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There Ain’t no Party like a Dane’s party

August 31, 2010

Due to the extraneous activities that DIS has been placing upon us this past week there has been very little time to do anything.  Jam packed with work, this weekend brought about a little glimpse of what is to come and comfort in a strange world!

May I preface this by saying… my cell phone is in Sweden. (a shock to all that know me well, I’m sure !). –i’ll talk about this later

Friday night was a DIS sponsored club night at Discotec!.. true chaos lay among 600+ underage Americans with an open bar, no age restrictions, and bumping music.  Beforehand, the Americans living in the Folkhighschool all hung out and really began to get to know each other. Unfortunately taking the train was long and apparently Danes don’t appreciate loud, obnoxious Americans?

Note to any reader: DO NOT be loud.

Rule #1 for blending in, ignore all your American impulses by not yelling, lets say, across a street or in a train… and try not to travel in groups much larger than 5.  Now, the Danish are pretty tolerant of this, hwoever im sensing there is a finite limit to how far this will go.

The hardest problem I am finding is within my return to the Folk highschool I am living at.  A nice stroll through a wooded area in the day becomes a lengthy, petrifying, slug paranoia extravaganza at night.

The correct spelling of what I refer to as the Folk Highschool

Saturday little was done except for a general decision that we must attend a Lady Gaga concert.  (imagine the insanity).

Saturday night in this Folkhighschool there is ALWAYS a party.  Each corridor plans it and it starts PROMPTLY at 10pm!
(mucho importante… RULE #2: Be at every event thrown by a Dane ON TIME.  If it starts at 1030 and you are there at 1028, one must meander around so as to pass the threshold at precisely 1030…being late is extremely rude)
Because the students have dinner with their teachers, the Americans are each given 30 Kroners to make dinner for themselves.. instead, we took the 30 Kroners (which FYI gets you very little here, especially food wise) and went to a random train stop to have a night out on the town. (we have the good fortune of having an “all zone pass” wooo).  Helsinger was pretty much dead at 8pm (labor laws in Denmark close everything on Sundays), hwoever we found this AMAZING cafe.

I was asked to discuss the food situation over here, so now seems like the perfect opportunity.  One thing that may come as a surprise is the Danish affinity for Nachos.  As a relatively Homogeneous society, they really love it! Also fish is extremely common to eat here becuase of Copenhagen’s placement is right on the water.  Nothing compares to the cheese though! Delicious and always accessible, I’m sure I’ve equaled out being here 1 week of eating it, to atleast 5 years of life in the States! Though the bread is not comparable to bread in France, that, fruit, salmon, and cheese seem to make up a sizeable part of my diet.   Oh, and I cannot forget Black Coffee.

Arriving at the party at 1030 is important becuase it literally gets started right that minute.  Danes and Icelandics alike were dancing insanely!  It was only a matter of time before the music hit me and I jumped right in to their wild dancing.  I can’t explain why it was so fun… everyone seemed just so wild and free. It was like a Bat mitzvah party when you’re young, but with the ability to indulge in all of the things you cannot at age 13 (if you catch my drift).  The teachers were raging as well and the party didnt  end until 6am from what Tyler said.  Switching between songs like Blinded by the light, Shout, and Disturbed… it epitomizes the phrase “rager.” Every Saturday night until December..

The next morning Becca and I went to a portion of Copenhagen called Christiania.  This is what most people know of when they think of Copenhagen.. the drug seen.  It’s probably why atleast 40% of the people I notified of coming here thought I was going to the netherlands and near Amsterdam… in fact it is not (but on a sidenote, a flight to Amsterdam is only 1.5 hours… SO THOSE IN PARIS…take note!)

Christiania is a wonder in itself.  No pictures are allowed, and running is strictly forbidden because they will think it’s the police.  A friend to 2 steps trying to catch up to their group and atleast 4 vendors started yelling at him.  Christiania sells hash and marijuana and has an open area of benches surrounded by bars where people just hang out.  I believe that sometimes a band plays because there was a stage.  Anyways, I just looked around to get a feel of the place… A square of town in which the Hippies in the 70’s took over, and never quite gave back.  It is even legally not apart of Denmark, but rather apart of the EU.

You are now entering the EU

More on food, travel, and pictures soon!


An Unexpected Analysis

August 29, 2010

Although many traveling college students provide a blog to keep track of their whereabouts all across the world, being here for less than a week I am more than certain this Blog will be far different.

To compare Denmark to any other country I have associated with or been to is impossible because it is a perfect little society in its own.  Of course there are the occasional hiccups in their system (Christiania… i will get to that later), however the Danes are taken care of in every aspect that one American may never know. On the topic of the society itself: babies, pregnancy, and loving couples are running rampant! It seems that when you are not blinded by ambition, nerves, and time life appears to be more pleasant!

And on the topic of pleasant, we have just discovered Paradise Hotel! A Danish version of Real World/ Jersey shore…but with less subtlety.  I know what you’re thinking…is that even possible!? Well my friends, it is.  It airs every night and once a week the show pairs everyone up with someone of the opposite sex to sleep with…except for one lonely soul…who sits outside. Becuase pornography is legal here, and becuase political correctness is of no object here… it is astonishingly wonderful!

The students themselves are some kind of wonderful as well! The Americans have begun to fill certain voids that at home I would have.  A student in my hall, Tyler, though a Duke fan, reminds me a bit of my Chapel Hill partner in crime (Todd  ((but we all know there is no replacing a tarheel fan with)).  I have also found myself subconsciously trying to establish a friend base similar to mine at school.  So for those of you reading whom are younger and wanting to prepare for your study abroad experience… something to think about.

Sorry these entries have been bland so far… adventures of all sorts are soon to be documented as well as pictures coming soon!



August 26, 2010

A 6pm flight direct to Copenhagen, Denmark cannot be praised enough.  I have found that it was nearly the only pleasant arrival of anyone i spoke to.  For those that have not travelled internationally through the Atlanta airport, Gate E is where it’s at!

Awaiting my flight was, what I can only explain as, intimidating.  Those not familiar with Danish looks.. they are beautiful! All of them! Imagine the feeling of then stepping out into the world of Denmark to realize that no matter how hard you try, you will never be 5’10, blonde hair, and blue eyes…NEVER!

Now that I’m here I have already learned some tips.

1.) It is nice to have Elliot around.– once I got in here there were about 5 hours of unkown time in which Elliot came to meet me at the metro stop, and give me a mini-tour of the city.. I will have to wait and see the operahouse upclose .

2.) ALWAYS have an umbrella. — the nicest day can turn into to an overcast shower in an instant.  Strolling down the old streets of Copenhagen one minute, the next running for shelter with 20 other Danes under a stores canopy. When doing a scavenger hunt

An hour outside of the city is the “Folk-highschool” that I will call home for the next 4 months.  This place cannot be rightfully explained in words because it is unlike anything any American has ever heard of.  The Danish government funds these schools for kids from ages 18-24 to come and “learn about themselves”  We live in what is called “The Mansion,” and the students (primarily Danish, but Iceland, Mexico, and even Maldives are here) study for a semester to a year.  The classes aren’t graded, there is no homework, it is solely up to the individual to, I guess you could say, educate themselves.  The teachers are ridiculously cool and there are different fields you can go into, if freestyle floats your boat, you can pick whichever classes you want.  Each field has a 4 week trip involved.  The two most common that I’ve heard from the Danes are “The world is burning” going to South Africa and “Film,” which goes to Hollywood! (Matt you should find them!!!)

Two nights ago we played this bizarre “getting to know you”  game. which really was the most bizarre thing. Noticing the difference in this kind of world  Far too complicated to explain, but  out of all the annoying icebreakers ive seen in my day, these were just wonderful! Then we cozied up in the “fireplace room” (a hangout room where alcohol isn’t allowed) where J and Maya played guitar (a Sublime medley infact! SHOUT OUT TO  ELON ).  The Danes taught us card games, and us in return.

It is supposedly kind of a hard business getting to know the Danes beucase they liek to stick to their people but they all seem really just as interested in us as we are to them.. maybe the ones who have lived elsewhere (england ooowee) are a little easier.

A little insight to their humor… one of the Americans  i’m with that goes to vandy said she didnt want to go out becuase she had an early morning tomorrow and one Dane goes ” oh, you’re SUCH a Catholic” Their sarcasm is so unpredictable, and there is no such thing as being politically correct… in sum, they are great.

Orientation drained my soul (hence the title being DIS-the school i attend and the week has been disorienting)and J, Shelby, Emma, Lauren, Jordy, and I barely made it back in time for dinner which is promptly at 6pm.  And of course there was an 8pm activity! Fortunately for “the Americans” (as we are known as) about 7 of us drank a few bottles of wine beforehand. The party continued to the basement area where a literal bar exists.  With Danish techno bumping all night we drank ( 5 kroner beers- for those in the US thats onyl 1$!!! and as a sidenote, DENMARK IS EXPENSIVEE! like wayyy expensive), we played this spinning darts game, played foosball, and danced the hours away.

SKOLL! (cheers mate)

*”We seek a lower standard of living, for a higher quality of life”*

COPENHAGEN–the procrastination begins

July 11, 2010

This blog ordinarily has been used for school work purposes.  But, as I have changed my major and am studying abroad in Denmark this semester, this seemed far more appropriate.

Being away for the past week has left me far behind on my preparation.  Probably the most pressing issue to date is that Adderal, or any ADHD medication for that matter, is illegal in the country I am heading to.  I still have literally no idea how I am going to figure that out, but the Canon Centre seems to feel it will work out in my favor.  If not, then I will probably be back home much sooner than anticipated… because I have failed out, or just had too many work related breakdowns.

Anyone that knows me at school can vouge for that, anyone that knows me outside  of school probably thinks it is ludacris.  I spell it LUDACRIS on purpose… because, lets face it, everyone wants to remember a time when Luda was around.

Michelle left for Australia the other day and her one suggestion was to start packing now.

I can’t say I will listen, but hopefully within the week I will have some of the issues settled.

Starbucks, a Documentary

November 23, 2009

Interviewing Jenequa was a really fun experience for me because she spoke with passion about the topics we touched upon in our interview.  I really enjoyed getting to know her even within a series of questions.  While conducting the interview I found myself wondering to questions other than the one’s prescribed because I could tell she had a lot to say on the matters.  I most enjoyed the questions asked on the spot, rather than those prepared.  When deciding on questions i felt as if i had no connection to who I was asking and therefore felt removed from the actual interview.  However, actually speaking with her helped form a more informal and conversational like interview.

Silent Movie

November 18, 2009

Directing the actors was the most difficult part, yet my favorite.  It was hard especially in this sort of silent film to direct the actors, because their movements and such had to essentially be perfect in order to portray the correct scene.  It was difficult because we wanted to get the timing correct as well as all different angles.  In order to get those different angles we had to try and get the actors to do the same movements multiple times.  Also, because we dealt with some difficult scenes multiple times we had to literally act out what we intended them to do especially when we had a particular vision of a scene in mind.  Like always, the actors used laughed in almost every scene whcih prolonged the taping.  Becuase it was a silent film we had to direct the actors to over act (to help make it sort of cheesy).  Also becuase it was a silent film the dialogue during the taping sometimes was random and didnt match what was actually happening in the scene, often causing everyone to break out into laughter.  Overall I thoroughly enjoyed directing the actors to suit my vision and it was even more exciting seeing it come to life.

Music Video:: Answers?.. P.E.Productions

November 11, 2009

In this music video we used a variety of different filters to achieve the cinematography we wanted.  We especially had to use filters when trying to establish scenes as memories.  My favorite that I experimented with was the Trails filter and Soft Edges filter.  They were both very helpful when trying to portray a memory of the past.  I had problems concerning them at first because once i rendered them it appeared as if they weren’t even there.  No matter what I did.  However, once we figured it out they seemed to come out much better.  Soft trails didn’t really work for some of the scenes though because there wasn’t too much motion.  In those cases it was preferred to use soft edges, soft focus, or bloom.  One filter I wish we could have incorporated would have been the Earthquake filter, simply because I really liked its visual facade and I think it adds a lot of character to the scene.

Our lovely video: