Monday, July 29, 2013

Why I am awake at 2:53 am...

Sure, I would love to be curled up, warm in my bed right now, but thanks to a 7 hour time difference I am instead pounding back a steaming cup of joe and feverishly trolling Danish rental sites for new listings. I am frustrated, exhausted and on the verge of a caffeine overdose.

So, what is all this painstaking effort for?
I am but a simple girl and I would be more than happy in a studio or a humble one bedroom. I lack bicycling skills, so I would prefer the apartment to be somewhat close to Copenhagen Business School. I think these are very reasonable requests. Yet, I have tried everything from Couchsurfing forums, expat blogs and Facebook groups to subscription online listings and apartment company websites, all to no avail. If the dark bags swelling under my eyes are any indication of my effort, then I can safely assure you that I have been trying my damn hardest. So far, my email inquiries have been met with either the all too familiar "apartment is already reserved" message or... a cold unnerving silence. When I called into apartment companies, I was told that there was a 100+ person waiting list for current listings, and nothing new is available until November. Oh and the kicker - company policy mandates that rentals are for professionals only, NO STUDENTS ALLOWED. When I pushed the the agent to elaborate on their policy, she explained that the landlords in their company view student tenants(even graduate students) as liabilities since they are often "unreliable with rent" and "irresponsible with the apartment".

WTF??! When did students become second class citizens and marginalized to derogatory stereotypes? I am having trouble reconciling this discrimination against students with my perception of Denmark as a country known for its politically correct rationale. Why do the naysayers fail to consider the fact that if a student is paying a full year's tuition up front, then they are more likely than not to be financially stable. Additionally, in order to succeed in school and gain entrance into a graduate program, graduate students are by default, responsible!

Why is it that a smart, capable gal like me, with a more than generous budget can't seem to catch a break when it comes to finding a place in Copenhagen?! To be fair, it seems that I am not the only one in this rapidly sinking boat, because everywhere I look there are post after post from desperate people(mostly students) looking from rentals in CPH. Hell, I even stumbled upon a Facebook post by a Danish TV reporter seeking students for a segment about the daunting challenge of finding a place in CPH. And I would like it to be noted that in less than half a day there were over 80 comments!

Sigh, my journey to Copenhagen has not even begun and I am already feeling defeated. As a lowly graduate student I guess I might just have to settle for a sturdy box under a bridge...


Final Month in Chicago

During my two previous forays into Copenhagen I fell in love with the architecture, the food(oh the hotdogs!) and most of all the people. I met some truly upstanding characters in my brief stay, and it was precisely because of this refreshing open-mindedness that I chose Denmark over Sweden as the place to continue my studies. Therefor, I sincerely hope my negative house hunting experience is just a small blip in an otherwise auspicious beginning and...not a foreboding forecast of things to come.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Good o' US of A

Its no secret that I have been itching to get out of USA for ages, and now my dream is finally coming to fruition. But as the day for my departure draws near, dare I say am becoming... sentimental??

For better or worse, good o' Amurika has been my home for the last 21 years and while I have never felt completely satisfied here, I have received a great education, embarked on crazy adventures, created unforgettable memories and most importantly of all-I've made life-long friends. I must admit, America has been good to me.

July 4th, 2013-Happy 237th Birthday Amurika!

Damn, I think I just might miss this place...


I am listening to:
The Strokes-"This is It"

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Denmark Countdown: One Month

Wow I cant believe it! Only one short month until I'm off to Denmark to embark on my year long study at Copenhagen Business School!

Excited, Nervous...and a bit frazzled, I've been trying to get everything done in time, but I have learned from experience that international travel is never mishap free and an international move is even more stressful. Lucky for me, it seems to be smooth sailing so far. With one more month to go, I am pretty much on point with the tasks I need to accomplish before departure from USA and my previous stay in Stockholm has definitely provided me with valuable insight on what to expect upon my arrival in Copenhagen. However one thing, actually quite a big thing has been starting to give me a headache. I have been apartment searching for over two months now and very aggressively searching for the past month...but still nothing! I've tried a variety of Danish websites and even paid a hefty subscription fee, but the only responses I have received were stock messages informing me that the apartment(which listed a mere 5 seconds ago) has already been reserved! How is that even possible?! Do Danes have magical Danish fingers that can somehow type and click twice as fast as mine?!

While my Swedish apartment search was frustrating and full of twists and turns, with the help of my Swedish friend, I was able to secure a beautiful apartment in Stockholm two full months before my arrival. So, then what am I doing wrong in my Danish apartment search?

Should I be reposting my ad in English? Is it because I have not included a picture of myself? Do the owners not want to rent to expats? All these questions with no answers, I can only speculate...

My budget is reasonable and I'm not a (complete) weirdo, so I really hope someone will give me a chance!

Please, please, please, travel gods answer my prayers for a beautiful apartment in downtown Copenhagen! :D


Renior Ma, my little card shark!

I am listening to:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Catfish: Never thought I would see the day...

Personal information is everywhere these days, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even LinkedIn, etc. In theory, these social media sites were created to link people with their friends, family, coworkers and other people of interest. But what happens when the information on your social media account is abused?  When your public information gets into the wrong hands, and a stranger, or even worse, someone that knows you and wishes to cause you harm, misuses your personal information for their own selfish and deceitful purposes?!

I recently started watching the new MTV show "Catfish". From Wikipedia-
"A "catfish" is a person who creates fake profiles online and pretends to be someone they are not by using someone else's pictures and information." The premise of the show basically goes like this- Person A meets online Person B, they chat, trade pics and fall "in love". Person A wants to meet Person B in real life, Person B refuses, Person A is distraught and contacts the "Catfish" show. Then Schulman from "Catfish" uses his internet prowess and tracks down Person B who finally agrees to meet Person A under the glare of MTV cameras. And guess what folks? I have NEVER watched an episode where the person turns out to be exactly like the online pictures. NEVER.

Now you can call me jaded or cynical, but if you read my blog, you know I am actually a hopeless romantic. True love is beautiful, fragile and difficult to find, so I am all for finding love anyway you can in our confusing modern world. Hell, I even joined the Swedish popular online dating site,, when I was in Stockholm this winter! And while I felt bad for the heartbroken people on "Catfish", TV is TV and I never thought something so outlandish could happen to me. But as I seem to be a magnet for crazy events I officially got my first taste of Catfish! And boy do I not like the taste!

So you ask, did I fall for a handsome stranger online? Maybeeeeeee...Ha, actually one of my keen-eyed friends alerted me to a suspicious looking profile on which contained several of my public Facebook profile pictures. These pictures were stolen from my Facebook page and helped birth a scam OkCupid account, wtf!

I am angry, confused and disappointed with the moral fiber of people these days! Since when was the internet filled with such crazy people?! Or maybe the internet has always contained malicious creepers, but my naive self just never noticed until today...!  Now being a victim of "catfishing", what can I do? Scrub the internet clean of every photo I ever posted or every word I have written?! Must I delete all my social networking accounts to become immune to "catfishing"?  Really, what can a lowly common netizen like me do to protect myself against these online predators who use false pictures and lies to prey on unsuspecting victims? I looked up if fake accounts were illegal and it turns out fake accounts are only illegal if the pictures were used to commit a crime or as an advertisement without your consent. WOW.. So when we logged on, I guess we unwittingly signed away all our rights just to be part of this "community" known as the internet. This incident today has made me wonder: If it is that easy to make a fake profile, could there be other fake accounts of me out there?!  :(

I need some time to ponder these questions. So while I do not have all the answers right now, in the meantime, I will try my best to remove this fake OkCupid account:

Whoever you are-"Julieanneful"- you better watch out, for the Catfish Catcher is closing in...


I am listening to:
I Monster - Who Is She?
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