18 December 2010

Copenhagen: The Final Chapter

I left Copenhagen a couple days ago after a stressful and emotional week. I had a list of errands that was longer than an anaconda, and in the end, I didn't manage to complete them all. I also didn't get the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone I would've liked to, but hopefully I will see many of them over the coming weeks as I set off on a new adventure around Europe and North Africa. I'm currently in London and worrying that my backpacking adventure may start with a hiccup: each of the major airports today closed down due to this morning's heavy snowfall.

My final Kafa X-perience
My final night in Copenhagen was spent doing my favourite things. At Kafa X, we munched on delicious (and dumpster-dived) vegan food with a handful of remaining exchange students. Later on, we moved onto Stash's place, right in the city centre, for some cheap Tuborg beers and nice hygge. After a few drinks and some short, honest and heartfelt exchanges with my friends, I farewelled them with a final hug. I slipped my thick mittens on and prepared myself for one last bike ride in Copenhagen.

Stash's place
It was an unusually lonely bike ride for me. During my time in Copenhagen I almost always had a companion to ride home with. Not Tuesday night though, as my neighbouring friends had either left Copenhagen already, or were at home preparing for the next day's exams. I have many great memories of riding home through Enghavavej. I remember one of my first rides home - I was with Tom C. He stacked it behind me because I applied the brakes too suddenly at an orange light. Rookie error (on my part!). Then there's the time we somehow ended up at Sydhavn after following Ed P home from Christiania. And that time Tien and I looked for the sea, only to end up at a MacDonalds in the middle of nowhere. And the time Mala, Aurora and I decided it would be smart to ride home from the local Netto through the thick snow. We all ended up stacking it and Aurora still sports bruises from that incident to this day. Then there's that whole list of late night drunken bike rides home, dangerously weaving in and out of the bike lanes whilst singing at the top of our lungs...

Copenhagen has been a truly memorable experience for me. I will finish my final post on Copenhagen with an extract of my testimonial I wrote for the exchange office back home.

I made many amazing friendships on this exchange that I will cherish forever. It’s the friends I've made that really enhanced my exchange experience. For instance, I had Danish friends who taught me the art of drinking snaps during the course of dinner, Greek friends who’d slap the back of my head after a haircut, Belgian friends who spoiled me with their Belgian chocolate desserts, and Swedes who’d show me a good night out just across the border of Denmark.

I must warn though, exchange is not a completely smooth and easy experience. Be prepared for some challenging times. It is tough to settle into a new country without initially having like-minded friends. Remaining positive during the winter can also be difficult, with the sun setting as early as 3pm. However, this experience has taught me that tough challenges are part and parcel with any life experience, and that the right attitude and outlook will always help in overcoming such adversity.


Post a Comment