the bucket list

July 18, 2014

I am back home in Canada now and it is so weird. I feel like for the past six months I had stepped out of everything I knew, everything I was, everything I was comfortable with. And I just lived. Lived, indulged, floated, and had the best time. I was endlessly happy and endlessly inspired. I feel so different now having experienced all the things I did. Having seen all I did. It is hard to explain it fully to anyone. I was gutsy abroad. I was alive, more fearless than I usually am. But now everything that I experienced so vividly feels like a dream. Did it all really happen? Did that all just slip past me? I ask myself seventeen times a day as I binge watch Weeds on Netflix while stuck in the suburban house that is supposed to be my home while sipping on green juice in attempt to somewhat detox from the lifestyle I have been living while away.

I feel different, I know I am different. But I came home and everything was just the same. I caught up with my friends and they were all the same. My room is all the same, but I feel the urge to tear certain things off the walls and put up new memories. And I did. My clothes are all the same. The sameness, it is both grounding and terrifying at the same time. My life here scares me now. It is not the life I want but I have always known that. For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyways for there you have been and there you will long to return. The reverse culture shock hit me hard as my parents drove me home from the airport. We sat in silence at one point, all barely able to believe I was finally back, and as I took in the big box stores, the malls, and the chain restaurants with contempt, I realized it was really over. You're not in Copenhagen anymore. On my last night I cried and cried and cried on the bridge with a beer and all the friends I still had left in the city. I did not want to go home. Most of these friends were there for an indefinite amount of time, telling me effortlessly that I could always come back like they did.

About a month before the adventure came to an end, some of us decided to make Copenhagen Bucket Lists. The things we kept meaning to do, but never really did. A lot of it was food-related, but at that point I had not gone to see the Little Mermaid yet. I had rode by the Rosenborg gardens almost everyday, but had never gone in. I had never tried the ice cream place right around the corner that everyone kept telling me about. Stuff like that. Some big stuff, some small stuff, some secretive stuff. But all things I wanted to experience before leaving. As soon as finals ended, I became addicted to checking everything off the bucket list. Naturally, stuff kept getting added on everyday.

Climb the Christiania Tower.
Frederiksborggades Is soft serve.
Brunch at Paludan.
Food trucks at Papirøen.
Go to a Copenhagen Photography Festival exhibit.This was difficult, as I had finals the weeks it was happening. BUT. The one I finally made it to did what art is meant to do - it made me reflect, cry and be grateful for what I have. This one was personal projects, and there were seven exhibitions by different Danish photographers. All exhibitions were loosely themed around the idea of freedom, proposing that it is not a concept that we often think about deeply unless we are forced to. It was heavy stuff - topics explored included homophobia, true love, sex for the disabled, being a woman in an unequal society, the need to find god, and living under government censorship - but I remember feeling changed walking out of there.
Play with the goats at Byoassen.

Go for the Rodfruftmos option at DØP instead of my usual veggie hot dog (with extra pickles!) option. It was so delicious and the ultimate Danish fast food.
"Savoury porriage" (risotto) at GRØD.
Pancakes (and homemade nutella!) at Kalaset.
Visit the deer park. I happily biked 22km that day and saw some notsohumble mansion houses.
Ride all of the rides at Tivoli, one of the oldest amusement park in the world.
Take a plunge from the Islands Brygge harbour baths.

rist kaffebar

July 07, 2014

I love this place.
The coffee is amazing and made by some very skilled baristas. I went for a latte and croissant early this week and noticed that almost everyone was ordering the delicious looking avocado on rye bread, so I ended up going back a few days later to try it out. So simple - rye bread, mayonnaise, avocado, chives, and a drizzle of lime - but so satisfying. I think it is the high quality ingredients that make everything so delicious. You can see that the priority is to make everything with love and care here instead of just moving onto the next customer in line as quickly as possible. As a bonus, there is a beautiful exposed brick wall, a seriously excellent magazine selection inviting you to slow down, and the location is on a great street for people watching. I only wish I didn't wait until my last week here to finally try it out.Værnedamvej 4, Vesterbro

around the neighbourhood

July 02, 2014

It started in Berlin, the evening strolls. Miina and I felt like old ladies instead of young travellers when we opted for an evening stroll and Milka chocolate in bed instead of going out to party. We were wearing sweatpants and sneakers and raincoats and we were loving it. We ended up creating these "old lady alter egos" that we started to take very seriously, and soon all our other friends joined in. Old Debbie has a fitness blog which states the obvious such as "take the stairs" and "drink 8 cups of water a day!" She is also "taking time off" to pursue activities such as blogging, book clubs and knitting. Old Sue is grumpy in her old age and just can't let go of the summers she spent in Tuscany (and her promiscuous youth) with an Italian lover. Her son drives her crazy. The other alter egos are not quite as developed.
We live in "family friendly" Østerbro which is not as full of young people are some of the other neighbourhoods. You don't go out around here unless you want to hang with some old folks who have children. But, the beach is 2 minutes away, the city is a 10 minutes away, and there plenty of Emmery's bakeries around. You can not help but see yourself settling down with a family some day in Copenhagen in one of these beautiful rose-covered Victorian homes during your evening strolls as you peer into homes watching families having a hygge time. You just can't, especially if you are in you alter-ego mode.

the lakes

June 24, 2014

All I listen to lately is a collection of songs from the past semester - simply called CPH on youtube. Especially this tune. It has absolutely no consistent theme (other than being constantly hummed by me and everyone I hang out with), but it has still been carefully curated and it makes me the happiest.
My mind has opened up immensely during the past 6 months (and not just in terms of music), and I have the wonderful people I have hung out with to thank for that.

I have sent off all of my main-hangs in the past two weeks, and I am here in Copenhagen for a few more weeks. Although I will miss my friends being around all the time - there is no one's door to knock on when I feel like just chatting, no one to share a meal with when I make way too much, no one to bug for whatever ingredient I am missing, no one to come for an evening stroll with me - I look forward to having time to myself. I have gotten so accustomed to constantly being around people so this situation will be a good transition phase for going back to Canada.One of the best things about Copenhagen is that you can grab friends, pizzas, beers, and sit in one of the many green spaces in the city while the sun lingers forever, while beautiful Danes walk by and you try to keep your hormones in check, and while your bike waits for you to take it home whenever you feel like it. I think I have decided that the lakes are my favourite part of the city. I feel the need to at least ride past there once a day.

iceland | reykjavik

June 10, 2014

Five days in super tiny Reykjavik makes the city start to feel like home. I actually can not believe how many times I saw the same stranger twice. 
We spent our first two days here, then headed southeast for a few. We returned to Reykjavik after spending one night in Hveragerði where there is a special hot springs river up in the mountains. That was probably one of my favourite parts of the entire trip, where at one point I walked through a cloud of geothermal heat and did some serious thinking in the river bed. Back in Reykjavik, we spent one evening at the Blue Lagoon, and an entire day exploring the Snæfellsnes peninsula (note: the best detour ever is the skip the tunnel on the way and take the Hvalfjörður instead. It is breathtaking jawdropping beauty so close to the city).Some reccomendations for Reykjavik:

- Reykjavik Roasters: The best coffee in the city, and I am very fond of their croissants and "Sarah" cookies which they buy from a bakery outside of town (they are almond based, have a chocolate top coating, and a chocolate moose filling). Really nice vibe and space, and they play great music from the vinyl record player. This is a special place for me, as I met two older men here and ended up having one of those conversations that go from small talk to soul talk in under five minutes. It was just the conversation I needed.- Bergsson Mathús: Best bread and jam and butter I have ever had. They serve breakfast, lunch, brunch and coffee. Fallon loved their green smoothie and chia porridge. - Núðluskálin: A super casual resturant that makes delicious, healthy, and cheap noodle bowls. Very vegetarian + vegan friendly, I looooved the coconut milk broth ones. - The Kex Hostel: Aside from being a hostel, this place has an amazing food menu and is a super chill place for drinks. The view isn't so bad either... - Bónus has the best road snacks. We consumed so much of the gluten free coco puffs, the dutch wafer cookies, the chocolate covered rice cakes, and skyr. Such a good budget grocery store.- The Laundromat Cafe: Originally I got obsessed with this place in Copenhagen, but it is actually an Icelandic chain. I love the fries, sandwiches and Americano's. Fallon and I sat here for hours playing cards, reading, and me working on my paper.- Reykjavik Museum of Photography: The Ragnar Axelsson exhibit that is currently on absolutely blew me away. I think that photography tends to be frivolous these days, and I am constantly reminding myself to be inspired by real meaningful work like RAX's.- for nightlife: bar hopping is a big thing here, probably due to the size of the city. I really enjoyed Dolly, Kaffebarren, and Hurra. It was fun to party until sunrise, even though the sun barely even set!I am dying to go back to Iceland - I wouldn't even mind if it was my next big trip. I want to spend more time on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, go to the North coast, kayak in the West Fjords, see the golden circle, Northern Lights, Westman Islands, more sheep, and find some puffins! What a special place - not a day has gone by that I haven't thought about this trip.

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