“In my dreams I’m dying all the time…” — Moby, Porcelain
Update: Just got back from a weekend on the little Danish island of Bornholm. I biked about 40-something miles this weekend, all around the island. Yesterday we rode to the southernmost tip, where there are white beaches that stretch forever, with mountains of sand and patches of forest everywhere. The water was so clear you could see to the bottom of the ocean, the Baltic Sea. I had an ice cream cone that was about two feet tall and topped with a little Danish flag (the Danes put flags absolutely everywhere). And I hiked along some cliffs and into a tiny little cave about a person wide. If I could stop wishing my life away, everything would be perfect.
Lately my mind has been full of lists and wishes and schedules. And I have become even more oblivious than usual to small everyday things, like someone will tell me something and I will forget it immediately. Or I will not be able to make simple conversation and conjectures. I know what you’re thinking. But I swear. It’s even worse than usual.
My Semester In Europe: Easy does it. (Thanks for the link, Ellen)
“I am still enchanted/ By the light you brought to me/ I listen through your ears/ Through your eyes I can see/ And you are such a fool/ To worry like you do/ I know it’s tough/ And you can never get enough/ Of what you don’t really need now…” –U2
Realization: You can be blase about anything… You can be superior and undazzled by any situation, if you really want to. I know that when I got to Copenhagen, I didn’t want to walk around with my mouth open, looking up at the bright row houses and old fountains and churches. I didn’t want to be culture-shocked, so I just accepted all the bikes and the kiosks and the cobblestones. Now I’m realizing that in my attempt to feel unbothered by the differences, I didn’t fully appreciate them.
Fun thing: So I went for a bike ride today, again, because it was a sunny, cool evening. And I remembered what it feels like to have control over your own transportation. I’d been taking the bus up and down one street to get to school every day. And today I rode to school but I stopped and explored whenever I saw some weird statue or pretty, peaceful street. I also remembered that riding a bike makes me feel like a little kid, and that’s the best feeling in the world sometimes. The only bad thing is that I’m getting carpal tunnel syndrome, and I’m worried biking isn’t the smartest way to keep that under control.
Random thought: Yesterday I remembered that singing with some friends and a guitar feels really, really good. Even if I don’t know the words and I can’t carry a tune.
Random thought: This semester has meant constant adjustments. It was really hard getting back from Russia. I’d been always busy, always enthralled, always surrounded by people. Then I got back to Denmark, where everything suddenly seemed antiseptic and gray. I had so much silence all of a sudden, and I got lost in my own head.
Update: Just saw a car accident… Was walking along and heard tires screech, so I turned and saw a little tiny gray car plow into a little tiny white car, and they both spun on the rainy street. It didn’t look major, but still, a little surprising to see right next to you on an ordinary day.
Danish quirk: This country amuses me so much sometimes. I was standing on one side of the street, and this group of like ten teenagers was on the other. They were just your typical Euro baggy-pants, spiky hair, tight-shirt crowd… but I stepped off the curb before the walk sign came on and one of them went, Oh! and then one of the girls was watching the light turn and stepped off the curb a little, and squeaked, and her boyfriend grabbed her arm and pulled her back. Mind you, there were absolutely no cars whatsoever.
“You came to me like wine comes to this mouth grown tired of water all the time.” — Dave Matthews
Cool thing: The daffodils are out… my favorite flower is all over Copenhagen.
Cool thing: Went for my first bike ride in Denmark today, and realized that to truly feel like a part of a country, you have to use its favorite mode of transportation. Then you become just one of the masses. So I rode about a mile or so to a lake, filled with swans and baby swans splashing and swimming and preening. They seemed to be having much more fun than the ducks.
Sometimes I really screw things up. I wish I could just sort of muddle through life, the way you can get through a discussion section without having done all the reading.
“She says she wants to live in a movie/ I say I want someone else to stand behind me/ And write it all down/ ‘Cause I can’t be bothered doing it myself/ And I don’t want the responsibility of proving its importance./ I have loved and I have waited/ Been picked up and been sedated/ Mental health is overrated/ This is where it ends… this is where it ends.”– Barenaked Ladies