Thursday, July 22, 2010
First day at school!
I have worked here a whole week now, but still feel a little awed by this high-tech building, trying to get into being here. The place is empty and quiet during the holidays, and it's also opressively hot. So is all of Copenhagen though, it's really different for a poor Norwegian dumped here.
The reception was wonderful. Flowers, a grand tour with our appointed guides, and introductions all around. Another colleague started at the same time: Adriana Araujo de Souza e Silva. Coming from Brazil, I suspect she's more used to the weather here right now than I am. I'll have to show off my autumn survival skills later.
I am slowly getting my head around some of all the things that need to be set. So far it's running a lot more smoothly than when I went to Sweden, but that may be because I am more prepared for the difficulties of changing countries. The Danes seem more familiar though, than the Swedes - a bit more easy-going and less formal. I am sure I'll be clobbered over the head with differences any minute now, though. I have a new phone, a new account (no money yet though), a place to live and a vague map of the place in my head. For a woman who's used to navigating by "up" and "down" this "flat" is somewhat disturbing. I lose the sense of distance, and there appear to be no limits the the sprawl of the city.
One thing is very different. I have managed to get a tan. Now, if you live in a place on the planet where most of the time is spent avoiding the sun, you have no idea how different this is. But for us who are more familiar with full-body rain wear than with sunblock, a tan is something to be desired and cherished, both for the variation (for once, not vampire wannabe) and for the health effects. Sunlight can not only cause cancer, but also protect against it. At the same time vitamin D is vital to protect against a lot of other cancers. This last article is interesting, by the way, as it's questioning one of the great dietary myths: That of the benefits of polyunsaturated fats.
Finally research is starting to see what Scandinavians have known for ever: sunlight is good for your health. And so you'll find us on the beaches, at the pools, on verandas, in gardens, stripped of as much clothing as we can for decency remove, and ready to soak up those rays.
Me, I am still trying to get some things in place before I hit the beach. I will though, believe me, I will.