France

“Confort”, EU Reportage, and Salsa Boats

Before I begin, please excuse my potential typos…Wordpress is in Danish, and therefore says every single word I write is spelled wrong. I am working on a Danish computer, and I don’t know how to change the internal language, being that it is in Danish. However, there are a few pluses to working on a borrowed laptop—I have access to three awesome letters than the English language unfortunately doesn’t have. Æ æ, Ø ø, Å å. Although I don’t know what sounds they make, there are a few places I know they are used, such as in the names of my friends Søren and Åsa. For the time being, when I am chatting with my Scandinavian friends, I can use these instead of their less-interesting English counterparts (ae, o, a… LAME!)

Now unfortunately a very upsetting event has led me to this Danish computer. When I was out last Saturday, my room was broken into and my laptop was stolen. I walked into my room to see my window wide open and my computer gone. I was crushed. Although I have  been made fun of for my pink snakeskin laptop, I really think it defines me. Not only does it have everything I have ever done from all of University, but I just love it. I remember the day my dad took me to get it. I was like a small child in a candy store, and I couldn’t have been more excited to get my own laptop for school. When I saw it, I knew it was the one for me, although it was more expensive than most of the others. Luckily for me, my dad liked it too, and bought it for me. I was so happy. I even accidentally got sent a normal, non-snakeskin one, and went back to the store to make sure I got the snakeskin. Until this day, everyone insists that I am the only one they have ever seen with this computer.

And now it’s gone. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t dreamed of macbooks, with their features and sleek-ness. But now that it’s gone, there is nothing on the market that I want more than my three-year-old, probably sold for 500 DKK (100$) VAIO.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I’m sure there was a journalism God saying “Emily, you need to be taken more seriously… You’re 21 now.” Itwas slightly awkward that I looked more Elle Woods than Barbara Walters in the EU parliament. But that aside, this computer may have been given many of my classrooms a good laugh, but also where I have done every single piece of journalism since I have been at Carleton. I feel like a small part of my youth is out the window with my Vaio. I guess this means I’m growing up… ?

My bedroom will never look the same…

Now on the other side of things, someone was legitimately inside of my bedroom, which freaks me out. For those of you who know me (and I’m assuming you do, because who else would read this), you know that I am majorly paranoid. I am the worst person you can rob. Seriously, robber, it’s more about feeling scared than you having my laptop. If you wanted it, you could have stolen it from school. Then at least I could sleep! I called the super efficient (just kidding, they did nothing) Danish police, and I took some investigative photos of my own.

I know you wear Adidas.

Meanwhile, this blog post was supposed to be about my amazing trip to France. So now that I have mourned the loss of my pink snakey Vaio, and also shown the world that I am meant to be a forensic scientist, I can turn my attention to all things Francais. I LOVE FRANCE. It was my first country experience (other than in my home country of Denmark) in Europe. From the second we (me and four friends) landed in Paris, it was go-go-go. We had less than 2 days to see all there is to see, on no sleep. I, unlike the worst plane buddy ever Damo, have serious anxiety in the air, so I can’t sleep. On a particular bumpy and small plane, I turned to Damo for some comfort. All I needed to hear was“It will be okay, don’t worry, all flights are bumpy.” (or something of that sort.) What I actually received was:

“Have you ever thought about where your facial hair stops and your chest hair begins?”… and then he passed out.

Even in a cab ride, Damo passes out. He can sleep within 2 seconds at anytime, anywhere.

At least I was able to get some comfort from the flight attendant:

Me: This is a really small flight… I’m really scared.

Flight attendant man: Yeah, me too.

That was comforting. Anyways back to the land of romance, wine, cheese, bread, and art. I only saw the middle three. Wine, bread and cheese. So much so that I was almost able to go a few days without either of the three when I got back to Denmark. Although we did attend the Louvre, the line to get in was way too big and the sunny skies and large grass hills were calling our names. As was the wine store and the man selling baguettes. We took hygge to the next level—confort. It really doesn’t have the same ring to it. I guess that’s why Danes say it “just can’t be translated.”

Whether on the grass or on the river, we hygged.

We love the Louvre.

Lovers write their names on locks and lock them to the bridge.

After a short period in which I saw some major tourist attractions and managed to get away without being robbed, we were headed for Strasbourg. Let’s be real, here. It didn’t matter where we were headed after Paris, nothing could compare. Unfortunately for us, we were headed to a small town on the border of Germany about 2 hours east of our lovely weekend getaway. Strasbourg is a beautiful city, but after a weekend in Paris, even Heaven wouldn’t look that nice.

Strasbourg– It may not be Paris, but it sure is adorable!

Throughout the week we worked on stories at the EU Parliament, where we interviewed MEPs (members of European Parliament) and chilled in the press room on facebook. The building itself was beautiful. I interviewed an MEP named Malcolm Harbour from the UK, and outside of his office took these photos. The view was incredible… I was so excited to see mountains, something we here in the Dane Land do not have.

Love seeing mountains after months in flat Denmark!

View from the 12th floor of the MEPs offices.

International Women’s Day, hard working at the EU Parliament.

The rest of the time we spent away from the press room was in our adorable hostel room. The room was sweltering hot at night and smelled like paint because the maintenance people painted every single day we were there. We are unsure why. Luckily, they repaid us for our suffocation with a notepad, a mousepad, and some pencils with the hostel name on it. However the best time I had in that hostel was after a long day of walking around the town, we all just crawled into bed, with the huge bay windows open and the sun pouring in, and had a lovely nap. (I spent a lot of the week napping/ sleeping because I was fortunate enough to come down with the flu.)

Tatiana enjoying some hygge in the hostile.

The last night in Strasbourg our professor organized a “goodbye party” for us. I had no idea what to expect, but I figured 23 friends, France, and rumors of a “Salsa boat”… I knew it would be a blast. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of the salsa bar, but it was unreal. I felt like I was in Costa Rica again, which made me very happy.  I wore a straw hat and drank terrible mojitos (but for 5 euros, who’s complaining?) all night long. People sang, over and over, “I’m on a boat,” by The Lonely Island.  What made this night even better was waking up to check out of the hostel at 9 am the next morning. I woke up at 8:27, put all of my things on top of my bag (not in it, because re-arranging a backpack is a lot of work and time) and ran down stairs just in time to grab my free continental breakfast.

At the end of this trip, I had another country under my belt (although no stamps in my passport because they have one “European” stamp now for non-EU citizens apparently, although this interpretation of the French passport stamper man might be wrong), too much white bread in my tummy, a speaking-French-induced headache, and a massive amount of work to catch up on. But I loved every second I was in the 15 degree sun, listening to gorgeous French boys try and sing “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry, seeing skinny and fashionable women strut by me. France is amazing! I cannot wait to see more of it.

Here is a link to the article I wrote about consumer safety rights. I can’t believe a piece of journalism actually came out of this trip!

http://reportingtheeu2011.mediajungle.dk/2011/03/15/danish-mep-crusades-against-unsafe-products-for-children/

Next destination: Italia, followed by my homeland, Ireland.

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