Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Full-time job (hunting)

I always had the intention of gaining employment while in Copenhagen, but I am ashamed to say that after almost three months of being a bona fide housewife, the motivation to do so is waning.

I am possibly being a little critical of myself - moving overseas and setting up house is no easy feat and it does take time to adjust. In my mind, we still have only just arrived and I have plenty of time for work. Also, I have been subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly dropping the 'I'm unemployed and looking for a job' line with almost everyone we meet. So this has made me feel like I am doing something towards finding gainful employment.

I did though have a proactive moment last week when I arranged a meeting with an organisation called Work in Denmark.  Work in Denmark offers a very useful advisory service to foreigners. After two hours of ripping my resume and cover letter to shreds, I came out surprisingly motivated to get the job application ball rolling.

Today was the first time since arriving that I actually sat down and started applying for jobs.  I had almost forgotten what a shitty process it is. For starters, only around 10% of the jobs here are for english speakers, and 70% of those jobs are already 'filled' before advertising. Advertising the job is just a formality. Even so, I whole-heartedly applied for five jobs that I hope I am at least considered for. Now the waiting game for responses begins...

Back at it again tomorrow, job hunting feels like a full-time job.

Miss H

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The three-year challenge – to buy a car or not to buy a car?

If you had asked me three months ago if I could forego my car for three years I would have laughed – “Are you kidding? I can’t go without my car for one day let alone three years!”

But three months down the track, living in another country with no job and a mortgage to pay, I'm beginning to change my mind.  It shouldn’t really be that hard ... should it? After all, I'm living in the city that boasts about having as many bikes as people with over 40% of the population favouring two wheels over four.

So to buy a car or not to buy car? That is the big decision. Seeing that J and I have met entire families who don’t own a car and get about on their bikes, we don’t really have much of an excuse. The Danes are a crazy lot though when it comes to cycling; wind, rain or blizzard won't stop them from using their bikes. We've enjoyed hours of amusement watching people hit the deck while trying to navigate these snow-covered streets. And the majority of them not wearing helmets I might add – seriously nuts!

Never being one to shy away from a challenge, I've made my decision: check out my sweet new wheels…

I'm now trawling the shops to get the perfect matching front and back wicker baskets so I can carry the groceries.

P.S I realise after reading that last comment back to myself that I sound like a complete dag but I will defend myself by saying that all the cool kids are doing it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Moving’s a bitch!

After two false starts and two months in a hotel J and I finally moved into our new apartment.

When asked by J’s work whether we wanted a furnished or unfurnished apartment, J and I thought that as we were now in the land of great design we wanted to play. After receiving 68 boxes with our stuff from Australia and a multitude of flat-packed furniture I did have a moment where I thought to myself ‘what the hell were we thinking’.

That moment came when I was trying to assemble a wooden stool so I could reach the very tall cupboards, that the very tall Danes have everywhere in their homes. After trying for an hour to screw the legs on this stupid thing, I gave up.  At the end of that day, all I had was a half finished stool and a massive wooden splinter in my ass – literally! And it fricking hurt and took me another fricking hour to get out.

I really hate it when things defeat me. I’m not normally a quitter, especially when it comes to the things that are normally considered “men’s” jobs. But this time, with a sore wood splintered butt and a sore hand from the immovable screws I had to reluctantly hand this job over to J.

And the moving trials and tribulations get worse – the spare bed arrived (ours doesn’t for another six weeks) but not the mattress. So we assembled the bed and put the mattress we had been loaned on the frame. I got on and all was fine, then J got on and went straight through the bed and slammed onto the floor. FYI - the Danes don’t put slats on their beds and as a consequence we are still sleeping on the floor and will be for quite some time. We're still trying to figure out what we are going to do there - hopefully the mattress that does arrive has some kind of inbuilt slat system (one can only hope - if not I apologise to any potential guests now).

I think that moving to a place with no furniture is like the proverbial chicken and the egg conundrum – you can’t buy the furniture without seeing the apartment but if you wait until you move into an apartment to buy the furniture you have none - well for at least six to eight weeks and then what do you do? You end up like us – sleeping on the floor, eating on an outdoor setting in your living room and moving your lamp from one room to the other because the Danes seem to have an aversion to over hanging lights. Oh and that stool, the pain in the ass one is now our coffee table.

Miss H

How honest should you be on the internet?

If you ask anyone I know whether I was an honest person, I know the answer would be ‘yes – brutally honest sometimes’.  Although I still believe honesty is a really great quality to have in a person, I have learnt the hard way that there are times to be honest and open and times where you really should keep your mouth shut.

When I decided to start writing a blog about my experiences living overseas I wanted to be honest about it – warts and all. But I had what I thought was a really unusual and funny experience the other day that made me re-evaluate what I should and shouldn’t write about. Not because I would hurt anyone but because sometimes things are better left unsaid – they are really only funny to you and when told to someone else just seem stupid. Oh and also I know my mum reads this.

There are some blogs were people talk about absolutely everything - I won't do that but I have decided to be as honest as I think I can. I am learning that I need to vet what I say, both in life and on the net. It is all part of growing up - knowing when not to say anything is the best thing to say.

Miss H