16 Aug

Surreal queues

11875084_10206204729731274_8047293525790926619_oIt’s interesting being a tourist in your own homeland. I’ve been surprisingly cold since I arrived in Iceland 10 days ago. Always wearing a coat, when other Icelanders wear t-shirts. I marvel the landscape and nature in new ways and enjoy every single drop of the fresh water, straight from the tap.

I’ve been admiring how many good Icelandic designers there are and listening to marvellous new local music. There is no doubt about the fact that our talents lie in arts.

Then there are times when I just don’t get my fellow Icelanders. For the longest time, it was impossible to get Icelanders to form a proper queue. They simply couldn’t bring themselves to stand in a line and wait for something. When people from other nations waited politely for their turn in a bank or at the bus stop, Icelanders would stand in some irregular blobs, pushing each other around. However, things have changed recently. All of a sudden, Icelanders seem to love waiting in queues. I think it’s their new hobby. What else could possibly explain what I witnessed yesterday?

The American global doughnut company Dunkin Donuts opened a shop (they actually call it a restaurant) here for the first time a few days ago. Yesterday, there was still a long line of people outside, waiting for their turn to buy a doughnut. What made it extra weird was witnessing that queue merge with a never ending line of people waiting for a taste of bacon at the Bacon festival taking place on Skólavörðustígur across the street.


Pretty surreal.

Bacon Festival queue

Bacon Festival queue

30 Jul

BriBry do Iceland!

Bri and Candice are a young Irish couple visiting every country in the world. Iceland was the fortieth country they travelled to. This video they made is funny and spot on. I specially like it when they imitate the Blue Lagoon introduction video.

The Youtube ad revenue from this channel goes to an Irish cancer charity called The Ross Nugent Foundation.

25 Jun

‘Window weather’

11125322_10205854269889997_4702796378802884821_oI’m standing by the window and it’s a beautiful sunny day in Hampstead. I’m pretty sure it’s warm outside. Back home in Iceland, I would hope it was not just another day of “gluggaveður” which literally means ‘window-weather’. It’s when the weather seems great, when you’re looking through a window from inside, but is actually cold and not so great when you step out without a jacket.

In Iceland Magazine you can read about 10 words and phrases in Icelandic that don’t exist in English. At least not with the exact same meaning.

The article got so popular that now there is another one with more Icelandic words and phrases. My favourite is probably ‘hundslappadrífa’, but what I’ve most often missed not having here are English words for ‘sólarhringur’ and ‘mæðgur/feðgar’. Check it out!

29 May

Bad weather… really?

Mývatnssveit.This morning my neighbour moaned about the weather. The spring has been so different from last year and even the year before, he complained. He went on about how cold and windy it was and said he couldn’t wait for the summer, although he was beginning to think it would never turn up.

I’ve heard so many talk like this during the last weeks and usually I just bite my tongue so I don’t compare the spring over here to snowy Iceland. But this morning I couldn’t resist showing him a photo from Iceland on my mobile. June is almost here, but it’s still snowing from time to time and really cold everywhere.  It’s the coldest May in Iceland since 1979 and the third coldest since 1949 as you can read about in this article.  My neighbour smiled and told me he was slightly happier now with going for a walk in the rain.

I’m constantly happy with the weather here in the UK. But everything is relative. I can imagine how a person from Greenland feels when she hears an Icelander moan about the weather in Iceland.