Yes, you haven’t heard from me since last summer. Most of you probably thought I completely forgot about y’all! I didn’t. I can’t explain what happened, but all of a sudden 6 months went by without a single blogpost. Now, we’re in 2013 and I started my 3. semester at City Tech in Brooklyn. A few months ago I got my credits from Denmark transferred, and I now know that I’ll be graduating in Dec ’14 with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality management.
Eventhough there’s still almost 4 semesters to go, I know it’ll go by super fast and before I know it I’ll be looking for a job in the hospitality field here in NYC. As some of you know, after a F-1 visa holder finishes his/hers studies they’ll allowed to work full-time 12 months (so called OPT) in the field of which they have been studying.
I don’t want to go back to Denmark, so I hope that the OPT will open some doors and give me some opportunities to apply for a work permit and eventually a Greencard.
Last semester was really, really tough. I went through some personal challenges and focusing on school was difficult. But I managed and with a little help from my professors (They’re the best, seriously) I got through. My GPA is now 3.2, and I think that’s pretty good considering all the facts …
This semester I’m taking 4 classes. I would love to take one more, but can’t afford it. International students pay per credit, one class is normally 3 credits. I need a minimum of 12 and that’s $6000 right there my friends. Still no scholarships .. Still carrying the load myself.
But, I’m taking one class in particular that I’m really excited about: “Urban Tourism” First of all, the professor is amazing. I took one of her classes last year too. Second, the subject is what I’m all about … So, hopefully I’ll gain a lot of knowledge and tools to use on my project “Turist i New York” (www.turistinewyork.dk) Lately there’s been a lot of support and the Facebook Page has gotten almost 400 likes!! I’m ecstatic and really hope that I can one day support myself financially while doing what I love; Helping people getting the best NYC-experience possible.
I finished my 1. semester with a 3.7 something GPA and I’m happy.
With that said: I got 3 months of summer holidays before my next semester begins. What to do?
I’ve been planning forever on getting my New York City Tour License so that when I’m legally allowed, I can start giving tours. It’ll cost me $50, and a lot of prep. But I think it’s about time.
I have also been contemplating getting a driver’s license, since it’s way cheaper over here than in DK. Problem is, I’ve never driven a car and I’m afraid I need a bunch of lessons – which could add to the expenses since I don’t really know of any good friends with cars, that could teach me. Hmm.
So – my plans for this summer is: Get $$$ (I’ll be the one digging for treasures on Jones beach) and try and get my licenses. Get a good tan (and I’m not taking about the tan-line on my feet because of my sandals, please) Have delicious smoothies, meals, cold beers, great laughs (I didn’t buy those Comedy Club tickets from that guy at Times Sq for nothin’) and … Well, try and breath and let time slowly pass by.
I do ‘people-watching’. I pretend I don’t look. But I do. I check out your outfit, your shoes, your bags, your nails. You sit next to me and you read your kindle or your newspaper – and I read too. I’m cool about it.
Sometimes I see people in nice business attire, looking like they got the success and the game. Then I look in their eyes and I see a tear or something else. It’s hard to describe but is as real as a tear running down the cheek would be.
I wonder why that pain. I wonder what happened, why you sad? Did someone break your heart?
Or I see couples holding hands but with a distance between them. A distance that we all know eventually will break up the love that once were. Why break each others heart?
Or, a overweight girl sitting in her skin tight leggings and her fake eyelashes going some places to just ‘to have fun’ but I see her, there in the light and I know she already settled for less. Girl, you know they’re heartbreakers.
And once in a while I notice a guy sitting across from me, looking at me and I wonder what he’s thinking ….
I’m so excited that I finished first semester with great outcome. I definitely showed more dedication – the whole ‘mandatory class attendance’ works really well for me (fyi, dk-college not so much)
Still missing one grade (I wonder what’s keeping him) but I got two A’s and one B+ (the professor is a tough grader and doesn’t easily give out A’s) Continue reading →
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 “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 ghetto!”
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
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!
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 ….
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?)
Last view of Copenhagen, goodbye!
On my way to Terminal 1, CPH
Terminal 1, CPH
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.
Eh, what now?
Art in Keflavik
Learn Icelandic; Konur = Women
Blue Lagoon store in Keflavik
With Hengill to New York
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!
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!
I wasn’t able to sleep last night. I was “over thinking” my 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@example.com)
Thank you Embassy of the United States of America!
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 →
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 was busy sleeping so didn’t have time to update you all on MY black friday adventure.
I went 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 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! Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Continue reading →
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 →
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. Continue reading →
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! Continue reading →
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 to security. I know, that when I return .. it’ll all be here .. but it will be different! Continue reading →
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! Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
It all started early AM. I can remember the exact time but it was still dark outside. I guess I’ve been sleeping for nearly 6 hours so I didn’t feel tired. I didn’t feel I needed to go back to sleep. All I could think about was getting out of bed – and start my adventure.
I’ve never been to this exact place and even though it had a familiar touch to it, I felt like I was going to explore a new world.
The old, charming brownstone where I’d rented a room was the steppingstone that I’d looked for. The perfect tool for the transformation I would have to undergo before re-entering the world.
I might have been a quirky, sad version of myself when I entered the red door to the brownstone yesterday – but today, when I sat foot on the street of 5th avenue and Prospect Avenue, I was the true version of who I’m suppose to be. I finally felt alive again.
The Fahrenheit was on the high side of 70s and with the humidity I was almost melted before reaching Atlantic Avenue an hour later. The sun was playing with my skin leaving it slightly red as I was searching to fulfill my first task of today; shopping!
It wasn’t about shopping for extraordinary items – a simple trip to Target was a road through the jungle of dreams, of what might ‘be’ some day. To imagine a real life outside the boundaries.
The places I saw, the people I met. The day was filled with exhausting maneuvers through the wilderness of what we see you are, what you think you are and who we all are.
The lady on the B75 that couldn’t control her emotional outbreaks, who decided to smoke inside the bus, slap a 10-year old on the legs because she didn’t remove them fast enough, and then calling the 10-year old a freaking b*tch.
The young woman with the dog in Prospect Park giving me a genuine heartfelt smile as she passed by me.
The feeling of sisterhood while waiting for the B63 – again on the B63 – and the coincidence of a detour that lead me to meet a spectacular young lady with a story to tell.
All of this showed me that life in this world might be worse that the life I live in the other world but when it all comes down to the details, offers so much more than you could ever dare to wish for.