Monday, March 10, 2008

Weird things

Today was a strange day. I've decided to document the strangeness in my blog so I can look back and laugh at it later.

(I am also bored, waiting for water to boil so I can whip up a culinary masterpiece for dinner. Okay, maybe not a culinary masterpiece. You got me on that one... But, at the very least, something edible. Point being, to use a common colloquialism, a watched pot never boils. Better to blog instead. That crazy pot will be boiling before you know it!)

Anyway, today started off like any normal day. I woke up, took a shower, ate breakfast and drank a huge cup of coffee so that I would have a head start on my daily caffeine intake and not have to subject myself solely to the disgusting coffee we brew at work. I went to work, responded to a few emails, updated the website, wrote Mike a long email, read through my RSS feed, and knocked back a cup of gross work coffee. The Asian man that delivers fruit on Mondays and Wednesdays arrived around 11 and we chatted for a bit. He's going on vacation to Hungary soon. Apparently he has family there. I told him about my upcoming vacation to Ireland and how I'm a bit nervous about driving on the left side of the road. He told me he has only been driving for a year AND he drives in Copenhagen, where the threat of hitting a wary, self-righteous, or just plain dumb cyclist is constantly imminent. His magi-like Asian wisdom, along with a delicious apple from the crates of fruit he brought, gave me confidence and hope. I'll be okay in Ireland.

Since I had, in actuality, just been waiting around at work all morning for the fruit to arrive, my work in the office was done for the day. Around 1pm I left the office for the rest of the day to go on an "adventure" to the suburbs of Copenhagen to hang up fliers and posters and such advertising for people to become a host family or roommate for our students. Today was gorgeous, and warm! I pedaled off to the suburbs, excited to be out of the office on such a nice day.

Once I was in the suburbs, I got the distinct Dorthy-esque feeling that I was not in Kansas any more... The 'burbs of Copenhagen are, in terms of retail opportunities, very different from the city. I guess it's this way in any city... I just haven't really been out in suburban areas for awhile, so I'd forgotten. On my way to grocery stores, malls, laundromats, etc. to hang up my signs, I saw stores with words in their names that are remarkably different from anything you ever see in cosmopolitan Copenhagen. Words like 'afro' and 'tattoo.' Hmmm... strange.

The next strange thing that happened at my journey happened because I decided to take a break from my biking to actually walk around one of the grocery stores in which I was hanging a flier. I chose Aldi Marked (which is a German discount grocery brand, but I'm pretty sure they have stores in America and I've definitely seen stores all over Europe) because I haven't been in one for a very long time. I don't think there are any in my area, so I decided to check out their selection, just for fun.

Aldi is mostly unremarkable, and actually quite ghetto. They don't have any name brand things. It's very strange. It's almost like going to a dollar store. One thing they did have though, which struck me as extraordinarily odd, was Trader Joe's brand prunes. WTF? How did Trader Joe's prunes (lots of cans of them! not just one odd one that could have been placed there as a joke) end up in the Danish suburbs? Strange.

On my way again, the next hour was unremarkable, spent tacking up fliers and, at the places that didn't have cork bulletin boards, being ghetto (and, ahem, resourceful!) and peeling bitsy bits of tape off other people's announcements to hang my own (note to self: next time bring tape. I only brought push pins this time around. But, in my defense, some people used what looked like half a roll of packing tape to hang up a piece of paper. Overkill!).

In a mall where I was dropping off some posters, I got distracted and bought 3 scented oils from The Body Shop (Satsuma, Exotic, and Sailboat, if you're curious), a box of Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea, and a couple of basic shirts and a 'spring scarf'' from H&M. Noticing that it was already 6pm and that there was no way I'd be "working" this late if I was still actually in the office, I saddled up on my bike again and headed for the gym.

Now, I like to think that I have become an excellent cyclist, since I bike nearly every day. I can do all sorts of tricks, including squeezing through tight spots (like between two trucks), doing a 'one-footed-oh-so-graceful' moving dismount, and I can bike with no hands for short, straight periods of time. Well, something happened today which made me doubt my skills. Taking off from a light, I somehow scratched my knee on the hook of my bike basket. Not only were my tights ripped and run, but I now had to ride the rest of the way to the gym while my knee was bleeding. Cool. Way to go, slick.

The gym was fine. Nothing really out of the ordinary, save for the normal people that annoy me there (which I elaborated on in a previous post). There was, though, one guy that made me chuckle. The sport of handball is really big in Denmark. It's probably second to soccer. This one guy walks past me while I am on the treadmill, wearing a black zip up workout jacket. Because I'm running and listening to music and have nothing really better to to except look around, I stare at the front of his jacket and see its for some handball team. Nothing special there. It was only when it got past my treadmill and I could read the back of his jacket that I laughed. On his jacket, where the player's name is usually printed, was what is presumably his handball nickname - The Hand of God. Excellent. I love it.

Okay, well gee. Long post. My water is totally boiling. Off to play Emeril Lagasse or whomever. Being away from America has made me really out of touch with current tv food personalities.

Hasta la vista.

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