Time’s fake! Only a week? Already a week? Anyway.
I feel like I have to start with transit. And then I’ll do the city. Then classes. You know what, this is going to be effusive, so I’m going to add headers to make it a bit more readable.
Transit (a lengthy exaltation)
I live in Vanløse, which houses the last westward stop on the M1/M2 metro. I’m situated, in total, about 20 minutes from Indre By (major hub of Copenhagen, where DIS is located). I don’t live right next to the station, but I do live across the street from a bus that takes me directly to the station, which is ideal. I also live easily within walking distance to not one but two metro stations, but I very much appreciate the bus option when winter comes. So, my commute? A breeze. Weaned off of Google Maps almost immediately.
One of the first things I noticed were fenced off metro stations. I assumed this was a “ah, classic summer construction and repairs, that’s inconvenient” type of situation, but no! They’ve been constructing a whole new metro line! And it opens in (late) September! I’m sure this is old news for Copenhageners but, a very exciting Google search for this NUMTOT.
The only transit I haven’t mastered yet are trains, for two reasons. 1) The metro/bus/walking trifecta is fast, direct, and frequent, so no need to deviate. 2) The first time I took a train here I accidentally went 20 miles south of Copenhagen to Køge. At 9pm, and without a functioning phone.
I made it back just fine, but a little panic sure did creep in when I realized that the train hadn’t made a stop in 15 minutes and was traveling parallel to empty fields and a highway.
Other than that, the trains are quite pleasant.
The city: first impressions
It’s easy to get lost anywhere you’re unfamiliar with, but Indre By was particularly rough for me. The roads are winding and dense, street names aren’t consistently marked, and there aren’t very many tall things to find your bearings. I was thankful for the four days of orientation to give me some time to get lost enough to not be lost anymore. I’ve spent my free time just walking as much as I could, and I’ve explored a good chunk of Vanløse, Nørrebro, Christianshavn, and the general area around Indre By (I think it’s just called København K? someone please tell me) already. I haven’t gone to any museums yet, not counting Vor Frue Kirke (cathedral on Frue Plads), but those are easily next on the list.
I haven’t taken many photos because I’m always uncomfortable doing so, but on my personally designated tourist day I didn’t hold back.
(I’m really excited to break out my film once I feel more settled, or maybe more when I travel. I popped into a store to check their processing rates so fingers crossed I actually get around to it, or I might just choose to bring it all home for price’s sake.)
So far things aren’t too expensive. I’ve found some discount stores for home and personal goods which have served me really well. This weekend I’m planning on going out though, which could easily change my leading statement. On the food front, I really, really love German health bread and always said that if it were cheap and easily accessible (back home it’s not) I could easily eat it for every meal. Rugbrød is checking allllll of the boxes, so my diet is primarily rugbrød with a spread and a topping. I hesitate to call it smørrebrød but I guess it’s adjacent and frankly I’m happy with it either way. I bring coffee from home and pack my lunches, and if I do eat out it’s usually shawarma running at about 35-55 DKK, so it’s not too bad. And Studenterheuset’s 12kr coffee+croissant deal is great.
I, uh, might spend a lot on beer. Back home my roommate had a Costco stash of LaCroix and it’s become a LaCroix replacement of sorts. I should get that in check before I’m a broke, walking carbohydrate.
DIS (arguably what I’m here for, and for good reason)
I’m an Economics major with a Data Science minor (except my home institution doesn’t know that yet)(I haven’t declared it, oops). My classes at DIS are mostly related. I’m taking Globalization Economics, Urban Economics, Danish Language and Culture, GIS and Climate Change, and Behavioral Economics. I’m particularly interested in economics through an urban lens and through an environmental lens (separate or combined) so those slightly niche interests are fulfilled. I’m also interested in economic sociology, and while behavioral economics isn’t part of that field, I think they probably do have to do with each other in a way that will be neat to compare.
The only class I haven’t been to yet is Behavioral Economics so I can’t speak on it, but I’m already ridiculously excited about the ones I have attended. I’m already invested in the subject material, for sure. But the professors are so experienced, excited to teach what they know, and genuinely pleasant people? And my classmates seem great? And my schedule works well for me? Hell yeah.
An example: GIS (geographic information systems) and Climate Change. The class starts at 8:30 and goes until 11:25. The software we’re going to be using, ArcGIS, is notoriously frustrating to use. But our professor had an impeccable introduction class planned with a nicely made slideshow, coffee and lemon cake, and the first ~actually fun~ classmate icebreakers and syllabus overview I’ve ever experienced. And he just seems like a solid person and professor all around. My initial nervousness about taking a GIS class abroad, of all times and places, dissipated almost instantly.
A pleasant discovery (the most important reflection of the week)
I don’t like cinnamon rolls. To me, they’re either dry and flavorless or doughy and overly sweet. I kept trying them because people seem to really enjoy them and when I kept trying cinnamon rolls and never enjoying them, I resigned myself to thinking this was just a me thing.
August 24th, 2019: I have, at long last, eaten a delicious cinnamon roll.
It makes sense that it would be in Denmark and it would be at Sankt Peders Bageri (oldest bakery in copes, down the street from DIS, etc etc). I asked for a kanelsnegl (which means cinnamon snail!! so delightful! ugh! the image makes me so happy!) and sat down, expecting to be let down once again.
I was most definitely not. Even the driest outside layer– objectively tasty. The prized inner swirl? Gorgeous. Immaculate. Stunning.
I still can’t say I indiscriminately like the general category of cinnamon rolls. But I am confidently a massive fan of kanelsnegl, at least.
And that’s all I got! Excited for the future!
…stay tuned for
- I impulsively signed up for a 5k event next weekend in Østerbro
- I impulsively applied for a part time job and some volunteering gigs