Sunday, 1 May 2011

I'm incostistant

Hey guys, sorry it's been a while since I wrote one of these things but even I get bored of my own thoughts sometimes. Anyways I thought that I should write another, a whole two months later because I have officially moved to stage 2 of my exchange. That is, I have moved to my second host family.
I packed and moved out of my old host family's house on Friday and have spent that last two days getting to know my new family, Elizabeth, Anders, Sarah (13) and Daniel (soon to be 10). Obviously, I have a new address, so the amazing people who keep sending me beautiful gifts will have to ask for the next address if they want me to get the presents :P which you should keep sending because they literally make my day :)
My new house is amazing, and in the cutest area where everyone is friends and they all just pop over for coffee and cake or a beer, its so cute. Not to mention the sun has finally decided to discover Denmark and its not soul-murderously cold anymore, as much, and the plants are beginning to flower and be green, so everywhere looks like a scene from a movie. And I have to ride my bike through a forest to get to school everyday, which might be one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. You know how in Australia the only things that grow naturally are prickles and spiky bushes? Well here, instead of prickles, they have flowers. The floor of the forest is covered with tiny white flowers which make the whole thing look like a scene from some Disney cartoon, namely the Fox and the Hound, but the good parts of the movie where they are friends and not trying to kill each other.
I had so much crap when moving houses it was embarrassing. All my bags were full and I still needed a huge garbage bag to carry everything. I felt like one of those American girls (no offense Kitty/other yanks) you always see on movies who bring a hair straightener and 500 bags out to the bush. Though I'm unpacked in my beautiful room with all my letters on my walls and my flag hanging on my window, which makes me feel like a bogan, but it's almost a write of passage that its there :)
I had one week of school holidays, and then back to school. I spent most of the time going out with Kitty and Maria, or Bec and Laura, or staying at home and hosting lunch parties for Easter and Aase (my host mum's) birthday. Except Monday, where I went to the beach. Yes, I know. The beach. In Scandinavia. Which is always a good plan.
You know the water that melts on the bottom of an esky? You know how when you get into a waterfight and someone pours the water on you it is so cold it almost burns? well take that and double the coldness and thats what it was like. I'm pretty sure my heart stopped for a second. On the plus side I got ice-cream after, and the girls I went to the beach with were really cool :)
My Danish is getting better, though I am too nervous to really speak it, because for some reason it sounds great in my head but when I say it out loud it sounds like I'm trying to talk after getting a numbing needle from the dentist. Though most of the time I think in a mix of Danish and English, or Denglish. It is as confusing as it sounds.
Of course I miss everyone in Australia. I miss really random things, like kangaroos and curry. I miss being hot. Not warm, not comfortable, but hot. And I miss thongs. And the beach (a real beach with waves and not ice-water) and I miss the bush. I miss my sisters and my mum, it's weird when you live with someone for your whole life and then suddenly they're gone and you didn't realise how much you enjoyed their company, and I miss seeing my dad and my grandparents on a regular basis :P I miss talking to my boyfriend face to face and being able to say "see you tomorrow" when talking to my friends. But that's all part of the experience I guess :)
I'll try to be more consistent and entertaining with this blog in the future.

Monday, 7 March 2011

50 things ive learnt on exchange so far

1. There is no 'good seat' on a flight. You're either going to be trapped next to a window for 11 hours or get up every two seconds so someone else can stretch their legs.
2. Bring half the clothes you think you need and take double the photos.
3. Fairy bread is only common in Australia.
4. Not everyone finds your accent indearing, and almost none will understand most of the words in "Waltzing Matilda".
5. Australians really need to slow down and speak softer when they talk.
6. Never criticize any immigrant population for poor English speaking skills until you try learning a language as hard as Danish.
7. Australian's are obviously retarded for liking Vegemite, but then again, I kinda knew that already.
9. No one actually thinks we ride kangaroos to school.
10. Being able to walk out the door without having to put on ten different layers is God's gift to Australia.
11. Snow is actually one of the coolest things ever.
12. Contrary to previous beliefs, ice on the ocean is not a sign of the coming Apocalypse, even when the ice is moving.
13. Cheese in Australia is the scuff on the floor of the factory where Danish cheese is made.
14. Not every household has the same rules as you.
15. You will never understand the European traffic system. Don't even try.
16. Riding a bike isn't such a terrible thing.
17. Your family are infinitely more important than you think they are.
18. People change.
19. Trying new things is never a bad thing. Unless you're trying jumping off a building or something. Then again, if you've got a parachute and its high enough...
20. Not everyone finds your jokes funny. But that's just their problem.
21. Unlike Australia, not every country is full of retarded animals.
22. Australia is not as insignificant as you think.
23. The people worth holding onto are the ones who don't pull away.
24. It is possible to cross a country in under a day.
25. The beach, blue skies and hot sunshine are sacred.
26. Skype is the best thing in the world.
27. Our public transport is ridiculously cheap.
28. Our fashion is ridiculously lame.
29. Castles aren't just in fairy tales.
30. When someone says 'old building' they're talking way more than 50 yrs old.
31. What its like to live in an ancient culture that wasn't totally destoryed by England.
32. AFL players are more hardcore than you give them credit for.
33. People that love you don't stop loving you just because you're gone.
34. Stupid dramas can follow you thousands of miles.
35. No one cares as much about your clothes as you do.
36. Sometimes it's acceptable to paint yourself blue.
37. You like curry more than you think you do.
38. Crying isn't always a bad thing.
39. Smiling at strangers is not always considered normal, but do it anyway.
40. Talk to everyone, because someone is bound to be interested in what you have to say. Unless you're a politician... in which case why are you reading my blog?
41. Homesickness is one of the most random striking and painful things ever.
42. Don't eat the bread that's on the bench. It's their for the birds.
43. One of the things Australians are famous for are their sense of humour. Judging by this blog, the world has been grossly mislead.
44. Steve Irwin caused a huge setback in the way of Australia ever being taken seriously by the rest of the world.
45. Not all strangers are out to get you.
46. People don't always have to change to suit you.
47. Doing nice things for people isn't so hard.
48. It's far easier to be happy than upset.
49. Your mother is amazing. Never ever ever ever take that woman for granted, ever.
50. There is a huge difference between your house and your home.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

only about 1.5 months late but... part 2

So basically I still have a lot of things that I forgot to tell you yesterday, and some questions people ask me that I forgot to answer, and rather than lose sleep over it I thought I'd be needy and write another passage in my blog.
Right now I'm in the part of school that I hate, Biology. It's taught in Danish, but not that that matters too much as I probably wouldn't understand it in English either. I don't personally mind biology, except on Tuesdays I have three lessons in a row of it, so its 2 hours and 15 minutes of watching a guy write on the blackboard words I don't understand, and then pointing at them until I nod unconvincingly. It's a blast. So I thought I might as well kill some time.
One of the things I forgot to talk about is Copenhagen, and the fact that it is amazing. The whole place is like a minimum of 400 years old. Just so you all know, the oldest building in Australia is 200 years old, and Australia was only settled by Captain Cook in 1770... So most of these people's houses were built before Australia was even a colony. So most of the buildings tend to look somewhat like this

Yeah, that cute.

The only downside is most of the shopping is ridiculously expensive, for an exchange student anyway. The upside is so many shops are just so fricken adorable.
Snow is something I have trouble getting over. It's really really really awesome. For those of you who've never seen it properly, like me before I got here, it reminds me of seriously cold coconut that melts when you touch it, and is a lot prettier and less annoying to get all over your fingers. However, its incredibly irritating when it gets in you're eyes when you're riding your bike to school.
As for the language... Trying to speak Danish reminds me of watching a Lady Gaga video. You know there is a concept, but it just happens to allude you. There is a lot of stuff that shouldn't be there at all, and you eventually decide that the entire thing was purposely meant to screw with your mind as much as possible, and it does an excellent job. Also, you can't help but be turned on in a strange, unsettling way. No, just kidding, Danish, in reality, is an incredibly unsexy language. So like Lady Gaga again, when she takes her glasses off.

I had some form of cold for the first 5 weeks or so, but I'm over that now, thank God. There's only so many tissues you can use before you think of investing in a forest plantation or something.
An interesting thing about Denmark is Skittles are exceedingly rare, you can only really buy them at the airport, and TimTams are actually illegal. So feel free to send me some ASAP.
They play European Handball, as it was invented in Denmark, and to me it looks like like people playing soccer, only instead of kicking a big ball around they throw a tennis ball. It's alright, but I lost total respect for the sport when I saw one player who had to sit out because he bit his tongue. Like seriously, you are a sports player, man up a lil. No one has heard of AFL except people who play American Football, and they argue that it is a pussy sport... Until I tell them they play with no padding whatsoever. I don't bother to defend cricket.
I don't have to do any exams or test this year, which is absolutely awesome considering if I was at home I'd have to do 30 hours of exams throughout the course of the year... I think. Oh, and I only have two hours of math a week. Which is awesome.
Ok I'm pretty sure thats all I have to say... this post is going to end as awkwardly and abruptly as it started. So probably about now.

Monday, 28 February 2011

only about 1.5 months late but...

Hey... Well this is awkward...
I've FINALLY decided to follow my fellow exchangese crowd and being to write a blog to document my time away this year.
I'm only like 1.5 months to late... but hey, I'm late to pretty much everything else I do anyway.
So basically I'll treat this as an introduction post. My name is Gemma and I'm from Perth, Australia, though until the beginning of January I'm on exchange in Denmark, the tiny country in Scandinavia where (Crown) Princess Mary lives, not the small town down south. Sorry to disappoint you if that's what you thought.
If you're wondering about the title of the blog, it is because I can literally owe this year to an advertisement for student exchange in a Girlfriend Magazine, for those who don't know, it's a teenage girl's magazine which normally has the intellectual insight of an apple. Nonetheless,  it technically changed my life, so far.
Anyway. Right now it has been exactly 43 days since I left home, or 1024 hours, or 61,440 minutes and I'm not going to be bothered to figure out the seconds. And I'd estimate I've loved approximately 61,340 minutes of it.
My family that I am staying with is the Kongbaks, my host mum is Aase, my father Morten and my brother Peter. They are really nice people and I'm pretty lucky to be living with them right now :)
I attend Rungsted Gymnasium in the 1st year, and right now I'm sitting in psychology, which is taught in Danish, blatantly ignoring my teacher to write this. You're welcome. This good thing about Danish schools is they treat teenagers like adults. No sites are blocked, to the extent that I'm relatively sure I could access RedTube if I wanted to risk drawing too much attention. And I get breaks every like 45 mins. And my classes are cancelled quite regularly.
Of course, I miss my friends and family back home, I'm not sure if that's something thats really avoidable. But I've found the best way to combat that is by keeping myself busy. And trust me, baby, I've been busy ;)
Ok not in that way. In the way that I'm pretty much always doing something, which is good. Except that generally means I'm always tired, or at least hungry.
One of the ways I keep myself busy I tend to do unintentionally. And that is getting lost. So far, I've managed to get lost a total of 6 times... which is one short of being once a week. And I don't mean looking around for a bit before turning around lost. I mean full scale talking for hours and getting hysterical sort of lost. The kind where you return home and people are just short of calling the navy to search the sea for your body, and you weren't even swimming.
The most dramatic incident occurred when I was meant to start my first day at language school, which was in a town about an hour out of Hørsholm, where I live. For starters, I left the house an hour late and had to catch the later bus. I got off at the stop and wandered around this town for about an hour or two until it got dark looking for the school, asking numerous people where to go and accidentally walking into a hospital ward. I eventually decided to call one of the people at the school so she could direct me, but I didn’t know where I was so I had to stop a random man on the street to tell my teacher where I was. At this point, I discovered I was in the wrong town altogether, and my teacher suggested I just go home. I caught the train home, but in my fluster, forgot to buy a ticket, and when the train guards came, I had to ask a 17 yr old guy to translate what had happened for me, and he couldn't stop laughing the whole time. By the time I returned home my whole family was chucking the shits. But it wasn't technically my fault. It was the Danish transport system.
And on that note I leave my first post, lunch is starting and I'm losing interest fast. And lets be honest, you've lost interest too.