Great Neck comes to Copenhagen

I said goodbye this afternoon to mom, Bella and Sherry (and Sheila last night) after a wonderful week in Copenhagen together. I am so happy they were all able to visit me, and they were here for long enough that we could sight-see and just enjoy the time together, too. It is super strange that I have five weeks left now, so it won’t even be too long until I see them again. I actually just landed a few minutes ago in Vienna, Austria, but before I go to sleep, here is a recap on the week!

I woke up with a start on Saturday morning, wanting to get as much done as possible before the Harnicks arrived. I did my laundry, went to the gym, and ran some errands. When Bella texted me that they had landed, I got ready to leave, and I met them at the Copenhagen Marriott hotel, which is about a 20-minute walk from my apartment. I caught Bella by surprise, as I entered through a back entrance, and we had such a fun reuniting moment! It was so good to see them, and I couldn’t believe I was looking at them in Copenhagen. We have been talking about this for so long. Once they settled into their room, we headed out. It was luckily mild outside, so we wore lighter jackets.

Our first stop was lunch at 42 Raw, my favorite. Bella and I shared the acai bowl and gluten-free brunch plate, including pancakes! It was a hit; they loved the food. Then, we decided that the sunny and relatively warm afternoon was too good to spend inside a museum, which was our original plan. Instead, we walked to the Church of our Saviour. We finished lunch around 3:00 and we knew the Church would close at 4, but I thought we could make it anyway. It turns out we were cutting it very close; at 3:59, we finally reached the front of the line and bought our tickets to climb up. A man kept warning us that being on line was no guarantee that we’d get to go, but we had faith. While we were waiting, Adina and her visiting friend were exiting the church, so they gave us a little preview about what to expect (although I’ve already done this activity with Josh). Anyway, it was so much fun to do it again. The views were beautiful, and Bella and I took several pictures, of course. It was so much fun to be back with her. 🙂

I showed them around Christianhavn and Christiana since we were in the neighborhood anyway, which Sherry and Bella both found interesting. It turns out that Christiania goes much deeper than I’d ventured before, so that was cool. Who knew there were full parks and restaurants inside? After walking for a few hours, Bella and Sherry headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner, and I went home to my apartment. I probably should have gotten a head start on my homework, but I was caught up in talking to Adina and Maya in the room, which was fun. Before I knew it, I had to get ready for dinner.

We ate another delicious meal at Simple Raw just around the corner. Aly joined us, and although they are third cousins, it was Aly and Bella’s first time actually meeting each other! It was fun to hang out all together, and we stayed at the restaurant well after we finished eating to chat. Bella and Sherry had come to dinner dressed for the evening, so although it was only 10:15, we headed to check out the night scene on the DIS street. I had forgotten that Drunken Flamingo is 21+, so Bella couldn’t get in. Instead, we went to Miami, where I had been just a week before. The three of us sat upstairs, listening to the music, dancing and talking. It was such a great night, and I was happy to get to bed relatively early that night because of the time change!

This weekend was Denmark’s turn to change the clocks, so we lost an hour of sleep Saturday night. I woke up on Sunday feeling pretty tired. Still, I was excited to start the day, and I was looking forward to all the extra hours of daylight to come. I met Sherry, Bella, and Aly at Kalaset for brunch, and I got a yummy plate of a few different items, while they all ordered the classic pancakes. Then, we took a half hour train ride to a suburb of Copenhagen near the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. I have been wanting to visit this museum for a while, so I was so happy I got to bring Sherry and Bella there. There are two particularly cool light exhibits, but all the exhibits were really interesting and unique. I think it’s crazy how outside-the-box modern art can be. Aly had been to the Louisiana before with her core class, but the light exhibit was closed the last time. Also, we picked a beautiful and sunny day to go there, which was great, as it’s right along the water. There is a beautiful view of the lake and Malmö across from Copenhagen, which we enjoyed after exploring the museum for a few hours. We made sure to see all the exhibits before heading back.

Our next stop was the Glass Market, as it was time for a snack, and what better snack than my favorite-ever gelato from Is A Bella: the most perfect place for Is-a-bella Harnick. 🙂 We all ate our gelato in the market and walked around there for a bit, which was fun. We planned to go back later in the week for lunch so my mom and Sheila could see it too. Aly said goodbye to us, as it was the late afternoon at this point. We explored some of the Danish words, foods, and brands inside a supermarket, and then I showed them the souvenir store that’s right near my apartment. They came over to see it before heading back to the hotel before dinner, and I was able to get a chunk of work done during that time.

We had a late dinner so that we could work up an appetite after the ice cream, and we ate at Cafe Katz, which was exactly halfway between my apartment and the hotel. The food was very delicious, and I got the salmon, which was Adina’s suggestion. Then, I headed home to finish my homework for Monday and get to sleep. I also caught up with Adina for a while, which was nice.

I woke up especially early Monday morning to shower and get ready before class, as I knew I wouldn’t want to waste one minute of time when I was done that afternoon. I expected the day to go by super slowly, but it was surprisingly fine. In Positive Psych, we discussed growth after trauma, and we also talked about common “regrets of the flying” —kind of like the dying, except for travelers for a short period of time, like us! Each of us came up with a personal goal for the coming weeks. After using that time in class to re-assess all the things/places/foods/activities I still want to try here, I decided that there is no excuse: every Tuesday, I will do at least one new thing, hopefully, more. Even if I have to get work done and I’m tired, I can still eat in a different cafe and sit there to be productive. I want to make the most of the five weeks I have left here. I don’t regret anything I’ve done so far, and I definitely don’t want to leave here feeling regretful.

In Danish, I got my quiz back, and I was happily surprised with how well I did on it. My teacher said that we were in good shape for our final (the written part is next week already!), so I’m feeling better about that. We talked about immigration in Denmark and what the attitude towards immigrants is. In Travel Writing, we discussed stereotypes and their importance in our writing. We watched a heartwarming video of Danish people who seemingly had nothing in common. Eventually, they uncovered that they actually are much more similar than they are different, which I think is an important lesson for all of us. We do judge too quickly.

One fun thing that happened throughout the day was that Adina and I decided to play an April Fool’s joke on Goldie. We were brainstorming ideas when I suggested that Kia (our Danish RA) could have punished Adina for having a friend stay over this past weekend. Kia did actually run into her with her toothbrush and everything, and although she’s never given us a problem, she could have decided to report it. At the beginning of the semester, she told us that the consequences for breaking a visitor-rule would be severe. So, Adina crafted a fake email from Kia that she was being kicked out of our apartment. Once we edited it and decided we were ready, she posted it in our group chat, and I “fake freaked out” about what a disaster this was. I went on and on, while simultaneously laughing with Adina separately about how funny this was. Goldie responded at first, and she actually thought that it was Kia playing an April Fool’s joke on Adina! Once Adina said “April Fool’s,” Goldie went MIA for over an hour, which surprised us. It turns out she had boarded her flight and lost service, and I feel a little bad because she said she had been thinking about this the entire flight. Well, it was all in good fun.

I was anxious for class to be over by the time 4:10 came around, as I knew mom and Aunt Sheila were already waiting for me at the hotel. I walked as fast as I could from DIS and met them in the lobby. We sat there for a while, chatting and catching up, as I started to tell them a bit more about Copenhagen. Then, they both went upstairs to change for dinner, and we walked to the city center. We met up with Sherry, Bella, Adina, and Goldie at Cafe Paludan for a delicious and fun welcome-to-Cope meal. It was entertaining to hear about Bella and Sherry’s adventures that day in Copenhagen and Goldie’s weekend in London, as well as being together. The food was a hit also. After dinner, we went to Bastard Cafe (the board game bar), which was packed, as always. We ended up creating our own rules for a Danish board game that kind of looked like Sorry!, and we got yummy drinks, too. They headed back, as they were all exhausted. I went to bed early as well. It was a great first night.

On Tuesday morning, I decided to wake up early and run errands before meeting up with the group for the start of our day. I needed to stop at the post office, but I didn’t end up getting my package, as I keep receiving different information about how to access it. What a pain. I also needed more flossers. I walked with a bag of several water bottles (for mom, of course) to the canal, and I had a very exciting reunion with Sam Ng, who is also in Copenhagen for the week! We got to spend a few hours with her on Tuesday, which was so incredibly nice. The crew was all back together; it’s crazy that Sam, Bella and I have all been friends for so many years now, and we got to spend time together in Europe. A few minutes later, Mom, Sheila, Bella, and Sherry arrived, and we all waited for the next canal tour to begin. Although it was cold (a much chillier day than when I had gone on a tour with Josh), we had the best time. Bella, Sam and I sat outside in the back of the boat, while Sherry, mom and Sheila sat under the warmth of the ceiling. We passed all the cool and pretty sights, and it was great to catch up on our semesters.

We got off the boat, and we headed to the Glass Market for a delicious lunch. Sheila guarded a table (always difficult to find in there!) while the rest of us went looking for food. I pointed out a few of my favorite stands, and then we split up to order. Mom and I got salads from Smag, Sheila ate chia pudding from Grød, Sam got pasta, and Bella and Sherry had sandwiches from Vita Boost. Everyone enjoyed their food and the scene at the Glass Market. It was too cold to sit outside, but luckily, it is beautiful inside as well.

Initially, I had planned to take everyone to Kronberg Castle (Hamlet’s Castle) in the afternoon, but after realizing that we would probably not arrive much before the castle’s closing time, we decided to stay local instead. We were literally on the S-train platform when we turned around and rode the elevator back up, and we walked to the Christiansborg Palace. We got tickets to view the interior rooms (the same tickets I had gotten with Josh), and we were actually able to hop onto a tour, which was great and very informational. We learned about the purpose of each room and some of the history behind the tapestries, similar to what I had discussed with my Danish class’s visit. The castle interior is so pretty, so we all enjoyed the rooms.

We still had plenty of time left in the afternoon, so I suggested we check out Illum Rooftop, which I had been wanting to visit for a while. It’s a rooftop area on the corner of Stroget, and there are several bars and restaurants to visit and eat at. We weren’t hungry for a meal, but we ordered coffee and admired the pretty scenery from the warm room indoors. Then, Bella and Sherry headed back to the hotel to change before dinner, while Sheila and mom still wanted to see my room. I gave them a tour of my apartment building and we chatted with Adina for a while, and then Sheila took a short nap on my bed.

Next, we had dinner at La Galette, the crepe place I’d only been to once in the very beginning. I had a feeling that everyone would love the food, and I was correct. We all got savory crepes for dinner, and we shared some dessert crepes as well. It was a fun and different type of meal. And, we sat there for a while talking, which was nice. Then, Bella came back to my apartment with me, and we hung out with Adina, Goldie, and her friend from home. We did a classic Tuesday night out at Old Irish Pub, with the added bonus of running into tons of Cornell people there! I literally kept having to do double-takes, as I saw so many different groups of Cornell visitors. It was a fun night, and I was glad we were able to see Sam again. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a great night sleep, as I had to be up early for my field study.

The field study was for my Sociology of Family class, and I found it to be disappointing. It was billed to us as an opportunity to volunteer at an old age home, which I was so excited about, especially since I normally volunteer at one at Cornell. I took a metro to a far suburb of Copenhagen, and I walked in the drizzling rain to meet a few other classmates at the center. When I got there, a very nice woman from Switzerland greeted us, and she honestly was a bit confused about what we were doing there, even though our teacher had supposedly set this up. Usually, my field studies are so organized and meaningful, and the teacher for this class is constantly overwhelmed and unorganized, so I’m not too surprised. She said she’d take us on a tour of the facilities, which were beautiful, and then we joined the elderly for their daily morning sing-along session. However, instead of getting to interact with and talk to them, the 10 DIS students had their own table, so it kind of felt like we were watching from the sidelines. The songs were obviously in Danish, so we didn’t even understand them. After that, we stopped in to watch a bit of a gymnastics class, which was cute. They were doing these tiny barre-like movements. Then, we just had a question-and-answer session with the tour guide, and she asked us to brainstorm some new activity for the members. It just totally was not what I was expecting, and it was nice to be there, but I do wish I got to interact with the members more. Something exciting that happened, however, was when we walked through the gymnasium. A man using an arm machine looked at us and said “Hej. Hvor kommer du fra?” and I know exactly what that means! (Hi. Where are you from?) It was exciting to be able to understand Danish in a real-life context and have the ability to respond appropriately.

After an hour and a half at the center, I walked with my classmates back to the metro station. I took the train to Norreport, where I met Adina and walked with her to lunch. We met mom, Sheila, Bella and Sherry for an outstanding meal at Souls—it was definitely a favorite of the week. We took our time eating, taking amazing pictures of the food, and enjoying the company. Mom got to ask Adina all about Rochester, and we talked about school, the summer, traveling, etc.

Initially, we were going to do an afternoon Jewish walking tour of the city—offered one time only by Kahal. However, I am so happy I checked the hours of Xocovino, the chocolate and wine bar, as I realized that they are not typically open on random Wednesday nights. They closed at 7:00 that day, and I’m not sure that we would have had time to go otherwise. I knew everyone would love it there. So, after making a pit stop for the famous Danish snail pastries sold on Wednesdays, we headed to Xocovino, conveniently right in the center of the city and near my apartment. We spent a while there. The walls are covered with funny sayings about wine, and we each had three glasses and three topics. Many of us did not finish the wine, though. I particularly was not a fan of the “sweet wine,” which is the first wine I’ve had there that I thought was undrinkable. The chocolates were good. 🙂 After lounging there for a while, I wanted to show them the Round Tower. Sheila decided to sit out, and she relaxed in a nearby coffee shop, while the rest of us walked up the long ramp to the top. We enjoyed the view, the beautiful weather, and many more pictures.

There was still about an hour until dinner, and I wanted to get my homework done for Thursday so that I could enjoy my evening with them. So, I went home to do this, while Bella met up with her Big, who was also visiting a friend in Copenhagen this week. Mom, Sheila, and Sherry walked around my neighborhood and perused the stores. After discovering that there was a large tourist group taking up most of the space in Riz Raz, the restaurant we were going to for dinner, we ate at Cafe Flottenheimer instead. Mom said we had ended up having a “food tour” of Copenhagen that day, and I think we really did do just that. At 10:00, they went back to the hotel, and I finished preparing for my presentation on Thursday.

I woke up the next day a little earlier than usual to meet quickly with my group members. We went first, and our presentation was fine. It was our culminating project for studying Positive Psychology in Budapest, and it’s crazy that I only have one more week of that class. Next week will be dedicated to working on our final papers, asking questions, and wrapping up what we’ve learned. Then, while I’ll still have all my other classes until the end of my time here, the core courses end a bit earlier. This makes it so that May isn’t as overwhelming with final projects and papers, and DIS is smart to do it this way. Plus, I’ve spent so much more time with my core class than any of my other classes because of the two weeks we had class trips this semester.

Classes were relatively uneventful, as we received a lot of information about upcoming papers, projects, and finals. We still have one more break coming up, so I guess the teachers will just be trying to squeeze everything in until then. In my Sociology of Family class, we had way too much time to discuss the field studies with our classmates, so after I finished my conversation with a girl next to me, I worked on planning my schedule for next semester with Emma. It’s quite surprising that there are not nearly as many courses offered as there typically are, which is a bit frustrating as a senior. However, I’m slowly learning more about the classes that are offered, and I’m sure I’ll end up enjoying some of them. Finally, I get to pre-enroll first!

In my Travel Writing class, it was my day to workshop my final paper, which means that next week I don’t have to attend the class. I got plenty of feedback on my first draft, which was super helpful. I’m looking forward to refining the paper in the coming weeks. After classes ended for the day, I walked home with Aly so she could leave her backpack in my room. She joined us at Tivoli for the evening, which was so nice. We walked there and met up with the whole gang, and I hadn’t seen them all day. They told me about their experiences at Rosenborg Castle, and I really do need to see an official changing-of-the-guards ceremony before I leave Copenhagen.

Tivoli was amazing. Bella had done some research, and she reported that Walt Disney had visited Tivoli in Copenhagen before being inspired to create Disney. It’s so cool that such a famous amusement park is based off a Copenhagen concept. First, we walked around, looking at all the foods and rides. We walked for quite a bit, enjoying the daylight and pretty sky and weather. Then, we ate inside the food court, where I was finally able to try Glö, a salad place that has a lot of different locations. After dinner and ice cream (of course), we parted our separate ways, deciding it would get too late if we stayed for the opening night fireworks. Instead, I listened to them from my room and hung out with Adina, and we ended up talking for hours before bed. It was fun, but I did stay up a bit too late.

Friday morning, Sheila left very early. I met mom, Bella, and Sherry at the Nyhavn trampolines, which I knew was a must-hit before they left. We had fun and spent a while there, taking pictures and videos, and then we sat by the water to chat. Then, we headed to lunch. I kind of messed this one up a bit, as I had wanted to take them to Matcha Bar, the place Cate had gotten the gluten-free croissants. I thought it was perfect because Bella also loves matcha. Cate had told me it was in the Magasin mall, but when I put it into google maps, it said we had to walk to Vesterbro. After walking all the way there, we saw a sign that it had, in fact, moved to the Magasin mall. At that point, we didn’t have enough time to go back. So, we went to the Glass Market again instead, and then they took a cab back to the hotel. The glass market was super nice, though, as today it was actually warm enough to enjoy the food outside. Inspired by Sheila’s bucket of porridge the other day, I ordered from Grod.

While I was sad to see them go, I didn’t have too much time to get ready before my flight. One last story from today: after going to the gym quickly, I came home to shower and finish packing for the trip. However, when I got to my door, my key randomly didn’t work. It unlocked the door, but the door wouldn’t budge, no matter how hard I kicked or smacked it with my entire body weight. I was a little stressed; we needed to get our passports and all our stuff in order to get on the flight. After texting Adina, who was in class, and messaging Kia and the other building’s RA, I began pacing. I stood in our kitchen to watch Kia’s door in case she came back, and then I decided to call the DIS after-hours emergency number. As I was typing in the number on my phone, I heard a knock from the back staircase coming up from the laundry room. At first, I was confused, as that door is not typically locked. However, I went over and opened it. This was one of those moments where I was sure that G-d was watching me: a man wearing a DIS maintenance coat walked into the apartment. “I’m so sorry to bother you,” he said. “I’m here to fix the door lock on room 210.” My jaw dropped. I could not believe he just so happened to be here for another room! I showed him to room 210, and then I explained that I was also having trouble with my key. He gladly helped me, and he sprayed the door with some kind of locking powder before getting it to open. Phew! I’d be able to shower and get all my things before leaving for the weekend, but it was a close call. He even made sure to wait while I tried unlocking the door myself. I was so happy.

 

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