Settling into the Den and a taste of Prague

 

Hello people..

Just as a sidenote, this blog is purely intended for my friends, so it has a much more casual tone than My professional side. If you are interested in what work I’ve been doing, have a look at the SKAL Student Exchange Facebook page.

I have a lot to get through, so here we go!

I spent a week working at Wonderful Copenhagen, which is the main visitor centre for the city, so a lot like my job back in Tas. It gave me an awesome insight into how things work over here, and I got to visit some of the top locations around the place, such as the Copenhagen Zoo(Highlights: Giraffes), the Planetarium (Space), the Carlsberg Brewery (Beer) and the Ripleys Believe it or not Museum (I don’t know what to say here).

 

 

On one of the days Henrick (my boss) and I went to visit some of the hotels around the place. In one of the fancier hotels there happened to be a TV crew doing some filming, so they asked me if could pretend to be a tourist, and took some footage of me “checking in”. I like to think of myself as the Danish equivalent to “Koshie”. The funny thing is they were running a story talking about how many prostitutes there were in the particular area, and how it affects the nearby businesses.. I’m not sure how it came across on the Danish News, whether or not I was a client, a prostitute, or a willing tourist, Oscar winning stuff none the less

The next couple of days I spent working on a dental conference in the Bella Sky Centre.


Leaving that place made me very conscious about my teeth and their maintenance. They had videos containing close up drills going into peoples jaws, while the people were still awake. Sounds like my kind of fun!
I went and saw an ACDC cover band at a great bar called “Sin City” which is in the area known as “The Meat Packing District”. It took me a few tries to accept that was really the name for area, but it turns out they really do package meat there. Great nightlife though!

I’ve spent the last couple of days in the Czech Republic. If you asked me where last year where I would be in one year, the Czech Republic would have been last on my list. It was a beautiful city though, and the food and drinks were nice and cheap. Pints costs around $1.50-$2.00 each, which leaves no one complaining. I saw some amazing churches and castles here, and visited their Communism Museum.

I know in my last post I didn’t include any real pictures, so I’ll make up for it below.

 

This is some traditional Czech food. The waiter explained it to me, and he pretty much told me it would be sliced steak, with vegetables and dumplings surrounding it, and a sweet sauce. Can’t say I expected these appetizing dishes to be presented before us!

 

Next week I will be visiting Rostock, in Germany, and shall post more news and pictures when I’ve settled in.

Hope everything is fine and dandy back home, and miss you all.

This is me as Jesus

Eye of the Beholder

Hey hey hey hey hey hey.

I’ve been reading the statistics of people who have been looking into my posts. It seems that 42 people expected an update on Monday the 1st of October, which never happened. There’s a fact for you.

Unfortunately this evening I lost my iPhone, which held a lot of pictures of my past week.. So in the mean time I’ll throw in some pictures that were very similar to what I experienced.

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Last time we spoke I was just about to begin the working part of my trip. I had a day with the Canal tour company, and a day with one of the sightseeing hop on, hop off tour bus companies. The day with the busses was filled with excitement, action, and awe inspiring arguments.

There are a few different companies who offer these city sight tours around Copenhagen, and a main point where they can potentially pick up a lot of clients is at the cruise ship terminal. Both businesses compete for the customers as they literally step off their cruise ship. It was a classic match up- our crew, the Hop on/Hop off team VS the opposing company- Step on/Step off. A clash of the titans. Two squads enter, one squad leaves. Really character building stuff.

At around the three quarter time mark, we had filled 5 busses with happy tourists, whereas the steppers had only done 1 and a half. Finally, one of their team fired up. His name was Samesh- a Pakistani fellow who’d had enough of tasting defeat. He approached our main man, Akbar (also from Pakistan) and gave it to him with a torrent of Punjabi. Words were flying out of his mouth. Akbar, cool as ice, stood there silent, with his arms crossed, and a slight smirk. This is what he lived for. Akbar knew that any remaining customers would stay well away from Samesh and his team, the victory was sealed. Joey, then appeared out of no where with Scandinavian energy drinks with the money he’d made in tips for our whole crew, and it was a bit like a pepsi ad after that. Akbar told me later on, he was very pleased to have ruined Samesh’s day, for he was a bad man. Akbar could have told me anything and i probably would have agreed.

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The next few days I spent in Malmo, Sweden. There was a Travel Fair on, and I was based with a tour bus company. Because I spoke neither Danish, nor Swedish, it was my job to ensure that everyone who walked past had sufficient candy. The fair itself was great- a mechanical bull was directly opposite my stand which gave me hours of viewing pleasure. Those Swedish chicks aren’t the cowgirls they thought they’d be. On the final night of the Travel Fair, I went with some of the people from the bus company I’d been working with to a bowling and burger bar. I found myself in one of those situations where everyone was speaking different languages and I zoned out on the way, all I understood was “Wonderful Burger” – I knew everything was gunna be okay.

The following day I met up with the legendary Al Foster for a couple of beers at a law school party in the city. It had been a long afternoon- I’d been sitting in the Hard Rock Café Copenhagen for the last few hours enjoying their two-for-one specials by myself, looking at some amazing instruments (Eddie Van Halen’s Guitar, Lars Urlich’s Drum Kit, Clapton’s rainbow SG) and listening to the “500 greatest guitar solos of all time”. This was followed by the uni party where bottles of Carlsberg were under $2AUD. The plan was to have a few casual bevs, go home, have a nice kip, and be up at 5:30am for the Grand Final at The Southern Cross Bar. Turns out I didn’t make it home that night, however I was up in time for the footy with some very stereo typical Aussies you’d see at such an event. There were even the obvious Amuricans trying to learn the rules very loudly, and dropping lines like “They don’t go to the game, they go to war!” and “Oh-rah”. Made me wish I was at Forster Street.

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After I had recovered, I was ready for a tour up North to the Louisiana Modern Art Museum, and some epic Danish Castles. Louisiana was great, they had some famous works there. Like a self portrait of a lady with a monobrow and a monkey. I’m sure it meant something to some art lovers, but to me it was just a lady who needed a face shave. I got hustled when I tried to take a photo, but I did get one. The castles were also quite amazing. Moats, flag, statues, moats, and great moats. Was unhappy to find out there weren’t any crocodiles in the moats. Once again, I will upload the real photos in a day or so, but these pictures are very similar to the castles I saw.

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I just wrote 855 words in less than 20 minutes, and it wasn’t even painful. Why could I never do that in school?

Someone please answer me that.

I miss everyone, and this guy especially:

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Peace, Love and Etc.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

København

Frustration because WordPress.com decided to refresh and lose everything I’d written, so I’ve gotta re-write this post because I’m such a loyal writer to whoever even reads this. 

ANYWAY

I made it to Copenhagen, Denmark, on Wednesday.

This post is delayed due to the fact wordpress sucks, and I also bought myself this tasty distraction:

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Along with playing my new found beauty, I’ve been exploring the city by the means of busses, tours of the canals, and my getting lost on foot. The city itself has a nice vibe about it, it’s very historic, and the locals are generally friendly plus all buildings and vehicles are made out of Lego. I’ve also never been to a place with so many horse statues either (full album to come horse boys).

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Everyone here does there English pretty good, which is lucky because it would make things a lot harder if this wasn’t the case. Locals will still speak Danish as their first preference generally,which can be interesting. When I’m sitting on the bus I hear conversations like “Flavvor ke lundogg de straven fraven do AMERICAN EXPRESS de slikat und graven an tak BIG MAC”, it feels like I’m a child who hasn’t yet learnt how to speak. 

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I start work tomorrow with a tour company who run bus and canal tours of the city, not 100% sure what that will involve just yet but I’m pretty sure I’m organising their end of year christmas party. They’re having a curry night with the original Black Sabbath lineup performing a 6 hour jam, whether they like it or not. 

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The food here is genuinely amazing- they have Burger King, Subway, Mc Donalds and even Dominos. One of the local snacks is smørrebrød, which is an open sandwhich. 

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I’m staying in a place that’s about 30 minutes bus ride north of the city, which is by the water. When the sun is shining brightly you can see Sweden, along with the majestic remains of a nuclear power plant, which glistens a warm green glow. I sleep well at night knowing there is a vast distance of water between I and it, so any mutated creatures have quite a paddle ahead of them before they reach me in my slumber. 

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I’m pretty sure I’ve covered most of what I’d written in my original post. Here is a photo of me with one of Princess Mary’s guards. When I approached him he yelled “2 METRES!”. He obviously worked out that I was quite the threat, and that if he did try and bayonet me he’d be swiftly disarmed. Smart guy. 

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Anyway, goodbye for now. And that’s your bloomin luck for the week. Well maybe not, I’ll probably get back to you faster. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

PS: The photo of the Sailing ship is not the distance between nuclear power plant and I, it’s simply a majestic sailing ship in a pond at the Tivoli amusement park,

Conflict Desert Storm

After a teary farewell by a host of three loyal supporters I departed Hobart to begin my journey.

Short trip to Melbourne, followed by a 14 hour plane ride from Melbourne to Dubai. Hopped on the plane, found my seat- next to a 21 month year old kid. This was gunna be good.

Turns out Oscar was a stand up guy, who enjoyed making making jokes about the plane crashing into the sea. Every time I’d nearly be asleep I’d wake up to someone yelling “CHICKEN PIE????” in my ear. It wasn’t even Oscar, but the flight attendants. This did get annoying, but who am I to turn down free food….

I arrived into Dubai at 5am. It was already a sticky 34 degrees. The sun wasn’t even out. It took about an hour getting through customs on this side.. It was like the guys checking the passports had to confer with their colleague that every single person was actually who they were saying they were.

My trustworthy tour company- “Arabian Adventures” turned out to be the most organised of the tour companies I saw at the airport. Although at one stage there were 7 of their staff members having a heated discussion about who would take me to my hotel, I had faith in them, mainly due to their well made red suit jackets and gold ties. It was almost like a barber shop bus driver squad.

Crying kids on the bus, and a few dirhams later and I was at the hotel- the Ibis Al Barsha. Not bad.

I then walked across some part of a small desert went to the” Mall Of The Emirates”. It was a big place. They had an indoor ski field, and a place called “Fat Burger”. After spending a good 3 hours walking around in circles and eating a chicken enchilada (not from Fat Burger) it dawned on me that I hadn’t slept for a good 35 hours and that I should get some kip.

My taxi driver yelled at me for the short fare, and then spent the short journey muttering to himself while I stared at my feet.

Not much else really happened during my time here.. I slept for the rest of the day and ate at the hotel.

This place has some pretty cool architecture though. One day it’d be good to come back here and do a desert safari riding on the back of a camel. I was also meaning to get to one of the water parks they have here, they look like a lot of fun. That being said, the weather being this hot means that anything air conditioned or wet looks like a lot of fun.

I leave first thing this morning for a plane headed directly to Copenhagen, Denmark. SEEYA!

The calm before the storm…

Hello my friends!

I am setting up this here blog so that you can stalk my actions whilst I’m on the other side of the world. It really means I don’t have to repeat myself 14 times a day to everyone separately, you can all just come and suss this out every once in a while instead!  (Thanks to Mad dog for the idea)

PRELUDE

About two months ago I was selected for a student exchange program, which would have me living and working in Denmark for a total of three months. The program is set up by the Hobart SKAL club, which is a tourism management networking group. I had to complete a 14 page application, have a medical, be tested for tuberculosis and then sit an interview, before finding out I’d gotten the gig.

During my time I will be doing work placements throughout various tourism operators based in Copenhagen, ranging from hotels to attractions to festivals. My flights and travel insurance are covered by SKAL, and I will be staying with a host family while I am there. I leave in 9 days for Copenhagen (September the 17th) with a stopover in Dubai, and will be returning late December (19th).

I honestly have no idea what to expect. My Danish speaking goes as far as “øl tak” which in English means “beer thank you”. The “øl” pronunciation is almost like the noise you’d make just before throwing up. I think I’m gunna be just fine.

Whilst in the EU I also plan to travel to Germany, where one of the German SKAL Clubs are expecting me to play a concert for them ( I think they’ll be sadly disappointed), and also to spend some time in London. Also make the most of the array of  live music I will have access to. My other plan is the bring Princess Mary home, or at least get a photo with her whilst throwing a typical me “thumbs up” pose.  

I am going to miss the fair city of Hobart, along with everyone in it, but will be pleased to be returning in summer, and the great times provided by the Falls Festival. (Tina the Cortina is counted in “everyone”, and ranks very highly in that list).

Keep things real, hopefully you shall hear from me when I reach the desert of Dubai.

Matt.