June 2012 archive
A week ago today I wrote this, and saved it as a draft:
“Four days, and then I am out of here. Goodbye, rainy Copenhagen! Hello, heatwave-that-has-been-compared-to-Hell, New York! Here’s to a pleasant American airport experience!
- Passport renewal – check.
- Travelers insurance – check.
- Birthday presents for Andrew – check.
- Present(s) for my mother-in-law – check.
- Pretty dresses to wear on special occasions (like 4th of July) – check.”
The title of the draft was “Preparing”. Everything was planned, packed and ready to go. Then something happened. Sunday night I had an epileptic seizure — my first in three years. I was standing on the side of my bed about to switch on my bedside lamp on when it came, and I woke up a couple of hours later on the floor next to a puddle of my own vomit. I have never felt as lonely as I did waking up on the floor in my own apartment, completely by myself. I don’t know how long I was out for during the seizure, and I chose not to look at the time once I “came back” to the real world. I just remember scraping myself off the floor and going to bed. I also remember my hip being very sore, which at the time I assumed was just because of me falling down.
I had an oral exam in Danish at 8.30am the next day, which I went to… despite of the agonizing pain, disorientation and feeling that something was completely wrong. I went straight to the hospital after the exam, where I was told that my hip was broken in two places, and that I was in no way going to New York.
That was five days ago. I have been staying with my grandparents ever since, because I can’t take care of myself. My body is beat up and bruised from the fall, and my hip is anything but stable. I am not allowed to put any sort of pressure on my left leg for the next six weeks, which means that I will have to use crutches. I am still in shock that this happened, and am unsure how to deal with all of the emotions and disappointment I feel. To make matters worse, my mouth has become full of blisters as a physical reaction to the trauma my body has been through… this means I can neither drink, eat, nor talk.
This was supposed to be the summer I have been working towards the last two years — the best summer of my life. I can’t believe that this happened, I just can’t. I just graduated, and yet I can’t feel any excitement or happiness, because there is nothing to celebrate.
Other Danes may disagree, but I feel like brunch is a relatively new phenomenon in Denmark… like, within the last ten years or so? Or maybe it’s just because it has only recently (like within the last ten years or so) been introduced to me. EITHER WAY, I know it is an age-old phenomenon in the rest of the world, and probably also in Denmark, and most likely it has just been introduced to me late (let me take a moment to side-eye everyone in my life), but, new or old, IT IS WONDERFUL.
My absolute FAVORITE brunch-place in Copenhagen is Café 22; a little café located right by one of the city’s five lakes. The atmosphere is wonderful, the view is gorgeous, and the brunch is SPECTACULAR. A little tip: On weekends, they have a brunch BUFFET for roughly the same price*. That means pancakes, bacon, fruit, bread, cake, scrambled eggs, and cocktail sausages (and a whole bunch of other things) UNLIMITED, Guys. God, I love that place. As does the car-tire around my waist. Everything I own that isn’t stretch = not a big fan.
So, that is my first tip to exploring Copenhagen.
*= It may seem pricey to foreigners, but everything is more expensive here. Like previously mentioned, café coffee in Denmark is the most expensive in the world. I say go enjoy your brunch, because this is pretty much the standard price.
The storm has blown over, and I am feeling a lot better. The truth is that, looking back, all of this really had been building up over the weekend, all of these feelings, and the cup eventually got full and then some. I just wasn’t prepared for it at all. At all.
But. I got up, brushed it off, though not before watching a lot of Woody Allen movies. The latter is due to a sudden urge I had to watch movies with a lot of dialogue. Isn’t that strange? I guess it could have been because I didn’t feel like doing much talking myself, but I still wanted the input from other people. Or something. Or maybe that’s just some cheap pocket psychology. Maybe it’s just because I fucking love Woody Allen. What a cinematic gem.
Speaking of gems, my sister and I found a message in a bottle on our way home from the city on Tuesday. That was a first. You don’t see those around too often anymore after the invention of email.
Look at that awesome treasure map!
It was so awesome that we put it back for others to find and enjoy. Looking back on it, we probably should have gone looking for the treasure… Our laziness might have cost us millions!
Oh, speaking of firsts, I had my first experience with a flasher this Saturday. This flasher rode a bike and liked(s) to shop at IKEA (as evidenced by his blue IKEA bag). So, we have that in common. It was both repulsive and hilarious, and not very traumatizing at all. Thankfully!
Today, I am not equipped with armor. I am out there fighting the big battle on my own, thin-skinned and easily bruised. I woke up feeling sad and lost, and now I will go to bed still feeling sad and lost. I guess it is always good with a cosmic reminder of how bad things can be… or was… or something.
Like I could ever forget. Some cosmic energy is pretty stupid.
Anyway. I hope that whatever misreading of signals that might have occurred between my brain and the medication will be all fixed by tomorrow morning. Now I am going to remove my make-up, and then go to bed with a big cup of tea and watch the second half of “Hannah And Her Sisters”.
Yesterday was the day of the oral exam that I have been dreading the very most: HISTORY.
It was a 24-hour preparation exam, which meant that we had 24 hours to read up on the historical period and material we were assigned to — (our teacher put a bunch of letter tiles from Scrabble in a little bag, and then we each drew a tile from the bag, and the letter on the tile was assigned to a particular historical period and each period came with some relevant historical sources and material that we had to analyze. Is it possible for a method that is meant to ensure that it is all completely fair and random to be completely idiotic and yet strangely logical at the same time?) — and while it’s nice to have 24 hours to prepare/read up/study + write a synopsis, it’s also a really nice and easy way to give yourself an ulcer. Holy shit, it’s stressful.
Anyway, I drew the tile with an ‘I’ on it, which, for some reason, was assigned to the Renaissance. And… I FUCKING LOVE THE RENAISSANCE. I have loved the Renaissance ever since I first learned about The Renaissance. The Renaissance and I are wicked tight, yo. So, needless to say, I was pretty ecstatic. HOWEVER. Guess who managed to get sick during those 24 hours? C’EST MOI! (I think this entry has a French theme). Also, as a bonus, I was completely sleep deprived from the night before, because I had been so afraid of drawing the Roman Empire or something, so, needless to say, I really wasn’t feeling my very best. I worked on my synopsis from 1pm to 1am, and then again from 9am to 11am the next day. My throat was killing me, my eyes were completely squary from reading so much while also spending a ridiculous amount of time looking at the computer, and to make matters worse, I had just gotten my rag. Sorry, if that is too graphic for you, but I am having a hard time setting for myself boundaries right now.
I didn’t think I was going to fail, but I was completely sure that I wasn’t going to do well; not with all the stuff I had working against me, like my throat and my uterus. Even when I was in the exam room, I just felt shitty and unprepared and like I couldn’t articulate myself correctly at all.
BUT. BUT, BUT, BUT, BUT.
I GOT AN A.
HOLY EFFING SHIT.
I can’t recall the last time I have felt that happy and pleased with myself. I had never expected to get an A in History, EVER. I have the worst memory, and before I started at this school I had like no historical perspective what so ever. LOOK AT ME NOW. I kept thanking the teachers, and they in return said, “No, you should thank yourself, it was very well deserved”, and I was like, “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT, I JUST CANT.BELIEVE.IT”. I have a feeling I made a fool of myself, but oh well, I got an A, I got an A, I GOT AN A. Can you tell that I am excited? Life is sure beautiful when you get an A in oral History.
In the summer of 2006, I discovered a community for journalers on livejournal. I have recently discovered that I have been journaling rather steadily ever since I got my first diary at ten years old, which wasn’t how I remembered myself at all. I knew writing had been important to me in some periods of my life, but I didn’t realize that I had documented the years between ten and nineteen so thoroughly. Ahh… all that angst. I can assure you it was a real kicker to read — in a somewhat embarrassing way.
I am not sure there is such a thing as a traditional diarist, but if there is, I think I was the prototype when I was younger. Until I turned sixteen, every entry would start with “Dear Diary” and end with “Love from Sofie” or “Hugs from Sofie”. Of course, ‘Love’ eventually became ‘Luv’ and ‘Hugs’ became ‘Hugz’, which I believe is a real indicator of the commencement of my teenhood. Likewise the awkward illustrations, including several drawings of a tombstone with my name on it. BECAUSE NO ONE HAS EVER FELT THIS CONFUSED AND INSECURE BEFORE! To me, being a teen is a mix of all caps and all lowercase. Lots of drama, confusion, insecurity and apathy. And, of course, the occasional feelings of euphoria and melancholy. The constant play between life and death. All of this can be found in my old journal, by the way. As I said, it was a real kicker to read.
But, back to 2006 when I discovered that journaling community, which I unfortunately can’t remember the name of now. I am not even sure it exists anymore. That was a whole new way of journaling to me, which kind of put my tombstones and drawings of trees to shame. With me, it was always a lot of text, and very little creativity. Everything was panned out, with no convolution, puzzles, or secrets. The people in this community, though. WOAH. Mind. Blown. Their entries usually consisted of something near artpieces, with the text being a few quotes or a few keywords to describe their moods. The real story behind the entries were their secret, something that wasn’t meant to be shared — only the raw emotions catalyzing the art. In this community, I was just a silent lurker, totally enamored with all the possibilities following this way of journaling about your life. What is funny is that it felt kind of like breaking the rules. You know, it was so different.
Now, when I look back on my more, err, artsy entries, I feel just as in tune with the Sofie I was back then… even without all the words. It forces me to remember the stories behind the drawings, rather than having it all served to me on a silver platter.
The reason why I am writing this is because I have decided to take it up again, starting this summer when I go to New York. I am going to treat myself to a Moleskine sketchbook finally, as a belated birthday present to myself, and I am going to attempt to document my summer using much fewer words (I like words… example: all of my entries here), and a lot of drawings + external materials. I will then try my best to keep it up once I go back home. I don’t know, it just feels like it’s time to take it up again. I have just started a new year of my life, my 24th year in this world, and my outlook is completely different. Therefore, this is NOT some desperate attempt to go back to my teen years as an angsty hipster, I promise. I reeeeally don’t miss those years at all.
This weekend has honestly, honestly, honestly been the best weekend I have had in a while. The settings have been unreasonably cold and wet, nothing like summer, but life has been sweet, spontaneous, and full of chai lattes and things that aren’t good for me (chai lattes also belong to this category).
The girl in the picture up there (^) is my much-adored sister, who, a year ago (when she was SIXTEEN!) decided to move several hundred kilometers away from everything she knows to attend school for tailoring and design. As it is right now, we see each other about once a month. Next year, she will be moving even further away to a town she has never even been to before, so that she can continue her education within that field. The amount of admiration I feel for that girl is out of this world, and I wish I felt as confident about my future place in this world as she does. I think I know what I want to study once I am done with what I am doing now, but that is only 50% of it. What about after that? And most importantly, will it be useful as far as getting a job in the US?
Anyway, Saturday night I made her biscotti:
This year, six weeks of my summer will be spent in New York, and I can’t fucking WAIT! I can’t wait to be with Andrew. We haven’t seen each other for three months and I can’t wait to do all the stuff we usually do together, like, go for walks, go to the mall, eat, spoon. You know, all the good stuff you do when you are a couple (and doesn’t drink).
Speaking of drinks… I don’t drink and have never drunk, but something that can make me feel seriously tempted to dig into this mysteriously mythical substance, in this situation disguised as punch, is large family get-togethers. Every year, a family get-together is held at my grandfather’s brother’s house, where the whole family on my grandfather’s side is invited. They all usually show up, too, which makes us roughly 23 people. This time, we were 31. In one backyard. Five of the newcomers were our long-lost relatives from Germany, who barely spoke any English, and whose shoe-sized dog nearly ate one of the neighbor’s chickens, and, honestly, that + the obscene amount of people in a tiny space was enough to make me want to jump into the punch bowl (that was so 1980′s, by the way). Food was good, though.
Another thing that made me yearn for a stiff one + evidence of my attendance:
Yes, that is my cousin mooning the camera as we are having our yearly family picture taken. I blurred it for his sake and yours.
So, overall, I am quite happy tonight. Tomorrow, my History Teacher is doing a Q&A in my History Class, which I am definitely planning on attending. My oral History exam is on Wednesday, so it’s like perfect timing. We are probably only going to be four people, and all four of those people will have relied on the other three to have prepared some good questions, which, of course, no one will have done. Basically, it will be the same as always.