Letting the Cat out of the Bag.

It is finally official – I’ll be leaving Canada and going to Europe (Denmark) in December – joining the team at CLC bio in just over a month. You’ll have to excuse my holding off on letting everyone know.  Of course, things have been in the works for some time yet, but the last few pieces have only clicked into place this week.  And, of course, one doesn’t want to jump the gun by announcing these things before everything is in place.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’ve finished my PhD yet.  There are a still a few more hurdles – my thesis has to go through my committee and the external examiner, and I still need to officially defend it – but it was looking like the soonest that could happen would be February, and with everything going on, my wife and I decided it would be better to just start the process of settling in to Denmark as soon as possible.

So, consequently, if you read my blog, you’ll probably hear a little bit more about some topics that are currently on my mind: learning Danish (lære Dansk), traveling, maybe some cultural collisions (Danish people don’t have closets?)  and possibly some photography, depending on how busy I am.  (Yes, now that I’m not actively writing my thesis for 6-8 hours a day, I seem to have more time.)

But don’t worry – in the next month, I still have a few things I want to blog about, and likely a few papers to review.  Even though I’m leaving Grad School, I’m not leaving science behind.

To be candid, I’m looking forward to starting up at CLC partly because of the job, which already sounds pretty awesome, and because of the people.  I’ve met some of the people I’ll be working with – albeit briefly – and I’m excited to have the chance to work with them.  I can honestly say that they one one of the nicest groups of people I’ve ever met.  Must be something in the water. (-;

Anyhow, to complete the circular nature of this post (like all good fugues, which is the way to write a good post, particularly if you’ve read Gödel, Escher Bach, if that’s not getting way to involved) I have one last point to clarify. As foreshadowed lightly by the title of this post, yes, my pets will be coming with me – and undoubtedly my cat will be thrilled to be let out of the bag once we’ve arrived in Denmark… so the moving process will be bookended, effectively, by letting cats (figurative and literal) out of their respective bags.

Ollie - My wife says we have the same nose.

23 thoughts on “Letting the Cat out of the Bag.

  1. Ooh, look, I get to be the first commenter to congratulate you on the new job!

    Moving to a new country is awesome fun (although of course I didn’t have a language barrier to deal with). It really challenges your assumptions of what’s normal, proper, and right!

    • Yay! Thanks Cath!

      I’m looking forward to it immensely – although I’m sure it’ll be a heck of adventure. It’s one of those things that I’ve heard everyone should try once – and it looks like my wife and I will get our chance. (=

  2. Til lykke med dit nye job, vi ser frem til at have dig med på holdet. I am sure learning Danish will be no problem for you.

    Thank you for the kind words. I will ask you if your initial impression of the team still holds true some time next year :-)

    Good luck with the move. Animals and all.

    • Thanks Alex!

      Learning a new language is always a function of immersion – so I’ll just have to dive in and see where it gets me. I suppose the big question will be if I still think the CLC bio people are as nice once I start to understand what they’re saying. (-;

      See you soon!

    • Thanks Daniel! I’m looking forward to getting over there – it should be a lot of fun working with a great group of people on some interesting projects in a new country. (=

  3. tilykke :)

    they say that november/december is the worst time of year to move to denmark.. or that’s what I’ve been told.. I moved here in november, 3 years ago and I’m still here, so it can’t be that bad:) although if you’re from canada, I don’t imagine the darkness and cold will be much of a shock to you. if you have any special food from home that you like, bring it with you because it will either be ridiculously difficult/impossible to get or ridiculously expensive or both. when I come back from the states, half my suitcase is full of snacks and candy that we can’t get here and half is full of new clothes since things are just ridiculously priced in general :)

    • Hi Jen,

      Thanks for the great advice. I’ve been told that December in Denmark is like a less rainy but slightly darker version of Vancouver in December – and as it happens, I’m thrilled to trade a bit of sunlight in exchange for the 24-hour/ 4-months of rain!

      On the other hand, we’re just trying to figure out if we should stock up on anything in particular before going. I think Maple Syrup and Salmon are currently at the top of our list. I wonder what customs will think of that!

      • it doesn’t usually rain but we still get plenty of precipitation. I remember last year it snowed nearly every day! so make sure you get a good pair of winter boots before you come here… ;) I was running all over the city trying to find boots last winter and I ended up paying about 200 USD for a pair that I didn’t even love because they were the cheapest.

        syrup and salmon aren’t too hard to find over here. not sure of the quality of the salmon because I’m not a fish eater but the syrup is passable. not as good as the stuff you’d get from vermont/canada but it’ll do in a pinch. a lot of people seem to stock up on sauces/dressings and cereals because they travel well and stay good for a while and also because the selection here is laughable compared to what we’re used to.

        • Actually, I kind of miss snow, so that works well for me! (I grew up on the Canadian prairies.) But, that’s a good point – I’ll have to go find more winter gear, unless I want to look like I just stepped off of my snowboard all of the time. (-:

          As for the syrup and salmon, we were guessing that they would just be exorbitantly expensive in Denmark, whereas they are quite cheap in Canada. Sauces and dressings is good to know, though. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that they’d be hard to find.

          Any other items that we should know to bring along?

          Thanks again for the tips!

          • yeah, I don’t think its one a lot of people think of until you’re here and can’t find your favourite barbecue sauce or salad dressing (or you can and its about $15 a bottle.. :x) I was trying to find some peanut butter the other day and I found a teeny tiny jar of skippy in the american section of one of the grocery stores here (I think it was maybe a third of the size of a normal jar) and it cost nearly $12.

            also, toiletries in general are something good to stock up on (especially razor blades which for some strange reason are quite expensive here). this might be important for your wife, but there’s a lot of makeup brands that you can’t get over here. I always have to order mine from the states and hope it doesn’t get flagged by customs :)

        • I completely forgot to reply to your last post – but thanks again for the great advice. I’ve now got a 2 year supply of shaving heads for my electric razor, and I’m holding on to all my sauces! Thanks so much for all of the warnings. It’s always easier to plan ahead than to try to figure out how to solve the problems afterwards!

          • Dont worry about shopping and prices here in Danmark. You will find some nice colleagues from Germany here with a car, and those guys travel sometimes to Germany to go shopping ;-)

            In this respect, cheer for another udlænding here at ClcBio

  4. Hey Anthony!!
    Congrats on your new job. That’s really exciting !!
    Now that we’re only a couple kms away we’ve got to get together.
    Let me know if you stop by the Scotland or France.

    • Hey Tim,
      Thanks so much – I was going to send you an email once I get to Europe – I’m sure I’ll find a good reason to visit Scotland or France at some point. And, of course, let me know if you ever manage to find your way over to Denmark. (=

  5. Hey Anthony,
    Congratulations on your new job! Great news you’re going to CLC Bio…
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now and thoroughly enjoy it, so keep it up!

  6. Hi Anthony,

    great that you join us soon! I am looking forward to your arrival.
    I think Henriette has told you already that Andreas and I would like to help you with the movement and the “feeling good in Denmark” :-).
    So please call us if you have any questions, need help or you just need someone to talk to.
    Regarding the things you should buy: You don’t have to buy Salmon, because fish in general is very cheap here. Unfortunately, this is the only thing what is cheap here. For good shopping tours you are very welcome on one of our “We drive 1 1/2 hours to Flensburg (Germany) and buy everything what we can” shopping tours ;-).
    And Danes have closets, I am sure of that ;-) …
    I am sure you will love Denmark.

    • Hi Anika,

      Thanks for the comment – I’m really looking forward to getting there, and really appreciate all the help and advice that you (and everyone else at CLC!) has been passing us through Henriette. (She also did pass along the message, and it means a lot to both Elaine and I!)

      The next big thing for us is just getting the move scheduled – once that’s done, We’ll be able to breath again and start working through everything else, and I most definitely will be asking you lots of questions! (=

      As for the closets, I’ll just have to take your word for it. We seem to have found a completely closet-less house, which was probably the first of many signs that we’re moving to a new country. Sometimes it’s the little things that you notice…

      Finally, thanks for the tip on Flensberg – we most certainly will take you up on that offer. (-:

      See you soon!

  7. It’s probably a bit late to join in this conversation, but just in case it’s not:

    I agree with most of the comments above. Winter boots are a good purchase before you come. Of course, this means Vancouver winter boots, not Winnipeg winter boots. It’s mostly about wet and grit, not so much cold and snow. Last year was supposedly a cold winter, but it only went down to about -10 at its worst.

    In fact, come with clothes generally. I don’t think it’s just about prices. It’s also that it can take years to feel comfortable dressing like the locals. So you might as well bring along clothes you are comfortable with.

    But if we’re going to talk clothes prices: bring your jeans. You wouldn’t want to shell out for a pair here.

    The salmon idea.:I’m not even sure it’s legal to import it. And while you might win slightly on price, you can get it here, and it’s likely not worth the effort. Ditto maple syrup. Unless you drink it by the gallon, in which case, you may want to bring it.

    Remedies though. Those are worth a thought. By which I mean things like throat lozenges, tylenol…anything over the counter that you use. Bring it. Not only are you unlikely to find it here, but if you do, it will no doubt have an astronomical price tag attached. When I went to buy some throat lozenges, all they had was Strepsils, and the few packs they had were in a locked cabinet. It cost in the range of about 15 dollars for a box of…was it 12 or 20? Either way, the next visitor we had from England came stocked up with throat lozenges.

    Have a good trip. We’ll see you soon on this side of the pond.

    • Hi Bela,

      It’s definitely not too late, although I think we’ve run out of time for clothes shopping, so not much I can do about that now.

      For the record, we’ve already given up on the salmon idea – it doesn’t make a lot of sense, really, if it’s something that we can easily get there. Since we no longer have our costco membership, we’ve lost our source of cheap pre-packaged salmon anyhow. As for shoes, though we’ve both picked up a new pair in recent months, so I hope we’re set in that category.

      Thanks for the warning on the damp and grit – I’ve gotten so used to Vancouver that I no longer own anything that’s reasonably useful in Winnipeg, so I ‘m hoping the clothes will translate well to Danish weather. Just like Vancouver, I hear that the key to Danish clothes is layers…

      In any case, medication is a good idea – I’ll have to check out what’s left in our medicine cabinet and top off any supplies. While I’m at it, is there anything you want me to bring along? It would have to come with our furniture and not with us on the flight (so it might not arrive till February), but there should be lots of extra space in the cargo container. (-:


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