Sunnyside- Up… the Road

I hopped out of bed with a nervous and excited smile this morning. I changed my clothes at least ten times, fumbled through my phone for a bus schedule, and checked and checked again the date and time of my guidance appointment at the Selandia Cooking School. Once I loaded up my backpack with the necessary paperwork I needed, I ran up the road to the bus stop, which is not too far from my apartment.  The ride took about 15 minutes and man, it was brutally hot.

In Denmark, it is very rare to find an A/C and even the idea of one on a bus, is an impossible concept. Summer weather in this country is not something to write home about. The heat usually lasts about a week in the total span of the whole season. So if it’s 25’C here, it’s a heat wave indeed.

As I made my way to the school building,  I could feel the nostalgic rush of when I started orientation in college over 20 years ago. It was a wonderful feeling of freedom and the novelty of having something new all for myself. My husband met me there on his bicycle, as “it was too nice outside” for him to sit on a bus (that’s another thing you will learn about the Danes and their relationship with nature and fitness, I will save that for another post). I had asked him to join me, in case I couldn’t understand any important information in the meeting. I am always in doubt of my danish comprehension skills and he helps to take the pressure off of me. It’s great to have a personal back-up.

We found our way to the floor of the Kokke- og Tjenerskolen and within two minutes my name was called. The meeting was to find out if I had any experience working in the food industry. Besides my own personal hobby, I have no expertise. This means I will go for the full year of grundforløbet, the basic requirement courses in the school. I will start from scratch. This is important for me as it will help with my danish vocabulary and metric system training.  We discussed my financials and if I will be approved for SU, this is a benefit from the government, that allows you to earn a small income while you are studying. I won’t know if I am eligible for another 3 weeks. Hopefully that goes smoothly or I will continue to work part time after school. In the conclusion of the appointment, the counselor, vejlederet, said I was to report to school at 8:15, on Monday morning for a welcome celebration, an introduction to the staff and other students, and a tour of the campus. We will have training classes with students from all the other fields for 2 weeks. During this time, I have a choice to switch my focus to another field if I wish. The fields are chef, baker, pastry chef, server, caterer and nutritionist.  I will also have to purchase my own chef uniform and book for the course, which will only run about 140 dollars. The picture below shows the uniform that I need and the others are of the school. 

All in all, today has been a fantastisk start to fulfilling my dream. I’ll be posting again next week. Thanks for stopping by.

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What do you want to do when you grow up?

After spending the last two years in “sprogskole”, the danish word for language school, I am now “officially prepared” to speak danish and continue my education in Denmark. Although my speaking skills are not where I would like to be at this point, I am thrilled that I can understand a lot more that is going on around me. With this degree, I now have the opportunity to become more a part of danish society .

Through the years in danish school, I was doing a lot of thinking about my future plans in Denmark and what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I have always had a passion for food and wine. When I was younger, I worked on a Long Island vineyard and enjoyed it immensely. I would host wine pairing dinners and wedding events all summer, give tastings and tours through the fall and even tie back vines in the winter. My dream was to travel the world and work at a different vineyard every year.  My first move after the vineyard was to Manhattan, where I helped open a wine shop. Those plans were short-lived when reality set in and student loans had to be repaid. The minuscule salary barely covered the rent. The next 10 years, I worked in the Fashion industry and reminisced of the days on the vineyard.

Now that I have a chance to re-do my life in Denmark, I have decided to chose a career path that makes me happy like the vineyard did. It’s not an easy task figuring out what you want to do when you grow up. Hey I’m forty, and it took me this long to realize I want to be a chef.  That’s right…I am going to be a pastry chef, aka “konditor”. In two weeks from now, I am heading to a Danish cooking school to begin training. I am beyond excited to start but also petrified. It will be taught in only the danish language which really means I have to step up my danish skills and quickly. I have a meeting next week with a guidance counselor to discuss my upcoming courses and apprenticeships.  Hope you are ready to join along with me on my new journey. I will be blogging about my experiences throughout the process. I will also be posting recipes and other happenings as I go.  Wish me luck.

A long time coming….

For the passed 5 years, I have been trying to pull myself together and start this blog…and now here I am. My intention is to document my experience in a foreign country while trying to find myself and true passions in life. I am a 40- year old woman that has moved away from an urban life in Hoboken, NewJersey  to Slagelse, a rural town in Denmark.

Of course, I must let you know how this city girl ended up on the other side of the world.  Simply enough..LOVE. I met my husband in NYC on a night out with my best friend. We were there to see our favorite U2 cover band. I got more than I bargained for when I saw Jimmy. He stood on the other side of the bar and honestly, I never thought he would talk to me. He was my idea of the dream man. After a little push from my friend, well shove….we met. Last thing I would have thought was he was from Denmark and  this was his first trip to New York. To make a long story short, by the end of the night, I grabbed the collar of his jean jacket and promised I would see him again.  And it was true, two months later, he was on a plane to Newark and the adventure of a lifetime began. It was no bed of roses that laid the road ahead of us. Yes, the story starts like a plot from your favorite soap opera but moving across the world has been no easy task.

After two years of back and forth between two countries, we were married. I spent the first 3 months of our marriage living with my mom in Ohio, without my husband. After I sold just about everything I owned, I headed to Denmark.

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That was in December 2012 and I haven’t been back since. Jimmy in NYC3 082