Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bon voyage ª Paris!

Above you can see my lovely new computer, with an interesting "see-through" feature. It is almost as if the computer isn't even there.

Tomorrow we head to Paris to see our BFFs Katie and Olivier and their new 3-day-old baby Iris! And of course we will be taking pictures of cheese, or of the cheese that we do not eat. Fun funfun!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Planer For Ugen

This past week, my (Carla's) Danish class has been learning to speak and write in the future tense. Here is an assignment I had which describes my upcoming week. Click here for the funny Google translation.

Mandag morgen skal jeg lave morgenmad. Jeg skal tage brusebad og studere dansk. Mondag eftermiddag skal jeg gå i skole.
Tirsdag formiddag skal jeg købe ind. Jeg vil i SuperBest. Tirsdag eftermiddag og aften skal jeg være frivillig i Røde Kors. Jeg skal arbejde i køkkenet.
Onsdag morgen skal jeg lave hjemmearbejde. Onsdag formiddag vil jeg vask tøj. Om eftermiddagen skal jeg gå i skole.
Torsdag morgen vil jeg på apoteket. Om eftermiddagen skal jeg gå i skole. Torsdag aften skal jeg se fjernsyn med min mand.
Fredag morgen vil jeg i SuperBest og Netto. Om eftermiddagen skal jeg støvsuge og rydde op. Om aftenen skal jeg lave aftensmad. Jeg skal spise aftensmad med min mand.
På lørdag vil min mand og jeg gå på museet. Jeg skal bage om eftermiddagen. Vi vil spise aftensmad sammen.
Søndag morgen skal vi gøre rent. Om eftermiddagen vil vi slappe af. Vi vil spille computerspille med vores ven. Vores ven bor i Japan. Søndag aften skal vi spise en stor aftensmad!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Busy Day at the Kitchen

Yesterday was my (Carla's) third time volunteering at the Red Cross's cafe kitchen. Tuesdays are generally quiet days at the cafe. During my first Tuesday volunteering, I only got 4 or 5 orders during my 5 1/2 hour shift. Last week was the same. Yesterday, however, was super busy! The chef left around 5:30, leaving me alone in the kitchen. The moment he stepped out the door, order after order came in. I prepared at least 10 cheese burgers (with fries), 10 orders of Thai chicken curry (with a salad), 10 orders of vegetarian chili, 5 orders of chocolate cake, and a goat cheese salad. All this by myself. It was quite an experience... I felt like I was on a reality TV show like Hell's Kitchen! I even dreamed that I was back in the kitchen last night. Hopefully there will be a second volunteer next time to help with the work load.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Our Apartment

On Wednesday Carla and I attended the first ever dinner event of a new pilot program called "Connecting Friends," which aims to ease foreigners' transition to life in Denmark. About 20 people attended the evening, completely self-organized and where six of us volunteered to cook food from India, Costa Rica, Columbia, the Congo, and Finland. (Next time Carla and I will be part of the cooking volunteers.) The evening was filled with excellent food and conversation. I even broke out the accordion and played a little Chicken Polka, preserved by the photo below.

And for some reason this image reminds me of this image.

The lack of rich Parisian lunches at the school cantine has "helped" me lose some weight. But Carla has "helped" me keep some on by cooking cakes, and in particular this lovely carrot cake!

Some of you have asked for a tour of our apartment here in Vesterbro --- a hip community in downtown Copenhagen.

Here is the living room, nearly spanned by the couch. I work on one end, and Carla's 5'2" frame reclines on the rest.

The bedroom, which is nice and comfy.

Part of the bathroom, which is larger than usual and does not require one to straddle the toilet to shower. Also unusual is the room for a clothes washer/dryer.

Carla's creation station, the kitchen, sports a four-burner stove, oven, and large sink --- where I spend most of my time in the kitchen washing the dishes to do "my part."

The other side of the kitchen has a very usual fold up table for eating by two, or chopping vegetables. Just above the can of coconut milk you can see a light switch, and below that a combination switch and electrical outlet.

The Danish are known for their excellence in design, but this particular design --- the electrical plug with a switch directly above it to turn it on --- annoys me to no end. And this is everywhere, including my university. Apparently, it is not enough to get electrical power to insert a plug into a socket. You must also flip the switch on if it is off, or leave it on if it is on. One woman gave a talk at my university and plugged her computer into such a switch before she started. Half way through her presentation the computer shut down because she didn't take that extra step to turn the switch on. I will have to ask a native to explain this design.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Min typisk dag i USA

This past week, I (Carla) learned the past tense in Danish. The homework for the weekend was to write a little essay on what your typical day was like in your home country (which allows us to write in the past tense). So I wrote about my typical day as a student in Los Angeles. Here is the terrible Google translation.

Jeg boede i Los Angeles i California. Jeg studered musik i skolen. Min typisk day begyndte klokken 7.

Jeg vågnede klokken 7. Først tog jeg brusebad. Så børstered jeg tænder og redte mig. Bagefter lavede jeg min frokost. Så kørte jeg til skole.

Jeg arbejdede i skole i morgen. Klokken 8.30-13.00 arbejdede jeg. Efter arbejde havde jeg klasser og orkester prøver. Jeg spiste frokost i en pause. Jeg havde prøver klokken 13.30-17.00. Så kørte jeg til mit andet arbejde.

Jeg underviste musik i en musikskole. Jeg spillede og underviste fløjte. Klokken 18.00-20.30 underviste jeg. Efter arbejde gik jeg ud til en restaurant. Jeg elskede koreansk mad og mexcian mad. Klokken 22.00 tog jeg hjem. Heg havede hjemmearbejde og skrev e-mail. Klokken 23.30 gik jeg i seng. Så sov jeg.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flowers, Friends, and Food

This was a busy week for both Bobby and I. Bobby taught twice last week, started a work blog, and is in the middle of writing a paper. I started my volunteering work as a cook for the Red Cross. I work in the kitchen of the Zusammen Cafe. The cafe is not a soup kitchen, but is rather a real cafe. All of the profits go towards the Danish Youth Red Cross. I had a lot of fun and look forward to volunteering every Tuesday from 4-9:30. My feet were pretty tired by the end of the night, though! I did get a compliment from a customer, "Possibly the best cheese burger I've ever had!" Not bad for my first day as a voluntary cook.

Bobby and I also attended two dinner parties this week. On Thursday evening we visit the house of Casper and his wife Yvonne. Casper is the composer and artist whose installation we visited last week (as mentioned in this blog post). He also invited to dinner Stefan, a classical saxophonist. I got to talk to with Stefan about the music scene in Copenhagen and he gave me a lot of great advice about how to break into the scene. Last night, Bobby and I hosted our first dinner party! We invited Thomas, Bobby's office mate, and his partner (also named Thomas) to a Thai-inspired dinner. Bobby and I prepared tofu spring rolls, Tom Kha Gai (coconut and chicken soup), shrimp and lichi curry, and minted pineapple and mango for dessert. We had a lot of fun talking with Thomas and Thomas and we look forward to having them over for dinner again. I think our next theme will be French food.

I was lucky enough to receive not one but two beautiful bouquets of flowers this week! My Mother send me a lovely bouquet, pictured here. I especially like the delicate green flowers (which Bobby describes as 'vegetable flowers'). I also received a bouquet from Thomas and Thomas which included my favorite flower, gerber daisies. Bobby is now off the hook for a while!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Schottische a Bethanie

Here is the new tune for this month.

Last night Carla and I left our warm apartment to go to an art installation opening in our neighborhood. It was great to get out and meet some interesting people. The interactive work above detects faces and records "messages" for the next person it records. So as you record your message, it shows you the previous person's message. I have convinced the artist (see above looking at Carla) to give a seminar on his work at my University.

Sunshine in March

Spring just might be coming this year to Copenhagen! The past week has been the warmest week yet since we moved here. With temperatures in the mid-30s, the snow has almost all melted away. In fact, I (Carla) got lost walking back from my Danish class the other day because I didn't recognize a street without its snow covering! Early in the week, we have a brief snowfall (the snow photo is taken from Bobby's office window), but after an hour it turned into a lovely, sunny day. The sky has been clear and beautiful; Bobby and I are finally getting some vitamin D. I even saw a man on a bicycle wearing shorts! It may have warmed up a bit, but it's still in the 30s! What a crazy man.

Since we are in a new month, Bobby and I got to go out to eat! Whenever we walk around the city, we keep our eyes open for restaurants with special deals or cheap buffets. Last month we ate at a Turkish restaurant with a dinner buffet. This time, the restaurant we went to had a lunch special: unlimited roast beef with a baked potato and grilled ratatouille. Our current diet includes only a small amount of meat, so we were both very excited to stuff ourselves on roast beef! After several servings each, plus 3 trips to the salad bar, we left feeling like we got our money's worth of food. We also felt disgustingly full!