Elisabeth A


Elisabeth A

I'm a Gemini. I enjoy long walks on foreign beaches, traveling, learning Spanish, making mix tapes, taking pictures, things of that nature, making music.
I'm very close (a month) to embarking on my grand Danish/European adventure - aka my second study abroad trip. This blog contains nonsense from my first study abroad to Chile, and will include nonsense from Denmark and other countries. And by nonsense I mean brilliance.

Europe May 28th 2010

It has been nearly two weeks since I returned to the United States, and in that time it seems that everything has gone to hell. I'm thinking primarily of the indescribable catastrophe that is BP's oil "spill", but also of Israel's aggression against Gaza-bound aid convoys and Arizona's new legislation against immigrants and ethic studies. These things are all I can think about, and I'm wondering if I should have just stayed in Denmark, which of course is not a paradise either. In my time abroad I learned a lot about Denmark and Europe, but also about the United States and (trying not to sound too cliché) myself. I have a greater appreciation for things that I previously took for granted in the U.S. - like citizenship. If you are born in the U.S. you are ... read more
The Holocaust Memorial
By train

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Copenhagen March 21st 2010

Fun fact: Danes love their calendars. There are three hanging in our kitchen -2010, 2008, and 2007. As I updated the current calendar, I realized that I have very little time left in Denmark before I go back to the United States. I'm not a crier, but I almost cried. These past eight months have been a whirlwind of cross-cultural encounters, and I am so glad that I decided to stay for a full year, instead of just one semester. That was my only regret about my summer program in Santiago: I was only there for 1.5 months. I'm not ready to go back to the States. People tell me that will change in the next two months, but I don't believe them. Between my busy school schedule, my full social calendar, and my aversion to ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul March 10th 2010

The Grand Bazaar was hands-down the most overwhelming experience I've had on this trip. There was too much for my eyes and ears to handle: jeans, sneakers, scarves, genie lamps, and aggressive/sexist salesmen. One or two is okay, but after a while I felt really dehumanized. I doubt the individual men mean anything by it, but the whole culture or mentality is overwhelming (if I can use that adjective yet again). I felt really dehumanized walking around the bazaar, but upon reflection, maybe I have been reading into it a little too much. It may not be that big a deal. Though I don't think you can excuse poor treatment for cultural reasons, maybe there isn't much more below the surface. Either way, Daphne and I decided that we would relax and unwind with a visit ... read more
In Turkey I Am Beautiful
A View to Asia
Blue Mosque by night

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul March 7th 2010

Istanbul seems like a younger city than Copenhagen - I mean the life here. It's kind of a hot mess - cars share the roads with trams and pedestrians - there don't seem to be set hours of operation - some kitchens stay open until 2 am - like the one I just got home from. It is such a contrast to Copenhagen, where grocery shops close at 17 or 18 and it’s nearly impossible to satisfy any late-night cravings. Here, you walk around and people try to herd you into their restaurants at what would be obscene Danish hours. Istanbul is colorful and vibrant and full of life, but not overwhelming like some other big cities that I've visited (New York City, for example). The academic portions of the trip have been really ridiculously appropriate, ... read more
Galata Tower
Street graffito
Hagia Sophia

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Birkerød February 25th 2010

I normally don't wear my new headphones when I'm walking by myself in the dark, but today I made an exception because it wasn't that late and I was only walking the 200m from the bus stop to my house. I saw two guys walking the other direction and I turned off the podcast that I was listening to because I wanted to be alert. They flag me down as we get nearer and ask me in Danish: -Excuse us - do you know where the 500S stops? -Yes, it's just ahead. -Thanks. Are you Danish? -No, I'm half-Danish. -Where do you come from? -I'm from the USA. -The USA?! No. Well, you look like an Afghan. -I do? -Yeah, you look like an Afghan! -I'm not. -No? OK. Well thanks, and bye. I was wandering ... read more

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Copenhagen February 18th 2010

I just met a man. He sets up shop in Gammeltorv, the square just down the street, and sells jewelry and hats. I hadn't planned on chatting - I just wanted to buy an earring. As I wandered up to his stand, he said "Hello, if you need help with something, tell me, I'll help you. Are you French?" "No, I'm Canadian." (I know this is a lie, but sometimes I lie about being from Canada. Occassionally, especially in Chile, it elicits a completely different reaction than being from the U.S. This man didn't care - Canadian and American were equal in his book.) "Canadian, eh? You work at the school here?" "Well, I go to the school..." "Yes, yes - that's what I mean, you are working by studying at the school." "Oh, yeah. Where ... read more

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Birkerød February 15th 2010

The long commute to and from town everyday has been made much more bearable, thanks to the arrival of a package from my father that included his old mp3 player. Now I am one of the multitude of people hustling to my destination, all while staying in my own little sound-induced bubble. It's rather strange, actually, how I notice that I notice so much less when I have my (new Sennheiser) headphones on. I feeling like I'm floating through the world, instead of participating in it. This doesn't stop me from listening to the music, of course; I've been deprived for too long. But I do think about turning it off. What I'm Listening To (But You Can't Hear It Because It's In My Headphones): Tilly and the Wall - Bad Education Santogold - You'll Find ... read more

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Birkerød February 10th 2010

I know I have mentioned it before, but let me stress: do not take your sunshine for granted!! When I left the house today around 1145, the sun was making a definite, if all too brief, visit to my part of the world. It's incredible, the affect that just a little bit of sunlight can have on my day. It cheers me up instantly, brightens my mood. I cannot imagine how deliriously happy I will be once late spring rolls around and the sun is out in full force! I smile to myself as I walk down the street, alternately squinting up at the sun and keeping track of my shadow. I feel just like a child. When the semester began, I was a little disappointed because some classes that I had expected to be interesting ... read more

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Birkerød February 3rd 2010

It's the start of a new semester, and that means new faces, new places, and new routines, even in Denmark. There's a lot to get used to (again) and lots of new input. Sometimes is feels as if there is so much going on that it's a challenge to process and reflect and make sense of it all. Half of my classes are interesting, and the other half are, unfortunately and so far, dull. In fact right now I should be reading an article for my economics class, but I'm obviously using my time in other less-productive but more-interesting ways. It started snowing again. The sidewalks and streets are all covered in a slippery gray mush - it's a wonder I haven't yet fallen. However, the sun was out in full force last Thursday! A friend ... read more

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Birkerød January 24th 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I started school on Thursday. There are approx. 662 students, full-years like myself included. The newbies have questions - should I actually do the homework for this class? (No) Where is a good place to buy jeans? (Not Denmark) What's a good restaurant? (I don't know, I don't go out for food) Where do you meet Danes on a Monday night? (Where do you meet Americans on a Monday night? Exactly - neither of us know). I am optimistic about the quarter, despite my previous doubts. I think my new attitude has a lot to do with the fact that I saw the sun for the first time in what seems like months. The days are slowly but noticeably getting longer. Sunrise: 08:18 Sunset: 16:27 Length of the day: 8h 09m 12s Today ... read more
Rainbow Warrior
It's Not for Girls!

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