We’re in Australia, or, Jet Lag is Sooo Annoying

Well, the new big news is that we have relocated to Melbourne, Australia for the next month and a half! Brian had to come for work, and I tagged along. Because Australia. We’ve been here a couple days now, and are sort of figuring out this city. We’re staying downtown. (That’s the Central Business Disctrict or CBD to all you locals. Yep, that’s right, I got the slang down.) It’s a muuuuuch bigger city than Aarhus, and we’re still both adjusting to all the people and noise and busy-ness. (We’re not really big city people.) But it’s also pretty exciting.

Plus, we have immediate access to, like, thousands of restaurants. And I have just one thing to say: yum. Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum. There is soooo much good food here. For one thing, we’re surrounded by authentic Thai and Italian and Chinese food. (There’s even a whole China town!) That’s so exciting after a year of pretty much blah in Aarhus. For another thing, Melbourne is just generally a foodie town, so we get to eat at restaurants like The Meatball & Wine Bar where they only serve, you got it, meatballs. But ohmigod they are best meatballs you will ever ever eat.

mmm meatballs. Mine (the closer ones) were served on creamy polenta. I'm drooling just thinking about them.

mmm meatballs. Mine (the closer ones) were served on creamy polenta. I’m drooling just thinking about them.

Not to mention the coffee shops on every street corner. I feel like I’m in Seattle with all the talk about daily brews and textured foam. Granted, I’m not drinking caffeine, but decaf espresso is a thing here! Yay!

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So we’ve spent the last few days swinging from excitedly exploring the city to exhaustedly trying to stay up late enough for it to reasonably be considered bed time (i.e. 8:30 pm). Somehow, jet lag caught up with us, even though I don’t really understand it this time. I woke up yesterday morning at 4am, unable to get back asleep. But Denmark is 9 hours behind us. Which means it was 7pm Danish time. Which doesn’t explain why I woke up so freaking early. And we get totally tired around 3pm, which is 6am Danish time. Again, it makes no sense in a body/sleep rhythm kind of way! Suffice it to say, our sleep patterns are all screwed up. But, as with all jet lag incidents, we’ll adjust.

So in the next couple months, you can look forward to some posts about Aussies and wallabies and cricket and coffee in addition to the occasional baby post because I’m almost 23 weeks pregnant dudes!

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The Weekend’s Adventures: Festuge, Furniture Building, and TV Shopping

Weekend Adventures

This weekend was the last weekend of Festuge (literally “party week”) here in Aarhus. It’s a week and a half filled with events, entertainment, and alcohol, and it’s a pretty big deal in Aarhus. It’s been going on forever, and many many people descend on the city to participate, especially for the last weekend.

Brian and I couldn’t participate this past weekend because we were moving, so we made sure to get out this week and enjoy the festivities. Friday night we headed to the Latin Kvartet where we had some drinks, ate some hotdogs, saw some jugglers and parades, and generally wandered around along with everyone else in a 100 km radius.

Sights of the Festuge

Sights of the Festuge

Just to give you an idea of the typical Festuge happenings: In the Store Torv (literally “big square”) in the Latin Quarter, students from the Aarhus School of Architecture built a giant structure called the “Little Big Thing.” Bands played at the bottom, and you could climb up to the second level to watch from above. Also, a block of a street called Frederiks Allé by the ARoS art museum was covered with sod, making a temporary new park in the middle of the city with platforms for picnicking and a bridge for pedestrians to cross over the bike lanes they left in. (Which, thank goodness because the diverted traffic was bad enough without also diverting all the bikers around this street.)

There were a lot of bands playing all over the city this week, which was lots of fun. You’d be out for a coffee on a normal Thursday afternoon, and next thing you knew a band would set up next to you and start jamming. There were also pleanty of street performers, including one of those guys who sits yoga style 3 feet above the ground (This guy totally blew my mind. How did he do that?!) and a one-man-band playing crazy-fast pop music à la Weird Al Yankovich.

 

Saturday morning, Brian and I put together most (but not all) of our recently acquired IKEA furniture. We now have a desk and a dining room table, and our apartment is looking more and more livable with every day.

That afternoon, we went to another Festuge event, the Aarhus Food Festival.

Food Festival

 

It’s only its 3rd year, but already the Food Festival is a big hit. It was filled with booths containing cooking demonstrations and samples of some delicious food. Among other things, Brian and I ate a giant blackberry; sampled some cabbage from an old, previously extinct Danish variety; went on a tour of gourmet honeys; and tried to see if we could taste the difference between beef and horse meat. We also ate probably our most Danish meal yet in Denmark: a giant plate of mashed potatoes covered with bacon bits and garnished with beets, parsley, and chives. Mmmmm, it was so good.

Walking through the fair, Brian and I turned the corner and saw what had to be the longest line in the entire fair. And guess what booth it was for.

The Lakrids Line

The Lakrids Line

That’s right, it was for the licorice booth. Look at all those people lined up to get some free licorice! Brian and I felt like we had to try as well. We tasted gourmet liquid salty and sweet licorice and licorice powder. And oh my god it was the worst.

 

Sunday, we decided that it was time we finally got ourselves a Danish television. So we got on a bus heading North towards Bilka, a Danish big box store. There, after many hours of debate and some chicken nuggets and french fries to keep up our spirits, we finally settled on a 47″ (they do them in inches even in Europe for some reason) LG, which I must say looks very handsome set up on our TV console. Its features include 3D capability, and apparently it can somehow turn normal 2D shows and movies into 3D. I’m not sure how that can possibly work, but it does. A little bit. We tested it out. It’s also probably the most useless feature for a TV to have.

Our new TV

Our new TV

The best part of the whole day? Carrying the ginormous box home on the bus. Don’t worry, though. People do it all the time here. You should see the bus back from IKEA! It’s filled to the brim of students carrying home giant furniture.

A Sunny Morning

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Apparently in Denmark I am a coffee drinker. And not just a Sunday afternoon latte drinker but a drinks it black because we don’t have any creamer in the house and oh my god I need some caffeine drinker.

I blame Brian.

And can you believe how sunny this room is in the morning?!

This Weekend

Brian and I took a break from exploring neighborhoods and apartment hunting this weekend to do some more touristy type things.

Friday we went into the Latinerkvarteret (Latin Quarter) and ate dinner at a popular restaurant called OliNico. It won an award on aoa.dk (which I’m guessing is like the RFT for Aarhus) for Bedste Takeaway and usually has lines out the door for the chef’s special “to go” menu. One thing that Brian’s Danish coworkers have told us is that the Danes do not do doggie bags at restaurants. They do have some cafes and things – sandwich shops and the like – where you can get food to go, but it seems like having a nicer restaurant that does take away food is kind of a big deal.

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But we just wanted to try their fish ‘n chips because they smelled amazing.

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Afterwards, we wandered the Latinerkvarteret, just soaking up the late evening sunlight.

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In Denmark you can walk around with an open can of beer and it’s no big deal, which is obviously totally different from the US. So Brian and I gave it a try. I’m not gonna lie, it felt a little weird. So mostly we just sat by the canal in this area where you can come with you own food and drinks and still sit in the middle of the action.

Just to show that we’re not the only ones walking around with open drinks:

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This was the canal on our way home Friday night where Mølleparken meets the canal. The park was full of 20 and 30 somethings hanging out and having a drink.

Just to give you an idea of where we are in relation to all of this, here is a map:

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We’re the little red dot on the left. The pedestrian street filled with shops is the red line. It starts at the train station and meets up with the canal, which is also bordered with shops and restaurants. Directly north of the canal is the Latin Quarter, filled with, you guessed it, lots of shops and restaurants. We’re in this area of Aarhus quite frequently since our apartment is only a few blocks away from it all.

 

Saturday, Brian and I went to a big electronica music festival – Stella Polaris -that was just a block or so to the north of us. Apparently it’s become a popular music festival in Northern Europe. It travels to various cities and was here in the Botanisk Have (Botanical Gardens) from 12-9 on Saturday. We went for a couple hours and found quite a crowd.

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You just sit back and let the electronica wash over you. Many people brought picnics, and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Somersby (a line of ciders made by Carlsberg) were there selling refreshments. 

So it was quite a fun weekend!