Monday, February 23, 2009


The initially faulty internet connection, sticking doors, and awkwardly close quarters seemed fair dues to pay for the prime location and great company of living in Skindergade. Even the small ocean that has taken up residence in our bathroom and the frequent untriggered fire alarms seemed (almost) acceptable…and maybe even a touch endearing. But as light bulbs have burned out, black outs have displaced entire floors, and small waterfalls have made their way through our ceilings from the floors above us, our lenience has gone from genial to exasperated rather quickly.

In a way, maybe the trials and tribulations of Skindergade life are serving as a substitute to the obstacles faced by those with host families; while they are struggling with Danish dinner-table etiquette, we are wondering why you have to frequently dump water out of the dryer; or while they are maneuvering the intricacies of Danish environmental consciousness, we are attempting (and learning) to cook sans oven and with only an assortment of mismatched utensils at our disposal.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think anyone here would trade our living situation for anything. If being able to wake up at 8:23 and still make it in time to an 8:30 class isn’t enough, avoiding strikes on the bus lines and hour long commutes, having Copenhagen’s best entertainment at our fingertips, and the undeniably beautiful cityscape right outside our door leave us with little but superficial complaints. And, as I said before, being in good company makes Skinder-life all the better. Well past the stages of the inevitable freshman syndrome that comes from being in a new place with new people (where everyone hangs out with everyone simply because no one has anyone), we are still close as ever, sometimes more like a family than merely a group of friends. Our days are punctuated with early morning doggie piles, family-style dinners, and ongoing card games, movie nights, religiously followed TV shows, and mildly unsuccessful homework sessions.

Of course, along with our family-like bonds come family-like bickering, wrestling, and provoking (it’s not such a rare occurrence for those coming home at 4 in the morning to do whatever they can to wake everyone else up). The girls have done what they can to teach the boys the most basic of domestic skills and yet the ever-present mess in the kitchen has been a cause for verbal abuse (met with excuses that they're used to living in a frat house) and Cinderella-like Sundays.

Naturally, I say this all in good fun and high spirits and I couldn’t feel more lucky when considering my living situation. These Skinder-woes can’t even be considered bumps in the road, just parts of this fabulous experience.

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