Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tillykke til os!

This week has been very rewarding for both Bobby and me. I passed my big Danish test and will begin the next level on Tuesday. The test was split over two days. Wednesday was devoted to the writing, listening, and reading portion of the test. Today was the spoken portion. Bobby came home with this lovey winter plant to congratulate me. I am very happy I passed and look forward to learning more Danish.

Bobby finished a large revision of a submitted journal article and also wrote a third grant application. He's been working on the journal article for the entire month (and then some). I told him that this past month has been very similar to the last few months of his dissertation writing; in other words, Bobby has been a work zombie. This is a photo of our typical Saturday night during September. We'd eat dinner together, then Bobby would go right back to writing while I entertained myself with TV. The candles made it a romantic working evening!

We attended a Connecting Friends dinner on Tuesday. You may remember that Connecting Friends is a program hosted by the Copenhagen language school which brings foreigners together with some Danes. As luck would have it, the hosts of the dinner wanted to show the guests a traditional Danish birthday celebrating. Bobby was randomly chosen to be the birthday boy, which was perfectly timed since his birthday is coming up soon! He was sung to, toasted (repeatedly, and by complete strangers), and even got to blow out birthday candles on a cake. It was a really fun evening made all the more special by Bobby's 'birthday'.

Bobby is test-riding this bike, which was once ridden by Bjarne Riis, the Danish bicyclist who won the 1996 Tour de France (he admitted to using steroids so the winning title has been retracted, but we don't need to talk about that). The bike is very fast and light, but Bobby has to nearly bend all the way over when riding. He's yet to determine whether or not he'll purchase it.

Bobby came home one day with this giant squash in his bag. One of the houses on his bike ride home often has a table set up with squash for sale. For 5 kroner (about $1), we ate from this squash all week! I made zucchini bread, zucchini cookies, sauteed squash, and gnocchi and vegetable stir-fry (below photo). All this cooking talk bring me to the final accomplishment of the week...

Since moving to Denmark, Bobby and I have kept a pretty tight budget. At the end of each month, we total up all of our receipts for the entire month (every receipt, weather it's for food, a coffee, or train tickets) and monitor our spending. The month of August turned out to be a pricey month for groceries. We spent an average of $11.00 per person per day for food. Mind you, we eat all three meals at home, drink alcohol (no more than 2 bottle of wine a week), eat some meat (about 1 1/2 pounds of protein per week, total), and eat a lot of fresh produce. $11.00 isn't bad, but we were spending more than we needed to. So I set a goal for myself at the beginning of September. I wanted to spend no more that 2000 kroner ($365.00) total for the month for food. I did it! I spent 1941 kroner, which means we spent an average of $5.90 per person per day on food. We didn't go hungry, we still got to eat some meat, we ate plenty of fruit and vegetables, and we drank 1 bottle of wine per week. The quality and quantity of the wine decreased, but so did our bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment