Monday, April 10, 2006

Springtime in Denmark

Spring has arrived and we have had two weeks of almost constant rain. As we talked to some friends back home, we started getting nostalgic for our days at Queen’s (and in Canada in general).

We miss living close to all our friends. We miss the diversity of a multicultural country. Anthony misses the blue skies and mountains of Alberta. We miss student clubs, and student bars. Marieke misses recycling (and hates that Danes wear fur). We wish we knew any of our neighbours or at least that they would smile once in a while.

Then, just as we’re starting to feel homesick, the skies cleared and the sun came out (literally). Suddenly, Denmark didn’t seem so bad and we realized that we’re really enjoying ourselves here. We both really like our university programs and we love our apartment. We’re having fun learning Danish. We get to bike everywhere, and the public transit is so good you really don’t need a car. The grocery stores sell tons of organic food, and super cheap beer. We get lots of holiday time, and are planning many trips. We’re loving it.

Speaking of trips, I’m off to England for a week to visit some relatives. Marieke will be staying here to work on her first-year thesis, so if you’re procrastinating, give her a call (with Skype, it’s only 4 cents/min). Her mobile number is +45 60 62 74 35.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Recent Visitors

So we've been getting visitors at our place again! First my mom, in the beginning of February and then Anthony's parents in mid-March. My mom's visit was a surprise - everyone else knew about it but me. I knew that my mom had been planning to visit my Oma in Holland for a week. A while back she had mentioned that she might stop off in Denmark to see me, considering that she would be in Europe anyway. Closer to the date, she kept saying that she'd think about it but that she probably wouldn't have time to see me. So I was kind of bummed, as I'd gotten my hopes up that my mom would visit.

So anyway, Anthony had asked me about a week beforehand if I could be home around noon one day to receive a package (it was close to my birthday and we had made a few travel plans/ticket reservations that required someone to actually be home to receive the package - so I wasn't suspicious). So, when the "package" arrived it turned out to be my mom- albeit a little late due to inevitable flight delays. I couldn't believe my eyes! There was no way that my mom was standing in my living room! We had a really nice visit, despite it being extremely short (about 24 hours from the time she arrived until she had to be back at the airport again). We didn't get to do very much sightseeing but that'll have to wait until August when the whole family is due to come out and visit!

Anthony's parents were here for 3 days after having gone to Anthony's cousin's wedding and before their 25th year anniversay holiday to Sicily. It was a lot of fun! We went up to Helsingør to see Kronborg castle (the famed Hamlet castle) , did a walking tour of Copenhagen, went to the Carlsberg Brewery and went to Christiania (that hippy village that we always refer to). The last night that Brenda and Michael were here we had our "landlords" over for dinner, which was great since they had a chance to meet some real Danish people.

So now we're in the midst of organizing our summer and our next guests' visits. In April, my brother Pieter might come out, and a girl I know from the Queen's triathlon club who's in Holland on exchange is coming out to visit over Easter. In June, some of our friends (so far Berns and Etienne) are coming out to go the Roskilde Festival and do some traveling with us. In August my whole family (maybe minus Pieter) is coming out to visit.