Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Glimpse of Denmark: Linguists at New Sounds, Aarhus & Copenhagen Fun!

Copenhagen, Denmark

After six weeks of absolute insanity, analyzing speech data that I'd just finished collecting at the end of April, grueling with Python (thanks for the help, Robby!), making quite a bit of progress on my PhD, and creating a fairly easy to understand Prezi for my New Sounds, Aarhus 2016 presentation - I had a few days off! The collage below is courtesy of Angelica's Facebook post.  Izabela and I stayed in what was dubbed "The Brazilian House", an Airbnb that Izabel and I shared with 5 Brazilians. We loved them! What a great group!

From top left: Group photo 1: Izabela, Hanna, Anabela, Sapna, Angelica,
Group Photo 2:   Izabela,  Andreia, Denise, Ubirata, Angelica, Anabela, Sapna, Camilla, Diana
The New Sounds Aarhus 2016 conference itself, though much more stressful than I could ever imagine (presenting at my first linguistics conference - and a GIANT one at that!) was an incredible experience. I learned more about phonetics and second language acquisition than any course I'd taken before and got to see some great professors at work!  

After we had both done our presentations, and attended the conference dinner and final day, Izabela and I took the bus to Copenhagen and spent a couple days touring around and staying in a super cute Airbnb. Izabela fell in love with Denmark (and kept commenting on how tall people were ;) . The Danish people were SUPER nice, everyone was helpful (and spoke English perfectly), and everything WORKED. This is an important concept lacking in Spain. Efficiency. Effectiveness. Expensive products, but equally high salaries. It was so nice to be in a place like that again.  To be honest, it was a bit cold for me - we had a few sunny days, but June should really be warmer. I'm increasingly thinking of options to move within Europe in 2018 - or more likely, 2020, if I manage to stay in Spain for the 5 "employment" years required to get the Larga Duracion EU visa (3 of my PhD years count), which would let me have permanent residence in Spain and the same living and working in the EU rights that the Spanish have. Of course, the rules are clear as mud, so I'll be talking to a lawyer soon!

Denmark Highlights:  

I have never seen SO many bikes in my life!  They have their own traffic lanes, separated by meridians - and have everything from bikes with baby carriages to "daycare bikes" (which carry children with helmets in a "tub" like bucket attached to the front of the bike) to sporty racing bikes. They really use them for transport. Apprarently Holland is similar - so I will let you know!

Also - check out Cristiania (hippy/freetown area) while you're in town - but pictures aren't allowed past the gate!  You'll see Izabela and I at the colourful gate in the slideshow pics.
Thanks Izabela for being my travel buddy!

Check out the slideshow below for a glimpse of Copenhagen!

One of the best parts was my final evening in Copenhagen, when I met Anne V. for dinner. We hadn't seen each other since our time together in Singapore!  Remember when we first met, at a Fort Canning Park Valentine's Day party in 2007?!  Great to see you again, Anne and keep in touch!
Anne and Sapna - Singapore Reunion 9.5 years later!
Stay tuned for a couple posts on Rishi's recent visit, our San Juan weekend and time in Valencia.  Plus, I've decided I'm going to do the 8 week research stay in Holland with one of the best known researchers in my field- despite the lack of grants and funding for this *sigh* *Spain*. Kiara and I will be staying close to the university in a house with - prepare yourself for this - 2 sisters, their 2 female roommates, a 6 year old kid one of them has, three cats and a small dog.  In their Airbnb ad they only mentioned the cats, as they had just gotten the dog. They asked:
"Do you mind dogs? We have a small one and the neighbour's big one visits frequently."
"Actually...I'd like to bring a Labrador with me..."

Here's to adventure!

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