So, the next time some one tells you, “don’t worry - it will all work out,” don’t blow them off. I figure like all stupid sayings and stereotypes, this one too is based in reality. And I promise - I’m the last person who wants to admit that. But guess what - I got a job! Okay, truth is, I got two jobs. By accident. But after much thought and consideration, I’ve accepted what I think, and truly hope, is the right one for me. As of February 1st, I will be an employee of Maersk, the container ship company. I’ll be working in their new Organizational Effectiveness Group, helping to implement a new HR strategy. And Patrick, who has settled in at Biogen Denmark nicely, will be the proud husband of a wife he actually lives with full time. We are both thrilled and excited that things have worked out so well.
Now we just have to decide which we want more: to travel the world or get a puppy. Any thoughts? Would love to hear your opinions.
Anyway… Needless to say, life in Copenhagen is good. We’ve been here for just about 6 weeks now, and we’re working on establishing a normal routine. The apartment is truly coming together. You can see pictures of it furnished here, just skip the first 9 or so it you’ve already seen the pictures of the empty apartment:
For those interested, a quick recap:
Week 1 - Unpacking and settling in. We also did a tour of the local take-out restaurants. We live above a great Thai place and a funny Mexican place owned by a non-Mexican man from St. Louis who wears too much eye liner. We also got to attend the Biogen Holiday Party. Turns out fancy dress wasn’t enough - there was a 1920’s theme. We were woefully under dressed, but people were nice to us anyway. We also discovered that American football is on TV here, and that they love Morten Andersen, because he’s Danish. But I miss Madden and Sims.
Week 2 - This was my first week at home alone. I quickly discovered that old episodes of the Gilmore Girls do more than enough to compensate for the hours I spent watching Felicity and Seventh Heaven. Patrick learned to drive to work in the dark, and to appreciate what ever they offer for lunch in the canteen. All of our stuff finally arrived that Friday, but unpacking was easier than we expected. Hooray for full service movers.
Week 3 - This week my parents were here. Patrick cooked an amazing traditional Christmas dinner of goose with apple and prune stuffing for me, my folks, and our new friends and fellow ex-pats Ken and Tracy. We also learned that Danish people celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, and their idea of a cool family gathering involves singing and dancing around the Christmas tree. I kid you not - we spied on our neighbors and watched the festivities. The we were off to Paris for two days. I finally got to see the Louvre (no strikes this time) and eat some incredible steak tartar. We will definitely be going back for a more extensive trip at some point. We came back to Copenhagen, and were excited to find that it was actually quite warmer here than it was in Paris. My folks left that Sunday. We were sad they left, but we learned some important lessons about having guests. Note to anyone planning to visit: we are not tour guides. We’ll be happy to show you around and point you in the right direction, but you need to show some interest in the destinations as well.
Week 4 - This one started with a bang - and I mean a literal bang. Copenhagen-er’s celebrate New Year’s by watching the Queen give a speech, eating a great big meal with friends, and then lighting the streets on fire with firecrackers that would clearly be illegal at home. We got to celebrate with our new Danish friends Lars and Camilla, and a bunch of their other friends. It was a very cool night. Patrick went back to work that week, tackling year end close issues from this side of the Atlantic. I sat around and finished a scarf I started three years ago, and taught myself how to make a hat to match. (Hey Jeff - it’s all your’s if you still want it?) But I got some good news from IBM, and I thought I was headed in that direction. We spent the weekend shopping in our neighborhood, discovering all the neat boutiques and giving our new Dankort’s a work out.
Week 5 - I went to Germany for an IBM client “interview.” It didn’t go well, and since I didn’t have a contract yet, I started to doubt the consulting lifestyle and my desire to work in SAP change management. I really like IBM as a company, I just felt like I was being dragged along with no clear answers. Patrick was plugging and chugging at Biogen, and all was going well over there. Also, we had some friends over for a night of American football, catered with crawfish etouffe in honor of Patrick’s home team. Geaux Saints!
Week 6 - Monday was my last interview with Maersk, but I went back to Germany with IBM anyway. By Tuesday I had the Maersk job, and after a medieval dinner in a castle with no utensils (makes our social nights of bowling look horribly banal) and a heart-to-heart with an incredible mentor, I told the IBM folks I wouldn’t be accepting their offer of a full time job. But I finished the week there, and will hang in for one more week while they search for a replacement. Patrick played it cool all week, finally letting his exuberance show when I made it home through a European hurricane (these guys are wimps when it comes to wind) last night.
And that brings us to today. Sorry for the long winded update - Seventh Heaven is not that exciting today.
I’ll try to make these updates a bit more regular, but I’m also happy to stop clogging everyone’s inbox. I’ll start posting these on our website, and you can check when you want to. Patrick may even get off his lazy butt and say something at sometime too. And again - please say hi. Email is great. As are phone calls. Skype is cool, and our Skype-in number is a local call for most of you, but it will still ring here.
We miss all of you immensely, and can’t wait to see you on our side of the pond. Say hi soon!