I’ve taken two heavily-weighted tests for two of my most challenging classes in the last week. It’s getting to that point in the semester! I also have an essay to work on due at the end of this week. So in hopes of reinforcing the mantra that I am not a summation of my academic performance in my brain, I wanted to shed some light on some nice ways I have passed time during the last two weekends. (Also, I’m grateful for a semester system: at my home university the term is more than halfway over. Being here gives some perspective on how fast trimesters really go.)
This was the Sunday after returning from my Fano field study. The day before, I was browsing the DIS optional activities on my registration (truthfully, after complaining to someone about how fast they fill up). I was pleasantly surprised to see an opening for a free pottery painting class!
The class was at a self-described “unpretentious creative cafe” called Creative Space in the neighborhood of Frederiksberg. (https://creative-space.dk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6srVqpbc5wIVDMKyCh23uA70EAAYASAAEgKKE_D_BwE)
There I met with about five other students and a DIS sponsor, and we all sat and talked about our experiences in Copenhagen so far while painting mugs. It was really a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The session was from 2-4 p.m., so near the end we were rushing a bit (so naturally, I messed up a bit), frantically trying to perfect our crafts. An interesting thing was that, after being baked, our ceramics would appear much more smooth and finished. So while painting, we had to guesstimate to some extent what the finished product would actually look like.
On Saturday I went to the aquarium in Copenhagen, which I honestly didn’t know existed until my friend from Sweden who wanted to visit me to go to the aquarium told me. So we went to the national aquarium, Den Blå Planet which was about a 20 minute commute, close to the airport.
The aquarium was your typical aquarium with many different types of fish. There were also precious otters and seals. The aquarium also had a tank dedicated to plastic, with various plastic waste floating around. It was honestly really sad but uniquely made me reflective. It’s so interesting how my perceptions of the world have changed from visiting the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago as a child to visiting them now. Then, it was about learning about animals and seeing how lovely and mysterious the ocean is, enjoying blissful ignorance. Now, it becomes a bit of a guilty activity, to think of how much humanity has interfered with the ecosystems we’re claiming to appreciate, wondering if the animals are truly happy, etc. That’s not to suggest I’m anti-aquarium. It’s just the sort of pondering that arises naturally, while wandering around with new awareness gained with age.
There was a fish about the size of me that wasn’t a shark or sting ray or something which was a bit terrifying but I don’t remember the name, so that doesn’t do much for any of us. I hope my words suffice.
Truthfully, while I do greatly appreciate biodiversity and the education, I tried to simply indulge voyeurism on my aquarium visit. Perhaps I was subconsciously trying to remember how I experienced it as a child. There was many beautiful fish that seem to be painted with details. My friend suggested that all fashion designers receive their inspiration from patterns and colors on fish, which didn’t seem too far-fetched.
There was also a short overhead aquarium tunnel in the aquarium, too, that was pretty cool. Basically I recommend a visit if you’re really into that sort of thing. Sadly I didn’t take many pictures beside this absurd sign outside the museum.
Later Saturday night I attended a Hygge dinner with friends from my homestay network, which was so nice! One of the student’s host parents cooked us a Danish Christmas Dinner, with battered pork, regular and sugared potatoes, pickled beets, and a nice salad. It was great food and we all exchanged small grab bag gifts at the end; I got two Icelandic drink coasters. Cool Stuff. Tak for reading. ❤