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.

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

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!

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!

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.

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 …

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

I always said I would

Someone wrote me an email yesterday that got me thinking.

So many people talk about doing something but never do. Takes desire,determination and help from others to make it a reality.

So, how long have I been talking about and making a fool out of myself , wanting to live my dream in New York?

Back in August 2006 when I booked my first  flight to New York I didn’t realize that I was on a path towards my reason for living. I was just curios. But then I got hooked and it became a battle for me. It never really occurred to me how much I would have to give up to get here. A month ago it looked like all the hard work and effort and all the things I had to let go, was wasted but then … Poof!

I’m in a bobble and you can’t touch me. I’m dancing on cloud 9.

At the moment I’m taking my time finishing my Venti iced latte at Starbucks because there is no reason to rush home to Park Slope.

There is no reason to worry about the fact that my return ticket to DK is next Tuesday.
It’s not that I love flying back and forth but I know that I will be going back to New York August the 2.
And I’m allowing myself to call it my 10th trip to the city.
And I’m also allowing myself to announce that 2010 is the year where I will be living here. Even though I will go back to Denmark by the end of October. Just for a few more months… Responsibilities.

That’s what I call determination.