Friday, September 19, 2008

Danish Radio

Danish radio is an extremely interesting mix of music, put together in a way that basically makes no sense at all. You can hear the latest hit, followed by a song in a totally different style, from a long bigone era. Most of the 'oldies' that they do stick in the rotation were popular in their day, and are often still popular in their own way. However, the song I heard the other day, doesn't really fit that bill. Sure, it was a huge hit way back when, and as a matter of fact, my brother and I saved our pennies long ago just to buy the K-tel album containing this song (one of those things I probably shouldn't admit to). But I can't say that I've missed the song in any way and I could probably have lived my life without ever hearing it again, but someone, somewhere, in Denmark, must still like this song...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

There is a point to this..

My day began when Lexi decided to gak up something, at 6am.

I started work at 7:55 AM, only to find out that I made a mistake in something for which I'm responsible, and I caused a big mess, and yeah, it can be fixed, but I don't like being the person responsible for the mess. So I felt like an idiot, and still do.

Last week we received my official notification that I can still live here for the next 2 years (okay, technically less than that because my passport expires in 2010, but whatever). To finish off the whole process, I have to go to the police station, in Viborg, bring them yet another passport photo, and get my new sticker. Why they need another photo is beyond me as they not only have my previous photo, but I also had to submit one with my application, so they should have that one too, but yep, gotta bring another one. Luckily, I still have one from the last time I had them taken. Okay, paperwork, passport, photo, ready. Sign out for Lunch and off to Viborg I go.

From Karup, there's only one way to get to Viborg and it's your typical Danish two lane road. Well wouldn't you know that today is the day they decided that the lines on the road needed painting. I would agree, they desperately do need some new paint, but is it really necessary to lower the speed limit to 50 Kph (30 mph), no passing, for a 3 Km stretch of road when the machine doing the painting fits in a 5 meter space? I was past the painting dude in the first 20 meters of this reduced speed zone and had to continue, slowly, behind 3 other cars, wondering when it would ever end.

Eventually it did end, and then I got stuck behind granny, who refused to bring her little zoom zoom mazda up to the actual posted speed limit. Get out of my freaking way lady! Sigh - these things have a tendency to irritate me.

Finally made it to the Politi in Viborg. Got inside, and then I see a nice sign on the desk of the immigration service. They're open between 10-12 on Tuesday, and between 2-4 on Thursday. How nice. Nevermind that 'min mand' assured me that I could go at anytime. No sticker today - must return tomorrow.

Drive home again - again through the reduced speed zone. This time the car ahead of me decided to ignore the zone, so yeah, I went along with the flow. Sue me. We finally caught up to painting dude in the last 20 meters of the zone - basically in the same place he was when I passed him on the way out to Viborg. Painting is a slow process apparently.

The moral (point) of this story? Call first.


Just an update from the land of sprogskole...

I have officially passed the module 3 test and am now in module 4.

Doesn't really feel like I should be that far - but according to the tests, I'm ready!

If not A, then B...

Until I moved to Denmark, I had never learned a foreign language. I did take a year of French in high school, but the extent of my current knowledge involving French amounts to the ability to count to 10 and to say I love you, and I can't think of any situation in which those limited abilities would be of any use.

So, I know English, and now I know a bit of Danish. On a daily basis, I deal with customers from all over the world. For the most part, these dealings are all via Email. The customer sends in a mail written in their own language, I throw the text into the wonderful world of google translations, and between my own knowledge of what the customer probably needs, and the translated version of their text, I can figure out what to send as an answer to their inquiry. This works fairly well and has never really been a big issue.

But then, we also offer our customers other means by which to contact us. One of which is via Skype for those outside the US who don't want to pay for a call. Just as my day was ending yesterday, the Skype rang and since I didn't want to be rude and make them call again to get someone else, I went ahead and answered it. The woman was speaking Spanish. I don't know Spanish. I can tell her, in Spanish, that I don't speak Spanish, but that's about it. She didn't speak English and kept trying to speak to me in Spanish. This is when my brain short circuited a bit...

Something up in my head decided that if this woman didn't understand English, then we must switch over to the only other language stored up there. So suddenly I find myself saying to the woman.. "Nej" and "Jeg kan ikke forstå". Hmm... me thinks that perhaps this may have confused her even more.

When I finally got off the call, I just had to laugh at myself, and at the way my brain worked in this situation. I knew somewhere in my head that she didn't know Danish either, but another part was taking over and spouting out little Danish phrases in the hopes that something would stick.

Maybe it's time to start learning language #3. Rumor has it the 3rd one is easier than #2!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


We have these very pretty purple flowers next to our driveway - and the butterflies are on them all the time!

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reese's and other updates

Okay so, the gas station where I found the Reese's peanut butter cups.. at the time that I found them it was some weird combination of letters, like XL, or YL or something like that. But, since that day, the old sign came down, new sign went up, along with an announcement that the shop will be closed for the next 3 weeks or so. New sign? "Shell/7-11". Yeppers, Viborg's getting a 7-11. Yeehaw!

The day I bought those Reese's, I was chatting with the clerk about how shocked I was to see them. And he kept saying, we have 'gaadaaaraaada' also. Having no clue what he was actually trying to tell me, I just gave the little grin like I knew. It was at that moment that my classmate said to me "He said, 'gatorade'". Woah - when good pronunciations go bad! I hope that's not what my Danish sounds like to them.

Anyhoo, I'm babbling and probably making NO sense at all, blame my cold. And about that, I dug through every single suitcase we own, unzipped all those little hidden pockets, and managed to find packets of Dayquil stuffed in one my suitcases. Whew! "Vaek I Morgen" was a big fat lie! The cough syrup was okay, but a bit of an odd taste. The vapo-rub stuff.. well.. it basically made Lexi want to lick me - which wasn't really the plan and probably not good for the pup!

Am I healthy? Nope, wouldn't go that far. But, I'm alive, and I'm feeling a wee bit more human, so it's a start! And, oh yeah, took my module 3 test in this condition so we'll see if I managed to write an 'opslag' and 'svar et brev' well enough to actually pass the darn thing. I'll find out Tuesday.

And now I must go find something to do with myself (which will probably involve downloading some new game from BigFish and using up the free hour in well, an hour).

p.s. Please forgive the most non-sensical post I've ever written.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jeg er syg

Yep, I'm sick. A cold. I hate having a cold. And I really, really, hate having a cold without a full supply of NyQuil - the "coughing, aching, sniffling, sneezing, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine" (I probably got that in the wrong order, but my head is a bit cloudy at the moment).

I am married to a man who doesn't do pills. He suffers through the cold. I don't like to suffer through it - I whine.. alot. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to drop into the local gas station or supermarket for any cold medicines, I knew I had to get myself to the local apotek before closing time. So, when Ole got home, I convinced him to go with me so he could help me pick something. Well, there isn't a whole lot to choose from.

The only 2 things I recognized on the shelf were Benadryl and Visine, neither of which really fit the bill. I asked about cold remedies and/or cough syrup. The first suggestion was something you dissolve in water, like alka-seltzer, but for your throat - or something. That didn't seem to be quite what I was looking for. I asked about cough syrup again, there was some chatter in danish and a gesture from the apotek woman running her hand up and down from her throat to her chest and I nodded thinking maybe we were getting to what I was hoping for. They had a small bottle and a big bottle, so Ole, fearing my whine, chose the big one. I whined a little and asked her if it was cherry flavor - no such luck. I took the bottle anyway.

So, from there, we stopped into Rema (it's next door). Now I wanted some fruit juice. I really wanted grape juice but it appears you can't get that here, which I find odd as I always figured that to be rather universal. So, then I chose some other berry juice product that came in a milk carton. Well apparently, it's a concentrate (1 bliver 5!). Found that odd as well - I'll get over it.

As we were leaving Rema I was commenting on the fact that I was missing the full aisle of cold remedy choices typically found in a US grocery store. We then noticed a couple things in the toothbrush section - one called "Vaek i morgen" (gone tomorrow) and the other was a mentholated rub (like Vap-o-rub!) so he grabbed one of each of those.

So here are my defenses against the common cold for the next few days. Maybe one of them will make me feel a bit better!

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday.. in the park...

Is it some kind of enchanted forest? Nope! It's a hundeskov in Ikast and we spent a really nice afternoon meeting some new friends - Kelli and Mads, and Albert too!

This is what happens when you attempt to photograph 3 dogs who won't stop moving!

The white dog is Albert - and he was attempting to fend off the very forward advances of a couple of over anxious females, Zoe and Lexi.

Lexi doing her best tricks for the camera...

We made our way to what was supposed to be a picnic table with benches - except one bench was broken and laying in the forest so we all stood around and chatted for a couple of hours. This appears to be a very serious discussion, but I have a feeling it was probably just soccer talk!

And this is how two extremely tired pups on the ride home look after spending 2 hours in a Hundeskov...(not so easy to get a picture from the front seat!)

It was tons of fun finally meeting Kelli and Mads! Hopefully we can all get together again in the near future. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Am I seeing what I think I'm seeing!?

My sprogskole moved to a new location this fall and we're all slowly adjusting. The building itself is far nicer, however, the old school sat right next door to Netto - and we're all missing that wonderful convenience. Nothing like speed shopping while on a 10-15 break from class!

The new school is in a more industrial area but I had noticed that there was a gas station a short walk away and that the gas station had one of those little markets. So today during break I decided to go check it out and much to my delighted shock, I found something that I thought I would NEVER find in Denmark. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you.. REESE'S!!


Ahh, a little piece of heaven in my Danish world. Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to admit that European chocolate is much better than what we're used to in the states. But, this is Reese's, and for me, this is the equivalent to Ole's obsession with Anton Berg marzipan bars. I love these things. But.. I'm scared to open it. Hvorfor?? Well, Reese's peanut butter cups can be really good, or really really bad, depending on how fresh they are upon purchase. Old Reese's cups are disastrous, the peanut butter gets all dry and gross. But a fresh one? Det er dejligt! If you're ever in the US in October, when the stores stock up for Halloween, this is the absolute best time to purchase Reese's - all those special Halloween packages were made specifically for that shopping period, so there's no risk that it's been sitting on a dusty candy rack for too long.

Probably more than you needed to know. Time now to open that package - wish me luck!
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Dogs Gone Wild

Zoe and Lexi regularly play tug of war with whatever toy happens to be in close proximity when the game begins.

I now buy stuffed doggie toys ONLY when they clearly state they are designed for dogs tough on toys, etc. I have found that the animals sold under the 'American Kennel Club' name in the states are by far the most durable. Zoe has had a stuffed duck from them since she was 3 months old and it still does not have any ripped seams. Compare that to a stuffed pig purchased at Super Brugsen - it was torn to shreds by Zoe in a matter of hours.

I digress. When we picked up Lexi they were nice enough to include a stuffed toy that all the pups had been playing with so she would have a familiar scent to take home. It was a very cute dolphin and it was holding up rather well.. until this weekend, when we found this in our living room...


The fabric carcas hanging from Zoe's mouth is what used to be a dolphin, now visible inside out :)

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