so bad, we had to walk up the shifty mountains backwards. I couldn't even look at the lighthouse. I simply took blind pictures hoping to see it secondhand from my camera later. When we got back to the bus, each pair of shoes could have built a beach, a destination my apartment very closely resembles at the moment due to that little excursion.  







The day before that, I went to "the street," or the bar and club center of Aalborg with a few friends. The night consisted of a wonderful dance music concert, hilariously drunk strangers, a bouncer at a Seven Eleven, and drinking at a real bar legally for the first time (for me at least).
Billede: First night on the street!

The band we heard live was called Den Sorte Skole. They were very good.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Punk Aalborg

Dress Buffalo Exchange
Tights: welovecolors.com
Shoes: Forever21

So last night a couple of my friends just felt like hanging out at the student house and, when we got there, discovered they were hosting a free concert with four bands. We came in on the last few songs of the first band. They were really quite wonderful. Then came a metal band.  While I am actually not a big fan of metal (well, any sort of fan at all), I actually really liked it live. It made my whole body and my clothes just squirm with vibrations. It was also really funny to watch the audience who were head banging in synchronization with the band (view video below). It was actually my first concert ever and, while I have nothing really to compare it with, I think it was a pretty good one. 


This was my first good beer ever.

video


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My First Full Day

Dress: Market in France
Necklace: Second Hand
Shoes: Not Rated

Today was my first full day in Denmark and I tried to look as Scandinavian as I could for the occasion with cooler colors and simple shapes. I'm finding my new environment of people caring what they wear to be extrermely inspirational to me when getting dressed in the morning and throughout the day. I already have a number of outfits in mind for future days, all very Scandinavian in general.

Otherwise, today has been quite an adventure. When I got up in the morning I still didn't have any kroner or food and I hadn't eaten in maybe a day or two. So I Google mapped an ATM near my apartment that was 20 minutes walking away. I got lost however, and ended up looking for maybe an hour to only find that the said ATM was actually boarded up and not available anymore. Incredibly beyond discouraged, hungry, and moneyless, I walked back to my apartment and skyped one of my friends from America about it. 

Then I went to a "Meet a Danish Student" event at Aalborg University's studenterhuset, meaning the student house. I met up with one of the girls from my apartment complex who's also from America and we ran into a guy she'd met on Facebook from Belgium and another guy from our apartment complex from Germany. 

After the lecutre, they gave us sandwiches and I talked to the three of them in the studenterhuset for a while. Afterwhich, we went to go get visas (I forgot my passport so another day for me), got beer (first legal time for me!), drank it by the river, and took a tour of the city.


Here are some pictures I took throughout the day.

I just got back from an International night at the student house. I was rather surprised by the frat party atmosphere, expecting something a little calmer. I might go back next week with more success, having simply crawled into my shell this time out of ill preparation.

Until next time, kisses.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I've Arrived!

Yesterday at 3:30 am I left the house I've lived in for fifteen years for the last time. 
For a while at least.
Dead, tired, asleep, smelling like cabbage, and nervous enough to throw up, we loaded up over a hundred pounds of luggage into our car and left for Sky Harbor. There, I said goodbye to my parents, crying a little, and manage to tote two carry-ons, weighing between them probably fifty pounds, through security and to my gate. 

From Sky Harbor in Phoenix I went to Newark, New Jersey, which I actually didn't know was close to New York at all.
Picture from my gate to the Copenhagen flight.
All of a sudden I saw this city on the ground and was just thinking, "man I guess this is the down town of some New Jersey city." And then I realized what I was looking at was Manhattan. It was one of those things where you always knew that something existed but never really considered part of your reality. And then all of a sudden, there it is: existing right in front of you, shockingly nonchalant about its own magnitude.The Statue of Liberty especially. 

Then I took some flight that I think was nine hours but was pretty much just a plain long time to Copenhagen. I sat in front of a toddler who screamed and cried for a good portion of the hours because her ears hurt. She made me tear up a couple times too when she started screaming for her mommy, because, really, I wanted mine too. Next to me though, was quite the cherry on top. He was an old man with an Greek accent from New Jersey. He was going to Sweden with his grown son and was hilarious. The whole flight he would turn around to the crying toddler and say something like "oh, the life of a toddler is quite trying" in his deep, accented voice. While we were landing, he asked me if I was Irish. I told him a little and he said that the Irish get their beauty from pots of gold at the end of rainbows guarded by leprechauns, but I was prettier. Then he advised me to always do what makes me happy. "It's about the journey," he told me, "don't worry about the destination." He said to always choose the path that will create the most happiness, because when I lead a happy life, I can then spread it to everybody around me and just make the world a better place. 

I ran into a girl who was on the same flight as me from Copenhagen to Aalborg and was going to live in the same apartment complex as me on the plane. We went through the airport together and lived up to the loud, English speaking stereotypes of Americans. 

Once at the apartment, the land lord showed me and three other foreign exchange students the amenities. My apartment complex is very much focused on communal living. I live, for example, right next door to my blocks common area where people donate a certain amount of money a month to buy things for the whole building to enjoy. We have block meetings to decide. There was also a free stuff, take it if you need it, bring it if you don't pile where I got a pair of hot rollers to replace the ones that were too heavy for my suitcase. Although feeling slightly glutinous, I'm quite pleased.

Then, I decorated my apartment. This I have pictures for. As part of that whole community living thing, at lot of my stuff came with the apartment. Fun things you'd never simply find in an apartment in America, like that futon!







I've always loved the idea of hanging up transparent dresses as curtains. It didn't really work that way here but I still think it's pretty and I might leave it up for a while. 




This is my first place I've ever had completely to myself. It's so strange and yet so wonderful at the same time.

Overall, I can't wait for, as the old man on the plane would put it, the journey ahead, regardless of where my destination may be.