Week 7: The Countdown Begins

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No not the New Year’s countdown but the countdown to the end of the program. I just came back from taking a hundred pictures of the sunset across the King’s College lawn after almost rolling down the stairs in Bodley’s (I was waiting for that to happen, can’t see in the dark), and now I’m totally sad. Also, random bugs are dropping on me so as I am typing, there’s the occasional itch before I squash them. So Week 7 has ended, and now I only have two more classes left before finals and goodbye. Lots of fun things this week with exploring, going to Copenhagen (remember last week when I did the most exercise in my life while punting, this trip has now replaced that record), and hanging out.


The weekdays this week basically consisted of sleeping through the 11:45AM lecture, waking up fifteen minutes before the end of the class, walking back to my room, taking a nap, sleeping through 4:45PM lecture, eating fries (chips…what about curly fries? curly chips?) for dinner and salad with no dressing, going back to my room, wasting time on Youtube, and then realizing I should start reading up on material since I’ve been sleeping in class. I sound like a terrible student (and borderline disrespectful HAHA), but I literally try so hard to stay awake, I’m looking at the professor like ☉_☉ trying to stay awake (I’m the only one trying to pay attention right now because everyone is typing up their essays in class so it makes my creepy staring even more apparent) but before I know it, my eyes are shut and cognition ceases. He asked me if I was okay the other day…sorry professor.

On Wednesday, we had our second to last formal, and last formal in the King’s College dining hall. We talked about taking over the world and all that politics stuff happening in America and also about bald spots and the Olympics. Food was okay-it was duck again but presentation was good. I think this was the best formal yet, full of funny stories and laughter. Amazingly, I saw my friend from art class for the first time in six years because his girlfriend was in the program too!

On Thursday I only had one class so I decided to wake up super early to window shop and explore some touristy spots. I went up to the roof of the Church of St Mary the Great right outside of King’s to catch a panoramic view of Cambridge before I left. You can go up to the King’s Chapel roof but you need to know someone who knows someone who knows someone so if you’re scared of authority like me, just pay the £3.90 (or £3.40 if you’re a Cambridge student) to go up on the roof right next door. The climb up was hell but well worth it. I am seriously out of shape though, not that I’m going to do anything about that (terrible I know).

So because we are super duper smart genius students (according to that one punter who saw us struggling down the river) attending Cambridge, we decided to go on a trip to Copenhagen. I think around twenty people in total (different groups) went during this week 7/week 8 weekend because #yolo. We checked into our hostel which was a really cool place called Urban House and just strolled around town since we got in after all the stores and attractions were closed and not everyone in our party had arrived yet for us to go to Tivoli. We also had a nice traditional Denmark dinner with huge portions. It took us two hours to slowly eat our way through and one of the guys decided he wanted a lava cake after too so we sat there for three hours trying to make our way through the meal. Well worth our money.

After a bad night of sleeping because they were having a drumline practice a floor above us (I kid, but honestly sounded like one, don’t know what was going on) and people fighting over a stolen phone outside on the street, we headed out early in the morning to see the Little Mermaid. We got breakfast at Andersen Bakery which is a really nice and large bakery opened by a Japanese baker, Shunsuke Tataki so there’s not only Danish specialties here but also a fusion with Japanese styles of bread (matcha yes!) and its been open for over fifty years. The bakery is right outside Tivoli and our hostel so it was a great place to grab a quick breakfast.

I actually saw the Little Mermaid once before already back in 2010 at the Shanghai World Expo but this time she’s at home aw. There were a lot of tour groups there so we just snapped a few shots and took a walk around the Kastellet. After that we headed to Rosenborg Park and Palace, walked around the garden, saw the line for tickets (can you tell this trip was planned very well?) and headed towards Nyhavn. We asked someone to take a picture for us and he decided to crop of one of us from the frame but its cool. After that we headed to Christianborg Palace and went up to the tower which was free (college students+free things=happiness) and then over to the National Museum of Denmark where we found a genius exhibition of Ancient Greek figurines complete with full colored Hercules and friends. We laughed our asses off and I don’t think any of the other guests noticed what was going on in the display because it was in a nook and so everyone probably thought we were just crazy American tourists (which we are but).

I wasn’t expecting a lot from Tivoli since it looked small and I live near Disneyland but HOLY COW it was so amazing and fun. The rides look tame but really they’re not. We got the all access pass and went on basically all the rides. Most memorable was the airplane ride that twisted you up into the air. The guy manning our side asked us if we wanted “wild or wilder” and of course as healthy and strong young people we chose wilder. Haha, I cried my eyes and lungs out. I’m actually afraid of heights but I love theme park rides, but the wilder meant that we were hanging in the air for an extra thirty seconds just spinning. They probably heard me screaming all the way in Sweden. So fun. We had dinner at Wagamama because when you grow up with Asian food, you need to have it once every few days. Ordered a spicy ramen but it tasted like pho. That’s alright, still a kind of Asian noodle. Green tea was free but water was not which was really funny. We kept on ordering more green tea and by the end of the meal, our entire table was just covered with tea cups. After dinner we grabbed ice cream and I learned that nougat was not pronounced nuh-get but noo-get. There was also an “American” size for the scoops which was the extra large and totally hilarious but accurate to our food proportions. We went on one last ride which featured the Andersen fairytales before heading back to the hostel for the night.

Next day we ate breakfast at Andersen Bakery again (already a loyal customer) and went to the nearby Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Amazing sculpture in there and when we went there was also a Gaudi exhibit. We took a lot of pictures with the statues and chilled on the roof. Also asked a lady to help us take a group picture and the something happened after she took it. This wasn’t the first time, but it still comes as a surprise to me how many times it has happened. Basically it went like this:

Lady: Where are you all from?

Us: California.

Lady: California??

Us: Yes, Los Angeles! (We though she was asking where in California)

Lady: You are from China!

Us: So where are you from? (changing subject so fast, we’re winning the gold in Olympics)

Growing up in a place where it is the norm to interact with people of a myriad of backgrounds in one community, it is still strange for me that I get this type of questions here. Amongst my friends and I, there are actually three different ethnicities, from four different countries, so it feels almost disrespectful when we get questioned further about our identities.

After the museum, we went to Amalienborg Palace which is huge but we didn’t go in because everyone was running out of cash. It started pouring so we went into Frederik’s Church or the Marble Church. It’s always amazing to see how people were able to build such breathtaking domes.

After that we headed to the planetarium in Copenhagen which was very small so we didn’t go in. There was a lake nearby and following the sound of an amazing trombone player, we walked the entire perimeter and chilled for some time before heading to the airport. We hunted for ice cream in the terminal but there was none so everyone was sad and opted for Starbucks instead. We got back to London at 11:15, got through immigration at 11:20, ran through the airport and got out at 11:21, missed the 11:20 bus by a minute and waited for the 1:20 one. At last, we got back to Cambridge at 3:00AM.

So that was Week 7! One more week to go and then it’s goodbye to Cambridge (not forever) and I’m going to miss all the friends I made here (can’t see you all for a year).

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