Jeg kan snakke og skrive mere dansk nu! Jeg kan lide at tro jeg er bedre end den dageplagen børn. Vent, bøger jeg læser nu er mere for børn omkring ni eller ti! Jeg havde  også en rigtig sjovt juleferie.

It took a very long time, but I finally am starting to feel somewhat confident with my Danish speaking abilities. I still have a really long way to go and don’t understand a lot of what is going on. However, I am definitely less clueless than before, and it is a lot of fun.

I had a four hour conversation in Danish recently with my friend, which really impressed me since I haven’t had a really good, long conversation in Danish before that. We were able to have the conversation in Danish with minimal English words added in. It’s  definitely easier to speak Danish than before, but I also can understand more, sometimes even when it’s fast. When my host sister Iben recounted her trip to the US in very fast Danish, I was actually able to understand most of it. I am also above the level of basic children’s books and have now moved onto stories that don’t involve pirates at a daycare or creative illustrations.

I still find it hard to follow the conversation if it’s in fast Danish and about unfamiliar things. My pronunciation is far from perfect, as my host brother makes sure to point out every time I say “sne”, the Danish word for snow. I couldn’t figure out how to pronounce “Aabenraa” to either of my first two host moms before I got taught properly. My Danish is at the point where it is still contribute in the average teenager conversation and it is infuriating.

Honestly, the thing that has probably helped the most besides talking and being surrounded by Danish every day has been Netflix. I confess that watching every single episode of “Good Luck Charlie” was not my ideal Netflix entertainment experience, but it just so happened that it had a voiceover in Danish and I could tolerate it. It was very easy to see what was going on so it made it easier to understand, and helped with recognizing commonly said phrases.

I had quite the nice Dansk Jul, which I wrote about in my not yet posted travel column. I learned that pickled herring is still not my favorite and that you really just need to be around people that care about you to have a happy holiday season.

The day after, some of us went down to see Tønder, and though nothing was open that didn’t stop me from getting pictures of the actual city. I am continually amazed by the beauty of the architecture in Denmark. Minnesota is a land that continues me with nature’s beauty, and Denmark is a land (literally) that I am constantly amazed by with the pretty buildings.

I also had to say goodbye to my Australian friend Cooper, as he just flew back to the other side of the world. We met up in Fredericia again for the last time. This time, we went ice skating, and Cooper got called a dirty name in Danish for not joining in a game of tag by a little kid and I got a nasty blister. We also went to the same coffee shop as previously and went into a candy store, only to be glared at by the storekeeper presumably for speaking English. The day ended with another walk around Fredericia, which made for some great pictures.

It was sad saying goodbye to Cooper, but I didn’t have much time to be sad, because I promptly ran into two very sweet Taiwanese women traveling across Europe. It’s always fun running into foreigners and hearing their stories.

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I also got to meet up with my future neighbor at her house, make a surprise visit to my the Jørgensens, and then had to be driven back after a surprise snow instead of trying cycling in the snow. I am rather excited about the fact that my first and third families live very close and the fact that I have a friend close by. It’s crazy to think that I am even thinking about moving to my third family  in approximately two months, but that is how exchange works.

For New Year’s Eve, I went to a party with lots of hygge and a great view of all the fireworks. In Denmark, a big tradition is to set of fireworks, which was a little bit different than my typical New Year’s ski. It was entirely different than my New Year’s at home last year, but yet entirely wonderful.

My last day of Jul break was spent with Sarah and Fabian in Aabenraa, where we went to the original Cafe Kridt. As a barista, this was a very big deal, and enjoyed spending all of our time in Aabenraa over good food and coffee.

Now, I am back in the routine of school, but still looking forward to the adventures that await. I am figuring more of what I want for my future and more of who I am. Good things are ahead.

Glæder mig til dette nyt år og hvad det skal bringe. Jeg håber det skal være mere og mere nemt at forstår dansk. Mit år i Danmark er næsten halv færdig, og det skal være en fantastisk halv år.

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