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Weekly Roundup | Random Chat | Notifications

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. US ‘wants to untie itself’ from world, European Commission chief warns: I am not very happy with the idea that we might now work even more closely with China than we are able to do with the Americans. This does not fit into my old worldview. (LOL)
  2. Recently, China has put forward a proposal of "suspension-for-suspension," which calls for the DPRK to suspend its nuclear and missile activities in return for the US and ROK to suspend their massive military exercises.
  3. Southeast Asia Finds China Love as Xi Pushes 'One Belt, One Road' Dream. Chinese investment into the five largest Southeast Asian nations — Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines — exceeded Japan for the first time
  4. #Germany and China vow to deepen ties amid Trump concerns: "China has become a more important and strategic partner," With bilateral trade of 170 billion euros last year, China was Germany's most important trading partner Merkel said
  5. China expands Belt and Road to the Arctic. China's interest in the Arctic is fourfold: as a new trade route, future source of minerals, environmental concern and a strategic option. If not slowed by icebergs, ship owners potentially can reduce travel by one week, cutting $600,000 per vessel in costs
  6. Acting US ambassador to China quit over Trump climate decision
  7. China says Iran membership of Shanghai security bloc to be discussed at summit
  8. The Future of Asia 2017: Japan should invite China to join TPP, Singapore's Goh says
  9. How the Gulf row is blocking China’s new Silk Road... Rift between Qatar and its neighbours could disrupt key projects in Beijing’s sprawling trade initiative
  10. China doesn't want to be the only world leader, says State Council counselor
  11. Former top US spy James Clapper warns of China's Russian-style behaviour in Australia
  12. Chinese companies have invested around 4 billion U.S. dollars during the last two decades in Ethiopia, employing 111,000 Ethiopians on permanent and temporary basis
  13. China hails first fugitive extradition from U.S. under Trump: The ministry said Zhu fled to the United States in April last year, prompting Chinese police to request an Interpol "red notice" for his arrest
  14. The moment a Canadian woman berates grocery clerks and tells them to 'go back to China' for not understanding English has been caught on video (People's Daily Online)
  15. Any attempt to stop Qatari exports would be a major crisis, and would invite a serious response from major LNG customers Japan, South Korea, China and India.
  16. South Korea Suspends Deployment of U.S. Antimissile System: two launchers of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system that had been installed could remain but that four launchers that had yet to be deployed would not be installed until the administration completed an environmental assessment
  17. Russian missile cruiser Varyag makes historic port call in Hong Kong (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
  18. Argentina and China partner on breakthrough radio telescope
  19. Putin, Xi to meet on June 8
  20. True partners? How Russia and China see each other
  21. Senior Russian envoy suggests SCO's expansion should include Iran
  22. Confrontation at Bilderberg 2017
  23. China opens Nairobi Mombasa Madaraka Express in Kenya, revitalizing an outdated British colonial railway dubbed "The Lunatic Express"
  24. California, China defy U.S. climate retreat with new cleantech tie-up: California and China's Ministry of Science and Technology will work together to develop and commercialize know-how on carbon capture and storage, clean energy, and information technology to rein in greenhouse gases
  25. Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the idea of creating an investment fund in yuan, proposed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and China Development Bank
  26. Islamic State kills two Chinese teachers kidnapped in Pakistan (x-post /pakistan)
  27. California, Chinese university set up climate change institute in wake of Trump withdrawal
  28. As China pulls trade from North Korea, Russia gets cozy with Kim Jong Un
  29. Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Li Huilai said Iran is an observer at the SCO and has for a long time "proactively participated" in its activities. "China highly appraises this. China welcomes and supports Iran's wish to become a formal member of the SCO,"
  30. India, Pakistan become full members of SCO
  31. Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Rashid Alimov announced on Friday that the heads of member states of SCO are convinced that Astana process will help create conditions for a solution to the crisis in Syria within the context of the Geneva process.
  32. I salute the government for China for cutting funds to the useless UN human rights shop of this Jordanian prince
  33. Canada Shows Commitment To Fighting Global Warming By Asking China To Invest In Its Oil Industry
  34. Nepal, China sign mega hydropower agreement: Nepal's energy minister Janardan Sharma signed the agreement for the China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) to build the long-mooted 1,200 megawatt Budhi-Gandaki hydroelectric project
  35. Chinese president's speech at SCO summit praised by overseas experts, scholars
  36. Tokyo proposes reciprocal Abe-Xi visits in 2018: China is taking a cautious approach to diplomacy ahead of the Communist Party's National Congress this fall. The summit proposal, though, is part of a bigger charm offensive on Japan's part
  37. Japan takes cautious turn toward China's 'Belt and Road': Japan is eager to cooperate with China's massive Belt and Road Initiative if Beijing can ensure fairness and transparency, Shinzo Abe said, sensing an opportunity to shore up international norms as the Asian heavyweight's influence grows
In Domestic news
  1. China to fast track reforms
  2. Tiananmen vigil draws lowest turnout since 2008
  3. China appears to have peak CO2 production a full decade ahead of its paris agreement goals
  4. China will set up two to four large combustible ice bases for industrial development, the Ministry of Land and Resources (MOLR) said
  5. Social media platforms require real-name registration after Cyber Law takes effect
  6. China uncovers massive underground network of Apple employees selling customers' personal data
  7. China's central government has pledged to preserve and develop the country's various traditional opera styles by strengthening the education system
  8. China's broadcast regulator, tightening control of content: Online programs should promote China's revolutionary culture" advance patriotism, extol the motherland. SAPPRFT said in August that it would restrict social and entertainment news that promoted improper values and "Western lifestyles"
  9. Six Chinese universities among world's top 100
  10. China is Trying a New College Entrance Exam Model to Give Students a Break
  11. China builds world’s first offshore fish farm
  12. Hong Kong’s annual cross-harbour swim race to return to Tsim Sha Tsui after 40 years, as water quality improves
  13. Is philanthropy catching on among China's super rich?
  14. Chinese government mulls enhanced transparency in decision making
  15. Beijing and Private Charities Team Up to Feed Hungry Chinese Children: In April 2011, Deng Fei started Free Lunch for Children (FLC), the first public charity initiative to offer free lunches to students in remote, poverty-stricken areas, with the help of 500 like-minded
  16. Wasted green power tests China’s energy leadership: “They installed too much too fast,” said Qiao Liming, China director for the Global Wind Energy Council. “A real market should allow electricity to flow between two provinces. That is currently lacking”
In SciTech news
  1. #ARM in China joint venture to help foster 'secure' chip technology: a British chip innovator controlled by SoftBank Group, will form a joint venture with Chinese partners "within months" to help companies in China develop semiconductor technologies, including products that could have security uses
  2. Is this the future of urban transport? China unveils track-less train that runs on virtual railways
  3. Domesticated rice dated back 9,400 years in China: several countries in Asia claim to have found evidence of the earliest cultivation of rice as a food source. Now, those claims may have been dispelled, as the team in China has found the oldest evidence yet of cultivated rice
  4. China's #AI Advantage: Why Google China's Founder Sees The U.S. Losing Its Edge. Not only do Chinese companies have the advantage of a hyper-competitive market, the government continues to invest in R&D while unstable visa policies could encourage more academics to return
  5. A #nanomedicine approach against multidrug-resistant bacteria: A new study by researchers in China, illustrates a strategy for curing full-thickness wounds infected by multidrug-resistant MDR bacteria via an electrospun scaffold containing pharmaceutical intermediate-capped gold nanoparticles
  6. Trials of embryonic #stemcell to launch in China: will inject 4 million immature neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells into people with Parkinson’s disease. In the other trial, retinal cells derived from ES cells will be transplanted into the eyes of people with macular degeneration
  7. Doctors are reporting unprecedented success from a new cell and gene therapy for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that's on the rise. Although it's early and the study is small—35 people—every patient responded and all but two were in some level of remission within two months.
  8. US, Chinese scientists collaborate on historic space experiment: It’s work that will help determine whether humans can survive a prolonged journey in space-where astronauts are bombarded with ten times the radiation levels on earth
  9. China just flew a 130-foot, solar-powered drone designed to stay in the air for months
  10. China ready to cash in on rise of machine learning: China’s vast markets, along with the emergence of a group of internet leaders with a wide range of digital activity, should provide plenty of raw material to fuel the rise of intelligent systems
  11. China's rising ambitions in aerospace
  12. Chinese team develops skin-like triboelectric nanogenerator: As an end product, the STENG could be used to adhere to skin or clothing to generate electricity powering small devices such as phones or music players
  13. China reveals plans for R&D of reusable carrier rocket
  14. Chinese researchers achieve major breakthrough in nuclear energy
  15. Saturday’s SpaceX launch carried a surprise payload—a Chinese experiment: The experiment will study the effects of space radiation on DNA, specifically the rate at which DNA mutates in the space environment. Congress has barred NASA from working directly with China since 2011
  16. China gets smarter on artificial intelligence: quantity of papers published by Chinese researchers on branches of AI such as deep learning, already exceeds those by American scientists. Chinese studies have also been cited more often than American ones, said a White House report last October
  17. How AI Will Kickstart a National Defense Revolution: what does AI mean for China’s defense? How should we address the security challenges that AI may cause if used inappropriately?
In Economic news
  1. Hong Kong’s GDP since it returned to China 20 years ago
  2. China is rapidly closing the innovation gap, European firms say: A newly released survey from the EU Chamber of Commerce in China found that 60 percent of European firms in China expect domestic firms to close the innovation gap by 2020
  3. Westerners predict the 32 largest economies by 2050
  4. China Just Became the Games Industry Capital of the World: The 600 million gamers in China generated $24.6 billion of the industry's $101.1 billion global market value over 2016, just ahead of the U.S.’s $24.1 billion
  5. China Looks to Capitalize on Clean Energy as U.S. Retreats
  6. China's services sector was more active than expected in May, private survey shows: The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 52.8 in May, beating the forecast of 51.4 and the previous month's 51.5
  7. Morgan Stanley stays bullish on China after Moody’s downgrade: China’s solid ‘counter cyclical’ measures are unlikely to derail growth, the big Wall Street investment bank says in its China Summit research report
  8. China's homemade C919 secures 570 orders, says report
  9. Asian flagship carriers sink as Chinese airlines expand: Rising fuel costs, international competition force restructuring
  10. Star Rapper Akon Mulls IPO of Chinese-Funded African Solar Unit: Since releasing his last album seven years ago, Akon’s built his solar business, Akon Lighting Africa, with credit lines of $1 billion from Chinese backers. The venture has structured about $400 million of solar deals to date
  11. China PM's 'dream team' should be Asia, not Europe: China's priorities should be to (a) keep advancing its huge B&R projects and (b) sort out the relationship with key Asian neighbors – Japan and North and South Korea
In Military news
  1. Washington Invites Beijing to Hawaii’s RIMPAC Navy Drills, Despite Tensions. China participated in RIMPAC in both 2014 and 2016 — and sent an uninvited surveillance and intelligence gathering vessel to monitor the activities on both occasions
  2. Thailand, China vow to push forward all-round development of military ties
  3. How China’s Growing Naval Fleet Is Shaping Global Politics: Ship by ship, port by port, China has over the past two decades been assembling one of the essential engines of global power: a modern navy capable of projecting force far from home
  4. China’s new ramjet engine to enhance firing range of missiles, combat ability of J20
  5. South China Sea: Underwater ‘observation station’ planned by Beijing. Beijing said the network, which will be built in the East China Sea and South China Sea, will “conduct around-the-clock, real-time, high-definition, multiple interface, and three-dimensional observations
  6. ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2017
  7. China’s Military Ambitions Likely Extend Beyond Asia, Pentagon Says: The report also noted with unease that China’s military has modernized at a fast pace. “China’s military modernization is targeting capabilities with the potential to degrade core U.S. military-technological advantages,”
Other Notables
  1. The west attempting to sow hatred in China's allies
  2. Quora: Will Xi Jinping follow convention and step down in 2022?
  3. Question about Tiananmen 1989
  4. Wait… Is China Really the Leader in Green Energy?
  5. I was interviewed for the ABC/Fairfax smear piece on China.
  6. Read online: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
  7. GT: West must stop its double standards on terror attacks
  8. If asked, “Who is the biggest-selling artist at auction?” few people would answer “Zhang Daqian”
  9. Kai-Fu Lee: China will be the largest market for AI in three to five years
  10. What are your thoughts on the state of Chinese software/cybersecurity?
  11. An old article on Pragmatism in China
  12. Is China really a threat to maritime trade?
  13. Petite but driven Hong Kong marathoner Marcia Zhou on catching the competitive running bug: Girls not often encouraged to go into sports. Does your family support you? 'My dad is very proud of me as runner. He is a pro-level golfer himself. I think I got some athletic and competitive genes from him'
  14. 罗京:如果我们的铁骑继续前进这些螳臂当车的歹徒难道能阻挡得了吗?
  15. BREAKING NEWS: EurasianTiger's video reached some attention on Chinese internet space
  16. 27-year-old becomes China's youngest runner to finish 6 World Marathon Majors
  17. 馬思唯/MASIWEI - 崂山道士
  18. These Young Chinese Architects Are Helping Save Old Beijing
  19. Tainan mayor's 'pro-China' remarks draw quick responses: Lai Ching-te (賴清德) told city councilors that he is pro-China as much as he loves Taiwan. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said he would not go as far as being a pro-China politician. "China-friendly is good enough for me," he said
  20. China’s ‘stolen’ cultural relics: why the numbers just don’t add up | Post Magazine
  21. 中国最美的方言, 听一句就酥了
  22. Dragon dances with shark to mark Dragon Boat Festival
  23. Wanda Studios — the vast production site under construction in Qingdao, China — aims to host at least five to six Hollywood projects in its first year of full operation in 2018, the studios’ new president and CEO Alvin Fu said
  24. Chinese explorer's incredible arctic journey: This is the Arctic Circle, and Zhanjiang-born Wu Yu has just become the first person to ever drive here from China, some 8,000 kilometers away
  25. The ruins of Fugan Temple, a well-known Buddhist site from the Eastern Jin dynasty (317AD to 589AD) to the Southern Song dynasty (1127 to 1279), were discovered recently by archaeologists under Shiye Street in Chengdu
  26. China's superhero factory
  27. Bund Finance Center, Shanghai - façade time lapse (x-post gifs)
  28. Beijing bridge weave (x-post pics)
  29. "May you live in interesting times"
  30. Foreign-born, ethnically-born Chinese find difficulties in moving to China: Large numbers of foreign-born ethically-Chinese people have been moving to China in recent years. While they often speak the language, many are finding it surprisingly difficult to settle-in
  31. How one man (66-year-old Mo Wenzhen) lifted whole village out of poverty
  32. Quora: Is the Western belief in democracy well-founded?
  33. Quora: Does the Chinese government really have better long-term visions than other governments elsewhere in Asia?
  34. AMERICANA: "The Anti-Chinese and Anti-Japanese Movements in Cananea, Sonora, and Salt Lake River, Arizona, During the 1920 and 1930s" by Avital Bloch and Servando Ortoll
submitted by AutoModerator to Sino


I am 26 years old and make 74k per year working as a nurse in Copenhagen, Denmark.

*all amounts have been converted from Danish kroner to USD
Section One: Assets and Debt
Retirement balance: $4700. In Denmark, employers are required to automatically contribute a certain percentage of one’s pre-tax salary to a pension fund. For me, it’s 13.5%.
Savings account balance: $12,730 separated into various categories. “Home down payment” (my goal is to buy a larger and more centrally located apartment by June 2020), “Emergency fund”, and “Fashion, beauty, travel, and fun”
Checking account balance: $60 I keep very little money in here, in order to avoid spending it. When my paycheck hits I immediately move most of my money into the savings, and I really only keep enough to pay for bills/groceries.
Credit card debt: $0
Student loan debt: $0 I luckily received merit-based scholarships and grants, which covered the majority of my tuition for my bachelors of science in nursing, back when I lived in the US. I also lived in my moms house, commuted to and from school, and had some side hustles (dog walking, babysitting/nannying, working in a bakery) to cut down on costs. My parents also generously helped out during any semesters where any tuition wasn’t fully covered.
Investments: $8,200 in index funds and stocks
Other savings: $1580 in a Capital One account from when I lived in the US. Still not sure what to do with this!
Section Two: Income
Monthly take home: About $3800 (after all taxes and pension contribution) and often more with overtime and evening/night/weekend differential- I’ve earned almost $5000 on the rare months where my hustle game is super strong. I work varying shifts at a psychiatric hospital.
*full disclosure: I am married to my sweet Danish husband, who is a masters student in economics and is graduating in February 2020. However after falling acutely ill last year he has not been working, and had taken a longer sick leave from studies. He is back to school now though, and he recently got a low-key part-time job (proud of him!) which will bring in a few hundred dollars per month until he graduates and can work full-time. Because he hasn’t gotten a paycheck yet, those numbers aren’t included here. He otherwise doesn’t have any assets.
Section Three: Monthly Expenses
Rent: $684 includes water, heat, electricity, internet, wifi, and use of the laundry room/money on our laundry card. It’s a little studio in the outer Copenhagen area. I pay the whole amount.
Health, vision, and dental: $15 total for my birth control pills, and my husband’s medication. All healthcare is otherwise covered through taxes. I haven’t been to the dentist in a while (...oops) and while dental is not covered through taxes, a cleaning/check -up is about $50 and paid when you go. I’m very grateful for my healthy and non-problematic teeth.
Transport: $105. I pay about $60 for unlimited bus/train travel between work and home for the month. The rest of the amount covers miscellaneous trips to the inner city, and some travel for my husband (though he most often cycles to school and work). We do not have a car and don’t really see a reason to buy one, at least not within the next 2-3 years.
Phone plan: $40 for myself and my husband
Groceries: $224 for both myself and my husband
Subscriptions: $13 Netflix
Allowance for dates/fun activities: $100 typically used for a single date for us once per month, and maybe one night of beers with friends. (going out in Copenhagen ain’t cheap!)
Any other personal spending beyond this comes from the specified category in the savings account.
Savings account contribution: $2330 in all, which comes from 50% of my post-tax income going to “Home down payment”, 5% going to “Emergency fund”, and 10% going to “Beauty, fashion, travel, and fun”.
Investment account contribution: $210. Another 5% of my post-tax income
Paid hobbies: $400 one time payment for an upper level Danish course. I paid last month, for 5 months of classes. This may possibly be paid back to me by the state.
Day One (Thursday)
7:15 AM Yay, I’m free! I just finished my night shift. I catch the next bus home using my commuter pass- which has only a few days left on it before I have to buy a new one. I send my husband, F, a few good morning texts on the bus. He is on the way to his university and has his weekly doctors appointment afterwards, so I will first see him after I wake up later.
8AM: At home, I do the most basic version of my skincare routine because I can hardly stay awake. I rinse my face with Matas cleansing lotion, apply The Ordinary’s Niacinamide + Zinc, Cos Rx Snail Mucin essence, and a thin layer of Weleda Skin Food on top of it all. Then I hop in bed, and drift off to sleep while browsing Reddit (and haven’t dropped my phone on my face this time!)
12:30PM I’m awake again, damnit! One of the worst things about working changing shifts is that my sleep schedule is beyond fucked up, and I’m almost perpetually tired whether I’m able to actually sleep or not. I don’t think I have ever been able to sleep past 12:30 after a night shift.. I just pray I will be able to fall asleep again in the evening. I check my emails and Facebook messenger for any messages from friends. One of my best friends since childhood (back in New York) has recently moved to Tokyo so our group of girlfriends is going to collectively visit her in November. I can’t wait! I paid for my plane tickets already but I respond to their messages regarding potential accommodations. Then F gets home! I heat up some leftover baked ziti (prepared yesterday) for us for lunch. I take my birth control, magnesium, vitamin D, and b complex vitamins while I eat.
2:00PM F and I head to the grocery store where we, as usual, are left completely clueless as to what we should eat over the next few days. We tend to just eat a few of the same meals on rotation, and while we don’t mind this, we have been hoping to switch it up a little in the future. After standing idly in front of fresh produce for way too long, we decide to make quesadillas which we have only eaten once already in the past week . We buy tortillas, some tomatoes, a lemon, avocados, kidney beans, shredded cheddar, Danish rye bread and liver paté for F (Danes love that stuff) and some oat milk on sale, for drinking whenever. $12
3PM: F has somewhat spontaneously decided to pick up an extra shift at work and I am supportive of that. He heads off on his bike. We luckily get the chance to have some quality time tomorrow. I do some clothes ironing/steaming, and then it is time for me to try and catch some Zzz again, but it won’t be easy. I pull the blinds in our apartment, I put on my sleeping mask (not the Korean skincare kind but the cloth kind that you put over your eyes) and attempt to fall asleep. F will be home again just before I have to leave for my night shift. I’m low key obsessed with my husband and actually miss him when either he or I is at work.
8:30PM sleeping was a success! I prepare a quesadilla for myself and am very happy with it. I had made some guacamole to eat with it, so I’m sure to leave half for F for when he gets home later. I hop in the shower, do my skincare routine again, and make some coffee. I watch some YouTube videos while I sip my coffee, and change into very comfy clothes - a white T shirt from Arket and an old pair of sweatpants from H&M, making sure this is a pair with pockets (Work attire needs pockets to hold our set of keys to the belt restraints, and our personal alarm- in case of a dangerous situation). F gets home and we drink a little more coffee together before I leave to get on the bus at 10:15
11:15PM at work, and it’s a relaxed night. No complaints (especially considering I had 6 hellish day shifts in a row last week). We do our assessments and prepare all the administrative stuff for the day shift. No new admissions (because we don’t have any beds available). I give PRN meds on both my own unit, and on one of the other units (they only have nursing assistants on nights during the weekend). Just going through the motions...
Daily total: $12
Day Two (Friday)
7:15AM Heading home, and I’m off for the rest of the day/night which feels awesome! Hop on the bus home.
7:50AM I get into bed almost as soon as I enter into the apartment. I scroll through emails on my phone. I can see that I got my paycheck today. Ka-ching! I enjoy the little boost of motivation, and then I use mobile banking to move most of the money into the respective savings accounts, plus my investment account. I get out of bed again to do my skincare routine, and afterwards I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.
1PM Awake again, and F is working on his masters thesis. The hunger kicks in so I heat up a tortilla on a pan with a little oil and, schmear some cream cheese on it. When the tortilla starts to crisp up a little I fold it in half. It’s an abomination but i think it’s yummy. I take my vitamins with it (after all, I have to supplement this sometimes purely cheese and dough based diet). I’m feeling a lot more overall at ease knowing I’m free from work today. I also realize this is my only real opportunity to socialize this week, but I’m not feeling very up to it. Both my husband and I are naturally introverted. Sometimes work sucks so much life out of me that it’s like I don’t have anymore energy for socializing afterwards. However, one of our goals for when we finally can live in a bigger apartment, is to be able to have friends over more often. I can’t wait for that...I remind myself that two weeks from now I am only scheduled to work two shifts, and that there will be plenty of time to see friends in that week if I want.
2PM: I work on some Danish assignments which need to be submitted by Monday morning. I speak Danish fluently (I have to because of my job) but I’m taking a course ,and later an exam, which is required by the government if I want to be able to get a masters degree in the future (because all of the health-related masters in Denmark are only offered in Danish). The course basically teaches one to speak Danish at an even higher academic level- Since I’m working this weekend it is definitely easiest to try and get the assignments done now. F picks up some cheap wine and ingredients for chili con carne, and a chocolate bar to share for dessert. We are continuing with our Tex Mex theme, but with wine to keep it classy. $16
6PM The chili is ready and it’s time to eat! We each have a bowl and sprinkle cheddar and a few crushed tortilla chips on the top. We also have a head of lettuce that we need to use, so I chop some up and throw it on top of the chili for some more crunch. Lastly, F opens the botttle of wine. We eat on the sofa (bad habit but our “dining table” is also our desk and we have too many projects and papers spread out right now) and look for something to watch on Netflix using F’s laptop (we don’t really have room for a TV so we don’t own one). Nothing really peaks our interest at the moment, so what the heck, let’s try something new. We choose a K-Drama “My First First Love”.
10PM Okay, we have finished the bottle of wine and watched half of the entire first season of “My First First Love”. F confesses that despite his preconceived notions, he thinks it’s a “kind of good” show, and even burst out laughing at a few parts. I agree- it’s silly and cheesy but very cute!
10:30 I shower and do my skincare routine, but because I actually get to spend my night sleeping instead of working, I add tretinoin as the last step. F and I fall asleep shortly thereafter.
Daily total: $16
Day Three (Saturday)
6:30AM F’s alarm goes off. He needs to be ready in 30 minutes because my father-in-law is picking him up and they are driving for 3 hours to the other side of Denmark. They will be visiting F’s grandparents who live on a farm. F’s grandmother has been sick for awhile so F’s family has been visiting a little more often during the past year. I’m pretty sad that I can’t go this time because I’m working this weekend. I kiss F goodbye. I will first see him again after work tomorrow.
9AM I have snoozed a few extra hours because I’m first done with work at 11PM today. I eat an apple and take my vitamins. I make some tea and take another peek at my Danish homework, which I didn’t finish yesterday. I read some of the assigned articles but get distracted by texts from F, whom I miss a lot!
11:45AM I decide to revisit the Danish homework when I get home from work tonight. Lunch time! I heat up leftover chili, and sprinkle some cheese on top. I check the commuter app from my phone- my monthly commuter pass has officially expired so I have to buy a new one. $60
1:30PM Shower, skincare routine + CosRx aloe soothing sun cream, brush my hair and braid it. I put on black sweats and a white T-shirt again, and put on my favorite casual jacket. It’s a slightly oversized pastel pink denim one. I put on my designated work shoes (Adidas trainers) and walk through the little patch of forest outside of our apartment complex to the bus stop. The weather is super nice today, which is not super common even in the Danish summer, so naturally I’m working (this has been my experience for the entire summer basically.) This is why we take Vitamin D and tend to travel to warmer countries.
4:00PM I have been at work for an hour and we have just been bombarded with shit from the very start basically. The doctors were backtracked the whole day which means that the day’s most important tasks (which normally happen during the dayshift) were only starting to take place about 5 minutes after the start of my shift. I needed about 10 minutes to find my bearings, I barely even had time to read up on my patients before the doctors showed up. Some patients (waiting for their meetings with the doctors) became angry about the delay. And to top it all off, two patients who had earned privilege from the doctors to go out on a walk, ran away while on their respective walks. In this case, a lot of documentation has to be done and the police informed because they are involuntary hold patients.
5:30PM I take a minute in the kitchen to just pour a coffee for myself as I feel a little fatigued (always free coffee and tea at work). I add ice because it’s freaking hot in this place. Time to prepare dinner medication for all the patients. I have 4 patients assigned to me but I’m responsible for medication for all 16 of them. I’m happy for a little “break” in the quiet and air conditioned medicine room. (The rest of the unit is not air conditioned and it’s hot as balls today).
6PM Dinner. We don’t have formal breaks at my job because the higher ups don’t believe we have enough staff for it to be safe (another one of the major downsides). We typically eat with the patients, and one can either eat the hospital food, or bring food from home. The varieties of hospital-quality smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwiches) that is offered today doesn’t really appetize me, so I make a grilled cheese using some of the hospital’s bread and cheese, and a sandwich press that we keep in the kitchen. Yummy! I take my grilled cheese and actually don’t eat in the milieu today. Instead, I have to fill out some of the paperwork that has to be sent to the police.
10PM: Things are calming down. The nurse from our neighbor unit comes by to take some of our unit’s extra laundry detergent because her unit has run out. She asks if one of us, by any chance, wants to take a night shift on their unit, because they are short staffed for the next few days. Unfortunately no takers- we are already running on empty on our own unit. I give the last round of medications to all the patients and then sit down to do my charting.
10:40PM I finish with some time to spare, so I use the rest of the time to scour the internet and Instagram for potential microblading artists in NYC for my mom. She has been dreaming of getting her blonde Irish eyebrows microbladed, but she is not very tech saavy, so I offered to do some research for her. I send her the Instagram names to three potential artists, who have nice photos of their work and reasonable prices. I hope that she does it- she is the oldest of 7 siblings, a single mom of 3, and a nurse too! She deserves to treat herself probably more than anyone I know! She is very thankful and sends me photos of her cats.
11:00PM Finally free from work and the blazing sun has gone down, only to produce a full fledged thunderstorm. I get a little scared getting off the bus and walking in the thunder and lightning. F calls me to see if I’m getting home alright and I whimper like a baby about walking through the little forest while there is fork lightning streaking through the sky.
12:00AM Home and in bed, safe from the storm! No Danish homework for me tonight. It will have to be tomorrow morning instead.
Daily total: $60
Day Four (Sunday)
8:30AM The thunderstorm continued on and off throughout the night which meant that I woke up many times sporadically to loud clapping thunder- I’m not feeling super great when I wake up. I make some tea, scramble two eggs with chili flakes, take my birth control pill and vitamins, and sit down to do that Danish homework.
11:00AM This shit is hard! I put down my assignments once again, and close my eyes for a little bit. The lack of a consistent schedule/free time is starting to get to me, and unfortunately it’s probably not going to get any easier since I switch to day shifts tomorrow. I take some deep breaths... my strategy is always to take it one day at a time, and envision my next day off which is on Wednesday. I’m closing in on the end of these Danish assignments.
12:30PM I do a load of laundry to make sure F and I have clean clothes available for this week. $1.50 (deducted from our prepaid laundry card)
4PM By this time I have been at work for an hour. It gets pretty busy every once in a while but the mood is thankfully more relaxed than yesterday. I eat some of the smørrebrød for dinner today- I like the egg and spring onion variety. I already feel like i can’t wait to come home though.
9:30PM We get a new admission brought in by the police, and the pace of my night changes a little. This patient has arrived following a quite messy suicide attempt. She is an immigrant in Denmark and only speaks English, therefor the automatic consensus among my colleagues is that I’ll be her primary nurse. I have my first meeting with her, and she seems kind of relieved to speak English to someone. I ask her about the events leading up to her suicide attempt, and she tells me about her life- she has a lot of worries and fears. I can only hope that she feels a little better after our conversation, despite the fact that we have to take her clothes and possessions away (as a precaution with suicidal patients.)
11:00PM I’m finally free and F is at home! We have a super quick cuddle. It doesn’t take long before I fall asleep.
Daily total: $1.50 (deducted from our pre-paid laundry card)
Day Five (Monday)
5:20AM Up and at ‘em. I do my typical morning routine of shower, coffee and pills, and walk to the bus at 6:15. The new case that I got last night really peaked my interest and gave me some new motivation. I really hope I can make a difference for my patient. One of the hardest parts about working with severely mentally ill patients is that they don’t always get better. More often they even get worse. It makes you question whether you are a good nurse, even if you are a good nurse and giving it 110%. It’s something that I’m still learning to accept.
7:00AM Time for a day shift. Despite being swamped with tasks today, things still felt calm and manageable in a way, and there was good teamwork among the staff (unfortunately this isn’t always the case). I have a tendency to get overwhelmed when I have too many day shifts, just because of the sheer amount of work that has to be done, but this was a good day.
3:20PM So I’m finished a little later than I’m supposed to be, due to all the work, but I’m overall in a great mood. The weather is gorgeous! I get off the bus and first notice it feels like a crisp autumn day. F is on his way home from class, and I can’t wait to see him! We agree that we are in the mood for some baked ziti tonight (did I mention we tend to eat the same things on rotation? Lol), I make a detour at the grocery store on my walk from the bus stop, so I can pick up any ingredients we don’t already have. $7
4:15PM Hey, some of my stocks sold! I placed a sell limit order about two months ago, and honestly didn’t expect the stocks to reach this selling price anytime soon, but it looks like the market made a little jump today. I made about $250 from this sale. It’s not anything crazy but it still feels kind of cool! I’m going to reinvest it either in another stock or in one of the ETFs.
7:00PM F and I eat our delicious baked ziti and I follow it up with a glass of oat milk. We watch a documentary about the protests in Hong Kong on the website for Danish public media, followed by “Patriot Act” with Hasan Minaj on Netflix.
10PM F has already been asleep for an hour! I do my skincare routine plus tretinoin, and join him for some much needed ZZz. One more day shift tomorrow and then my day off!
Daily total: $7
Day 6 (Tuesday)
5:20AM Another typical pre-work morning. I’m so tired that at this point the only priority regarding my clothes is whether they are clean. I grab an old college T-shirt I had once painted in, and a pair of sweats. At the last minute I reconsider my paint-covered T shirt so I just throw on a sweater from Arket to hide it.
7:00AM I arrive to work and first find out from the night shift that there was a crazy episode last night involving one of our patients, that ended up with some of my colleagues crying, and the evening shift having to stay for 2 hours after their shift ended. On top of this, they tell me that a few of our other patients had violent outbursts and the mileu is chaotic. So already I’m feeling a little anxious about what this day has in store for us. Lastly, I find out that not only is the other nurse sick but my boss also isn’t coming today. There are also two nursing students here who’s whole plan surrounds them following that other nurse for the day. Umm... okay... This means I am in charge, AND on the floor with 5 of my own patient assignments (we got an extra patient- the bed is in the hallway), with only 3 assistants, and somehow these nursing students have to learn something today. I hateeeeee. Thissss. I’ve been working as a nurse for exactly a year, and have the least experience of everyone on my unit. I break out in a nervous sweat and can feel my voice tremble when I talk, but I get to work.
12:20 I sit down late for lunch and it’s not long before one of our newer admissions (but a frequent flyer) throws her cup of juice and plate across the table basically unprovoked. A colleague and I spring into action and take her arms in what’s called a “transport hold”- we’re basically forcing her to go to her room for our safety and the safety of the other patients. Another older female psychotic patient utilizes this opportunity to shout at everyone else at the table that I’m from America and that I’m beautiful. Hey, I’ll take it!
2:00PM Well I have anxiety-sweated through the day, have felt discouraged/pissed off by cranky and unprofessional colleagues, and definitely made a fool of myself a bunch of times trying to be replacement-boss... but it could have been way worse. My saving grace is the fact that I have to go to a previously planned “vejledning” (guidance?) session today. I get to leave the unit an hour early and go to the education building (with the OK from my colleagues. I’m reachable by phone if all hell breaks loose). These sessions are offered to new nurses at my hospital- we talk about various patient or workplace-related conundrums in order to try and be better nurses, but for me it’s like my therapy....
3:30PM I get out of “vejledning” and damn, did I need that. The teachers, who are specially trained nurse educators and work for the psychiatric hospital, typically maintain a nonpartisan approach but seem to subtly hint via facial expression that my unit is insane. But they have given me an outlet to vent and new strategies to try with my most challenging workplace situations.
4:00PM As I’m getting into my apartment I get a call from my boss, who commends me for taking over today. I tell her thanks for the praise but that I REALLY don’t like being put in such a position. She sounds somewhat sympathetic and with obvious timing she tells me that I can go home early on Thursday, and that she’s given me the days off that I had requested some time back. You’d better, lady!
5:00PM I’m resting at home and F is cycling home from class. We have some leftover baked ziti we could eat... but screw this day, let’s make it better with some pizza! I order two pizzas from our local place (they are smaller in Denmark). One Bianca (potatoes, cheese, rosemary no sauce), and a Sicilia (grilled eggplant, pesto, and feta). $20 F picks them up on his way home. We chow down and continue on the Korean journey of artistic genius that is “My First First Love”.
9:00 F always falls asleep first, and I’m thinking I should get some rest also. I do my skincare routine (taking a break from tretinoin tonight due to some redness/irritation I had today). It sure feels good to be in bed.
Daily total: $20
Day Seven (Wednesday)
8:00AM A day off from work! Oh, what a delight! I feel like doing absolutely nothing! I take my vitamins and birth control and make a cup of tea. F leaves for class, and I am so bummed that I won’t see him all day, because I leave for Danish class before he gets home. No more fretting, it’s time for me to just chill out and enjoy this free time.
9:00AM I eat two pieces of leftover pizza and take this time to answer some messages from my dad on Facebook messenger. He is from Colombia and is basically a legend of a father-in-law (past events include him insisting on buying jeans for F after first meeting him, and proudly telling F that he will treat him to anything and everything he wants from Wendy’s). Despite being an articulate and well-educated man, when it comes to texting, reading his messages can be like taking a trip to the front page of oldpeoplefacebook. All the more reason to love him. He’a a nurse too on the night shift, and tells me to be careful at work. He says that he loves both me and F and the whole family is waiting for us to come home for Christmas, and signs off with GIF of a puppy. I can’t wait to visit home, my eyes get a little misty.
10:00AM I am browsing Youtube and watch the trailer for “Joker”. It gives me chills! I text F and tell him that we must see this film. I love going to the movie theater but for me it has to be the right kind of film for the price to be worth it. This is exactly the kind of movie I want to watch in the theater. We agree to see the movie for our October date night.
12:00PM It’s been over a week since I’ve done any sort of beneficial physical activity (restraining patients is not a healthy form of exercise) so I decide to go for a run. It’s very much overcast out, but we live around a sort of wooded area with a marsh and ducks that is perfect for running. I’ve probably only done about 3 kilometers before I get completely winded, and I remind myself I have to do this more consistently. When I get back to the apartment I eat a banana and change into fresh clothes (see: pajamas) and take the already growing pile of dirty laundry to the laundry room ($1.50 from our pre-paid laundry card). I take this opportunity to also vacuum the floor and do a general tidying-up, as our place has looked like a bomb hit it.
2PM A bad headache and feeling of fatigue comes on pretty suddenly, and I take this as a sign that I’m burning out a little. I feel bad about this decision, but I write to my Danish teacher and tell her that I won’t be coming to my 3 hour class tonight. After the past week I have been feeling like I need to keep an eye on my stress level. Thankfully there’s a lot of online material I can do for class, and still “follow along”. For now though, I try to lay down and close my eyes, hoping it will give me some relief from the headache.
5:15PM The next thing I know, F is walking in the door. Wow, I had fallen asleep for a while! He heats up the leftover baked ziti from two nights ago and it’s still as tasty as ever. He picked up some ice cream and a head of cabbage at the store today ($5.50), so we also grill some of the cabbage in a frying pan with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
6:00PM It’s a quiet night - just what I need. F does some reading for class, I do a few Danish assignments online, and we hang the laundry I totally had forgotten about. Luckily it doesn’t smell moldy.
9:00PM Lights out. Farewell, sweet day off. I’ve got a day shift tomorrow.
Daily total: $7
Weekly total: $123.50
Food & Drink: $60.50
Transport: $60
Home & Health: $3 laundry (if this counts here?)
Reflections: I would say this week was a somewhat average week. We are generally not big day-to-day spenders however this is because we do like to save for bigger purchases like nice vacations, or our future home. We don’t usually order pizza, but had I not been working during the weekend then I probably would have spent money on something else while having fun (beers, or a meal in a cafe, for example). Maybe I would have felt the urge to go shopping. You might not be able to tell from my diary but I actually LOVE designer fashion and tend to save for a few more expensive pieces (or find them on Vestiaire) rather than buy a lot of less expensive ones, but I only do this a few times a year. Anyway, one of the only pros I can think of regarding working too much, is that I can keep myself distracted from all the clothes and stuff I want to buy!
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