Saturday, 24 August 2013

First week on the Danish diet

I love food, it is something that I’m hugely interested in. At times I have had a love hate relationship with it, but I love discovering and eating new foods and trying new recipes for cooking and baking. So the idea of trying new foods in different country and culture to the UK got me a little excited (sorry if that makes me sound a little weird..).

My eating situation during my first few days has been different to what it will be once I am settled in to my own place, so for now I’m having to rustle up my 3 meals without the use of a kitchen (as stated in previous blogs) – which mainly involves eating out. Copenhagen is not known for bargains and in 2012 was ranked the 21st most expensive city to live in. Considering all the cities in the world, it’s pretty high so scouting cheap deals has been a bit of a challenge.


My budget breakfast isn't too shabby

As I can’t afford the breakfast at the hostel, I have been living off eating muesli from the Aldi located at the end of the street and eating out of a (clean) takeaway box from my first meal here. I feel this has been a pretty savvy technique that I thought of and it has saved me a bunch of money every morning. Hooooowever, I did make one mistake. Milk. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BUY MILK IN DENMARK?!? I had even tried to be clever and read up beforehand what was the right stuff to buy as supposedly it is the common thing for foreigners to buy yoghurt instead of milk. I saw a carton, and the word mælk so I thought I was safe >.<… turns out I bought buttermilk instead. Why on earth they sell buttermilk in litre cartoons and in different fat content is beyond me. Perhaps theres a Danish food thing I don’t yet understand…I have since resolved this issue but I am ashamed to admit I now fall under the naïve traveller category.

This is not milk...
...THIS is milk.



















From the lunch situations I have come to 2 conclusions:

1) Danish people like bread and particularly sandwiches. Now I know bread is quite a continental Europe thing but I don’t tend to eat much of it at home as I don’t get very hungry at lunchtimes. I have been grateful of sandwiches (sometimes free thanks to uni providing them for us) as I’m not eating much at breakfast. I also know the Danes are known for Smørrebrød (open sandwiches), something I am yet to try. I also like their Rye bread as it tastes different to the boring bread back at home. Sandwiches are probably the cheapest food we have found so for now they will do the job.



2) Danish people like mayo.. and when I say 'like' mayo, I mean obsessed with it. It creeps up in everything. I ordered a salad on my visit in March and was basically given a pot of mayo with some fruit in it. I can manage eating it for now but for these two weeks only. For one I just don’t like the taste and  also the fact that it is basically 80% oil and the rest egg just makes my stomach churn…


My cheapest meal and the only sandwich I could find without mayo, but salad cream >.<


'Sunset Boulevard' - the Danish equivalent to Subway!

Dinner has been an accidental success. On our 2nd night, Liis and I were looking for somewhere quick and cheap to eat when a helpful Danish lady told us about this little café that provide lots of different salad options and also a hot dish (curry, chilli con carne etc.) and soup if they haven’t run out. She also told us that if you go just before closing, everything is discounted 50% - such a bonus. The food is really tasty and a much nicer option than pizza every night (Thanks Chilimili!) Unfortunately it is closed on a Sunday so we will have to extend our search for dinner tomorrow further.


A selection of hot an cold meals.. so tasty!










Regarding drinks, I’ve mostly been drinking water (it’s free and tastes much better than the tap water at home). I’ve had some coke, my shameful addiction, but it is quite expensive here. I have also found ONE type of cider in the shops which is Somersby.  However, it doesn’t taste like the UK Somersby… it is much sweeter making me think they add something to the taste because it’s so much like concentrated apple juice. I will manage for now and have to ask for cider donations from my friends when they come to visit ;)

I MISS YOU CIDER :'(

I haven’t had much experience in supermarkets other than to buy a couple of bits but I’m looking forward to trying all the foreign chocolate and sweets that look so tempting. I do know however to avoid the 7/11 corner shops because they are a massive rip off. And according to them, small bags of crisps don’t exist…

Sorry about the massively long post. Also if you are interested, I have started my first vlog (located on my about me page at the top ^^ or at http://www.youtube.com/user/alexxx373/videos).


Byeee for now!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Generator hostel Copenhagen.. my first experience

Since the internet in my hostel is failing me this evening, I thought I use the time to blog again… about my hostel! As I have stated before, this is my first hostel experience and (touch wood) it’s turning out ok given the circumstances. Believe me when I say I am desperate to get into my apartment and get settled, but since I still have a 1 ½ weeks left here, it seems to be doing the job quite nicely. Overall it is clean, tidy and comfy, so I can chill out in the evenings.

My 6 bed female dorm

I was a bit worried about the room sharing situation as it is not something I am accustomed to, particularly with strangers. However, it is quite spacious and the beds are really quite comfy. So far, the people I have shared with have been fine. Actually, one of my roommates turned out to be the first person I met on my uni induction day on Monday so it has been nice being with someone in the same boat as me. The others tend to keep themselves to themselves and only stay for a couple of nights as they are passing through on travels. I was worried about noise as I’m a light sleeper but it’s been ok. Although the first night one woman snored SO LOUD – glad I packed my earplugs! Another bonus is having storage under my bed that I can lock away my things safely and it fits all of my 2 weeks of stuff.

Bed 2 - my new home for the first weeks of my travels

On the first floor is the bar/common room area. It’s very modern in design, with colourful décor and big comfy sofas to lie on. Filled with travellers most of the day, I’ve met a couple of nice people when just chilling. In the evenings is does get loud as people start there nights out (which I unfortunately can’t join in with until the weekend due to lectures), but as i'm sleeping on the 5th floor, it isn’t disruptive to me.


The common room in the day
There have been a couple of downsides though. As I mentioned before, the internet is awful. To be honest, I am pretty grateful that they provide free access but it’s just not strong enough for everyone who wants to use it. Skyping is pretty impossible but I can still access the basics. The other is the eating situation. The do not provide a kitchen, which I find surprising for a hostel so most meals have to be bought out (lunch is provided at the uni somedays). To cut down on costs, I have brought cereal for breakfast and find a cheap takeaway for dinner. However, the get very funny about you eating it in the common room and will tell you to go out to the street if you want to keep eating. I find this unfair when facilities are not provided. I assume it is a money making scheme for you to buy their food, but I am not willing to spend the equivalent of £10(?!?!) for a breakfast that consists of some cereal, bread and juice. Dinner they provide is even more costly but when I can find much cheaper alternatives, I will go somewhere else. I’ll just have to become a discrete eater so not to get caught or eat in my room… (I plan on doing a food blog next).

The bar at night


So to sum up.. I’m surviving here! Hopefully I’ll make it the 2 weeks without going a little crazy, particularly from the deafening evening music. A guy called Stu who I met here said that this was more like a hotel in comparison to other hostels he has stayed at on his travels so I think I’ve picked the best of the options.






Byeee for now!




Monday, 19 August 2013

Welcome to Copenhagen, Demark!

Well I’m finally here, sat in the bar area of the Generator Hostel in Copenhagen. My blogging hit an all time low in my final few days as i’ve been so busy with packing, planning and spending time with family and friends. It’s been a pretty emotional weekend, but it didn’t really hit me that I was leaving until my last goodbye at the airport. I had been so concerned that I would miss my flight and couldn’t check my baggage in because I was late that when it was time to say goodbye to my mum, the emotion that had been building over that weekend burst. I had become so fogged by making sure I had all I needed and would be in the right place at the right time, when she put her arms around me, it final dawned on me that it would be the last time I would see everyone for a long time.

My life boxed up for shipping

Delayed for departure...


















This then made for an strange flight, taking a plane independently for my first time. I’m a nervous flyer as it is but I just sat in a daze for most of it. The flight was quick and comfortable but I don’t really remember much of it. Arriving at Copenhagen airport was easy, having made the journey only a few months ago. The train station is situated directly below the airport entrance and although a slight delay, I reached my stop perfectly fine. I’m pretty good in orientation situations and found my hostel with ease (although I looked like a such a tourist with my giant pull out map, wheeling around oversized luggage).

Copenhagen airport from arrivals

I have to admit that my first night was a lonely one. Because I was already feeling sad and it was my first night in a hostel, I found it difficult talking to anyone and having to find some dinner alone..
Perhaps this post has taken a slightly more depressing tone than I originally set out for it to be but I think I’d rather be honest than mask it with false feelings and pretend I had the best time ever.

BUT as they say in the Book Of Mormon (which by the way is the best musical ever!!).. ‘it’s time to man up!’… So I did! I woke up for my first induction day and have had an excellent day so far. I met lots of people in the same situation as me so it made introductions and conversation easy. I even met a girl who eventually checked into my dorm in the hostel so it’s nice to have someone to chat with.

It’s going to be a tough few weeks and a bit of a culture shock but I’m feeling more positive after today about what I have in store. I also know that it won’t be long before I see people again and that Skype is my saviour!!

Byeee for now!

Last picture with the girls