Saturday, December 25, 2010

And Now It's a Food Blog!

Well, not permanently. But for the next 11 days, while I'm staying with my cousins in Copenhagen, yes. So like I've mentioned, my cousin Sandra who lives here is a chef. So the food's pretty good. Here is a list of things I've eaten since getting here two days ago (everything is homemade unless I specifically say it's not, including the jams, breads, and lattes): rolls with black currant-rum jam and a latte; pasta with a bacon-leek-spinach cream sauce (it's really not the season to be Jewish, tant pis); fresh mushroom ravioli (from the Italian store) with pesto (homemade); a cabbage-orange-olive salad with a balsamic vinegarette; rice pudding; duck stuffed with Indian-y spices and oranges served with a tangy orange sauce; herb roasted beets, turnips, and potatoes; waldorf salad; apple-cranberry pie with a sort of gingerbread-like crust served with crème fraîche; pizza topped with duck, mushrooms, potatoes, pesto and cheese; pizza topped with tomato, mussels and zucchini; lots more lattes and toast and jam. (From the rice pudding to the apple-cranberry pie is our Christmas Eve dinner.)

My flight left an hour and a half late, but I made it in, which is more than a lot of people flying in Europe can say right now.

For the first time in my life, I'm staying in a house with a real (as in formerly alive) Christmas tree! It smells so good. Maybe I'll experiment with the Chanukka Bush idea. JUST KIDDING MOTHER. It was just the four of us for Christmas Eve, which is when they celebrate in Denmark, but that was great, since none of us are Christian anyway. Christmas is part of the Danish tradition and the Protestant Church is the state church in Denmark so my cousins like to celebrate, but they're not interested in praying and singing and buying tons of presents (which in the United States somehow is associated with piousness, or is that just my own perception?). Anyway, they got me two presents, which was so nice of them: a shirt that says Danmark on it backwards in red and white, and long sock-slippers that go up to my knees. After practicing reading Danish tonight with Mathilde (my second cousin) I'm pretty sure I'm practically Danish. I just need a bike.

Although maybe Mathilde and I undid all my progress into becoming Danish when we drank Coke and watched MTV this afternoon...or maybe I can just say that Super Sweet Sixteen transcends nationality.

Tomorrow we're going to have lunch with Karsten's three older kids and some other family. Then we're going skiing in Sweden (YES YES YES YES YES YES YES MATHILDE AND KARSTEN LIKE TO RACE YES YES YES YES YES). Then I'm going to have to study for exams and prepare a presentation on The Exorcist (awesome, I know), and then it's New Year's!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Been sort of flaky...but here's a new post!

I'm a little disappointed in how bad I've been at updating this. I was doing well with two blogs a month for a while, but then I really fell off the wagon. But bref.

So I did make it to London in the end. I was there three weekends ago, and it felt so weird to be lost in this giant city. When I stopped to think about it, I realized that Paris is the only city that I actually know. I lived near Boston but didn't ever learn it that well, and I know Berkeley, but San Francisco is another thing. Sure, I can get myself around, but when you actually live in a city, you understand it so much better. I don't necessarily feel comfortable giving directions in San Francisco. In Paris, I can get myself home from the opposite end of the city at night without a map. London was big and crowded. I won't go all pretensh and say that it was sooo weird to hear English la di da I'm practically French, but I have to say that it was really weird to be in an English speaking city and STILL not understand anyone. And the first Brit I talked to asked me if I was Irish! IRISH!!!!

Anyway, I had a wonderful time with my friend there, but I was surprised how much I missed Paris. I was also surprised that I have picked up some Parisian habits: I said "good day" and "sir" and "miss" and "please" way too much, I ate with my knife in my right hand. And I kept accidentally saying "pardon" (the French way) instead of "excuse me!" But the American will never disappear: I still smiled too much at everyone and ate constantly. And I practically broke my neck everytime I tried to cross the street and looked to the left instead of the right.

My semester will go on for another two weeks after the New Year, but the major stuff is all over. This is the synopsis of my exam week: Thursday morning: wake up fifteen minutes before I have to leave for class, run out the door ten minutes late, realize on the metro that I have a huge paper on a book I have not yet found due Monday, show up to class to find out that it's cancelled (which I had known about). Friday: can't find the book I need at the library, get two others for background research. Saturday: change my book to the one for background research, spend all day reading it (it was about the economics of humanitarian aid). Sunday: frantically write a nine-page paper on this book. Monday: finish up the paper, try to hand the paper in, find out that it is due in three weeks. Go to my final that I haven't studied for because I was too busy writing my paper that wasn't due. Do okay, I hope. Tuesday: sleep. Don't study for my three finals on Wednesday. Wednesday: take three finals that I haven't studied for. We'll see. Thursday: show up to my art history class ten minutes late thinking it was a review for the final. Everyone is stitting down taking the final. So I also just sit down like I'm not totally stunned and take it with them. Felt okay about it. Friday: don't make it to class because of a 3 billion hour visa crap bureaucracy thing. Saturday: vacation!

So yea, I'm a pathetic excuse for a student. Although I got my art history final back, and I did pretty well on it.

I leave tomorrow for Copenhagen, where I will spend Christmas and the New Year's with my cousins. I can't wait!!! I'm a little nervous about the flight, because so many people are stuck in Paris. But the weather's cleared up -- it was pretty snowy for a while -- so hopefully I'll leave on time.

I'll miss Paris though.