Monday, January 6, 2014

Oktober, November, og juletid - mere skal snart komme!

Hey there!

Wow wow wow I haven't written a post on here in over two months! I've been crazy busy, and I have plenty to write about. I'm going to split this post into two so I can cover it all. This one will be about the end of October and November.

Honestly, I can't remember much of October after I returned from my lovely trip to Finland. During the rest of vacation, I did some things with exchange students, I think. One thing I do remember is the giant storm we had at the end of the month (the first of two this season). There were hurricane-force winds! We lost power for a little while, but nothing else happened. Losing power is always cozy, with candles and family altogether, so no harm done.

November was a very busy month (though certainly not as busy as December!). The major event of the month was that I changed families. This happened for a number of reasons, but I won't go into those. Know that we parted on good terms. In fact, I went to my former host family's house for dinner last night. It was great to see them all again! They are all wonderful people, but living with them just wasn't right for me. AFS was really efficient with moving me quickly. I said I would like to switch families on a Sunday, and I moved the following Wednesday. It was a hectic week of packing up again - which was strange, because I didn't expect to pack until I left at the end of the year. Somehow, I've already collected a ton of new stuff; I don't know how on earth I'm going to get it all home! This move is a great opportunity for me to experience different sides of the same country; my two families are very different, but also both very Danish. In my new family, I have three siblings: brothers ages 12 and 19, and a sister, age 17. I also have a mom and a dad. My new family was originally going to be temporary, but they decided they wanted to keep me, and I agreed. They're a great family. One of my favorite things is that my new house has a piano! My host father also plays. I've been playing every day since I arrived, up to two hours. I've missed the piano!

The Friday after I moved was my school's Galla, which is the big dance of the year, a bit like American prom. Everyone looked amazing, especially the third years (seniors). We danced the lanciers, which is a dance that AFS actually taught us in the beginning of the year. The dance is a ton of fun, but it's absolutely crazy with a packed room full of people, many of whom are drunk, running into each other. (If you didn't know, there is no drinking age here. You can legally buy alcohol at 16, and strong alcohol at 18. It's definitely different - I might dedicate a post to it later in the year. Don't worry, I don't get drunk!) Here is a picture from just before the Galla, and a video of the lanciers from an AFS camp a few years ago. The Galla was a really fun night!

The end of November wasn't the best time; it was Thanksgiving on the 28th. I tried to have a little Thanksgiving with my new family, but it wasn't the same at all. I made my grandmother's Mac n cheese recipe, but the ingredients are different here, and it ended up completely wrong. I found a pretty accurate article on what Thanksgiving's like abroad.
It's really something that can only be experienced in the U.S., I think. It was also weird that the Christmas decorations started going up before Thanksgiving. One thing Thanksgiving is really good for is starting off the holiday season. And one other odd thing is that they have Black Friday sales here too! I guess it's a relatively new thing. Everything in my local mall was 20% off. I think it's ironic that the only time I've ever been shopping on Black Friday, I wasn't even in the U.S.

The julefrokosts, or Christmas lunches, started right at the end of November. They are a Danish tradition that I quite like. You get to celebrate the holidays with everyone, in a calm and cozy way. Most people end up attending numerous Christmas lunches, with friends, family, colleagues, etc. I myself attended four, I think. I had a fantastic one with AFS, along with some with family and friends.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from October/November (all with other exchange students, because taking pictures is just what exchange students do):

In the beginning of December we had out second big storm, Bodil. This one caused more damages, I think. Parts of my town were flooded, and the center of town had no power for about a week. Luckily, my neighborhood wasn't affected. Trees and roof tiles were brought down everywhere. And while I'm from a coastal area with much erosion and so I'm used to crazy things happening with storms (Nor'Easters, anyone?), people here were shocked to see houses falling into the water on the news. Many schools were cancelled (not mine, though). Overall, Bodil was a big, crazy storm, the likes of which have not been seen in Denmark for many years.

Okay, so that was October/November/beginning of December. December was an enormous, very busy month for me, so it will have its own post, hopefully published tomorrow (tonight if I can get it done, but I doubt it as it's already pretty late).

Yep, that's all for now. I'll post soon, promise!

Hej hej,


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