Monday, December 20, 2010

Tip 2 - A Danish pastry is not a Danish pastry

One of my first thoughts and that of most when thinking of Denmark was the Danish pastry.  I was so excited to be coming to the homeland of seriously yummy pastries. Little did I know that the Danish pastry is not actually a Danish pastry but rather it is Austrian (Viennese) brought over to Denmark by some Danish bakers working in Vienna.

That is why, in Denmark the 'Danish pastry' is actually still called to this day "wienerbrød"- translated to Vienna bread. Do not worry though, if you ask for a Danish pastry the people in the bakery will give you a little smile and  place the delicious golden pastry with jam or custard topped with icing on your plate - and all is still good in the world.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hotel living - not just for celebrities

I always found the stories in magazines about celebrities living in hotels intriguing - what must that be like?  Fabulous I'm guessing!  Very luxurious and not at all boring.

I couldn't have been more wrong.  Granted, we are not staying in the Hilton but we do get our towels and linen changed every day and someone comes in to clean our room.  All-in-all I can't complain, it is a nice hotel. But after living out of a suitcase for nearly a month now I am craving stability and a place to call my own.  Not a place where a stranger opens the door while I'm standing in my underwear.

J and I have been spending a lot of time looking for an apartment we can call home for the next three years.  The majority of the places are romantic 'old' Copenhagen, built in/around and sometimes even before 1800.  With this romanticism comes odd composition like having to turn a dining room into a bedroom and sometimes rooms that you have to bend over to get into (and I'm like the shortest person in Denmark - these people rival the Dutch for the tallest nation on earth).

After looking at 12 apartments, I think today we found 'the one' - a big relief.  We can almost officially say we are residents of Denmark.

Miss H

Beautiful 'old-style' Copenhagen

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tip 1 for visiting Copenhagen in winter - rubber soled boots

I have spent much of my first week in Copenhagen wandering the streets acquainting myself with the city and all it has to offer.  I thought that whenever I discover something new and helpful I might share it for the interest and education of those who may travel to Denmark in the future.

Tip number one - rubber soled boots (preferably with very big tread).  The Danes keep telling us that the snow we are experiencing is very uncommon - they then wryly follow up with 'but it was also like this last year, oh and also the year before and the year before that'.  I think they should give up and just admit to the rest of the world that this is Scandinavia and it is cold and with cold comes snow.  Don't worry Denmark, we won't turn around and go home because of a little snow (in fact I love it).

I had my very first stack today and of course it was on a main road for all the world to see. I haven't really had cause to study the soles of my shoes/boots before, but I now know after effectively ice skating my way around the city that I don't own any rubber soled shoes that can be worn in the snow, only leather, which by the way, has no grip what-so-ever on the white fluffy stuff.

I did however, came a little more prepared than J did, who packed canvas shoes.  Although they looked cool, after about 10 minutes, his feet were soaking wet and he was freezing.  First stop - shoe shop for a pair of what I call romper stomper boots.  J is set - I on the other had am in the process of getting all my boots re-soled.

I have however, seen a great pair of fleecy lined wedge boots that I absolutely must have and the bruise on knee is proof that they are absolutely warranted and definitely needed for my safety.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Home sweet bloody freezing home

We have arrived!!!  It is a little bit hard to believe that six weeks ago we were in Canberra going about our daily routine not knowing where we were to be posted and when.

Copenhagen (well actually most of Europe) has put on lovely weather for us - there is snow everywhere and it is bloody freezing.  It took J and I about three days to figure out how many layers of thermals to put under our clothes before we could feel somewhat comfortable outside.

Mainly we have been spending our days checking out the suburbs, getting a feel of where we would like to live.  You know you are not on holiday when your priority is to check out the local supermarket to see if you could complete your weekly shop in one stop.

The wandering around has also been great for people watching.  I still find it amazing that every country has its bogans.  I do not know how some of these guys don't literally freeze their testicles off with their pants around their ankles.  Just another reminder that most of us suffer for fashion in some way or another even if that fashion is extremely questionable.  I suffer for fashion with my high heels.  I am learning though that they are not the most sensible style of foot wear with the combination of ice, snow and cobblestones here in Denmark.  I may have to reassess.

Now, the locals keep telling us that it doesn't usually snow here and it is extremely rare to have a white Christmas.  I think they are only telling us this to make us feel better about coming here from an Australian summer.  It doesn't matter to me, I relish in the thought of having a romantic white Christmas.  And the snow is just another excuse (not that I ever really need one) to go shopping - because Australian winter clothes just don't cut it over here.

It was J's first day at work today and therefore, my first day amusing myself in this foreign city now called home.  After spending three hours walking around the city I returned to our serviced apartment and spent most of the afternoon ironing.  Yay - what fun a housewife has.  The most exciting part of the day was when I remembered I don't have to cook tonight - we are being treated to a night out by the boss!

Apartment hunting tomorrow - I can't wait to get out of this serviced apartment - it has only been 5 days but I am already starting to go crazy.

I will upload some photos soon of this beautiful city.

Miss H

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Economy check-in is row three.

That was the way J and I were greeted at check-in at Singapore International Airport.  It was actually put more bluntly by the man behind the counter 'are you the right class?' Not something one is normally asked. 'Yes' we replied, 'Are you sure? This is Business class, economy check-in is row three'.

We are lucky enough with J's work to fly business class but obviously after traipsing around Singapore for the past 14 hours we did not look like we belonged at that counter.

We had a two day stop over in Singapore before heading on to Copenhagen.  As most do now-a-days we booked out hotel over the internet.  It was 4 star, looked really cool and funky and was in a great location - sold!  Bloody good photography is all I can say; our rooms was nice and funky but it was also only 16 sqm - not much space to move - actually no space to even put our bags down, they had to go in the bathroom. Oh well, good thing we weren't planning on spending much time in our hotel room.

The first day we managed to fill with the obligatory tourist activities - mainly shopping.  Today was a little different, we checked out of the hotel at 11.00am but our flight didn't leave until 1.00am.  We managed to spend five hours at the Raffles Hotel, two of which we spent having high tea and three spent in the long bar drinking Singapore Slings - a great way to spend the afternoon/early evening.  Nine hours after check-out we thought the concierge might be wondering if we would ever return for our bags so we packed up and shipped out.

J kept announcing that he was bored shitless - there is a finite number of ways to amuse yourself at the airport for hours on end.  We have taken off to our final destination - Copenhagen.

No return ticket!

Enjoying my Singapore Sling.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Goodbyes are never easy

From the time we were told we were posted, the goodbyes began.  I had already booked a week long holiday back home (Hobart) as good friends of mine and J's were getting married and others were having an engagement party.

Little did I know that when I booked these flights that this holiday would turn into my goodbyes.  I was lucky because all my girlfriends had also travelled for the engagement so for the first time in almost a year we were all in the same place at the same time - I miss my girls already!

This trip was also meant to be my final goodbye to mum - but in a sneaky mum way, I had two more goodbyes after that one which was lovely.

When in a situation like this, you find out that parents really will do anything to say goodbye to their children.  Dad was meant to be overseas and he postponed all flights and came done to Canberra from Sydney for the night which was fantastic.

When J and I went to the airport in Sydney yesterday to fly out we had exhausted all our goodbyes - no more.

Now it is hello Singapore and in a couple of days - hello new home Copenhagen.

Zero days to go - we are on the plane!

We have now entered 30 years of debt

J and I always intended on buying a property before we went on post, but we thought that would be in one or two years time.

We had been seriously looking at apartments for three months - sometimes attending 11 open homes in four hours but we could never find somewhere we wanted to live (mainly because I thought there was never enough wardrobe space).  We found out we had been posted on a Wednesday and by the Saturday we had put an offer on an apartment and been accepted.

We have now settled, picked up the keys, furnished it and entered the new exciting and daunting world of property investment.  We cracked the whip, made annoying daily (if not five times daily) phone calls but we did it!

Apartment bought - tick.
Packing and goodbyes to come!

One week until we leave.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The lady of leisure status can now be adorned

This week was my last week at work.  I have left jobs before, but this time it felt really different.  Normally there is another job to go to and with that nervousness, excitement and anticipation of what your new colleagues, boss, work environment and job are going to be like.

I had none of that! A little sadness saying good bye to friends, but what was really going through my head was 'what now'!  What do I do now!

A shit load of cleaning and packing! That pretty much sums up my next two weeks. Not quite the leisurely activities I had in mind.

14 days until we fly out.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We've been posted to Copenhagen - ASAP

People say that three of the most stressful things you will do in your life are change your job, buy a property and move. I'm doing all of this in less than six weeks. But I'm not moving into the property I bought, I'm moving from Australia to Copenhagen. I'm not just changing my job, I'm quitting with no guarantee I’ll find another one.

I'm Miss H, an independent career orientated 26-year-old woman and my partner of six years is J. There is an old saying at J's work 'Wife and baggage to follow' - I'm not a wife (yet) but I will be packing up everything (metaphorically and physically) and following him to the other side of the world.

Let the countdown, organising and packing begin!