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.
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 that we needed to wake up from our exhausting journey. Luckily our hostel was ON A FJORD because it was time for a FJORD SAFARI. Pretty 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 stunning.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. This 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 Trek trail. Prepare yourself for a bunch of photos right about…. NOW. Okay 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 bit, 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. 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. 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. Wow. Absolutely wow. Just wow. I cried. I 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 able 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 the 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).
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.
Love your fellow feminist.
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. My 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 shhh. Also 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.
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. Pinn 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! 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).
Family Reunion: Words cannot state how amazing this experience was for me. I went to a reunion of 50+ Danes and it was incredible. 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…