Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Short Study Tour

I'm finally back in Copenhagen after what feels like a week and a half. In reality, I've been gone for three days, but what's the difference really. I'm not exactly sure what made it feel so long, maybe feeling like I just adjusted to Copenhagen, anddd also having to do the whole getting to know everyone in my class. Not to mention that we drove across the country and back. I'm not even joking. Granted, it probably takes 4 to 5 hours to drive the width of the country, but still, we did that in three days. For those who don't know what a short study tour is, I basically got to venture to Western Denmark with my core European Clinical Psychology class for some academic and cultural visits. The past three days have been pretty jam packed and early, so I'm exhausted and ready for an early night. But first, let me recap before I forget my life.

Monday started at the crack of dawn, or well 6AM, but that's the crack of dawn to me. I had to be at the bus by 7:30, but also had to pack a lunch and sheets and walk the 15ish minute walk to the bus stop. We had a few hour bus ride to the ferry, and hour ferry ride, and then a half hour to our first stop, so it was quite the trek. Our bus drove right on into the ferry, which was cool, but I feel like a bridge would be way more efficient. Speaking of bridges, apparently I drove on the longest bridge in Scandinavia (it might even be Europe, but I was still sleepy, my facts probably aren't right) that connects the island Copenhagen is on to another Danish island whose name I do not know. That was one long, torturous bridge. I have an irrational fear of bridges. I also now have a fear of psychology related movies. We watched One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest on the way there, and dear god. I've never actually seen it in full, and can't say my life is any more complete now that I have. But it is a classic, so I guess it was ok? I guess. But after the whole ordeal we made it to an old Danish psychiatric hospital, Augustenborg, and had a guided tour through the museum. The museum was tiny, and the 26 of us couldn't always fit in the rooms together, but it was still informative. The history of psychiatry was crazy all around the world apparently. I also learned way too much about lobotomies and removal of brains after death. I skipped the demonstration of skull opening. Apparently though, some woman back in the days when patients didn't have to consent to treatment, had a lobotomy performed on her daughter just because she didn't know how to handle her. Smart.

This looks scary similar to Guatemala...minus the restraint belts.

Next up on the agenda was the magical town of Ribe where we stayed for the night. That town was actually a fairytale. It looked like it could be it's own section of Disneyworld. Me gusta mucho. Ribe is actually the oldest town in Denmark, and you can still really see a lot of the old construction. I seriously loved that town...even though it was basically plopped in the middle of nowhere, but it was just so quaint and wonderful and amazing. We had a tour of the main cathedral in the city, which was super cool because despite my lack of religious ties, I love big cathedrals. It was kind of a mess of designs, but really pretty nonetheless. Also, the guy who let us in brought his dog, so automatically greatest day ever. I should also mention that the grounds around the cathedral were under construction, so we walked through dug up dirt to get inside, soon realizing that we were walking among human bones. yup. I almost stepped on a femur. It's casual. The town is so old that coffins were apparently hard to come by...annnd now the bones are easily dug up. It's fine.


smallest house in Ribe


oh heeyyy look where this guy died!

If you are still reading this, CONGRATS. No prizes though, just more words. DIS paid for our dinner that night too, which was nice, kind of. They gave us the CLASSIEST meal of my life, but that doesn't always mean good things. The waiter came out and told us the menu for the night, starting with some salmon medley, and ending with veal. That's when I started to panic and tried to remember how many granola bars I'd packed. I figured I'd deal with the fish and just choke it down since it was only an appetizer, but veal? No. Not to mention that I haven't really eaten meat since I've been here, so I was a little worried about introducing veal to my system at this particular time. Also, I don't want to eat baby cow. Luckily three other girls around me didn't feel comfortable eating veal either so in a panic we asked our professor if we could get the vegetarian option instead. Thank everything in the world that we could change last minute, because seriously that meat looked nast. Note to self: write down vegetarian for Vienna. I also was given a glass of wine with dinner and I seriously don't understand how anyone drinks it and enjoys it. I got a couple sips down and then gave up because it was horrible. Lesson of the night: I am not a classy person. 

After our short stay in Ribe we were on the road again to Odense, but first stopping at a center for trauma and torture. We got a semi lecture from the head psychologist and got a lot of information thrown at us at once. But if anyone knows a legal refugee chilling in Denmark with PTSD, I could point them in the right direction. Denmark is really interesting in that instead of having general mental health type centers like in the U.S., everything is incredibly specialized. And like with anything there are pros and cons to either method of healthcare. But it was interesting listening to how the Danish approach treating mental illness, and also how the healthcare system works. It's technically free for everyone buuut again, like with anything, it's not quite perfect. 

After an art museum and more driving we arrived in Odense, the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. Hans (yeah, we are on a first name basis, don't be too jeal) wrote many a fairytale, in case anyone doesn't actually know the guy. You may recognize Disney's Little Mermaid better, but technically that was my pal, Hans. 

Hans and I like to contemplate life outside the Radisson
We were then on our own for dinner, so I meandered through the city with a few of my classmates and my professor to find food. First of all, my professor is a BOSS. I love her. She tried to help us find a relatively cheap sit down restaurant, but eventually we just found a subway type place and combined subs with McDonald's fries. I should note that the fries were my professor's idea. We chilled in McDonald's for a while chatting about literally anything and everything, so it was a nice night. We learned that Karina (my professor) and her children are obsessed with this music video, and she even did the dance for us. Definitely a different student-professor relationship than I've ever experienced hahaha

dancing with Hans
I'm tired now, and the last day isn't that important soooo I'll be quick. Today we went to Denmark's first Psychiatric hospital that is now a museum and toured the grounds. I also ate free cake. And drove for a long time on the bus. But Denmark is perdyyy


  1. This post was so long and now I forget everything I wanted to say. Is it sad that I already knew Gangnam Style? Yes. Is it sadder that I knew it because of an article I read about the subtle political/economic satire behind the song/video? ...yes.

    I want to come to Denmark!

  2. sorry. I had a lot to say. hahahahaha you live a sad, sad life.

    COMO, COME!!