Saturday, June 24, 2006

Vi er forlovet

By now you probably already have heard:
(more details in the blog below)
A commemorative photo (as in Amelie)
The location: Basilique to Sacre Coeur, at sunrise, with a view of Paris

A reenactment...

Life in Denmark (the Lost Chapters)

So…After not having written a blog for months, we decided that we HAD to sit down and do one since most people have probably already given up on regularly checking this site. So much has happened in the last few months but we’ve had fewer opportunities to write blogs. Or rather, one of us would say “I’m going to write a blog today” but somehow it just never materialized. Anyway, it’s been two months and plenty has happened.

April was a pretty hectic month. Anthony went to England for Easter. He visited with relatives and family friends and had a really good time. Meanwhile, Marieke stayed in Copenhagen in a desperate attempt to salvage her first year project (having already kicked out one group member, she could then focus on coaxing the other member to actually do some work). The week didn’t turn out to be that terrible, since a friend of hers from the Queen’s Triathlon Club visited for 5 days from Maastricht (in the Netherlands).

Then, we both went into intense work mode, attempting to get our projects done. Anthony’s projects involved never-ending programming in Matlab to create a simulation of a wind turbine in changing winds. Marieke’s project had become a seemingly never-ending writing and revision process – investigating the computer industry’s preparations to phase-out several toxic chemicals from their production lines. Marieke made contact with an industry expert from the USA who was coming to Copenhagen for a conference. He provided valuable insights, and got Marieke into the conference, which ended up saving her project.

May was just a continuation of the hecticness. We were both finishing our projects and Anthony was starting exams. Despite the craziness, we did get our first taste of Danish summer weather and Danes coming out of hibernation. It was insane. If you think that Canadians love the summer, then you’ve never met a Dane. They literally go into social hibernation during the winter to the point where no one makes eye contact. Once the weather warms up, the neighbours, who you thought were completely rude and inhuman in the winter suddenly start saying “hej”. It’s still usually not much more than “Hej”, because after all they are Danish.

We planned a weekend trip to Paris for “Anthony’s birthday”. We stayed in this really inexpensive, cute hotel called Hôtel Bonséjour in the district of Montmartre. We did the obligatory site seeing: Notre Dame, Eiffel Tour, the Sewers Museum, the Louvre etc. and we also had the chance to meet up with some family friends of Anthony’s for lunch. We ended up staying with them for the whole afternoon and were able to practice our French.

On the Sunday morning Anthony and I went to go watch the sunrise from the top of Montmartre at the Basilique du Sacré Coeur. This was where Anthony proposed! Marieke finally realized why Anthony had been so adamant to go to Paris, while our projects were still not finished (May 14 represents 50 months as a couple). He had been planning this for months and had the ring custom-made by a jeweller in Florence (Marieke’s high-school friend Paula). We spent the rest of the day touring Montmartre to see all of the locations from the film Amélie (which we saw on our first date): the grocer near Amélie’s home, the café where she works, the adult video store where Nino works, the Metro station where they meet and the photo booth where Nino loses his album.

We haven’t yet set a date for the wedding, but it will at least wait until we return to Canada. In the meantime, we invite all of our friends and family to come celebrate our engagement with us (the party will last from now until August 2007).

June has been pretty interesting so far. We are now completely done our projects and exams and did well for our first year. This has definitely become the month of guests. Janice was on a three week break from work and visited us twice on her way to Munich, Budapest, Belgrade, Vienna and Prague. Berns and Etienne are both coming with us to Roskilde Festival. Berns has travel plans before and after the festival to visit friends in Prague and Munich, while Etienne is coming with us for the first four days of our three-week Scandinavia tour. With Etienne we’ll be leaving the day after the festival and taking a night train to Oslo. From there we’ll be seeing the fjords around the Bergen area. When Etienne flies out of Oslo, we’ll be continuing north through Norway and traveling through Finland, Sweden and possibly some of the Baltic countries.

We’ll be back in Denmark in August and we’re thinking of going on a long bike ride to Legoland. Marieke’s family is also coming to visit, as well as Alex and Emily. So, our next blog posting may not be for a while…