The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
- Saint Augustine

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Workin' Woman

Though I would start with a Copenhagen Sunset (not enhanced in anyway)

I came back from Vienna, Salzburg and Berlin.
They were amazing, and I would like to give them the time and attention they deserve. Therefore, I will not be mentioning them in this post, but will rather post pictures and stories about them at a later time.

There is some more important news I would like to get to.

Last week I was hired at the Department of Egyptology as a curator for the Carlsberg Papyri Collection. I will be prepping glass, anchoring the Papyrus in place, photocopying and archiving it.
I had my first day yesterday, got a full day of history about where the collection came from, why it is important to preserve it as well as "how we feel about this one historian" gossip.
The field of Egyptology is a relatively small one. Everyone one knows every guest lecturer, editor and curator because there are so few and they gossip about one another worse than a quilters circle. It's quite amusing.
It should also be noted that from what I've seen, it is not a requirement in Egyptology to take a course in fashion. Therefore, the comb overs are plentiful (the ringleader of said hair style is a portly English gentlemen by the name of Angus who also enjoys orange plaid shirts) and they all show up in matching sweater vests like a revenge of the nerds clan.
Thomas, who I'm working with, is another story. He is a grad student, and like most grad students gives the appearance of both being homeless and ambitious simultaneously. Most of the time, he squints as though he's just discovered sunlight after centuries of being in-tombed with the hieroglyphics. He always has a "kuppa kaffe" in his hand, and walks with a little slump, weighed down by his work load. He, like all danes, I've noticed, was shy at first but while we were working would interrupt the silence to say something, and pretty soon I couldn't get him to stop about the hieratic and demonic inscriptions.

Some interesting thing I learned from Thomas yesterday:
-Some of the later papyri had writing on both sides. The front side was old grecian text that was considered useless, but because papyri was so expensive, the back was used to write in egyptian. How one tells which is the "front" and the "back" of a papyrus is the way the reeds were lines up. If the writing was horizontal it was the front, because it was easier to write along the reeds than across them. It was the back if the reeds ran vertically down the page.
-The vast majority of writings is about the burial and ritual processions. Perhaps one of the most important text, "the Book of the Dead" has nearly 500 remaining copies symbolizing it's importance.
-Because death was important, and papyri limited many texts were written on the bandages of the mummies (yes, I have to deal with those too) although they tend to be *ahem* tarnished with "fluids" and prove difficult to read.

Overall, it seems a little mundane, but an interesting opportunity. Plus, it's not everyday that you get to deal with artifacts that are more than three thousand years old.

In some fun day to day news...

I got a warm winter jacket! It's lovely and HUGE with fleece lined pockets, it goes down to my knees and has a huge parka hood. I went in, directly told them I was from California, and they showed me to the warmest, waterproof coat they had. Then they gave me a 10% discount because I was an international student and "they knew we'd be needing them". While they said "oh, you won't need this for a while" I was like "right" and as soon as I got out of the store I put it on and wore it home and was super cozy and not overheated. I guess I am from California after all.

I found the cheapest baked good for myself. Banana corn flour pancakes. They really couldn't be easier.
I made up the recipe myself which is why I was all the more surprised when they worked out. I will add sugar next time, but they weren't all that bad without it, kind of like a banana crepe.

Casey's College GF Pancakes (makes 1 serving)
1 egg
1 mashed Banana
2 tablespoons of Corn flour
Some salt

mix that bad boy up, fry it up and top with some butter and jam or maple syrup (I was not so fortunate to have that lying around) and it was pretty great- plus really good for you. Might go for round two tonight.

I've also been knitting fingerless gloves for myself, and teaching my roommates Meriam, Ben and Asger how it knit. It was pretty darling having them each with a ball of yarn I had in stash and some of my knitting needles in hand with their faces all twisted in concentration while we watched Limitless (or I watched, they sat in front of). I have them on the road to making ear warmers. So far Ben has lost hope, but Meriam came out this morning to show me how much she had done, totally beaming with pride.

Just finished my first memoir for my class. It was called "Greetings from Bury Park" by Sarfraz Manzoor. A pretty light read but it was good. Definitely not deep at all and a bit of whiplash after finishing War and Peace and starting Atlas Shrugged, but good all the same.

Moving on to some theory later in the day, which I imagine will not only stimulate but actively fry my brain cells. So looking forward to that.

I have a confession to make. The Danes cooking has been rubbing off on me.
Saturday night we had a family dinner and my roommates insisted on showing me what a true Danish meal was. We went to the fish market (where fat man hold huge fish that might as well still have been wriggling yelling "Halftreds Kroner!" and housewives snatch it out of his hand. It was fantastic) and got some cod, and they fried up the breaded fish with homemade pickled tarter sauce, boiled new potatoes with parsley and white wine cream sauce, wedge salad with leeks and radishes and finally chocolate mouse and peaches for dessert (with Asger)

It was pretty precious how they helped me make my "corn flake with corn flour" breaded cod and gave me a little special dish to make sure I felt included.

I certainly did :)


  1. Loving the jacket and sunset picture. And your breaded cob-job looks delectable. Miss you!

  2. Wonderful to read your musings again! Best of luck at the Copenhagen Post tomorrow. The Journalist Gods (Lois, Clark and "Jimmy") will be with you.