Monday, August 14, 2006

Now for the sad news....

There was bad news with the arrival of the container.

Stuff broke. The big expensive furniture of Inga and Rob's did not make it. The green leather couch, table....

It was sad. I am lucky we did not have anything that expensive to worry about in there.

Our boxes did get wrecked though. All the cardboard ones were ripped apart and the plastic bins crumpled. But for the most part the stuff inside was ok. That is if you don't mind the smell...

I have never been in a container but I know what it smells like because everything we own smells like it right now. I am taking over the washing room for a couple of days.

Rob packed my kraft dinner! We had some last night, what a treat!

Got my stuff!

The container arrived in Iceland and this last weekend we got our things out. I realized how materialistic I was. We did not bring very much stuff, but I was so happy to see it. My pictures, shoes, clothing, can opener!

The boys were so excited to get there toys. In fact they have been really well behaved the last couple days because they missed there toys. We only brought the favorites and they had not seen them in so long it was like getting all new toys.

The computer was also in the container. As soon as I can I will have it set up and will keep in much better contact and write much more often.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hotel Reykjavik

I have a job!!!

Yesterday I started my new job at the hotel directly across the street from me called The Hotel Reykjavik.

I have to start from the beginning here. On Wednesday I went and asked if they were looking fir anyone and they gave me an application, in Icelandic. I took it home to get help filling it out.

When Davið got home we started filling out this application. At first were the usual questions like my name, ID number and phone number. The they asked my husbands name, is job, his ID number and we were a little confused. If fact I did not give them his ID number. Then they asked my kids names and birthdays. I did not answer that, I asked why they needed that, on an application? They asked if I had ever been overseas and what my business was there. Well, I was born overseas and did everything there until very recently. Finally they asked more regular questions like work history. I finished the application.

On Thursday I handed it in at the front desk of the hotel. I was not feeling all that hopeful because I would not answer so many of the questions. It was worth a try, for a job that close to home.

Friday I went in to see if they had a chance to see my application. They looked for it. I waited and they looked some more. Finally they told me they did not have it and must have lost it. I think someone just put it in the garage. Because they could not find it a manager just talked to me and hired me! Knowing only my first name and that I could only work weekends.

Saturday I started work at 7 a.m. I was finished at 11. For 3 hours I stand by the bar in a buffet answering questions for tourists like which one has coffee?, is this orange juice?And do you have hot milk? We do not have hot milk, only cold milk and we do not warm it up for people. I also help clear tables when people are done. It is not busy at all. Usually 3-4 tables at a time and 2 people working. At 10 a.m. we close it down and for the last hour I help clean up. It is great. I am even done early enough I really still have to entire day ahead of me.

I worked today, Sunday, it was the same.

Some of the perks in me new job include a 20 minute breakfast break that includes free breakfast. We eat the same food as the guests. We even get free juice and stuff. The food is great. Fruit is really expensive here, so it is nice that a couple days a week I can stuff myself full at someone else's expense. We are not charged for uniforms! The uniforms are not so ugly that you are embarrassed to be wearing them.

I can wake up at 10 to 7 an still get to work on time! I think this will be a great job for some extra spending money.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Thank you

We owe Kristina and Már a thank you for letting us stay with them for a month and a half. It was a little crowded and hectic at times but we all survived. At one point there was nine people here. I think that was the limit, but we were happy.

Garpur made a huge sacrifice by sharing his toys with Kasper and Stefan everyday. I understand no one likes to share everyday. Kristina made everyone great meals and Már makes some good coffee. I got to meet Már's mom, Valla, the spelling could be wrong on that, when she came over from England for Garpur's birthday.

I am glad that I got the opportunity to get to know everyone so well. It certainly would have taken much longer if we would have all lived apart. This makes me feel like I am truly one of the family and I do belong in Iceland. As much as I complain about it!

German Appliances

The laundry problem has resurfaced. This time because everything is in German on my new washer. Davið tried but could not help me.

I thought the boys were growing at an alarming rate, but it turns out I was shrinking the clothing at an alarming rate. There is a dial on my washer. It has numbers around it. I thought, oh ya, just like Canada. I can do this. So I set our dirty clothing at 95, thinking it would be a nice long wash. The my friend Marcia came over. That is a temperature dial. I was boiling all of our clothing.

There is one washer and one dryer in the building. We share. This is the easiest sharing I have ever done because no one else ever uses it. I have lived there almost a week. The laundry room is right across from my apartment. I look in all the time and have only once seen anyone else doing laundry.

It is true we do have a dryer. No one uses it. I can see why, because it is a pain. I would rather walk up to the fourth floor of the building with every load of wet clothing to dry them on the drying lines then use it. Unless there was an emergency. This dryer takes forever. I tried drying stuff in there and it took almost 3 hours to get totally dry. That is with turning it back on every half an hour. Then when it is done you have to empty the water. There is a container that collects the water it gets out of the clothing that needs to be emptied. It is weird. Then you empty the lint and pull out a panel to see if underneath needs a vacuum.

Walking up the stairs is good for me.

I am getting good with hanging up clothing to dry now. Our drying room even has 2 big windows so stuff drys within a day. Good enough. Except I dry my underwear on the radiators in the living room. Decoration really. I worry with 5 other apartments that someone might be a little strange.

I have my apartment!

We moved into our apartment last week. It is great. It is true, it is a little small, but now I think it is just the right size for us.

My only complaint is that the people that sold it to us repainted just before we bought it so we would not see the water damage. The old pipes are eroding and now there is water damage coming out at the bottom of half the walls. Luckily for us we can have this fixed, not at our expense. We still owe them 1.7 million that would be paid in November. This waiting to pay the last bit it great because it gives you a chance to find things that they would try to hide. So we can probably have the pipes fixed and everything repainted out of the money we were supposed to give them. Serves them right for lying to us. We even asked why the old radiators were there and they said they just had not had the chance to take them out. They did not tell us about all the pipe damage.

Besides that, everything is great. I love my kitchen! The living room now has furniture that we can pretend matches. I even have a vacuum. I always wanted a vacuum and now I have one. I do not have any carpet, just lamanent floors. You know, looks like wood. Except people here have called them parkay. I do not know what parkay is, or if that is how you spell it. I know now that it can not be spelled that way because spell check keeps telling me off.

We have a television but it is not plugged in yet. I think it is going to be in the kids room. For entertainment in the evenings Davið and I can sit out in the yard, drinking tea and watching the crazy people mill about. I wish I could understand Icelandic because some of them get really worked up about something. One women gotreally up set with us for not planting flowers in our yard. Now, our yard, that is a story on its own.

My back yard is great because I am on the ground floor and can walk out to it. I see it from my living room and kitchen windows. So do the people across from me. For some reason though, no one else cared what it looked like. The weeds could have hidden small children and there was more moss then grass. There is still more moss then grass. I thoughtmaybee there was no lawn mower and that was why no one cut the grass. I was wrong. In the laundry room there is an electric mower, several rakes and shovels and even a pair of long handled shears. At some point someone cared about this lawn. It must have been a while ago. Anyways, we cut the grass. Már poisoneded some weeds and although it still looks scary, it is getting better. I now have a project.

Moss seems to be the equivalent to clover in Canada. It grows and takes over if there is something wrong with the soil. I did kinda like clover, but at least a moss problem is still green and could be passed of as grass from a distance.

I guess that is all I have to say about it for now. I am sure later, more will come to mind.
Also, if anyone would like my new address, please email me and I will send it to you. I do not want to encourage any crazy stalkers with putting my address online.