An Introduction and Some Cliches

If you are reading this you probably know that in less than two weeks I will be in Denmark, and that I will be there for four months. If you did not know this…Surprise! That is the purpose of this blog: to share those experiences. At the moment I don’t know what those experiences will be, much less what will be posted here, but I will be sure to let you know. If, while you are dutifully reading every single post on this blog, you think I am neglecting a particular aspect of my time abroad or if you are interested in learning about something, please feel free to make a request. This blog is for me to write and voice my thoughts but it  is also for you, the reader. If you get nothing else from this post, at least understand that I want to know what you think.

Now to the cliches. First, I have to admit that I am disappointed with my blog even before I publish a post. I promised myself I wouldn’t let Nyhavn be my header picture. And yet there it is, sitting right above these words. For those of you who don’t know, Nyhavn is the name of the picturesque canal flanked by the beautiful brightly painted 17th Century buildings. It is a wonderful image of my host country, unfortunately it is also the stereotypical image of Denmark.The more I think about it the more I think this might be the perfect image for me at this time: I know it is beautiful, I know it is old, I know that I want to be there, but that’s about it. The problem is, I don’t want that. I want to know more about Denmark than the stereotypical. I want to go deeper. So, let’s make a deal; as soon as I get into Denmark and take a good picture that I feel represents Denmark I will change the header. Deal? Deal.

Another cliche, though I like this one, is the title of this blog: Riley in the State of Denmark. The title is taken from the opening scene of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which Marcellus says “something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” I wish I could say that I had some grand intellectual reason for choosing this quote. Or even that I enjoy Shakespeare. Neither of those things are true. I just so happened that, for whatever reason, this relatively insignificant quote from stood out to me after reading and rereading Hamlet for Mr. Nickel’s IB English class two years ago. That’s the only reason. Again, it just shows how little I know about Denmark that I am reduced to quoting a fictional man speaking nonsense written by a man who never saw Denmark. If only I could change that. Oh wait, I do get to do that. In 10 days. I get to do something that The Bard never did. Take that Shakespeare!

Well, this might not have been the most entertaining or educational post post, it certainly didn’t express my excitement at leaving so soon (that post comes next!). It did give me a chance to clear up a few things and get in the habit of writing. More importantly it has forced me to begin sharing that writing.

Thanks for reading this first post. I hope to see you here in the future when I really do have something to say!

10 days!

-Riley

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