Stockholm & a birthday abroad

I can’t believe it is the end of October already! I haven’t blogged since the 11th, and that only felt like a couple of days ago! I’ve had a very busy past few weeks, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

First off and my most exciting news. I HAVE A JOB! I crazily tweeted about how I was having the biggest struggle finding work here in old Dane land. I even tweeted this picture which I received a few laughs at, even though I was not the one laughing.

I was hoping to find that magical Job Land in Denmark, where jobs would grow on jobbies, and in my adventures to Stockholm (which I will talk about later) I found the courage to ask around at the place where jobs do grow on jobbies… THE AIRPORT! I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think about looking at the airport sooner. An international environment, the high need for employees, a job would surely be waiting for me there. And it was. At Starbucks. SELVFØLGELIG!

Oh Starbucks. I am so happy to be employed and to stop spending ridiculous amounts of kroners on a ‘cup of kaffe’. (which in Denmark, a vanilla latte is around 50 kroners. That’s about 8.67 US. For a tall. Don’t even ask me about Soy or extra shots. Now I get to have my daily intake of coffee and not pay anything for it:) I had my interview on Friday and they hired me right on the spot! What a GREAT birthday gift:)

Working in the airport is going to be ridiculously fun. I just know it. I had to go through some security training in order to receive my badge to go past security, and even that was exciting. I have to take the train to get to the airport, so my commute is only about 5 minutes.  The transportation system here in Denmark is ridiculously easy to navigate.  I learned it in the 5 days I spent here last summer.  Granted, I don’t know the bus system, but I have never had the need to use a bus here in Copenhagen.  The metro line is so convenient and 5 minutes away from where I live, and will take me wherever I need to go here or outside the city.  Plus, Copenhagen is kinda cool in that you pay 1 price for everything.  Taking the bus is just as expensive as taking the metro, or S-Train (which is what I take to the airport). I wanted to get a monthly metro pass anyway since it has gotten so cold and dark here now (the sun sets a little before 5 now and daily it hovers between 5-7 degrees). and riding my bike in the brutal chilly wind has proven to be a difficult task.  The monthly pass will work on metro & S-train, so I can take it to work and school and not have to worry about paying extra or anything.  A little pricey, its around 350 kroners a month, but hey… i’m not ready to be biking in the snow… I’m not THAT Danish 🙂

Job. Check. Now I can stay in Denmark forever and I never have to leave:) But honestly, I kinda could because after I graduate I just need to be employed here and I can stay for as long as I want to be employed… so why not work at Starbucks while I search for a real job after I graduate in 2 years !!  My stress level has gone way down and now I can put that little voice in the back of my head to sleep that keeps nagging me about money and a job and completely focus on grad school.  ALso the pay here is laughable to what I would be receiving in the states.  I can actually LIVE off of my 15 hour work week…  I have worked it out, people ususally get 90 or 100 kroners minimum here.  100×15= 1500.  OH but what about the HIGH TAX RATE you say?  (for all you haters on ‘socialism’) EVEN IF THEY TOOK HALF OF MY KRONERS (which they don’t they only take like 35%), 1500/2=750 So I would be making 750  per week.  4 weeks in a month ,750×4 =3000 = about 521 U.S. dollars.  Back home I would be working 15 hours at 9 bucks and be making  135 a week -taxes  would be 475  ish?  maybe?  More then likely ill be taking in 1050 a week.  1050×4 is –well– you do the math 🙂  But it is a good amount to live on and all I would need here 🙂  So that makes me pretty happy!  And in summer’s i’m allowed to work full time!  (the only reason I’m not working more hours is that I can only work 15 with my work permit– but I am here for school so it’s nice that they max it at 15).

In other news, I went to Stockholm over the Fall Break (oct. 14-20). Which. Was. GORGEOUS. Walking around Gamla Strand (or the old town) was breathtaking. Picturesque cobblestone streets, beautiful autumn colors seen every which way I turned, and a vibrant pulsing city gave me another view of Scandinavia. I traveled with my friend Stef. Originally we wanted to try out couch surfing, but we applied for the couches too late and ended up booking a room in a hostel. Which I was fine with. I love staying at Hostels because of the increased opportunity for you to meet interesting people. Also, this hostel provided free breakfast and free pasta along with bed linens and towels, and because we are such cheap and chic travelers we opted to stay for the more ‘inclusive’ hostel. We did meet some cool American guys from New York who just decided that they wanted to go to Stockholm, and booked their flights the following week, and some cool German guys who decided to take a quick Holiday.  We shared drinks and pasta with them and I tried to learn some new German words, but I failed.   We spent 2 full days in Stockholm and it was the perfect amount of time to see the city, and do a couple of cultural things like museums and such. We even went to an ICE BAR– which, yes, is a bar entirely made out of Ice. Very touristy, but oh so worth it. We ended up only staying in the bar for about 30 minutes though, because we got super cold and couldn’t feel our toes. haha. Enjoy a couple of the pictures from the IceBar, I haven’t edited the rest from Stockholm, but they are on the way!

The week after fall break I was back in full swing juggling a busy school week and my upcoming birthday.  Monday Tuesday were typical school days, I had my first interview with the Starbucks in Bilka on Wednesday (they first Starbucks in Denmark outside the airport) Thursday I went shopping for my Birthday and Friday was a cooking day anf my interview at Starbucks in the airport!  I wanted to cook delicious food for my party, and since no one here cooks with pumpkin ever I decided to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, carrot cake and cookies.  Between cooking dinners and dessert, studying for classes, my Starbucks interview along with attempting to have a social life, the week flew by and before I knew it, Saturday was here and so were the birthday shenanigans! I started out the afternoon by going on the great pumpkin search with my friend Jack. Popular in Denmark are the tiny ‘sugar pumpkins’ which aren’t proper for pumpkin carving. SO the hunt began! We started at the markets at norreport station, and good thing we did because we were able to find the MASSIVE pumpkins required for pumpkin carving. We gasped and ran to the bright orange bins full of Autumn fun, picked up our pumpkins for 45 kroner, and then had some Gløgg to celebrate our success.

-Side note. Gløgg is delicious. I tried it first in Stockholm after hearing about how amazing it was from my European friends. Gløgg is usually red wine, with spices and served hot or warm with cranberries and almonds. It is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween. It is magical, and the most delicious thing you will ever drink! I highly recommend it!

Then it was off to continue my birthday celebrations!

-Second side note. Lugging two giant pumpkins home in your bike basket looks really hilarious – all in the name of Halloween!

I went to see a Danish version of the play Alice in Wonderland for my birthday on Saturday, and although I couldn’t understand any part of it (since it was all in Danish) I still found it very enjoyable and entertaining. Something about the theatre… I think acting is another universal language, or I just really like Alice in Wonderland so much that not understanding the dialogue didn’t bother me one bit. The play was in Christiania (my favorite place in Copenhagen) and I had a great time. That night I had friends over to carve pumpkins and help me celebrate turning 24. Some of my international friends had never carved a pumpkin before and didn’t understand the significance of Halloween so I, being the great friend I am, hosted a pumpkin carving session 🙂 I also baked yummy Autumn treats like pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, carrot cake and cookies. My international friends seemed to be continuously impressed with my cookies. I laugh every time my friend Anne-Sophie talks about my “ammerriicaann cookies’ with my ammerrriicaaannn chocolate chips. It just makes me laugh. I guess pumpkins are not popular here but come on, it’s pumpkin. It’s delicious. How can it not be popular EVERYWHERE

Sunday my roommate Amy (even though we don’t live together anymore I still call her my roommate) treated me to Brunch. Which we missed because we got to the restaurant at 14.00 and they stop serving brunch at 13.30. Oh well, I had the most delicious veggie burger instead. I think it was made with carrots and beets. It was very very good. We also had smoothies which were a perfect treat  Amy is so wonderful. She got me a necklace from Amsterdam that says ‘Eat Me’ on it. It’s perfect and yellow and above All, ALICE! But seriously, it’s the cutest necklace ever and I love it. I don’t know how she stumbled on to that treasure but I am very glad I did! We then cycled around and went to my favorite bakery Lagkagehuset and Amy bought me a yummy blueberry white chocolate cake, which we ate for dessert at home. What an excellent birthday I should say! Also, the weather was celebrating with me and we had sunny skies with little wind all weekend long. It was the perfect end to a pretty perfect week. I think I’m starting to find out why this is the happiest place on earth!

Goodness and that was just last week!   I will write a separate post about Halloween at Tivoli.  it does deserve it’s own!

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