It’s snowing in Copenhagen and it’s April!!!!

Snowing in April in Copenhagen
Snowing in April in Copenhagen

Dear diary…While writing this to you, I hope I am still asleep and just having a nightmare. I look outside and it is freezing cold and snowing. This could not possibly be happening in April could it????

Unfortunately I am pretty sure that I am awake and not just having a nightmare. It is actually snowing outside. The picture was taken from my window (a few minutes ago)…huge snowflakes coming down.

Now I don’t know what happened with the global warming. From where I stand it feels like global freezing. I really need some sun and heat 🙂

The spring has finally arrived in Copenhagen

Suntanning on the rooftop terrace
Suntanning on the rooftop terrace

The spring has finally arrived to Copenhagen and I feel ecstatic.

The weather is Copenhagen was 14 degrees today and we had a bright blue sky.

I am so fortunate to have an apartment with access to a beautiful rooftop terrace on which there is always sun and no wind. So today I spent most of the day suntanning and reading on the rooftop terrace.

The trees are also starting to get green leafs, but the wind is cold when you drive on bicycle. So I think I will just stay on my 30 degree warm rooftop terrace and pretend it’s already summer 🙂

Amager Fælled: The green get-away in Amager and Ørestad, Copenhagen

On this cold afternoon, in a month that should be spring, I went for a long walk with my darling sister and gorgeous niece in Amager Fælled.

Amager Fælled is a nice, swampy nature reserve where you can walk, run and cycle and enjoy a break from the traffic on Amager and the new constructions in Ørestad.

The place originally served as a shooting range for the military, when they trained in gun use, but was abandoned in 1956 for park use.

In the 1990s Amager Fælled was declared protected.

Being part of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15)

Next week I start working as an attache to the Danish Foreign Ministry during the COP15 in Copenhagen. Although it is a short period of time (December 2 – December 19) the selection procedure and preparation for employees have been very long.

I applied for a position at the end of July this year together with 2000 other hopeful candidates (both Danes and foreigners). In August I received the first invitation to a job interview with Execute, a recruitment company, who had been chosen to find the candidates in cooperation with the Danish Foreign Ministry.

In September, I went to a group interview with seven other well qualified candidates. In this interview we were to prepare a one minute speech about ourselves in Danish, a three minute lecture in English (without papers) about Denmark and be prepared to answer a random question about the UN Climate Change Conference in English (we were expected to read the COP15 website in advance to prepare for the question).

On October 8 I was invited to the second part of the job interview which was a role-play session in the Danish Foreign Ministry. We were to prove that we could handle difficult guests at the conference with a smile :-).

On October 14 I received the final recognition that I was part of the team together with about 300 other candidates – but nothing about hours, start time or job function (and place).

I received my work schedule and job function on November 20 and since then I have been excitedly anticipating the start of the conference. Hours and place of work can still be changed any minute, but so far it looks as if I will be working 8 hours every day in the airport receiving the delegations who arrive, controlling passport and visa and supplying information to COP15 participants.

I am really looking forward to being part of this conference, which is the biggest ever held in Denmark, and I am hoping that the goals for the COP15 materialise.

Returning to Denmark and doing the Danish thing

apartment

After one year silence on the website, I have returned home – both to my website and to Denmark.

Since Thomas and I are no longer living together or in the same country we will be writing from different locations and give you an insight into our lives from there. We hope this will give you an interesting experience.

Returning to “the happiest country in the world” has actually been quite a happy experience. I have been doing the “Danish thing” for two months now – which is redoing my apartment.

Danes take great pride in their homes and usually invest a lot of time and money in the interior decoration. And with good reason – we spend most of our time inside at least half the year and according to Danish custom we usually meet with friends in our homes for social gatherings such as dinners, coffee, lunch etc.

I am personally not into design furniture and fancy interior (cause after all we can’t take anything with us when we leave this planet) but many Danes spend a lot of money on these items. I have been redoing my apartment as a kind of occupational therapy which makes me feel connected to the flat and the city again and I am happy to say that it worked 🙂

Video: Suntanning in Danish graveyards …

Huh..? You are joking?!? No, I’m actually not joking. I’m dead serious. This video shows you the beautiful graveyard with suntanning people.

Close to my house in the centre of Copenhagen is a beautiful, old graveyard called “Assistens”. It is the last resting place of a long line of famous Danish people such as H.C.Andersen and Soren Kierkegaard.

But in the summer time it is also the daily resting place of many “Copenhageners”. And it is totally legal. We are not illegal invaders.

Suntanning is indeed permitted in the graveyard…even in a bikini. But of course you are expected to act in a proper manner and treat the place with respect.

And really, why should we not utilize this public space for “living” activities? In Europe death is considered such a final and tragic event. In many other parts of the world, death is a celebration. By sharing the space with the dead people I feel like some of the morbidity disappears.

It really is a beautiful oasis in a busy city and it has been used as a park for decades in all seasons. It is wonderful for walks in the winter as well when the trees and bushes are covered in snow…a real fairytale landscape. I love this place.

Video: Copenhagen Pride 2008

This video shows the amazing Pride parade in Copenhagen. The parade took place today.

Copenhagen pride is a yearly returning event and it is definitely a worthwhile experience to watch or participate as you wish.

The event is basically celebrating the rights and freedom of homosexuals and this year’s theme was “We celebrate because we can!”. And there is a lot to be said for that. In many countries around the world, homosexuality is not only frowned upon – it is punished with jail (like in India) or simply beating up by narrow-minded citizens who face no charges for their doing.

In Denmark we were so fortunate to be the first country in the world to allow for gay marriages. It became legal in 1989 when the gay couples could finally tie the knot as well with their loved one.

Copenhagen Pride is a celebration of love and a recognition that love comes in many shapes and sizes and it is not for other people to judge how we love or who we love. We should all be free to love the one we want.

So go out and do it.