Tag Archives: lgbtq

Flim, Flam, Flåm: A Nordic Adventure

HEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOO my people! I meant to post this earlier but I actually had school work this week. But here I am! Just finished up my Psych of Human Sexuality midterm, watched some Hannibal, and now I’m sitting in my awful Gender and Sexuality in Scandinavia class (seriously DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS, well at least not with my prof or anything from my prof really) typing out this blog. Update I’m so sorry it’s been forever. I’m here now. Prepare for a mass posting. I have left and came back to this post 700 times. I’m sorry.


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I seem to do the same thing every morning… I hear my alarm go off at an ungodly time (aka 5.00) but then I tell myself I will just count to 60 and then get up for real. You may say, “Emily that is the dumbest idea you have ever had.” You may be right. Basically what I am getting at is that I fell back asleep and didn’t have a backup alarm. TGOD for my host-mom who said she would drive me to the train station this fine morning, and I made it on time to my flight.

DAY ONE: I hopped off the plane at Bergen Airport! That’s right, NORWAY! You guessed it, this is the story of my DIScovery trip to the beautiful country of Norway. After an emergency run into 7-11 for two chocolate croissants and a carton of milk (I DIDN’T FORGET IT THIS TIME NATASHA), I was off.  *Insert the time on the bus where the whole group was asleep**pit-stop in Voss**back to sleep* Team… I just ate Flan in Flåm. Okay actually, this food was so good I’m going to make it have its own post. Thus no more food will be mentioned until next time.

We decided thafb_img_1476292742936t we needed to wake up from our exhausting journey. Luckily our hostel was ON A FJORD because it was time for a FJORD SAFARI. img_9471Pretty sure I was wearing 20 different items of clothing (one of which being an obnoxious yellow snow suit). As I went to put on this “Big Bird”-like contraption I managed to get my zipper stuck. Multiple members of my group struggled and failed to fix me up. Finally I caved in, and called in professional reinforcement. The next few hours were spent on the fjord. I have to say, it was img_9486stunning.If you ever have the slightest chance to go PLEASE DO. Words cannot live up to the sights I was blessed with. I may never find the right way to explain how stunning my surrounding were this week. Maybe I will let the photos speak for me. Note: dolphins and seals were seen on this trip but are surprisingly super-fast.

DAY TWO: Woke up bright and early for a very active day. After breakfast, we embarked for the Flåm Train Station. fb_img_1476441616671This train ride was supposed to be the most beautiful train ride in the world. FUN FACT: IT IS! ( I have nothing to compare it to, but I doubt anything could beat it.) After this beautiful journey, we grabbed a handful of gummy candy (very common in Denmark) and began our decent down the Rallavegen Trek20161009_100027_hdr trail. Prepare yourself for a bunch of photos right about…. NOW. img_9468Okimg_9505ay this was literally a 20 km hike. I am not a hiker. Or in shape. Near the end of this 5ish hour journey I was completely out of it. Don’t get me wrong I would 100% do it again. This hike was one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever been a part of (and I travel across the states quite a img_9663bit, so I do have comparisons this time). Also I filled my water-bottle up from a cute waterfall, and it was SO DELICIOUS. LIKE WOW. I feel like one of those people that think they are cool because they drink VOSS water, but mine is straight from the source so SUCK IT. At the end of the day, a nap was most definitely needed.

DAY THREE: Another beautiful day in Flåm… Scratch that… Just looked it up and I went to Voss. While there we went on a ropes course. Ya know, that thing where you are hooked into a harness and climb in the air.fb_img_1476292827965 Let me tell you, we were all SORE AND EXHAUSTED. I couldn’t walk. So needless to say, Climbing a ropes course wasn’t my ideal.fb_img_1476441650405 BUT I DID IT. I got up there, scared shitless, and made it through two courses without dying. Afterwards, we went into down and just explored for a bit. DON’T TELL ME GRANDMA, but I bought really nice Norwegian wool to knit her a scarf for Christmas. I haven’t knitted in forever, so I had to teach myself. Hopefully this turns out.

DAY FOUR: TODAY IS THE DAY; THE REASON I WORKED MY ASS OFF THIS SUMMER AND SPENT AN OBSCENE ABOUT OF MONEY TO GO TO NORWAY.  Today is the day for kayaking the fjords.fb_img_1476353549906 Wow. Absolutely wow. Just wow. I cried. img_9726I was amazed. Shout-out to Whitman for closing all of the scrambles I wanted my first year, and putting my in whitewater-kayaking. Without that experience , and the times I have kayaked on OP trips after that, I wouldn’t have chosen to take part in this experience. It was amazing to already feel comfortable in the water because I was img_9756able to take a single kayak out alone and enjoy the water at my own pace. I think I may chase excitement now though. Though the fjords were incredible, a part of me missed img_9718the speed of white-water (I ended up chasing all of the waves on nearby boats). I think our journey was around 25 km, but we did stop midway through for a “BBQ lunch”. I know I said I wouldn’t talk about food, but I must mention that DIS’ idea of a BBQ is not what you are thinking unless your average BBQ includes bone-in pork chops, salmon, pasta, garlic bread, etc. OK DIS, OK.

DAY FIVE: Twas a sad day. Away we went, leaving the beauty of Norway. I think we were all saddened. No longer would we have our game nights, meatball breakfasts, and our extreme daily workouts.  We finished off our lovely week by going up another trailhead in Bergen (THANKFULLY NOT AS LONG AS THE LAST ONE).20161012_131159_pano

 

 

 

Again I am extremely sorry for this disappearance. The way that the DIS schedule works had me traveling to Norway for a week, being back for a week with intense work, traveling to Amsterdam for a week, and then back again with a hella amount out work and this fucking shit-show of an election. After this post goes live, I will be making another one for the food I’m sure you are wondering about, one about Amsterdam, and finally the experience of being in another country when your country is falling apart. 

Stay Safe,

Love your fellow feminist.

When Will My (Reflection) Show Who I Am Inside

Face Update: This is my current face. I am still sad that I had to take my labret out, and I feel a little lost without it. snapchat-2911068590867097941My sister called me an alien when I showed her this photo because of my symmetrical face. I will neither confirm nor deny this, she’s right shhhAlso I will soon be conforming to this homogeneous society. AKA my hair will be turning into a natural color SHOCKING I KNOW. This was actually an incredibly difficult decision to come to. I don’t think I have had natural, or even semi-natural, hair in three-ish years. What you have to realize is that America is shaped by individualism. When you have a lot of body modifications there, you are just one in a sea of other non-conformers. But here… things are different. I don’t see people like me when I leave my house. I have seen one, ONE person here with a full head of unnatural hair, and it was just red so does that even count? If you read my last post, you know a small part of how challenging it is to be isolated here. I can’t speak the language, and I don’t look the part. I can’t continue with the rest of this semester feeling like I will never fit here. If changing up the coloring of my hair helps, then that’s what I’ll do.

School Update: My favorite class is surprisingly the one I switched into last minute! BLESS THE GODS THAT CONVINCED ME TO DROP CRIMINOLOGY FOR PSYCH OF HUMAN SEXUALITY. My other classes (Pornography, Prostitution, and Danish) are swell. Gender and Sexuality in Scandinavia may be the worst class I have ever taken. I hate it. I hate the professor. She hates me. She actually told me to dumb down my work. She doesn’t understand anything beyond the binary. I actually hid in my beanie today to avoid leaving class based on the comments she was making. Yeah. It’s that bad. I actually miss Whitman when I’m in my classes here though. I thought that coming abroad I needed a break WHICH IS TRUE but I feel a little underwhelmed with my classes. I feel like I’m not being challenged. I feel as if in some of them I am just repeating the same 3 basic concepts over and over and over and over and over and OVER AGAIN. I have learned absolutely nothing in gender and sexuality, js. I love the idea of being more hands on in my learnings though.

Friends Update: I HAVE FRIENDS. Also my best friend from home, GABBY, came to visit me here!! I have a very large queer network here, and by that I mean, all my friends are queer. I don’t know if you know how awesome that is. I feel like I’m on an episode of The L Word. (Can I be Shane? Can I be literally anyone that gets to be with Shane? Can I be Carmen, but we stop the show before plot-twists happen?) Here is some photographic evidence of my queer peers.

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Canal Tour: I went to Nyhavn with my host mom and went on a beaUTIFUL canal tour. See attached photos. Before finishing the night at papirøen (Delish Street Food. 10/10 would recommend).20160911_170508_hdr20160911_174951_hdr 20160911_174512_hdr20160911_175748_hdr20160911_171107_hdr

Hyggeligt Dinner:  I recently went to a nearby host student’s home. Pinn invited my host mom and I, as well as two other host students, over for a hyggeligt dinner. *Hyggeligt// The warm, cozy feeling one gets when surrounded by good company. snapchat-2760983576096036382Pinn is from Thailand and offered to make us a homemade Thai meal. Oh. My. God. Perhaps one of the greatest meals I have ever had. [Rice, Green Curry, Cashew/Broccoli Stir-Fry, Thai Omelets, Elderflower Water, followed by the absolute best Carrot Cake in existence paired with home-made Lemon Ice Cream and Blueberry Jam]. 

Zumba: I did ZUMBA!snapchat-2591657576592530337 In case you didn’t know, my host mom is a zumba instructor. She has been trying to talk me into doing zumba since I arrived. ANYWAYS, the other weekend we (Bibi, her sister, her niece, and I) went into København to go to a giant outdoor zumba lesson. And surprisingly…. I enjoyed it. A lot. Who would’ve thunk it? Like it didn’t feel like I was working out even though I was, and it was just really fun. I felt happy. After we finished dancing, our little group took a nice walk, threw down a blanket, basked in the sun, and ate some delicious danish pastries (not entirely sure what they were, but DAMN, they were good).fb_img_1474718393298

Family Reunion: Words cannot state how amazing this experience was for me. I went to a reunion of 50+ Danes and it was incredible.fb_img_1475414412633 Brief Highlights: Classic Danish dancing, Danish beer is good??, my host brothers are funny as hell and also watch Scrubs, reading Danish children stories at 4.00, champagne bar, skål, etc. Ask me about this night when I return because it was unforgettable.






P.S. These are my favorite photos so far…

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A Swedish Meatball (aka me)

Core Course Week

A unique experience that DIS provides to its students.

A chance to spend a week with your home-skillet classmates expanding upon your learning.

Prostitution and Sex Trade


Hi Team, so brief note if you are actually reading this to choose/get pumped for your off-campus studies: DIS has two weeks set aside for travel with your core course to gain an international viewpoint of your focus. You also get a week off for personal travel. The first week included a few days of all day learning (but you probs get good food so get over it) followed by a short trip to a far part of Denmark or Sweden. I spent my travels in Malmö and Göteborg, Sweden. This is my story… (cue the end of Law and Order: SVU’s theme song)


OKAY LET”S GO!!!!!! Honestly I think I may have had one of the easiest weeks. It is in part because my teacher is so amazing. Like seriously amazing. I may be in love with her. She also saved me and three others from a burning elevator. We call her mom, because of how much she cares. The other part is because I am doing what I love here. It doesn’t feel like work. Anyways we had a chill week. A few movies were watched, a few lectures were given, and we went to a sex workers’ film festival (I am for real. This is a thing here in Copenhagen. I believe it was at Huset (The House) but it was incredible. Also they are have a punk feminist porn festival in October and I am FREAKING OUT. YESSSS). We were given a day off to pack our bags, and then we were off on our bus to Sweden.

Pro Packing Tips

  • You are going for three days, calm down, one suitcase and one backpack ONLY
  • Bring a blanket on the bus. You have NO IDEA how many people were freeeeeezing because the air doesn’t go off (hint there were 49 people, while I snuggled in a blanket and slept).
  • iPod so you don’t have to use your phone (less data in Sweden+kills battery+no wifi on the bus)
  • EARPLUGS: if you have my luck your randomly assigned roommate will snore loudly. You also be paired with her again the next night.

NOT SO FUN FACT: Sweden’s policy on prostitution is shit (#sorrywhitman). There is no other word for what I faced. I was 1. incredibly shocked, 2. horribly angry, and 3. baffled. There are so many issues I want to tackle right now but that would take this post in a way different direction than I had planned so let’s just briefly mention that Sweden doesn’t know the difference between sex work and sex trafficking. (also I had a lecture yesterday from the person we didn’t get to see on the trip because she fell of a bike or something and i wanted to puke and also die.)

Rambles of the trip: Buy milk and en kanalsnegl at 7-11 only to leave your milk there and remember too late to go back, find the missing bus, travel to Malmö ft. nap, lecture, lunch,

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Honest to god Swedish Meatballs!

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explore, sex shop (I bought a boob mug), thrift shopping, mall ft. froyo, lecture, hostel, exploration, expensive af dinner (note everything closed at like 20.00 go get dinner early), complained with crew about food, took a hilarious photo,

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PURE GOLD

went to the grocery store hostel, by a loaf of bread and chuck of brie because why not, go upstairs, have a picnic with friends, take part in a bread fight, sleep it off. Wake up at an unreasonable time, breakfast (more bread and cheese tgod), hop the bus, join the entire class on a group 3 hour nap on the drive to Göteborg, lecture with the cops (my fav obvi), lunch!!!!!!! at the VIP table with mom because we are her favs (getting trapped in an elevator has its perks), wait was this the day we got froyo??, OHNO! wait we got cute food at the cutest place it was idyllic and gave me hot chocolate and this really yummy chocolate coconut thing bar of goodness with a baby marshmallow and a strawberry, back on the good ol bus for another lecture??, hostel, OMG Liseberg was SO COOL I HAVEN’T BEEN ON A ROLLER COASTER IN 700 YEARS AND IT WAS SUCH A COOL AMUSEMENT PARK

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Proof of Happiness. Thanks, Olivia.

(also good ice cream), hostel, convince everyone to go to the gay bdsm club/ dance club/ strip club that you looked up only to walk there and realize it was sketch with straight bouncers who told it was basically only men (COULD WE PLEASE HAVE LESBIAN PLACES OR AT LEAST MIXED VENUES) and then a drug deal happened so we busted that popsicle stand, I mind you have not eaten and it is now 3.00, hostel, bed. Wake up at another ungodly hour, sleep, take a ferry across to the land of the Danes, go to Louisiana the art museum not the state, where we toured the art

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LOOK ART

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Is this the same rock on a shiny mirror thing that Whitman has??

and had a delicious lunch–I ate raw fish among other things, but then I broke a dish on my way inside and I will never return out of shame. The End.