Student in New York

January 30th, 2012 was the first day in my life as a student in New York. I was super excited and not really nervous. I entered the school with the attitude “Do You know who I am?”

At first glance of my class room I was shocked. With all due respect to the public school system in New York I thought to myself: “This is so baaaad…!” It was a culture shock!

I’ll wait and tell you what I thought of my professors and their teaching until the end of this semester 😉 Haha, but no, I enjoy my professors. They are very helpful and its obvious that they care about their students! Some of them are even graduates from NYU and Columbia which means that the quality of my education gets better – for cheaper money! That’s what I call a bargain!

So far I haven’t had any problems keeping up with the work,  and I think this education was the right decision for me! 🙂

Next week I have my first test and I’m a little bit nervous but my professor told me I’ll do better than I think.

I’m still looking for employment on-campus (only thing allowed for F-1 students, and I’m not planning on breaking any laws and risk being deported!) but so far nothing seems to come up. I even applied to Cleaning gigs but nope …

I’m doing good though, and I have a very nice and sweet roommate which makes everything a little easier! (Yes, apparently I’ve become ‘that’ person … the person having roommates!)

Until next time … For the danes; take a look at my newly updated website (Tourist in New York) www.turistinewyork.dk

Empire State Building

Would you believe that it took me 14 trips before I visited the Empire State Building? – But isn’t the Empire one of the ‘must-see’s in New York? Yes. So why did I chose not to?
Well, I’ve always traveled on a budget. Said no to museums, Broadway shows, concerts etc and instead focused on being able to afford the next plane ticket.

BUT! I got a chance to visit it more or less for free – so I did. It was a late Friday night, crystal clear night. There wasn’t a lot of people and the employers paid a lot of attention to each individual – or just me? Don’t know. But I had some really nice conversations with a few of them. It adds to the experience. Tourists, never let go of an opportunity to talk to a New Yorker!

I took some pictures with my LG Prime’s not-so-prime cam – So I’ll just spare you some time and just upload one … I want you to put yourself in my shoes; The City I love – this is my home! Well, a little to the right is my home. Queens, baby!

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Cauliflower Pizza

I’m not much of a cook, meaning I don’t enjoy cooking  just for myself. But I know that for financial and health reasons I should cook more often. So going through a whole bunch of recipes I fell across this one: Cauliflower Crust Pizza If there’s one thing I love it’s italian food. Pizza and pasta, wine, olives … you name it. So I bought the ingredients and I prepared the cauliflower, the ‘dough’, the toppings and while I was at it I also did the dishes so the second the pizza was done, my kitchen looked flawless. – THAT I’m proud of!

At first glance it looks exactly like regular pizza. It taste delicious but next time I probably add more spices. I like my spicy food. Maybe jalapeños would be a welcomed ingredients.

Here’s the pictures to show the progress. I steamed the cauliflower and chopped it with a knife instead of using the grater. It was too messy. I added fresh garlic in the ‘dough’ and didn’t add onion salt. The toppings was green peppers, pizza sauce (only half a glass) tomatoes and fine chopped onions plus some chili powder, basil and black pepper. It took a little longer to bake the crust, since I doubled the serving (it was a huge ‘half’ cauliflower) Approx. 25 min baking and another 15-20 minutes of broiling with the toppings. Bon appetite!

CauliflowerP260112_19.59P260112_20.02P260112_20.05P260112_20.17P260112_20.30_[01]P260112_20.30P260112_20.31P260112_20.36P260112_20.59P260112_20.59_[01]

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I’m actually pretty impressed by my own skills. Remember, I was also the one that messed up a shake & bake!
It tastes great, and I know what I’ll be serving at my first dinner party for my friends in a few months.

It was relatively easy, didn’t take much work. Affordable as well, and the cleaning was done while waiting for the crust to bake and the toppings to broil.

I’ll give MYSELF 5 stars out of 6 … Reason I can’t give myself the last star is because I should have trusted my instinct and bought jalapeños! Ay, what to do ….

P.s. My roomie gave me ‘Thumps up’!

POE and other anecdotes

This is my tale about my POE (Port of Entry) into the United States of America:

So after finishing up my business in Denmark it was time to gather my stuff and get on that plane back ‘home’!

I got a one-way ticket with Icelandair for $500 on cheapoair.com which was a pretty good deal at the time. They ran for about the double on other sites.
– I packed two huge suitcases and got a ride to the airport.
At the airport I was the first one in line, but I had a few lbs excess baggage and the lady “kindly” asked me to unpack or pay.
So I went to the side, removed three books from one bag and a sweater from another (seriously, we’re talking 4-5 lbs too much) I thought it would be okay for me to go back to check-in my luggage afterwards, considering I had been waiting 45 minutes before they even opened check-in (actually, I was checked in just needed to drop my bags) but as always the Danes are not very considering despite they all starred at me while I repacked my bags. – In other words, I got a last taste of the danish attitude and had to go back to the end of the line, and wait another hour.
My bags got checked-in and I took my books and sweater with me in as hand-luggage. (Cause who ever weighs your hand luggage at the gate?)

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Last view of Copenhagen, goodbye!
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On my way to Terminal 1, CPH
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Terminal 1, CPH
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Last view of Copenhagen, goodbye!

The trip to Iceland was AWEFUL! At take-off I started crying, being overly emotional with the thought of actually leaving my family for .. I don’t know how long. The flight attendant saw me and asked if I was okay. I was. At least for a while.
Normally I have pretty decent buddies to sit next to, but this time I was sitting next to a very tall young man that had his legs irresponsibly spread (why does guys always do that?) and his arms were taking up more space than just the armrests. Need I say, personal space? He would at times look at me and he just moved around a lot. And at one point he fell asleep and his head fell on my shoulder.
The second we landed in Iceland he took his seatbelt off, and when we were at the gate he almost crawled over me to get his bag from the overhead bin. I was so upset that I told him to cool it. Nobody else stood up yet, not even the flight attendant. My bag and jacket was in front of his in the overhead bin, and he started pushing my bag to the side to get his out .. I was getting really annoyed and I told him again: “YOU HAVE TO RELAX!” with a loud voice. I wasn’t being unfair. The dude was acting weird. Besides, I had the aisle seat. That means; I stand up first – I take my stuff … and then you’re free to do the same. Don’t crawl over my legs and don’t violently push my stuff the side, moron! (Edit: Looking back, I’m afraid he might have had some mental problems)

Anyways….. I love Keflavik airport. I did a little ‘looking around’ and got a yogurt and juice. Then about an hour after I was on my way to New York. I had my window seat and a spare seat between me and the guy sitting by the aisle. Made up for the trip to Iceland.

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Keflavik
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Keflavik
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Keflavik
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Eh, what now?
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Art in Keflavik
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Learn Icelandic; Konur = Women
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Blue Lagoon store in Keflavik
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Learn Icelandic
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With Hengill to New York
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Leaving Iceland

At JFK I feared a huge line at the border/immigration but – almost miraculously – the line was short and I only had to wait 5-10 minutes. Then I feared that the immigration would deny me. Though you have a visa, it’s still immigration that determines whether or not to let you in. And giving the fact that I’ve been traveling on visa waiver a million times I had this idea that now would be the time I got denied – but I didn’t! He asked me what I was going to study, and for how long. And then, he stamped my papers! I’m telling you, RELIEF! – Didn’t have to wait for my bags either, they came out right after each other after 2 minutes. And I got a cab after only waiting a few minutes. So despite the cruel wait in Copenhagen, having to unpack and the annoying dude next to me from Copenhagen to Iceland – the last half (and most important) part of my trip was painless and when I arrived at my building the doorman came and helped me with my bags!
At home, beautiful roses awaited me again. My friend is just the sweetest!

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If roses could talk, I know what these would say...

So to sum it up;

After 26 times of crossing the Atlantic the 27th time proved to have some of the worst and the best experiences of traveling. I experienced the worst seating companion of all times – and the shortest line at immigration at JFK, and shortest wait for luggage ever! And now, being home with no intention of going back to Denmark for the next 5-6 years I’m finally starting to breath again 😀 … at least until my next blog, where I’ll tell you how it feels like when the study grant you’re entitled to as a danish citizen proves to be hard to get approved and it leaves you with the fear of being without income for the first semester of school!

Glimpse of my City

Going through my massive amount of New York City pictures … To make it a little fun, there’s 1 interesting mistake in ONE of the pictures. Which one?

Columbus Circle Trum Tower
Columbus Circle, Trump Tower ’09
Hailing a Cab UES
Hailing a cab on the Upper East side ’09
Radio City Music hall
Radio City Music Hall ’08
Belvedere Castle
Belvedere Castle ’09
Autumn Central Park
Autumn in Central Park ’09
Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty ’08
Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock ’09

2011, the upside down year!

I don’t believe in making new years resolutions – neither do I make a big deal out of New Years Eve. The only thing special about Dec 31, is that after 24 hours it enters into yet another month called January. I understand the whole idea of new beginnings but honestly. Every Monday is a new beginning for me (joking!)

With that said, I have made it a tradition to write an epilogue by the end of every year. It’s a way for me to sum up the year to never forget that I’m actually living a life! 🙂

Normally I have a very personal one but this year I’ve decided to spare you the tears! 😉

The greatest thing in 2011, has to be the fact that I spend half the year in New York City. Oops. The year had 365 days of which I was on American soil for 185 days. That sounds insane but the beauty of it is that I was 110% LEGAL! (besides the times that I jaywalked – and for that I’m truly sorry…)

A lot of people ask me whether or not I actually don’t work while I’m in New York, how I can afford it etc. Well, what can I say. It’s New York, it’s expensive and tempting to work illegally because the chances of getting caught, if you’re smart, are limited.
I personally know of several people that have worked off the books! They do it for a couple of months and then they return to whatever country they’re from. For me, it’s never been an option. I have far too much respect for the authorities and for myself to ever jeopardize a good standing relationship with America. Besides, I have self-control and I know how to manage my money. I work, I go to school and I save when I’m in Denmark. That way I can enjoy, relax and spend time with my loved ones in NY when I’m there. Of course you absolutely have to be careful how you spend your money, but I’ve been spending so much time in NY that for me, it’s not a matter of spending money anymore. The mere thought of walking down Queens Blvd, while sipping a home-brewed cup of coffee is far more exciting than a night out on the town!

I graduated a 2-year college program! I’m now an Academy Profession graduate in International hospitality and tourism management! (It credits more than an American associate degree – hence why I also wrote a 50-page final thesis – dissertation if you like)

I moved out of my Copenhagen apartment and into a New York apartment. Moving is never easy but this move ended up costing, besides a lot of money, most of the belongings I’ve gathering the past 8 years. Though my rent almost doubled, I’m not regretting getting it. It was kinda love at first sight thing, and though it definitely has its flaws I know that it’s gonna be my home for many years to come.

I met some really interesting people during ’11 and I had to say goodbye to a few too. Life takes its twist and turns and if we don’t pay attention we end up losing the grip and are tossed away.

Though I made my fair share of bad decisions I also know that I’m even more determined now to live my life according to what I know is the truth and in a way .. all of this … is worth going through – exactly because I’m on the road to ‘recovery’. Determination is my power!!!

2012 is gonna be a complete continuance of 2011 and the year before that and all the years I’ve lived and breathed since I was born in 1985. I only have one purpose with my life, the only thing new years give is another year to do what I find best! No resolutions.

Goodbye ol’ tears.

My F-1 Visa interview

I wasn’t able to sleep last night. I was “over thinking” my F-1 visa interview, completely convinced that they were going to deny me. For what reason you might ask? – For spending too much time in the U.S the last couple of years.

I arrived at the embassy too early. My appointment time was 10.10 am, but because I was afraid of getting lost (it was so easy to find!) I left home early and was in front of the embassy at 9.30. Since it’s not allowed to queue up before appointment time I decided to walk around the streets. I noticed a nicely dressed young man coming out of embassy, talking on his phone and saying something about ‘lack of paper’. This added to my insecurity, because how can such a nicely dressed man be turned away because he didn’t have proper papers.

30 minutes later I arrived and I did see a small line of people outside. Two dark dressed security guys checked our passports and gave us instructions regarding the security check. No phone, cords or any electronic devices are allowed into the embassy.

I started conversing with another man, who was there for a business visa interview due to a conference in California. I was surprised that he too had to get a visa despite it not being ‘work’ and only for a 6 days stay. Proves to show how important it is, always to be aware of rules and regulations and your purpose of travel – so you don’t end up getting denied at border/customs.

After handing your phone etc. to some other security guards and yourself and your bag have been checked (like in the airport) you’re let inside a relatively small waiting room. Inside there was about 15 people waiting. You get a number and you wait for your name to be called. It took a very long time! —- Once it was my turn to get ‘checked-in’ I asked the woman, what time it was, only to find out that I’ve been waiting for 1 hour 20 minutes. During your check-in, you’re asked for your SEVIS fee and MRV fee receipts, your passport, your confirmation of visa application, your I-20 plus any other documents relating your financial situation. Also remember a medium-sized envelope already stamped. The woman asked me how I was going to pay for my stay, and a few questions regarding my visa application (change of my name when I was teenager, plus my experiences with my previous work) Then she told me that all the papers were going to be handed to the consul, who would be the one making the decision of my visa.

At this point I was really nervous. But then, my new friend (the guy with the business visa for 6 days) pointed out that Henrik Qvortrup was there applying for a visa. He’s probably not very known to Americans but in Denmark everybody knows and have an opinion about his work as a editor-in-chief at one of our colorful tabloids, his skills (or lack of) as a journalist etc. I thought it was interesting when I saw that he was turned away and came back 15 minutes later. Apparently he didn’t have all his papers in order either. I heard him say to the woman behind the counter(with his broken danish/english accent): “Yes, I am a journalist. But I do not know if I am famous!” … That made me giggle out loud. Really, Qvortrup?
Anyways, side track …

After my check-in it took approximately another 10 minutes when my name was called. She asked me what my purpose of the trip to the United States is, how I was going to financially support myself and after I nervously answered her questions she said: “You have been approved. You will get your visa in 2-4 days!” and handed me my documents.

Just like that! It’s been 5 years, 3 months and one week since I came to the United States the first time. 13 trips back and forth over the atlantic ocean and now I’m going to have a visa that allows me to stay and study until Dec, 31 2017!

I think THAT calls for a celebration!

(To all of you going through college application and visa application, please feel free to send me an email if you have doubts or are unsure of all the rules and things to be aware of. I wished I had a guide that would have helped me. It is tough and hard work – and it’s not cheap either. I started my college application in Dec, 2010. Since then I spend about $900-$1000 on fees. There’s a lot of paperwork and a lot of waiting. But now I can finally start enjoying my efforts! If you want help, again, feel free to email me at [email protected])

Thank you Embassy of the United States of America! 🙂

BAM, Paul Auster and Smoke

I don’t really fancy celebrities. Yea, when you’re in New York you get to see famous people on the streets but to me it’s not a ‘big thing’ seeing or meeting celebrities.
Especially not if that means I have to wait in lines or huge crowds to be able to meet one. Continue reading BAM, Paul Auster and Smoke

Status on NY dream no. 5

I’ve been talking about the different attempts and the progress in the ‘reaching of my dream’ over the course of a few blogs, Status on NY dream vol. 1-4*. Now it’s time for an update.

I realized I had to get a Form I-20 from the university before even being able to apply for a visa. This caused med a bit of anxiety and stress, but finally I have the paper! Got it – along with a message that I need to get an Assessment test before being able to register for classes.

I took the Assessment test (CAT) this past Thursday. It’s a reading, writing and math test. I wasn’t too nervous about the reading and writing part (that I believe I did pretty well) but the math part really freaked me  out. What will happen if I fail it? I’m not even sure. And the stupidest thing is I got the best grades in math just a few years ago. Guess it has to do with the fact that I wasn’t allowed any help besides a calculator and some of the questions, I simply didn’t understand!

On Dec 21, I’m going to get the results and I’ll be able to register for classes as well. As a part of this, I have to give proof of having being immunized for measles, mumps and rubella (which I have, and my doctor in DK is working on a translated version of my documents) I also have to pay a $100 commitment fee (is that subtracted from my tuition? I hope so!)

After I got my Form I-20, I did my DS-160 visa application, along with paying the SEVIS fee of $200. Booked my interview at the embassy in Denmark for Jan 3. ’12. (When I return to DK there’s another fee for the interview of about $150 I have to pay)

At the moment I’m trying to figure out how many scholarships there are available in Denmark for us ‘free-movers’ who are planning/responsible for all parts of our education. Most of the scholarships I’ve found is only available for master/ph.d ‘student’s and not for bachelors like myself. Also, the fact that I’m not enrolled in any Danish colleges/universities causes problems. One would think that WE that plan our own education abroad would be ‘favored equally’ with any other danish students – but no!

But you know what, it’s taken a long time to get here and now I’m most likely going to be back in NYC with a VISA in under a month – so who cares about the little things! I’ll figure a way to make it work, like I always do!

To be continued ….

ALSO:
* read previous chapters here:

http://www.iloveny.dk/2011/04/19/status-on-ny-dream/

http://www.iloveny.dk/2011/05/10/status-on-ny-dream-vol-2/

http://www.iloveny.dk/2011/06/17/status-on-ny-dream-vol-3/

http://www.iloveny.dk/2011/06/21/status-on-ny-dream-vol-4/


You’ve got a friend

Today I was looking through some of the videos I’ve taken in NY, found one of a squirrel and posted it on youtube. I always loved the squirrels in New York and I call them ‘my little friends’.

Anyways, listening to ‘You’ve got a friend’ made me think of the good ol’ days when my sister and I was playing. I was around 10, she 8. We were some very imaginative young children and had made our own Indian (like in, the one’s with feathers and tepee’s) camp out of paper and crayons. We spent hours and hours playing out the lives of our Indians, obviously since I’m the big sister I had the chief! Anyways .. it was good times and we were listening to cassettes with music my mom had recorded, I guess back in the 80s.

The one song that always catches my ears and ALWAYS reminds me of my sister and I playing is that song: You’ve got a friend … and in this version:

I love you sis!

Black Friday – the aftermath

Sorry readers,

I was busy sleeping so didn’t have time to update you all on MY black friday adventure.
I went to Queens Center, a large mall in my neighborhood. I was there 10 minutes after they opened at midnight and it was crazy. They call the event: ‘Midnight Madness’ for a reason!
There was a line formed from the subway station into the mall more or less. Continue reading Black Friday – the aftermath

Black Friday

Black Friday is the day where the official sale for Christmas starts. Since it’s the day after thanksgiving, it also means that it’s this upcoming Friday. I never really understood what the dealio was but now I do!

I love a good sale, and I get a kick out of buying things and paying less than 50% for it and then getting compliments.

Like when I bought my DKNY red coat from Daffy’s. I get compliments all the time, from the makeup artist at MAC, that made my day by saying: “Girl you look fierce in that jacket. I love it!” — In situations like that, I’m trying to say ‘Thank You’, instead of bragging about how little I paid for it (But here goes: It was $360 … I paid $70)

Anyways .. So I thought Black Friday was like a trip to Daffy’s, TJMaxx and Century 21 all combined.

But apparently the Americans are going C-R-A-Z-Y with the sales. All retails stores have their sales going on, some even beginning midnight and going through the weekend. I know I’m gonna be high on caffeine starting from 11.45PM Thursday night, just before hitting my mall that has lots of activities and great sales throughout the night. And H&M handing out gift cards for the first 100 visitors, with a value of $10-$300. I need one of those.

Also, most of the sales I’m looking to get my hands on is up till noon whereafter the savings will drop (From like 50% to 25% on average on the entire store) So I’m gonna be tired Friday afternoon! BUT then there’s the ONLINE sales as well…

I’m trying not to be stressed out about it, but the thing is I don’t have a lot of money (you know, visa situation blah blah blah) but I have to get some things for my apartment and I would love to be able to save!

I’m already making lists of things I should get, and things I might get and things I’m not allowed to buy! I have to be responsible …

Also, IKEA is having a sale on some furniture I wanted to buy last week but this weekend it’s half off.

Ay ay ay!

Imma keep y’all posted …

blogging

This weekend I’ve been doing a lot of surfing online, in lack of better things to do. Such as the important things. But I. I’m a procrastinator … and now, I’m thinking that maybe I should have spent 30 minutes on doing my laundry, so I have clothes to wear tomorrow.

So be it.

I’ve been looking at some blogs about New York. We’re a lot of bloggers that wants attention. Or is it just me. Begging for some kind of recognition. Some kind of. I know I’m all over the place at times when I’m writing. And I also know that a lot of my blogs are just ‘bleh’ .. ugh!

But I love to hit the keys on my macbook pro and I’ve loved it ever since it was a pen and a notebook, and I was 7 or 8 and I wrote about what I did in school. Back then it was a journal. A diary. A place where my thoughts eventually developed into these huge secrets.

Anyways, so I’m saying. I’m a blogger. And I’m envious of some bloggers that do it so well.

But. I don’t like blogs that are lacking personality and uniqueness. I want to know right away, why I should read it.
So often I just see fancy pictures of pretty outfits and a few lines describing what’s on the picture. I think they call them fashion blogs.
I rather spend $3.99 and pick up the newest edition of Marie Claire.
I admit. Few of my posts are like that. Like blah! – So that’s why I started thinking to myself, that I need to re-vamp my site. Very soon it’ll be different. Plus. I wanna focus on some of my past posts. There’s some great ones in between.

’nuff.

I did come across a few blogs this weekend that I actually took some time and read: (no particular order):

Edge of the City – “Where urban meets suburban…”
I loved New York – “the observations of an old, new yorker on the new, new york.”
Scandinavian Femme– “A Femme Mix of Recipes, Fitness, Fashion, and all that Jazz”
Cecilie NYC – A danish girl blogs about her life in New York. (in danish)

Take a look …

Mint’s Thai Kitchen

One of the things I love about living in New York, is that take-out doesn’t have to be unhealthy, expensive and boring!

Today I ordered from Mint’s Thai Kitchen. A restaurant, that offers dine-in or take-out. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying their food yet, but I’ve seen the restaurant on Austin St., while walking by.

Mints Thai Kitchen

I ordered a two courses lunch prix fixe, of own choice of two courses. I went with the Larb Chicken Wrap and Panang Curry. I also ordered a Thai Iced Tea.

Mints Thai kitchen

The Larb Chicken Wrap was, not so much a wrap as it was a large piece of lettuce with chicken and a few other ingredients. Though the taste of the chicken was good, it was too soppy and well, not a wrap.

Mints Thai Kitchen 2

The Panang Curry, I had high expectations to. It’s one of the things I always order, when ordering Thai and I simply love it. I would say that the portion size was good (also considering the fact, that lunch specials often are smaller in size) the rice was freshly cooked and the panang chicken itself, was actually quite alright. It was a good experience! The taste was fresh, as well as the ingredients, plus it had the expected level of spiciness which sometimes can be difficult to get.

The Thai Iced Tea, came in a clear can with lid and a separate cup with ice, which I thought was a nice touch.
This is my first time ever having a Thai Iced Tea, so didn’t know what to expect. But, I do like it.
It’s not too sweet nor bitter. The bright orange color is interesting! And everybody that knows me, know I love my colors, so for that it gets 1 point (not that I’m keeping score)
– But I have to add, that I’m happy I got a diet coke with my order. If you’re thirsty, this Iced Tea is not the right choice. (I’m still working on it an hour later…)

Over all: The prix fixe was $8, and with the choice of different starters/appetizers I would most likely order it again. Not the Larb Chicken Wrap (or whatever it was) but maybe a soup .. And definitely the Panang Curry chicken!
As for the Thai Iced Tea: I’ll get back to you on that one.

Order via: grubhub.com
Delivery time: 40 minutes
Price (pre tax + tip): $11
Website: http://www.mintsthaikitchen.com/

AND that was my first food blog, ladies and gentlemen! ’cause why not …

dreamhost coupons

Still no visa.

This is getting on my nerves. If there’s anybody that deserves getting a visa I would be one of the first on the list. Have I not done everything the last 5 years in accordance to getting this dream fulfilled? Or am I fooling myself. Where did I go wrong?

I still need to prove I have about $14.000/year – right now, the only solution is someone willing to sponsor me, and understand that I wouldn’t really take their money because I have the money coming from scholarships in Denmark.

Anyone? *sigh*

This is stressing me out.

Also read: http://www.iloveny.dk/2011/10/08/application-for-the-immigration-certificate-of-eligibility-form-i-20/

To have healthcare or not.

Since my first encounter with an American hospital back in April, I’ve been thinking how absolutely fortunate we are in Denmark.

Never having to worry about being able to cover the cost of the help from a medical professional.
I went and looked at my online medical journal that keeps track of all the encounters I’ve had since birth and it scares me to think the amount of money I would have had to pay for this had it been in America. – Or, the lack of help I would have gotten since I would probably never have been able to pay for most of these things.

So now I’m here again, a little bit scared about what to do. I’m having some severe stomach ache with a high heart rate, nauseousness and maybe a little bit of fever. It started yesterday afternoon. I don’t think I ate something weird, and I have had plenty of water (yes mom, I bought a Brita filter bottle to go) I hoped that when I woke up this morning, I’d feel better. But no, it’s absolutely the same. I get dizzy standing up, my pulse is too high and I feel disgusted thinking about eating anything.

If I was in Denmark, I would call the doctor or the emergency room and have a check-up. No questions asked. At least I would know what it is instead of self-diagnozing through web articles.

But I’m in New York. I have travel insurance but it was such a hassle last time (and to this day I still get bills though I know it was paid for many months ago) so I feel that I wanna wait and see if drinking chamomile tea won’t make me feel better.

Most likely this is just a harmless infection and I’ll feel good tomorrow. But what if it’s not? I can only imagine the thousands of Americans without healthcare (or limited) battle these decisions!

I love that I’m taken care of in Denmark. I don’t know what I would do living with such an uncertainty all the time.

Ay I’ll be alright but if you don’t hear from me again — call 911 in a few days 😉

Getting on top of my situation

So this whole ‘getting my student visa’ situation is really getting frustrating. I keep reading other people’s experiences and hearing how other people did it. People give me good advice but when I look at my papers it looks a lot more complicated.

It makes me really sad, because I really want to continue my education in New York. I think it will be an awesome opportunity to study hospitality and tourism in the greatest travel destination on earth! Also, I don’t feel that I put my best foot forward while studying in Denmark and I do want to enhance my understanding of the industry. Plus, I think it will benefit not just me on a personal level but also the business I want to build once back in Denmark.

Anyways, I’ve not given up the last 5 years and it’s absolutely not the time to do so now. Not only is it a perfect choice for me to study in New York it will also be of my own personal interest. I have a lot of friends in New York that I can’t wait to get to know better and I wanna ‘be a part’ of the group! I’m not ready to say goodbye to any of them now.

So in my fight to keep this dream going I went to get my picture taken yesterday, and I filled out my application for the green card lottery. I did it a few years ago, not knowing that you’re not suppose to pay for it. This time I did it the right way and it was so easy! Now, obviously there’s no guarantees that I’ll win it but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Today I was also looking into other hospitality management programs in New York. There’s definitely others but the cost is still the same or more. I wish I didn’t have to show documentation that I have $32.000 … When in fact, I do have them .. coming!

Ay, this very second I’m just going to enjoy that the sun is shining and I have a view that gives me butterflies …
The Truth!

From Paris to JFK airport

And all the airports I get in my heart is pumping for … well, yesterday was a nightmare.

After my final exam in the A.P program of hospitality and tourism management, which I passed, I went home and took a 3 hour nap. I woke up around 7pm, had dinner and finished up some work as well as packing my bags for New York. Continue reading From Paris to JFK airport

Missing Persons in NYC

Yesterday night I was tweeting when I accidentally started reading about the Guns for Cash program where you can turn in a gun, no questions asked, and get cash in return. October 22nd, you would receive a $200 bank card. It intrigued me to read further on NYPD’s website.

After a while, I hit the Missing Persons button and I just couldn’t stop staring at these people’s faces. I started thinking about their families, their lives. Why they are missing? Did one of them decide one morning to leave and never come back? Or did someone do them harm? … And I was thinking, what brings a person to leave everything, not turn back, just keep on walking away from everything they know. And what brings a person to do harm to a fellow human being?

I know that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the life that I’m living and I feel ’empty’. I feel that there’s nothing I can do, but to leave and not look back. But I would never really do it, though the temptation of it is so sweet at times.

I guess we all have times in our lives where the roughness of breathing makes it unbearable to continue and .. well, we can make decisions that either have tragic consequences for ourselves or for other people.

I wish that these missing persons will show up, healthy and happy. Or if anything, I wish that their families no longer will have to suffer from the uncertainty, the longing …

Man, this world is crazy! We need the Resurrection.

UPDATE: 4:32pm

I looked into a few of the cases … I’m such a mess, tears running down my cheeks reading about these people. They’re not just a face with a name and a date of disappearance. There’s a story behind.

Like Edmond Tillman’s: (especially read the comments below the article) http://jasmynecannick.typepad.com/jasmynecannickcom/2005/11/black_gay_and_l.html

Or

Indira Montiero’s: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/m/montiero_indira.html

At least I’m alive.

I’m going through more than I want to admit right now. It’s really really hard! Not only am I dealing with personal issues that I should have dealt with years ago, I also have to face the fact that I’m actually in a bad state – financially!

As I mentioned in my last blog I accidentally misunderstood how I need to provide the financial documentation that I will be able to pay the expenses involved with studying in the US.

That meant that I’ll have to come up with a whole bunch of money. My bank, with a little help from my grandfather seems willing to help out with a loan. My financial situation in general isn’t that bad, so they’ve normally been really helpful and this time it sounded like we’d be able to work something out, even though it’s a whole lot more than what a normal 26-year old would borrow when it’s not for a house or a car.

Next Thursday I have my final exam where I have to defend my dissertation. I should have started preparing but I’ve been so focused on my financial situation. Actually, I’ve been worrying a lot…. I wanna do what’s RIGHT!

Ayayayay

Application for the Immigration Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20)

Well isn’t this just lovely?

I didn’t do my work good enough, I hadn’t read my papers thorougly enough – the ones I got when I was accepted to CUNY.

I thought I didn’t have to prove I had the financial funds Continue reading Application for the Immigration Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20)

Sweet return, or?

It was hard leaving New York. Leaving the town of Forest Hills, that is my home. Leaving my friends, that I love so much!

I got the chance to say goodbye and hug two of my best friends, and it did break my heart looking over my shoulder when saying the last farewell, on my way through security. I know, that when I return .. it’ll all be here .. but it will be different!

I gotta do, what I gotta do. If any of it was real, it will have more the reason to be real when I come back! I have to tell myself that.

The flight was not as pleasant as hoped for. I love flying Icelandair. But we were stuck on the runway for 40 minutes. I took a Benadryl and was able to sleep most of the way to Iceland, but I woke up with an aching body many times. I guess sleeping on an air mattress / couch for 3 months is not healthy at all.

When I finally got to Denmark, my mom picked me up. Haven’t seen her in 4 months and it was a tearful moment.

A few hours later,  I saw my baby sister (the 15 year old) and oh, I love her so much! I kept hugging her, never wanted to let go.

It was a weird evening, being back in the house that I grew up knowing that it’s no longer home. Not knowing what will happen to me in the next couple of months. But I will be strong, “I will come back STRONG!”

Denmark is my country and I will get the best out of it, before I go back to New York for school. After all, that was the whole purpose of going to New York in the first place, right? Not creating a life, not falling in love …

Please, remember me! Please!

(This one is dedicated to you!)

Broadway show and other fantastic experiences

I’ve been so busy, way too busy to write anything. Even my dissertation is suffering from it. But life is so beautiful, and how can I possible say no, when being asked to go out and enjoy life!

Since Irene, I’ve been running around, seeing things, experiencing things, hung out with friends.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with one good friend in particular,  and has really been a true pleasure to get to know him better. I normally never talk about my private life in this blog but he really is worth mentioning! Through his eyes, I now see New York in a different light. It’s something I will take with me. (You know, this is ‘real’!)

It also took me on a trip to Philadelphia, where I met new great people.

..

Yesterday, I went with my a close girlfriend of mine to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. It was on my Bucket list for last year but never got a chance to go. BUT WOW! What an experience! Absolutely recommendable!

..

I’m so happy to have friends that makes life easier and even though I don’t want to leave them to go back to Denmark in 12 days, I know that they will all (no exception, right?) be there when I come back. And I can’t wait for that day. When that’s said, I will make my stay in Denmark good. Will be great to see my beautiful sisters and wonderful mom again. I sometimes forget how much they mean to me.

Irene?

IRENE, how I was anxiously awaiting your visit!

I made sure I had candle lights, canned goods, veggies and fruits, water and yes, I even bought a bottle of Captain Morgan. They told me I could expect her Saturday evening.
I always get a little stressed out, when I’m expecting company. I find walking a good way of releasing the stress, therefor I went to the nearest park and walked approx. 5 miles in the rain. It was really nice.

When I was back home, I was curious if Irene was gonna be here on time. You know the drill, looking out the windows – looking at the clock.
Eventually I got bothered and I thought watching a movie would help ease my mind. It really didn’t.

I mean, how disrespectful not showing up on time? After all the preparation? It’s no secret that I was really upset with Irene.

I made myself a drink and went to bed. I don’t know why, but I was thinking to myself; that maybe I got the time wrong. Maybe she wouldn’t arrive until early Sunday morning. After all, it was a long journey she was on.

I woke up a few times during the night. It was raining a lot! Actually, it poured down for hours. During the night it got more and more windy. But so far, when I looked out the windows, I didn’t see anything that fit the description of Irene.

Around 9am I realized that Irene must have had dressed down for NYC. Didn’t she get the memo that the entire city was extremely prepared for her and her windy friends? It was kind of an disappointment but then again, nobody should party THAT hard!

(Jokes aside: Thankful that NYC wasn’t hit as badly as other areas of the East Coast. My heart goes out to the people who did suffer great loss!)

Dates in the City

I’ve always said that New York City is the love of my life. Because no matter how imperfect  I am, how much I mess up. New York will never leave me.

I also tease people sometimes by saying I’m going on a date. People think I’m talking about an actual date, when in fact I’m just talking about dating my city. In other words: Just walking around the streets of Manhattan is to me, quite an awesome way of spending my time.

After I moved into my apartment I have been able to enjoy my time alone and have more energy to actually enjoy the wonders of the city I live in, without having to stress around.

Lately I’ve been spending quite a lot of time with a dear friend of mine. I thought he knew New York, maybe not as much as I do, but quite well. Therefor it was a very nice surprise when I realized that some of the places we went, was the first time he’d gone. I love when I can show people MY city! But I love it even more when I can actually share it with my closest.

Yesterday, I wanted to take him to my favorite cafe on the Upper West Side. It’s called Edgar’s Cafe. Sadly, I came to realize that it has been closed since the last time I went. But, I was happy to hear that they have a second location not far from the original. We went and I had the opportunity to speak with the owner. He explained that after 22 years at the original location, he could not renew the lease because the rent was being doubled.

That made me feel so sad. The owner is an elderly man from Sicily and he seemed like such a nice person. We had a brief conversation and after our brunch, I went and shook his hand and thanked him.

Here’s some pictures I took with my phone:

Outside
Inside
Edgar’s Favorite Omelette

The prices are very reasonable, but even if they weren’t I would still come back. I love the Edgar’s favorite omelette and the coffee is just delicious! Go check out for yourself: Between 91 and 92 street on Amsterdam avenue.

Now, one of the next couple of days I’m gonna take my dear friend with me around Forest Hills and try and convince him that this area kicks butt!

But if I can’t  … At least I still have the City!

Achievements.

I haven’t been able to write as much as I want to. There’s been so much going on and though my intentions are to always update and please my readers, life gets in the way!

I do make almost daily updates on my Facebook page, and I hope you will ‘Like‘ it. It’s a way for me to express my random thoughts about what’s going on in my life in NYC.

But I do want to make a brief summary of the last couple of weeks:

  • I had my first clam. My ex-boss yelled at me last year, when I didn’t want to try Sushi. He told me: “Is this the way you wanna go through life, never trying new things? Is that really the kinda boring person you are?” So I tried Sushi. And I love Sushi. I tried clam. I did not like clam. And he said: “You learned. – Good, more for me then!”
  • I signed my first lease. Well, I’ve signed leases many times before. But this is my first one in America and a lot different than in Denmark. There’s so much paperwork involved and the lease itself is very .. fancy! I wanted to read the whole thing to make sure I didn’t sign something I don’t want to sign. After all. This is the country of civil suits.
  • I saw the 4th of July firework from a rooftop in Chelsea. Fireworks is fine. It doesn’t impress me too much. But it was nice.
  • I opened a bank account. Do you know how hard that is, when you’re not a citizen and have yet to receive a social security number?
  • I ride the cab too often. Which is bad. But fun. Fun and bad at the same time. And costly. From now on I’m taking the bus.
  • I survived having a roommate! I always say that I will never ever have a roommate but since I didn’t have an apartment when I got here, one of my friends offered I could stay with her. I thought it was only going to be a couple of days. But, it turned out to be 40 days! She’s super nice to open her home for me in the first place. And it worked out! We had so much fun. It was truly an interesting time and I will forever remember the adventure of ‘Z and I’! (Thank you, girl!!) She is by the way a photographer. Check out some of her work:http://butterflies143.blogspot.com/
  • I lost 6lbs. I’m obsessed with my scale, but got rid of it in Denmark. So the last month and a half I’ve had no idea of my weight (terrifies me since I’ve done next to nothing to loose weight!) So, when I finally bought one in Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day I was pleased to see that I’ve actually shed 6lbs. That’s pretty awesome!
  • I ate food from 8 different cuisines. At least! In New York you have all the opportunities to try something different every single day. Mexican, Portuguese, Colombian, Brazilian, Japanese, Russian .. and of course Chinese and American.
  • I made like 30 new Facebook friends! Which IS an achievement, since I have certain criteria you need to fulfill. Hah!
  • I haven’t been in Central Park or seen Statue of Liberty yet. It’s been 1.5 month. And yes, I’ve been too busy. This is also kinda impressive because I looooove Central Park and I always go to take a look at Liberty because it reminds me of my goals and dreams.
  • Oh, and I had calamari! I’m not impressed. Interesting enough I don’t really enjoy seafood so much but I love Sushi. What’s up with that?
  • I love IKEA! I realized I can’t live without Ikea. Furniture in USA is really different from the Scandinavian design I so love and even though I had the best intentions of NOT turning into an Ikea addict, I think that I by the 3rd visit to Ikea within a week just blew it! (Just count the amount of times I said Ikea in the past sentence!)
  • … <3

4 years, 10 months and 12 days later

I did it!

Nobody, not even myself believed that I was going to do this. Now, while the tears are running down my cheeks, adding a dimension to the smile on my lips, I know I had it in me.

Eventually the struggle, the hassle, the hard work has paid off.

It’s 4am; besides from the rugs I bought in Ikea yesterday and the suitcases that I managed to pack the leftovers of my past 8 years in Denmark, the room is empty.

It doesn’t matter. I already knew this apartment was going to be my home. It already feels like home. I am home.

Confused.

I haven’t been a very good blogger lately. I’ve been so distracted with my day-to-day life and even though I have the best intentions of keeping everybody up to date, somehow the month of July just went by like that.

So much have happened. Emotionally it’s been a roller-coaster ride. But where I’m at now, I’m good. I’m actually happy! I’ve had to make some really hard decisions but always do the right thing, right? And now I’m back on the right track. And that does feel good!

There’s been so much frustrations with the apartment I found. After finally paying for everything and hoping to move in on Aug 1, I was told that the board still had to review my application and my supporting documents before they would give me the green light to get my keys. Yesterday I was told that I could get my keys. But somehow I ended up not getting them. It’s frustrating, because I’m still not allowed to officially move in until I carpet 80% of the apartment. And as long as I don’t have the keys I can’t measure, and I can’t order rugs/carpets. I so hope that by the end of the week I will be able to sleep in my apartment. I’m trying to stay positive.

I miss my family, lately I’ve been so distracted and haven’t paid them as much attention as I would want to. I love them and I love them for putting up with ‘my dream’.

My dream, huh? It’s been everything I’ve concentrated on succeeding the past 5 years. And now, I’m grateful for where I am. But is this really it? I’m confused. What if New York is just a stepping stone to something else/something better.

I love. That’s my prerogative!

I found a studio! vol 2.

After I got the call that I shouldn’t expect problems with getting the board approval I thought it was going to be easy peasy the rest of the way. I was so wrong!!!

First I had to fill out two different applications. Make copies (5 in total) of all of my papers, letters of recommendation, references, passport, danish social security card etc. It cost a lot of money – but most of all annoyingly lot of waiting time in Staples.

Then, because I can’t open a bank account until I have proof of American address, I thought all I had to do was make money orders with the rent (First month+4 months security) and the $1000 deposit and finally $50 for the nameplate.

First I went to the bank. They couldn’t help me. But I was told to go to the bank. After a long wait in the line at the post office and filling out a form, the little Chinese lady behind the counter got angry with me and started yelling: “We do not take credit cards! I can not take credit cards! My computer says it’s credit card. I can not do that! I can not do that!” I stayed calm and then said to her: “This is in fact not a credit card, but a debit card. But thank you so much for trying! You have a good day now!”

I was mad furious. Not only was it one of those hot stinky days above 100°F but I didn’t know how to get the money from my account in the right hands and I was scared if that would cost me the apartment.

Long story short, after arranging a money transfer through my online banking to their bank account – the money has been transferred. It took a few phone calls to Denmark. A mess and a headache.

Yesterday I went with my application and I signed the lease. Unfortunately I can’t get the keys before the board makes a final review of the application and the papers I provided. It’s going to be fine but might just take a few days.

It has been a hassle, and I haven’t even gotten into details. But I guess it’s worth going through a mess – for the love of your life … Even when it’s just an apartment!

I found a studio!

Last week I went for a walk around the neighborhood of Forest Hills, NY to think, relax and look for ‘For Rent’ signs.

Some of the houses in Forest Hills are almost mansion-like, big beautiful houses, crazy expensive. Then, I saw a ‘For Sale’ sign. I thought to myself, what if I could buy? Then a Chinese lady approached me (I guess she was the owner of the house) I told her I wasn’t able to buy at the moment (would I ever be able to buy a house in Forest Hills?) but I was curious how much the house was on the market for. She told me $1.5 million. That is one expensive house. It wasn’t even that beautiful.

So, I said I was looking to rent but it was hard to find something. She told me, in her broken English that I should read the Chinese newspaper: “Many Chinese, they buy house and then they rent!” … Alright lady, so now I need to learn Chinese to find an apartment? Thanks.

I walked further down the street and 5-6 blocks later I saw a ‘For Rent’ sign, I immediately called, left a voicemail and a guy returned my call shortly after.
The apartments I saw for rent was 3-bedroom, and even though I wouldn’t mind that, I’m sure they don’t go for anything close to $1000.
But, he asked me to go take a look at a studio in an apartment building.

I went, but due to renovation I couldn’t take a look at it until the next day. I did talk to the doorman, Nick, for a while. He’s so nice.
The following day I got back and saw the place. I truly fell in love with the charming studio with a separate little room. It’s was still a mess because they were renovating it but it felt like home.

I knew it was my home. When leaving, I teared up. I send a prayer to God and asked for His help. I can see myself grow old there (with or without a husband)

The thing is, that to live at this particular place you need to be approved by the Board. Which can be tricky since I’m a foreign student.
Long story short, I have my papers stating that I’m fully capable of paying the rent. I offered them 3 months rent in security deposit (as we always pay in Denmark) and then I waited …

Monday night I went and saw another studio, same rent, beautiful building (no doorman or automatic elevator doors though) but further out in Forest Hills. Even though my roommate loved it (and she doesn’t want me to leave her) I just couldn’t see myself growing old there.

Tuesday morning, I thought maybe I should just do the most responsible thing and pay the deposit on the studio I saw but I had my doubts. I listened to my inner voice and …. Well, 5 hours later I got the call from one of the board members. I was so scared but when he told me, that it wouldn’t be a problem for me to get the studio I started tearing up again. How embarrassing!

So! Eventually my prayers paid off. I got my beautiful studio gem in Forest Hills. Now, I’m gonna fill out the paperwork, figure out how to withdraw $6000 from my account in 2 days, when I’m actually only allowed to withdraw $1200/day. And then hopefully tomorrow I can sign the lease.

I’m so happy! Truly so happy.

My money no good here

– The rental nightmare!

When I was 18, I moved out of my mother’s house into a room with shared kitchen and bathroom. I paid about $435/month. I lived there for 9 months. Then, I moved to a studio apartment where I stayed for another 2 years. My rent was then $500.
My third apartment was a 1-bedroom, in a beautiful building. I lived there yet another 2 years and my monthly rent was $875. Due to some changed circumstances I decided to move into a dorm room complex. I had my own small, small studio but with the $650 I paid a month I was dying to get out of there. After a year I started college in Copenhagen and I found a lovely large studio and with the $730 monthly rent including utilities and cable I was truly blessed. I lived there for almost two years.

The reason I’m writing this is to make a point: I’ve lived alone for 8 years, I’ve paid my rent on time every single month. And every time I’ve moved I’ve gotten my whole deposit back.
I’m responsible and respectful.
I know what I’m doing.

Now.

Been looking for an apartment in New York for 2 weeks now and so far nobody wants to let me rent. The market is completely different in New York compared to Denmark. I’m sure something will show up and I’m sure that it will be worth my while.
But, for now I feel like even though I’m good for it – nobody wants my money!

Homeless, but fabulous!

– Yes, I might be homeless living out of my three suitcases, sleeping on an air mattress in my friends livingroom but my life is so pretty awesome!

– I told my roomie today that I don’t have a broken heart, but a broken spirit! – And then we laughed.

– I’m so funny that it’s not even funny how often somebody tells me how funny I am.

– NYC is all about the right association, the right combination of what’s good for you and what’s bad for you in a good way. Cocktails, shopping.

/ On a final note, I’m so tired of people who doesn’t know WHO I am. Trying to mess with me? I’m telling you, I came prepared!

Last week I met a FAN! Not a fan as in one of those electronic devices that makes it easier to survive the heat if you don’t have an air conditioner (no periods!) No, I’m talking about a person that reads my blog all the time. And for that, I’m thankful! You know who you are! Next time I’ll give you my autograph …. hahaha! I told you, I’m a jokester!

I’m coming home.

I couldn’t sleep last night. It’s always been difficult for me to finish my things on time, whenever I was moving. Usually it would turn out with last minute panic attacks. For whatever reason, most likely the fact that I know I’m making the absolut right decision, well, I managed to get ready on time!

It was a surreal feeling closing the door and dropping my key in the mailbox. This is going to be the end of not only my Copenhagen chapter but most likely also my life in Denmark.
My good friend, Charlotte picked me up and helped with my luggage to the airport. She’s an amazing girl and I can’t wait to show her hospitality in my new apartment.
But for now…
I’m coming home! @ gate B7, CPH airport.

Moving from Denmark

Waving my goodbyes.

It is no secret that I’m leaving Copenhagen. Friday morning I’m closing the door to my apartment for the last time.

Where exactly my next ‘home’ is going to be – I don’t know. I have a good guess but nothing is for sure. That’s why I love my family and my friends. Always being so supportive and .. I know, I’m never going to be left alone.

The last week or so, I’ve been hanging with old friends. Saying my goodbyes. It’s hard knowing that I might not see them for a very long time. But there’s no doubt in my heart that I’m doing what needs to be done.

Even strangers early Tuesday morning tell me that this is huge and I need to savor it. (Thank you, if you by any chance is reading this!)

Leaving CPH.

This has been a ride ….

Status on NY dream vol. 4

Only a few days after my last blogpost I went to my mailbox and the only thing awaiting me was this beautiful envelope:

cuny acceptance letter

The letter was thick and heavy and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to open it. When I finally did, my heart sank when reading the first word: ‘Congratulations…’

Really didn’t read the rest of the letter until a few hours later. First, I had to phone my mom and let her in on the good news. She was of course so happy for me, but I think I also sensed her being a little bit sad. After all, this is going to mean that I will be out of Denmark for quite some time. But as I told her, I will be back!

Then I texted a few good friends in New York. And finally I posted the news on facebook! Normally my status updates doesn’t get a lot of ‘Likes’ but this one cleared the table!

Finally I read the whole letter but especially the first paragraph felt so unreal:
“Congratulations on your acceptance as an advanced standing student into the Hospitality mgmt program at New York City College of Technology for fall 2011 semester. I am pleased to welcome you to the City Tech family”

Me, chubby little Dane, a part of the the City Tech family. ME!!!!

Even writing this now, makes me so emotional. It’s not like I have doubts in myself ’cause I know my own value.

It’s just, when I realized I wanted live in New York back in ’06, I didn’t even have my high school diploma. I was a drop-out, a quitter, a wreck in many ways.

I pulled myself together and did what I had to do. And NOW – It paid off!

Well, there’s not enough time to apply and get the F-1 visa (student visa) so I will have to talk with the school to postpone my start until spring semester ’12. But no worries, this will only allow more time to finish all necessary paperwork, applying for scholarships, finding proper housing, work/save money etc. Plus, I do have unfinished business (like a dissertation) in Denmark.

You know what, cross that part  – Not that important right now …

I DID IT!

Life on standby

There’s a reason a lot of you haven’t heard from me in a while. I’ve been going through a tough time with a lot on my mind. My time in New York was wonderful but created new issues that I have to deal with. Some situations have changed to the worse and .. well, without going into a long explanation: The amount of pressure I’ve put on myself to make everything right has been more than I can handle. That combined with having to face the failure of not finishing my dissertation on time hasn’t made the last couple of weeks easier. So, with a doctors note it’s official that my graduation will not happen until october. I feel somewhat disappointed that I’m not going to celebrate with my fellow students but since this is the last and most important part of my degree I need to put my best effort into it but at this moment of time even getting out of bed is a struggle.

So that’s the situation.

40 days and I’m homeless

I’ve lived in this studio apartment in Copenhagen since September 2009 but in forty days I’m out. I don’t have a new place to move into yet but I’m sure something will come along. Have some health issues I’m taking care of as well as needing and wanting to finish my dissertation on time. All of this is stressing me out!

BUT wow, Denmark isn’t quite so bad at the moment. The weather is nice and it feels good spending time with my people here … knowing that in a second or two, I’ll say goodbye.

Love at Groupon

First week of the 4th semester is now over. I don’t know if it’s just me or the new, inspirational teacher we have in Management and English .. But I feel so motivated!

There has been a lot of complains about the attendance rate, lack of communication between the office and the students and the demotivating attitude amongst some of the teachers.

– With that said, I really really like our new teacher and I know that if only we all show up for classes (In our school, attending classes is not mandatory to graduate) we will have a great last semester! I know for sure that our new teacher has the ability to teach me a lot of new things!

Now, this post wasn’t meant to be a praise .. But it’s weekend. A nice Saturday and the music channel is on. But apparently they’ve issues with the budget ’cause all of a sudden they’re showing infomercials! Why oh why??

So I changed the channel and now ABBA is on VH1. … And I’m surfing the net .. Or, groupon.com to be exact! Love love love love it! It’s savin’ money and shopping combined into one simple website.

The other day I got a great deal on Sushi in Forest Hills that I know will satisfy not just me but a good friend of mine too!

And today just as I felt like munching on something not so healthy I decided to postpone the munching and do it the real way when I get back to the City. So bought today’s Groupon here: John’s Pizzeria

Groupon is just great. I plan what I’m gonna have for dinner, I save half off the price and since I’m buying them now – in April it will almost feel like free food!

But people, Groupon isn’t just about food .. They have deals on everything!

Get yours now, sign up -> Groupon.com

HAPPY SPENDING – HAPPY SAVING!

Things to do instead of …

Yo!

Pro-Poor Tourism in USA, specialization report, hand-in Monday, 20 pages ..

So as I’m getting more and more frustrated about the fact that I have to write something that has already been written before I find myself coming up with excuses to do  much more important things and my mind wanders off and suddenly this is what’s going on:

Listening to old cd’s with Vonda Shepard.

Packing a box for shipment of SATC dvd’s I sold online.

Trying on pants from my closet realizing that they actually fit so much better now after all the powerwalking I’ve been doing.

Curious about how the pants look with the plateau heels I bought this summer in NYC.

Getting even more determined to be able to walk those heels on a regular basis when I’m gonna be a fancy international student in NYC – here’s to our welfare system!

Running back and forth from the kitchen, in heels, prepping for dishes and making a pot of coffee.

Thinking, a hardworking student such as myself needs coffee to write interesting reports on pro-poor tourism aka sustainable tourism aka eco-tourism aka whatever.

Realizing that I still have some starbucks instant iced coffee left that I bought the last day in Forest Hills.

Contemplating having both hot and cold coffee when one of my favorite Vonda Shepard songs are playing..

Decides to look it up on youtube but accidentally starts listening to other versions of it .. Share it on facebook. Makes a silly comment trying to link the fact of being heartbroken and having to hand in a 20p report on Monday.

Finally sits down.

Check my email – nice! Newsletter from Forever21. Gets caught up by some very nice dresses

Again thinking about the shoes. Together with the dresses.

Writes an email to a friend.

Checks my phone. No text messages.

The coffee is ready in the kitchen. Dang, I love my coffee. I actually love my kitchen too. It’s cozy. A real, old Copenhagen Apartment kitchen.

Am not going to afford an apartment like this in New York. Will be renting a room. In somebody else’s house.

Why is tuition that crazy anyway? Oh well, anything to live my dream, right?

I can’t wait to start applying for scholarships.

Oh wow .. PEST analysis .. Economic factors in the external environment.

I don’t like working within the box of regulations and rules and expectations.

.. I’m a smart kid.

This report is going to kiss some butt. I even have this sentence in my report:

…’cause it is shameful to forget about the people living in devastating situations around the corner from where we shop our Manolo’s and have our venti triple mocha lattes.

I only have this report, 2 months of classes and a dissertation left. I’m motivated. I will do it. I just can’t wait to do it for real, in real life situations, on the work place.

The coffee is still steaming hot. I can’t drink hot beverages. It has to cool off for at least 20 minutes. Preferable half an hour.

I love my blog. This domain. Have had it for 3,5 years. It’s about time I do more with it.

I don’t care how great my blogs are (thank you very much!) but nobody wants to read my stuff forever .. Nah. I wanna do more. I wanna give back to society! Or at least the ‘New York starving’ tourists.

If only I had more hours in a day – then I would be writing a perfect report, cleaning up my apartment, having lunches with friends AND! I would work harder to get this website and the other 5 I have more popular.

So many ideas …

I need to write a blog.

Here you go …

Reasons to love a boy

I’m always talking about the love for a city!
A lot of people might think I don’t care about personal relationships. It’s true that I have a different set of priorities but it doesn’t mean that I don’t have emotions, and don’t feel strongly about the people around me.
– But it means I had to make a decision a long time ago, and for that decision to be worth it – I can’t start having second thoughts or cold feets. Continue reading Reasons to love a boy

It’s been 4 years

September 26, 2006.

It was an early morning, didn’t sleep all night. My bags were almost packed and all I had to do was get as much coffee down without puking – I was a nervous wreck.

I didn’t blame anybody but myself. I thought I could handle this but when the day finally arrived I had no idea why I’d decided to put myself through this.

An hour later I was in a bus with my suitcase in front of me wondering if I would even make it on time. The bus wasn’t moving because we had to wait for the bridge to go down. — Later, I was late for my train. The train I got on didn’t go all the way. Had to transfer at Copenhagen Central Station. Approximately 1 hour 20 minutes later than expected I arrived in Copenhagen Airport.

My best friend awaited me. As always he knew exactly how to treat me and made sure I got to relax a bit. I got checked-in! Got my first $$ and was just about to hit the escalator when it hit me again – “What in the world am I doing?”

I was almost tearing up as was my friend.  I thought to myself: “Too selfish a decision, why am I so immature?” – Five seconds later I couldn’t see him anymore and I had no choice but to move on.

Through my first security. Found my way to the gate. Got on board, found my seat, sat down, heavily breathing. Not only was this my first time in an airplane. This was also my first time to go away on holiday without my family. And the first time to leave Europe.

I called my mother – back then I didn’t realize that you’re not suppose to use your phone while on the plane. But it was somewhat comforting to hear her voice as we were taking off the runway. It was very emotional – and then – she was gone!

8 hours and some later I arrived in Newark Airport. A danish architect, Troels, doing an internship in New York helped me get to Manhattan. To this day I haven’t forgot his help.

A few hours later I sat foot on 42nd street, Port Authority, Times Square around the corner. I remember the smell of that day. And for the very first second I was disappointed. Finally I was in New York and then what? I realized it wasn’t just about traveling to a new place – it was a psychological escape from a world I didn’t appreciate and a way of proving myself.

The danish architect followed me to Columbus Circle where he wished me a good holiday and then he left me through the park. There I was – a pale, chubby Dane – alone on the streets of Manhattan without a clue of what I was doing. I tried to mimic what I’ve seen in the movies; hailing a cab. Apparently it worked and I arrived at my hotel on 71st street.

The room was fine, the TV was showing commercials. My body was aching and I blame the jet-lag for the moving walls.

I heard the ambulances, the police sirens, the traffic. I heard people yelling on the streets.

That night I fell a sleep not knowing that the very next morning I would fall in love!

4 years later: The immature, selfish decision turned out to change my life. Here I am, sitting in my studio in New York for the 194. day with 32 days to go before being back in Denmark. It’s been 10 travels, it’s been January, February – June, Juli, August, September, October, November and December. It has been UWS, Midtown, East Village, Jamaica, Park Slope, Forest Hills. It’s been thousands of dollars. Thousands of miles. Thousands of tears of joy. It was a dream, it was a goal. Then it became a reality, a future, a life.

Who knows what it will look like in 4 years from now but I hope that I’m doing the right thing in life with the right partner, the right decisions made. A brownstone perhaps or a nice 3-bedroom in beautiful surroundings. Maybe it’s not the city but maybe it’s close enough. Maybe a child playing in the backyard. Maybe my family wont be so far from me. I wouldn’t mind having ‘grandma’ over every week or being able to see my sisters. If not, I hope my life is simple so that traveling will be a part of life. As H.C Andersen said: To travel is to live.

Who knows – maybe it will be even better. Paradise on earth.

All I know for now is that I’m happy! Happy that I’m alive. Happy that I didn’t let all of those people’s disbelief tear me down. If you want something – you have to make it happen no matter how impossible it might seem. If you’re not making it happen it’s because you’re all about the talk …

[heart] NYC 2006-2010

Patrons of the Art – Walking tour

Today I went with www.manhattanwalkingtour.com on a tour booked by a couple from one of the more up-scale hotels in New York. They wanted a tour around the neighborhood where their hotel is located. Luckily that’s one of the things we’ve been working on recently so we were prepared.

At first glance you might think – what’s so special about 57 street area worth doing a whole tour about? There is tons of high fashion shopping possibilities and restaurants. But there is some well kept stories behind some of the residences and with Garry nothing is left unsaid.

As a result of that I got to experience some behind-the-scenes historic scenery. I went to a very prestigious gallery – one of the kinds, where you have to be buzzed in the front door. Millions and millions dollars worth hanging on the walls. I felt so emotional when seeing a real Henri Matisse up  close. When I turned around I saw a Renoir drawing.  I was amazed – could hardly breath scared of hurting some of the precious paintings.

Later we went to Ana Tzarev Gallery. I’ve been here before and I absolutely love the paintings. They are so alive – I can actually feel them on my skin. The couple from the hotel acted like they could actually afford buying one of the larger pieces with an estimated worth of $ 450.000. – I got a gratis postcard! (yep, gratis! – that word is fully understandable in a million dollar gallery!)

Another thing on the tour was the insight to the company who made the first piano as we know it today; Steinway and Sons

And also … Oh wait! This was an amazing tour – you gotta take it! So much better than me going on and on and on …

I have new-found love for this part of the City. It’s not just 5th avenue shopping and the Plaza.