I’m past the halfway point of my semester in Copenhagen, and I’m starting to feel quite comfortable in the rhythms of Danish life in the city. Making doctors appointments doesn’t scare me, I’m no longer flustered when trying to speed-bag my own groceries. All in all, I have the comfortable sense of having the right to take up space on the sidewalk or ask for something from a waiter – I don’t feel the urge to make myself as unnoticeable as possible so as to hide my foreignness.
Before going abroad, I was warned about experiencing “reverse culture shock” upon my return to America. Well, I have been home for almost two weeks now, and while I haven’t felt any extreme culture shocks, I have been surprised to keep finding myself well, surprised, by certain little things I have forgotten about American culture.
I have now been to four Italian cities. I travelled to Florence earlier in the semester, and this past weekend I travelled to three cities in Italy: Cinque Terre, Milan, and Venice. I am going to write about some of my experiences in Venice, and how they surprised me and frustrated me at the same time.
I love living in Barcelona! I feel so comfortable here, navigating the city via metro, walking when the weather is nice, visiting my regular restaurant and bakery. People are friendly, the area is safe, and I learn something new about Barcelona and myself every day. I have developed a routine and I feel comfortable sticking with it, but I also enjoy changing plans last minute, trying out new sites, restaurants, etc. I still have to pinch myself sometimes to avoid getting too comfortable because my time here is limited. But I think the finality of my semester inspires me to take advantage of everyday.
I had about eleven days off for HKUST spring break so I decided I had to use the time in the wisest way possible. To me, this meant Burma. While living in Hong Kong for the past three months I’ve met a lot of people and one of the first questions I ask is about traveling. Almost every person I’ve met who has made it all the way to Burmahas raved about the sanctioned country famous for its military regime and human rights abuses. All I knew about Burma was that the US government has dozens ofsanctions banning foreign investment in the country and that it was betweenIndia and Thailand and yet, not known for its food.
Haha, there are picture of cats at the bottom, and they are very cute.
First, I would like to beg apologies if my English is a little rusty, I’ve been speaking French all week, and while that is great fun, it does somewhat interfere with my English grammar.
When one travels outside their home country there is often a different currency used at the destination. My interest in currency has increased a great deal this semester for two reasons, studying foreign exchange factors and visiting three countries, each with their own currency. The use of currency is an ancient custom and nearly everything from salt to certificates showing ownership of giant rocks has been used to facilitate transactions. Each of the nations I visited used a different currency, Britain the Pound Sterling, France the Euro, and Denmark the Krone, which is fixed against the Euro.