wednesday snails, smørrebrød & book nooks
Happy Wednesday friends! Its week two here in Cope, classes are picking up, the weather is getting a bit cooler, and I’ve been counting down the minutes until Wednesday morning before last Wednesday even drew to a close. Why, you might ask?
This tongue twister of a word means "Wednesday Snails" in Danish, and refers to the heavenly cinnamon rolls found only Wednesdays at Sankt Peder’s Bageri. Sankt Peder’s is the oldest bakery in Copenhagen, known for their tasty treats and renowned for their scrumptious snails, sold by the thousands each Wednesday.
My friends and I happened to wander by last Wednesday and I tasted my first Onsdagssnegle. Let me tell ya, I was hooked. These giant cinnamon rolls come either lathered in icing or covered in sugar, and each bite is covered in cinnamon goodness. I’m not saying that I set my alarm for 7:30 this morning to get one before class…but would you blame me if I did?
Ok, I totally did. It was so worth it; I started the day with a Wednesday snail, a cup of joe, great conversation, and allllll the sugar. Nothing better. My mouth is watering as I write this, and I am already counting down the moments until my next Wednesday snail. Everyone says to be careful about falling in love abroad, but Sankt Peder - you have my heart.
For those who are still with me after that two hundred word Onsdagssnegle ballad, the past week has been great! Between the snails, I have started classes, explored new areas in the city, and successfully biked to school without using Google Maps. *Fanfare*
This weekend, my friends and I checked some places off our Copenbucket list. We awoke on Saturday to a dreary drizzle and deemed it a perfect day to check out the Black Diamond Library – a sleek new addition to the Royal Danish Library. This incredible mega book nook is perched over the harbor, and is a perfect marriage of the tradition and innovation present in Danish architecture and culture. One side of the library is sleek and minimalist and the opposite face looks almost castle-like, complete with ivy covered brick and a lovely rose garden. We sipped coffee as we started our first assignments of the semester and cozily watched the rain patter against the windows.
When the library closed, we walked around downtown until we found a cute spot for dinner. We wanted to try some classic Danish cuisine, so we made friends with the waitress and she helped us find the most Danish nibbles on the menu. My friends tried Smørrebrød– a classic Danish open faced sandwich – and I got fish meatballs. We all thought it was delicious, and loved sitting outside under a cozy heat lamp wrapped in blankets. After dinner, we stumbled upon a board game café. It was SO cool! The walls were covered floor to ceiling with boxed games, and the tables were filled with people sharing drinks, and playing board games. It was such a cool idea, and we all vowed we would come back sometime to play a full game.
I am loving my classes so far, They all seem incredibly engaging and I am excited for the amount of hands on learning ahead of me this semester. Today I went on a field study for my Anthropology of Food course. We were each assigned a partner and a local restaurant – our mission was to try the classic Danish dish; Smørrebrød. With our 400 DKK meal stipend (about 60 USD) and our restaurant typed into Google Maps, my friend Lauren and I headed out and quickly realized we were in for a TREAT.
Once we found the restaurant, we were greeted with beautiful minimalist lighting and décor, and a genuinely kind waitstaff. We got free drinks, and truly ate like queens. It was hands-down the best meal I've had since I arrived in Copenhagen, and it was so nice getting to know my new classmate. I am in for a semester of culinary exploration in my Anthropology class, and after today’s trip I simply can’t wait for our next class.
The rest of my courses are equally as cool. I am taking four electives: Anthropology of Food, Social Neuroscience, European Storytelling, and Psychology of Leadership. In addition to electives, each DIS student gets to take a core course– a course supplemented by two week-long study tours across Europe. My core course is Positive Psychology, and we meet for three hours on Mondays. We have only had one class so far, but we meditated, talked about altruism, and looked at the semester lying ahead of us. Our professor explained that there would be many experimental assignments throughout the semester, allowing us to practice different happiness hacks in our daily lives. This week, we were encouraged to look at the positive in everything – even when things go awry – a habit our professor promised would transform our lives. It was a helpful mindset to keep when I woke up this morning to find my bike stolen! Although it was inconvenient, I put my assignment into practice and instead of being upset I thought of all the things I had to be thankful for:
- No one got hurt (stuff is just stuff)
- I still had the bus to get me to class on-time
- Some lucky guy was now the owner of my lovely bike
- DIS helps students with insurance claims on stolen property
- I had a Wednesday snail awaiting me downtown…
- I learned a lesson about bike safety in Copenhagen! Even though my bike was locked and near the other bikes in my Kollegium, perhaps there is a better place to stash it overnight.
Hopefully I will be getting a new bike soon…stay tuned to hear how that saga unfolds, and to get an update on my weekly happiness experiment. Until then, I’ll be here dreaming of cinnamon rolls, exploring new coffee shops, and loving every minute of my new Danish life.