ICELAND / TRAVEL STUFF

get ég fengið skiptimiða

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It seems like so much has happened since I last blogged! I’m now living in Kópavogur which is the next town over from Reykjavik… it’s pretty much Reykjavik like Etobicoke is pretty much Toronto. From what I can tell it seems to be pretty residential and it hosts the tallest building in Iceland with 20 floors (256 ft). Yikes!

Anyways, lets catch up shall we?

Friday morning I went over to Inga’s house with Lóa for a little visit featuring tea and chocolate. The weather was a little rainy in the morning but come afternoon it had pretty well stopped and I went out to finish mowing the lawn with the riding lawn mower which was much faster and much easier this time around. On the first day when I went for a walk with Jón Þór and his boys they had told me about this little flowers that could be used to make tea so I asked Helgi if we would be able to try it and that’s exactly what we did. That night we went out and cut some flowers from the field, put them in a pot and boiled water until the tea was ready. The first couple sips were ok, not great but after a little while I enjoyed it quite a lot. I could see myself drinking it regularly if I had access to it. The experience made me think of my good friend Lara, and just how much I wish I could share that moment with her! She is a tea enthusiast, works at DavidsTea and would just love how natural and amazing that tea was.

After having the tea I headed out with Helgi and his grandfather to see if they had caught any fish but unfortunately they hadn’t. The old man said that it was our fault and that we had scared the fish away. When we got back we went out into the hot tub for my last time and had ourselves some good conversations (not surprising because its just so easy to talk with him)

Little bit about hot tubs here in Iceland. They aren’t like hot tubs back home, not jets, no chlorine none of that junk, just simple hot tub casing. The water comes right from the ground already boiling hot so there is no need for heaters, in fact you have to let the water cool down before you can use it.

After the hot tub I sat outside for a little bit just enjoying life and feeling great.

On Saturday I packed up my stuff and drove to Arnar’s wedding with Helgi and his friend who’s name I couldn’t say nor can I remember right now. As I was listening to the boys talk in the car I just started smiling because it sounds to neat. I was trying to explain what Icelandic sounds like and how Helgi’s friend sounds more animated with his voice when he speaks but it was very difficult to explain… I still don’t know exactly how to explain it now.

We stopped by Jón Þór’s for a little driving break before getting back on the road and heading to the wedding/camp ground where we sat around and everyone caught up with each other. I wasn’t able to follow all of the conversations but understood a little bit here and there and was pretty thankful when things were translated over to me. Even though I don’t understand much I still enjoy sitting around and listening to everyone speak. The language is really interesting and now that I have been listening for a couple weeks it doesn’t sound as strange – I can actually pick out words! Every conversation is like a little game for me as I try to figure out what the subject might be… but not every time. Sometimes I start out trying to listen and then ‘zone out’ and start thinking about something.

The wedding was a lot of fun with the dress code being Icelandic sweaters and jeans. I’m so thankful that Arnar invited me! It was a great time, again, as I don’t understand Icelandic very well I didn’t really get anything that was said throughout the wedding but it was still fun! Helgi was one of the MC’s and from what I could gather he did a really good job – had the room laughing at his stories and I’m pretty sure that was the goal. After some meat stew, desserts, wedding speeches and games it was time for the band to start and the dancing to begin. Wedding dancing is always so much fun, its probably one of my favourite things. I love seeing people of all ages coming together and dancing however they feel like it. So great. After a little while I had to say my goodbyes but luckily I will be seeing (most) of the family again with my grandparents and dad when they are in Iceland, so it was more of a see you later. I’m really glad that I didn’t have to say a real goodbye. I really do love that family. Everyone is so great as individuals and as a family they are just superb. When I was driving back with Jón Þór, his wife Irina and their kids I made a comment about how their family is the kind of family you want to marry into and I meant it – they are all so wonderful. Anyways we drove towards the big city and arrived at Adda’s in Kópavogur around 1am. (Adda is my grandfather’s sister, my great aunt or simply frænka in Icelandic – female relative) It was my first time meeting Adda and I felt bad for how late it was but she said not to worry about it. We chatted just for a little bit before calling it a night and heading bed.

Adda told me that I wasn’t to wake up before 10, so I slept in and it was very much needed. We had breakfast and chatted away the morning as if we had done this many times before. In the afternoon Adda gave me her car keys and I went for a driving adventure. I quickly realized I had no idea where I was going but just kept driving and discovering different roads in town. I suppose you could say I got lost but then again I didn’t have a predetermined destination so it was just an adventure. Before I had left I took a screen capture on my iphone of google maps so that I would at least be able to see the general area I should be heading if I were to get lost. Luckily, thanks to that photo and the mall I was able to find the road Jón Þór had driven me on and made my way back to the house. Quite the accomplishment if you ask me. While on the road I also realized I had no idea what some of the street signs mean here so I just watched other cars and that was that. When I got back to the house we had dinner, skyped with my grandparents, watched the news and knitted before calling it an early night.

This morning I woke up after an 11 hour sleep. I don’t think I’ve slept that long in months! It felt quite nice especially as I think I may have a bit of a cold, or maybe my body is just tired. Everyday has been a new adventure so I’m probably more tired than anything. Asta Sol came by to pick me up and took me to the office to help out a little – weeding, moving boxes. We had lunch at a cafe and then went to her house to prepare some boxes for the trip. After I wandered Reykavik a little bit before taking the bus for the first time. Public transit can be a challenge even if you know where you are going, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I was thinking it would be. I asked for a transfer ticket in Icelandic “get ég fengið skiptimiða” but showed the driver the paper as well. Asta Sol had written down the transfer stop and bus numbers for me on a paper so that helped a lot. When I got back home Adda and I went to a wool shop to see if they had a set of needles I was looking for and then did a small grocery trip.

During dinner I saw that Adda had a vase with Snow White on it, so asked her if she had heard the theory that Snow White had been drawn based on an Icelandic woman. She hadn’t heard that so I looked it up online for her and found a couple of articles including this one.

This evening I’ve just been skyping with my parents and catching up on this blog. Tomorrow I’m heading to an old folks home with Asta and then I will hopefully be heading over to Landsbanki to meet with the marketing department to see the work they are doing to re-imagine and re-brand the company since the crash in 2008. Hopefully it works out! I’m really interested in the communications strategy they have put in place since everything happened.

Well now I’m going to go join the party in the sitting room!

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