I am one of the many German students studying abroad. I am one of the people who love travelling. I can't sit still, I always have to do stuff. I am curious, always chasing for stories. Stay here for a while and be part of my respaced world

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Danish Winter and Christmas

I went downtown today, in order to do some shopping. It was so Christmas-y, the first snow had fallen the night before and in the city you could smell the scent of sugar roasted almonds on almost every street corner. On the bridge over the canal they had set up some stands were they sold glöck, that’s punch (Glühwein) and other sweets, candels, just stuff people buy on Christmas markets. However, they were only a few stands, so it was just a nice atmosphere. It wasn’t like a big Christmas market as they have them in Germany.

But how do Danes celebrate Christmas? This is what I will figure out in the next 4 weeks. The Danish Christmas season already started 2 weeks ago with the release of the Christmas beer. On J-Day (The J derives from the Danish word Jule, which means Christmas) everyone in Denmark is excited and gets drunk.

Nice thing, national holiday shape a culture, Americans have Halloween and Thanksgiving, Germans have St. Nikolaus, why not J-Day? On campus there were parties in most of the canteens, already starting at 4pm. In the city every bar was crowded. People were wearing blue Christmas huts, singing and dancing to Christmas songs, Tuborg (a traditional Danish brewery company) trucks were driving through town, giving out Christmas beer and blue hats. It reminded me pretty much of the advertisement concept of Coca Cola: Truck, Christmas, only Blue (Tuborg) instead of Red (Coca Cola). How weird!

And how do the Danes explain this? On the official tourism site of Denmark you can read that:

"J-day" is normally the first Friday in November. At exactly 8.59pm the Christmas beer is launched, and you will find that practically every bar, café or pub in every town or city in Denmark will be buzzing with young people enjoying the first Christmas beer of the year. A great way of getting into the Christmas spirit!"

What an event for the international student! Never before Ms Respace had been allowed to sing along her favourite christmas song so early in the year – and for the night she was not the only one who really didn’t like the beer offered to her.


J-Day has a hitch. Nobody actually likes the Christmas beer. So far, I have not met a single Dane who wasn’t disgusted by the brew. Yes, I am serious. Nobody likes it. But everyone celebrates it. Do we have to understand this?

Upcoming next:
Christmas food – Who copied whom, did the Danish copy the Germans or did the Germans copy the Danish Christmas traditions? Who are the Chinese in this? And much more about christmas traditions, decorations, etc. etc....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dinner in Skeybyparken

I live in Skejbyparken, which is almost a suburb of Aarhus. Even if its a bit far away from the city center and I have to face many hills with my bike when I get home from school, I've become a fan!
Every Thursday there is a bar night at the common room, where you get the chance to meet people. Thanks to Thursday Bar I got to know my lovely friend Derv. I will tell you more later about her.

The girl you can see on this picture is Julie. She's my first danish friend and she's so great! I got to meet her when I was very angry about my bike. She was standing in front of the door, smoking, smiling at me and with her gorgeous smile and offering me her bike - just like that. I was so surprised of this offer, I must have looked really puzzled. She still laughs about me because of my reaction that day. We started talking and I told her to come to thursday bar some day - and she did. We just connected immediately, it is scary how similar we are in some things. Since I have her, I really started to like Denmark!

Last night I met Bart, Julies (and also my neighbour). He's a really nice guy as well. Today, he got the same look from me as Julie. Last night when we had this GREAT dinner, I told him that I have trouble with my bike. AGAIN. Today Julie wrote me an email, saying "Hey, I'll get to pick up my old bike from my parent's house for you, it makes no sense if you struggle with this wreck if nobody uses my nice bike anyway." - Again I was impressed by this friendly offer. A few hours later, someone knocked at my door - It was Bart who offered me to have a look at my bike and check if he could repare it. - just like that !

Julie shares my passion for cakes. She's an expert for danish pastries and bakeries in town. Her grandad used to be a baker, is now 85-years old - and how Julie told me last night - is still dating! Julie's sister is working at a bakery and Julie herself used to do that too..

Bart brought stjerne cage from the best bakery in town. Basically it includes everything what's good: Marcipane, chocolate filling, white chocolate and marmelade.Bart didn't make it to eat his piece, so I had to eat it.

Nationalities and sex

1. Germany (too smelly)
    1. Spain
2. England (too lazy)
    2. Brazil
3. Sweden (too quick)
    3. Italy
4. Holland (too dominating)
    4. France
5. America (too rough)
    5. Ireland
6. Greece (too lovey-dovey)
    6. South Africa
7. Wales (too selfish)  
    7. Australia
8. Scotland (too loud)
    8. New Zealand
9. Turkey (too sweaty)
    9. Denmark
10. Russia (too hairy)
    10. Canada

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1216621/German-men-worlds-worst-lovers-lazy-English-come-second-battle-sheets.html#ixzz15VZTozsn

A guy from my class posted this on facebook. 15,000 women were asked to rate world’s best and worst lover. So how do we think about this? Mhmm…

Basically, I can cover 5 nationalities from this list with my own experience. And I can say, my own experience differs a lot :) However, in the case of Germans, they really can smell *lol* - and my American experience indeed was bossy – but is that a bad thing? What would be interesting was to hear what the other gender thinks about world’s best or lover. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a similar study, but instead I found an amusing blog called http://www.dateforeignwomen.com which provided some information about German women:

“Although so many German girls can be sweet and friendly, prepare to crash and burn badly if you come across as anything less than Alpha Male in your approach. As an ancient tribe in the time of the Celts and Romans, German women used to watch their tribe do battle in war from the sidelines, exposing their large breasts to show their men just what they were fighting for. If the German men lost, the spoils would happily go to the victors who had proven themselves more dominant and thus more worthy. Many of you will be aware of the classic PUA 'three second rule' (originating from the legendry 'Mystery'), a rule which holds that if you don't approach the woman within 3 seconds of making eye contact she will decide you are a wimpy beta male too afraid to approach her.“

Thank god there is the Internet!

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