Last night, Victoria, Zack, and I went to a fancy restaurant in Copenhagen called Bøf & Ost. It was located in the “Grey Brothers’ Square,” where many small restaurants and cafes are. In the middle of the square is a big tree where a mansion used to stand. The square features some of the oldest buildings in Copenhagen, bringing out the true meaning and epitome of the Merchant’s Harbor.
While we were waiting for Zack to get out of class, Victoria and I walked around Copenhagen center to find a good restaurant to eat in. We decided that once a month we would splurge on a restaurant, now dubbed “hygging sessions.” Like moths to a flame, we gravitated towards every restaurant that had candles. Ever since I’ve gotten to Denmark, I’ve fallen in love with candles. I used to think Yankee Candle was a dumb store, but now I think I’ve found a new appreciation for it.
Bøf & Ost instantly became our top choice when the charming chef saw us peeking into the window and invited us inside for a tour. I’ve noticed that the Danes like their restaurants in the cellar, so it’s warmer and more conducive to the “hygge” atmosphere.
Although the food was a little bland and on the expensive side — a mark of all traditional Danish food — I had one of the best nights in a long time. We sat there for hours just talking, making silly jokes, and laughing. I smiled and laughed so much that my cheeks started hurting. It was so nice to have so much fun without alcohol for once. Victoria and I couldn’t get enough of Zack’s dead pan humor, and we later said we’d keep a notebook of everything he says. Now looking back on it, I can’t remember anything, but I just remember laughing. And I also remember our Gordon Ramsey impressions, when Zack muttered “It could be better” about the expensive dessert platter.
( Zack, Me, Victoria: I’m looking forward to our future hygging sessions!)
Since coming to Denmark, I feel so free from everything that had been holding me back. I’m still knocking on wood and hoping I’m not jinxing it. I’ve become close friends with some of the people I live with, and some people in my classes. So far, I’m loving every single day here because I’m always learning, laughing, and living.
(And earlier that day, Henne, my visiting mom, bought me flowers when I was calling Victoria to set up dinner. Henne is honestly the sweetest old lady I’ve ever met. I’m so excited to get to know her more this upcoming semester!)
On our way to Kaohsiung (southern Taiwan), we stopped at Taichung for the night. My parents decided to humor me, so we went to a vegetarian restaurant called Easy House. In Taiwan, it’s kind of hard to be a vegetarian because it’s a more expensive lifestyle. And from my experience, people find it a little weird.
Easy House was decently priced and very filling, especially if you get the full meal that includes salad, soup, smoothie, entree, and fresh fruit dessert. And like most restaurants in Taiwan, the service was excellent.
One thing I’ve noticed about Taiwan is how polite and friendly people are, especially when it comes to service. You can be ordering from the local street vendor or from the most expensive restaurant in the city — either way, you’ll still be treated with the utmost respect. In the US, there are times when waiters and waitresses give you an attitude if you’re asking too many stupid questions or if they’re having a bad day.
I actually feel a little intimidated by how friendly Taiwanese people are, especially when I’m shopping. The store owners always hover around you, and as soon as you touch something, they eagerly tell you everything about the item. I never really know what to say afterwards. It probably goes to show how used to indifference and “freedom of expression” (or lack thereof) I am in the US.
But anyway, it’s definitely a refreshing change. I like how food, no matter where you get it from, is thoroughly enjoyed. So whether you’re a vegetarian or a blood-thirsty meat eater, always enjoy and appreciate food.
Your body is not a temple. It’s an amusement park: enjoy the ride.