Hey my people. I usually don’t like that phrase, but I’m feeling sentimental so it fits. I hope your weekend has been wonderful so far! Can y’all remember those sweet days when you smile so big and so much that your face hurts? That’s what I’m feeling right now. I wasn’t planning on writing anything this weekend, but my heart has been so full with gratitude for this place that I wanted to make sure I remember it all!! So happy Saturday night from my little home in Copenhagen. All night it’s been full of loud laughter around the dinner table and little white-blonde topped heads running around and good, good food. I am so thankful!
I’ve gotten to explore more neighborhoods in Copenhagen this week, with friends or with classes or solo. The past 48 hours especially have been beyond joyful. On Thursday afternoon, I spent some time writing a paper at the Royal Library, which always always always makes me feel like I am in Hogwarts. The main reading room has row after row of carved wood study tables, each topped with a cute little green lamp. After working on my paper, I wandered back to Copenhagen Central station to make my way home. I walked in right in the thick of rush hour, which meant tourists and businesspeople and students galore. It was so fun to think about all the lives intertwining in this one place.
For dinner Thursday night, my host mom’s family friend and old boss, Anne Louise, came over. I have to stop being surprised when everyone I meet has had such a cosmopolitan world traveler life, but I don’t know if that is possible! Anne Louise was my host mom’s boss at her summer job, which happened to be an internship at a Paris law firm! Anne Louise owned that law firm (a “one woman show!” she called it) for years and also spent summers in Italy. We ate homemade tomato soup and freshly baked bread for dinner, and Anne Louise entertained us with a story of how one summer at her villa, she and Anne Sophie, my host mom, gifted the Danish ambassador to Italy a jar of pears that ended up exploding all over his kitchen. So she could have been arrested for attempted assault! But thankfully she wasn’t!!
Y’all, it is so joyful to see old friends laugh over good memories. I am thankful to have these type of friends when we’re talking about memories that are only a few months old, and thankful to have this sweet example of friendship sitting right in front of me at the dinner table.
Friday morning when I walked out the front door, the construction workers at the next house over were blasting Mariah Carey. Great start to the day. Then, I had two classes: Criminology and Criminal Justice in Scandinavia and Psychology of Adolescence. I can quickly get bored or fed up with my classes, so it was a great reminder on Friday that my classes are taught by kind and interesting people at the front of the room, and I sit around a whole group of kind and interesting people, too.
After Psych of Adolescence, Adeline and I walked to Papirøen, which is a warehouse where food trucks park permanently. It was one of the coolest places to eat I have ever seen, and as Adeline exclaimed, “this is so Nashville!” I think Copenhagen and Nashville are a little bit alike in their quest to create spaces with character. On our way to and from Papirøen, we got a little bit lost, which is mostly due to my resistance to use a map. Thankfully Adeline is gracious and was fine with wandering the streets and humored me when I interrupted our conversation repeatedly to say, “This place is just so beautiful!” Because it is!!!
Friday night, a couple of girls from class and I went to a coffee shop that is stocked with thousands of board games. It was incredible, and it was also packed!! We played Monopoly in Danish before I got too tired and headed home. I lost really, really badly. As in, “I ran out of money and sold all my properties to stay in the game” lost. We definitely had to look up the Danish words on all the Chance cards, which was a funny learning experience! Danes love to spend time together doing anything, and since I am not as inclined to bar hop as the average 20-year-old, it was fun to see over 200 people filling every corner of this coffee shop.
Just for clarification, the flag above isn’t the Danish flag (but if you’re me, and forget what it looks like daily, you’d think it is). Our next door neighbors are Norwegian and American, so they put up the Norwegian flag for just one day on a birthday, which was a weird change on my walk home not seeing the long, skinny Danish flag!
Saturday has been equally as soul-filling! I got to sleep in, go on a run, and work on homework some more, and then a ton of my host family’s family friends piled into the house for the day that never ends! The doors were thrown open and the trampoline squeaked and the sun set on some real life quality time. Y’all know what that’s like right? Today has felt just like when back home, our closest family friends get together and eat and talk and sit around and laugh for hours and hours. Except today life has mostly happened in Danish, so I understand less of it! Just some of the names from today: Lars, Jens, Hans, and Vilhelm. So Danish!!
My host mom made a whole salmon for dinner and then baked rolls and an apple pie for everyone. She makes dinner every night of the week and is so joyful about it, because she always tells me, “I truly love cooking and being creative with food!” I can only imagine that in 20 years it will be ridiculously easy for me to complain about making dinner or just not do it altogether, so I love having her as an example that you can find joy in all things.
Time here has taught me to cherish everything– the intangibles, responsibilities and opportunities and friendships, and the tangibles too, like baked goods. Yum. I feel like this week God has given me so many examples of how joy is a precious commodity. Sometimes we act like it’s limited, but it’s not, and that is great news. Knowing that there is joy in every circumstance has changed the way I think about my own life and speak to other people, too.
I love y’all! Thanks for reading this– I want to know what y’all are cherishing right now! This life is so sweet.