smoke-clogged lung

Room full of cigarette smoke + shouting to talk over loud music = sore throat for the next day and a half, and counting. Or else I’m coming down with a something. In either case, today feels like a good day to take a temporary vow of silence, of maybe three or four hours’ duration. I will cavort with the world, but I will not talk to it, just for a while, just to see what happens.

I have been accused not only of being shadowy, but of writing in a highly personal manner while revealing very few of the ordinary details that make up my life. Though this particular accusation came in the context of a long private correspondance, I think it’s mostly applicable to the blog as well, so I’ll cut’n’paste bits of my response. The following has been edited for public consumption:

The thing about ordinary details is that they’re ordinary… and so I don’t think about them much, and when I do, I don’t ever think they’re very interesting. So I only mention them to highlight moments of bathos, a la the sleeping bag – that particular bit of angst had been haunting me all week, had to get it out somehow.

That said, I’ll try and be extra-boring for your benefit, at least for the next couple of paragraphs. I live in a dorm (well, a collegium, it’s a slightly different concept but has the same effect) that looks, feels and smells like it was built in the 1970s. Which it was. My room is square, reasonably medium-sized, and furnished with clever and comfortable Danish things that could have come from Ikea, if Ikea had completely awful taste in garish plaid upholstering. I have my own bathroom, which is tiny, and contains a euroghetto shower created by the insertion of a curtain between the toilet and the sink, a drain in the floor, and one of those skanky white arm showerheads. The drain smells like nasty for the first 15 seconds of use.

I share a kitchen with about 10 other people, one of whom happens to come from Caltech as well, the rest of whom are Danish. It provides a bright social space in my otherwise dim and solitary living quarters, as well as some good language practice.

My acts of drunkenness are normally committed around the center of the city, which is a good 30 minute walk away but only 10 minutes by comfortable and frequent busses. And my comrades-in-cups are mostly various kids from the intensive Danish course I finished a week ago, from Germany and the UK more often than the US, thank goodness. Given the fact that I have to transport myself safely home at the end of the night (although the entire city of Copenhagen is secretly lusting after me, no one has yet had the courage to admit it except one sort of sad and disturbing man at the bus stop a couple weeks ago who spoke approximately as much English as I do Danish) I haven’t gotten that spectacularly drunk – usually, I’m not even hung over, really, but the time I wrote about in blog, I had maintained a comfortable buzz from about 6 in the evening until 4 in the morning, and that adds up.

See, now I’m getting bored already by my own life (as opposed to my own thoughts, which are endlessly fascinating)… you’ll have to ask nicely if you want more.

Phew. Even rereading that was exhausting. The last ordinary detail to mention is that I’ve finally had the honor of meeting one of you crazy internet-people, yesterday, for coffee. The entire concept is somewhat disturbing: I have a tendency to compartmentalize people into those I know in real life, and those I know via less personal means, and I think, act and feel very differently about the two. So moving someone from one category to the other always comes as a shock to my system; fortunately, Dennis is one of those people whose written voice jibes well with his realityland presence.

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  1. Life in Copenhagen on 24 May 2011 at 12:49 am

    […] live in a kollegium, which is fairly nice and has cheap rent, and I’m taking three classes, plus […]

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