Here I am in Virum (not as easy to pronounce as it looks — Vighum, the “gh” from the back of your throat), a suburb near Copenhagen, contemplating about this past week which has been crazy and surreal.
In the few hours prior to landing in Copenhagen, my fear of being in a new place with nobody I knew took the better of me and left me really nervous and almost wanting to not go. But I guess a plane travel does not leave much room for last-minute changes in travel plans, right? Continuing to walk out of the arrival gate with my nervousness at its highest, I noticed my host dad waving at me and as we said our hellos, I felt a little more at home. Such is my host family. It’s only been 7 days and I found friends in my host parents. This morning my host family took me to Lake Furesø. It was a beautiful morning with clear skies, bright sun, and the family treading along on the snow. In that scene, I found a moment of hygge. Could not be more thankful for having this opportunity to be in a new country with a strong support system.
Yesterday I had the chance to introduce the family to some Indian food and although the dish did not end up as good as I expected, I was happy to share a bit of my culture with the family and look forward to sharing more of it in the next four months.
Reflecting on the fear of commuting I mentioned in my previous post, I can now say I have pretty much mastered the train system thanks to my host parents. Well, except for the station names. The Danish alphabet amazes me more with each day and I am slowly starting to understand how the letter y (one out of all the Danish vowels) is pronounced — I can’t think of a direct translation to English but the closest you can get is with an “ew”-like sound. I practice by repeating after the lady on the loudspeaker that announces the arrival of each stop and secretly hope that none of the other passengers roll their eyes at me for trying.
I am in love with downtown Copenhagen. It’s confusing streets, cobblestone roads, bikers traffic, and buildings so close to each other make is easy to get lost while still not feeling lost. There is something new around every corner which keeps you going. Finding the right building on the first day of classes was a little adventure but I think I have pinned them down in my memory for good. And the coffee shops… oof, so tempting. Maybe one of these days I will check out Joe & the Juice which my host mom says has good-looking guys who would greet you with “Halløj” instead of a normal hello. 🙂
This week’s fun fact (at least to me): I see a lot of female Danes with middle-parted hair which is not common amongst Indians or Americans that I have lived amongst. A middle-part, I think, is hard to pull off and I am surprised majority of female Danes have it and pull it off so well!
And here I shall leave you with a Danish sunset view from my way back home in Virum (try saying it again, I can’t get it right in the first try).