So, today and tomorrow are my 'sleep-in days' and the best I could manage was 7:30. I guess after a week of getting up at 5:30, that's pretty good.
No, lets face it. I should still be sleeping.
More news regarding schools: got my first REJECTION letter!!! From TU Delft. My portfolio wasn't experimental enough. However, I was accepted to the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany.
Since I had to make a decision by May 1, though, I've submitted my acceptance both to U of T in Toronto and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. The more I look at Dessau and Copenhagen, the more I realize that while it would be fricken AWESOME to have cheap rent and no tuition, the town of Dessau is small and fairly isolated... and the more I look at the program there, the more I see the same 5 instructors teaching every course. Which worries me. Even though the course-descriptions look fantastic and challenging and involve traveling and all that good stuff... I just don't think the Bauhaus is the place for me.
Copenhagen: I'm obsessively reading about other 'ex-pats' and exchange students who live there, and I think I'm pretty prepared for what to encounter.
After living in Amsterdam last year, I know that the European mindset--and especially the Northern European mindset--can be pretty frustrating at times... One of the biggest 'complaints' people have about living in Denmark is the loss of small talk in stores and restaurants; the fact that people don't nod and smile to you on the street; the loss of general communication between complete strangers.
I was reading a blog that was discussing a 60 minutes episode regarding the happiness of the Danes. I think they're rated Number 1 in terms of happiness, and they don't have the best weather... so how could that be so?
One Dane said something along the lines of "we know we have the right not to be spoken to."
While for a typical friendly Canadian this might come across as boorish and unfriendly, I've pretty much died and gone to heaven. He goes on to mention a distinct, structured body language, whereby if you have to get off the bus, instead of asking the person beside you "excuse me, I have to get off here," you just rustle your bags and make movements so that they will move without you having said a word.
I DO THAT! I hate talking to people I don't need to talk to. Especially if it involves extra smiling. I'm just NOT that kind of person! It doesn't mean I hate people, though sometimes I do, or that I'm unhappy... just that I'm a person who doesn't see the point in useless interaction.
The thing that is hard to get over, though, is getting served at a restaurant. While I don't expect small talk, I do expect my drink to be attended to, and you can pretty much kiss 'customer service' in that department goodbye. If you get to order a coffee once, you might as well order 3 for the next hour cause they ain't coming back for 'refills.'
I forgot to mention: I bought a Lonely Planet guide to Copenhagen and have been avidly reading about the history of the city and all the different areas. I think that when I move, it will be better to focus my search to Ostebro and Norrebro, two 'suburbs' of the city (which are within a 10-15 minute bus ride of downtown). That's approximately how far out my place in Amsterdam was from downtown, if not a little further! And I rode my bike everywhere. The only time I took the tram was if it was really raining, or I'd have to carry a lot of baggage.
Norrebro in particular is said to be the place for students, and one of the hippest parts of towns, with lots of cafes, pubs, interesting shops, second hand stores, etc. It sounds like 'de Pijp' in Amsterdam, where Catherine and Felix used to live. And the rent is cheaper, though THAT is relative. Places I've seen there are between 7500-10 000 DKK (Danish Kroners) which is approximately $1200-2000/month! Those prices are for 1 or 2 bedroom apartments. I've yet to find any rooms being rented out, though I'm sure they exist, somewhere. Yikes.
The food thing: I've heard that Copenhagen has excellent restaurants, but what does that matter if I'm poor? Well, I've been told that shopping at the 'grocery stores' in Denmark is worse than the Albert Heijn in Amsterdam... to quote: "It's like shopping on an Army base in the Yukon." As far as I've been able to discern, this issue stems from the fact that Denmark doesn't import a lot of food generally, so what grows there is what's sold. In theory, a good thing (local, organic shopping), but in practice, I think that it is going to be hard to readjust to the lack of good veggies and actual variety in departments other than herring. Hopefully they're not into the 'spreads' that the Nederlanders are. Gross.
Okay, I think we can all tell I'm sufficiently excited about this.. I've printed out my passport renewal form and got it all filled out. Next Friday is going to be a busy day for me: I have to do the passport thing, the sending of part of my tuition to Copenhagen thing, and the 'go to Calgary for the long weekend' thing. Phew! Luckily, all those events coincide with the getting paid thing.