Blackberries & Ginger Tea & Everything you need to know about a visiting host family



Alas, I have come down with the plague. I have felt a sickness coming on since Sunday, but it really hit last night and this morning. It took all my energy to make it to class this morning just so I could take a quiz, then I came right home and made myself some rice noodle soup and fresh ginger tea. If you know me, I am all about holistic healing (hence the ginger tea), yet I am very grateful I remembered to bring sudafed from the US, which I can tell has been helping. I leave tomorrow afternoon on the cruise to Oslo, Norway, so my hope is that if I rest up today and tomorrow, I will be good to go for this weekend!

Yesterday, I met with my visiting host family for the first time! Since I decided not to do a homestay option for this semester, DIS offers students the opportunity to participate in a “visiting host” program, where they pair you with a host family, and you get to decide how much or how little you want to interact with them. For me, this was perfect, because I get to live with other DIS students AND get immersed into the Danish culture in a very personal way. DIS also gave me a travel stipend to visit my host family, because they live outside of my transport zone pass. My family helped me buy a “Rejsekort”, which is a card (it looks like a credit card) that you load money on to for public transportation. All you do is tap the card at a meter when you start your journey, then tap the card at a meter when you end your journey, and it automatically charges you for the length of that trip. It’s very convenient and a fast way to travel, instead of buying a one-way pass every time you take the train/bus. The public transportation is on the honor system here, so anyone can walk on or off the bus or train at any time, but they do random security checks sometimes to make sure you bought a ticket, and if you didn’t, you can be fined up to $200! So everyone always has a pass on them at all times.

The transportation card DIS gave me so that I can get to class. Notice how I only have 2 zones, so I can only travel within the city center with this card
The transportation card my Danish family bought me that gets you around all of Denmark on the trains and busses

With my visiting host family, we ate dinner at their house (a very good vegetable stew, perfect for the chilly and rainy evening), then took a walk around their quaint town. We then picked blackberries in their garden for dessert, and had that some strawberries, grapes, and warm tea! My host family did not know what the word for “blackberry” was, they kept thinking it was blueberry, and then when I explained to them it was blackberry, they thought blueberries were called “black currents”. It was funny in the moment for me, and they were happy to know the english word for what they were growing in their garden! They also explained to me many of the different labels on food boxes here, because I told them how I get overwhelmed in the grocery stores sometimes. They were super sweet to me, and calmed my nerves about a lot of the cultural differences between the US and Denmark. Overall, my visit with them was very lovely, and I am looking forward to the next time I see them (we already have 4 future outings planned — including running a race together!).

Now, back to my tea and netflix…


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara says:

    Love the idea of the travel charge card. I wonder if it’s available in other countries. Take care of yourself and enjoy weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara says:

    Love the idea of the travel charge card. I wonder if it’s available in other countries. Take care of yourself and enjoy weekend.


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