Tuesday, July 31, 2007

N1 or Esso

In Canada we had Esso

In Iceland there was Esso, at least when I first got here. Then one day things changed. All the Esso's became N1.


What does that stand for anyways?

Are there Esso's in Canada, or did they change to N1???

Actually, my favorite thing with the old Esso's in Iceland is how the stores were call Neste - but they did not sell Ice Tea!!

I was confused.


EPA Warns Human Beings No Longer Biodegradable

I knew I never should have eaten all that Cheese Wiz

The search is over!!

I got a job today at Hótel Smári as a receptionist.

I work one week nights and one week evenings.

I get to sleep at night!!!

I get paid 1,322 kr an hour!

They said that I am the only non-Icelander working outside of housekeeping and kitchen, but they will take a chance and I am on trial. I promised they would not be sorry!!!


david suzuki is the best

and now he is my friend on facebook.

and I am joining the challenge!

Facebook users open to cyberattacks, ID theft?

I always thought it was common sense, but now everyone should see, it is not a good idea to put all your information on Facebook. I think the biggest problem is with the extra applications - glad I don't have any!

read this:

Monday, July 30, 2007


I have complained so much about the tax system here.

I did not have a tax card until I had lived here for 11 months.

I was told I was not entitled to that money back, by some people, and that I would get it back, by others.

I am still often not found, in the system!

But today I have good news:

We get our money back on Wednesday. The tax office has decided that we are entitled to this money and are being refunded!!!


This means Davíð will have money for his school books and a laptop for school.

I will have money to buy some clothing for my job.

We will have enough to pay all Kasper's school fees ahead of time. This will save a lot of stress later.

Well I have to go now, I have plans to dance around the entire apartment all night in joy!!!!!!

part 8

I have my second interview at Hótel Smári tomorrow!!!!!

part 7

I got a job offer in Borganes today - everything is exactly as I was hoping for in a job, except it is 65 km away from Reyjavík.

I am looking to see if there is an express bus out there, but it does not look promising.

Keep looking.................

Sunday, July 29, 2007

World owes US a debt, says Brown

BBC - The headline was enough to make me sick

Cleaning the pond

We spent this weekend out at Inga and Rob's place. The main object of the weekend is clear - the pond needed to be cleaned out.
This is Roberts current project.
So the fish had to be caught. A lot were missing, I guess they were eaten by the survivor's or were pumped out during the draining.
Davíð helped catch fish and drain the pond.
The kids helped make noise and make sure everyone knew they were there.
We left while Rob was starting to dig out the sludge from the bottom.
It will look great when it is done.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Case of the Missing Socks

And I thought I was just going a little crazy.

I noticed about a week ago that I was not washing any of Davíð's socks. They just were not in the laundry basket. I looked under the couch - that is a usual hiding spot - but I did not see any.

While putting away laundry I noticed that there was no socks in his drawer and I was going to say something, but that would be just weird. Surly I have better things to do then worry about other peoples socks.

Today I went to empty out the car, it has to be emptied out about once a week. Everything Davíð brings to the car stays in the car. Like some physics law...

So there I was dragging out the weeks worth of newspapers and empty energy drink cans when I see the edge of a sock from under the drivers side seat.

I pulled it out and looked under - there must have been a dozen of them. It was not a pretty sight.

I got them all out and they are all having a extra good wash now in the washing machine.

When Davíð wakes up I am going to have to mention this.

To be fair:
He recently bought a new pair of sandals and I think he is probably just taking his socks off after work to put his sandals on for the drive home.
Maybe I should have seen this coming.

Kasper's First Savings Account!

I took Kasper down to Kaupþing today and he opened his very own bank account. He is very proud. He brought his coin collection and deposited almost 1000 kr.

He has also agreed that from now on every time he gets birthday or Christmas money, he will put half in his account.

The best part is that it is locked until he turns 18. It has great interest and includes inflation (that is a big problem here) so when he turns 18 he will have something to start out.

Maybe a down payment on an apartment? (I admit I look forward to living alone again, even if it will not be for another 20 years)

He says he is going to buy a fast car.

part 6

I went to the employment office where they help people get jobs and we had a good talk. I told them I did not want a 700 kr an hour job and they told me that was what was available for people who were not speaking Icelandic. They also said the wage difference between Icelanders and foreigners is getting bigger all the time and it is becoming more of a two class society.

I have been getting very discouraged, i have applied everywhere and gotten nothing back and then I got a call...

[on my way back from the employment office]

They wanted an interview!!!!
So today was my first!!!! at Hótel Smári for a receptionist job.
I have to admit, the odds are against me, mostly because all the computer programs they use are in Icelandic, but he said he would call me Monday and let me know one way or the other.

I am feeling better about the whole job search thing now!


I am happy that I do not have this problem. A problem of kids having nothing to do in the summer.

As much as I complain about the public school system and the cost of living, one thing here is more then reasonable: Kids Programs

The extra curricular activities are dirt cheap by Canadian standards. Last year Kasper was in swimming lessons twice a week. It was half the cost of the lessons in Canada and the class sizes were smaller.

The play schools a.k.a. day cares are cheap enough. At full price it is still less then 400 a month for Stefan full time and that includes all meals, snacks and field trips.
They have teachers, class time and small classes.

The playground is open and staffed all summer. You can drop off your kids for three hours at a time. It costs only 100 kr, and that is less then 2.00. They have to bring fruit with them for a snack. It is great, my boys have spent the last two summers there an they love it. They get tonnes of fresh air and are friends with all the neighbourhood kids. Another great thing is that they are open, no matter what the weather is like so if you kids are dressed well enough, they can play out in the rain all day.

The school day camps are fantastic. Kasper was in one for 6 weeks this summer. He went swimming, boating, mountain climbing, to museums, the beach and different playgrounds every week.

Older kids can go to schools that have projects for them. One that Kasper is excited for is the one that all the kids build shacks. It is a drop in program staffed with people to help the kids learn to use tools and build things. Kasper will have to wait for this one, you have to be 8.

Other summer camps have other themes. One that I looked into was for swimming, the kids spent hours, everyday, in the pool with a swim instructor.

The best part of all these things is that they are reasonably priced. There is even some deals like foreign kids get three weeks free in the summer to help them learn Icelandic.

Older kids, like 14 or something, get jobs with the city every summer. They spend all day helping look after city parks. It is really easy work for them and fun because everyone is doing it. It is also great because they get paid and might learn a little responsibility.

Find this stuff at Ítr


Considering how much they drink, the Icelandic men I mean.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cheap Drugs and Labels

Lets start with the cheap drugs because we only get them with the label:

We got two cards in the mail to help with the cost of Kasper's medical expenses.

The first one is yellow, a kind of Congrats. It has been determined that your child is retarded so he is now entitled to a discount on medical treatment, doctors visits and medication. It is not a big discount, but 5% is better then nothing.

The second one we got today is pink. It is a realize your child's medication is very expensive and he needs it so you can have another discount on that. We will see how much cheaper everything is soon enough.

Now with the labels:

Who thinks they have the right to label my son as retarded. I certainly never would have dreamed this. Maybe they call every kid that does not fit the mold and colors the rainbows the wrong colors retarded.

I do not know what to picture when I hear that word, but my 6 year old son is not an option to me.

I have to admit until he started kindergarten, I thought he was a typical boy. His first teacher corrected that one, but she got him help like occupational therapy and a teachers aid.

Kasper has been described as a lot of things including:
Very active
Highly intelligent

In fact, most people that know him just say, well that's Kasper! (with a laugh)
And it is, because he is one of a kind, and I am very proud of him.

I am sure he will accomplish anything he wants to in life.

But now he has this label in the system and I do not like it.

They could have just said: Because your son needs extra medical care, or because he needs expensive medication.

They did not need to call him anything.

In fact, why would they not just have the health care free? Or at least automatic subsidies for children. They could do the same with prescriptions, allow generic brands to lower the costs or subsidise everything over a set amount or for everyone under a certain age.

If I was rich (there is no way we can continue to pay full price for his medication) I would take these cards and stuff them up someones ass.

This could get ugly

Facebook site faces fraud claim

Stolen? Actually I have heard this before.

What a find!

Stefan moved out the couch to get a toy car he had rolled under there and found a dead goldfish.

It must have been one of the ones from the heat wave when a bunch got sun stroke.

I guess he made a jump for it too, his brother did, but at least we saw him right away.

So this guy was all crusty with no eyes when Stefan carried him over to me. It was gross.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Importing Friends

So I might not be really importing them but I met someone online today - A Canadian moving to Iceland!

I am so excited to have someone else to have coffee with.

I hate to admit that I am not adjusting as well as I should be, but it is true and I know that making more foreign friends does not help, but that is what comes most naturally.

I can relate with them more.

I think most people feel the same way - at least that is what I have noticed.

I do think it is funny that I seem to have more to talk about with people places as far away as Poland or Thailand then people from Iceland.


This is how we found Stefan sleeping last night, practically on his head, but holding himself up.
It looks like some sort of strengthening exercise.

Extra Sorry's

I NEVER mean to offend anyone.

I do not write things to intentionally hurt someones feelings, and I hope I do not have to many secret messages.

The point is, I almost never think before I say something and I never think before I type.

To make it worse, I never proofread or double check things. (I think that makes it fake)

So...sometimes I might have, inadvertently, hurt someones feelings.

But I do not mean too.

Janielle, have I offended you?

A little hot

I like nice hot weather as much as the next person, but when I look at the weather forecasts online, I am happy to live in Iceland.

I was shocked to Edmonton was still scorching at 29, but they say it feels like 34. How are you surviving? One or two days might be manageable, but this has been weeks.

Then I saw Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and almost fell off my chair. Now it is 37, but it feels like 44. 44!!!!! Bring on the global warming.

I need a shower after just looking at those temperatures.

Shantell, Dad, Travis, Cory, and everyone else I call family in Saskatchewan - I feel bad for you right now. Maybe you should consider coming to Iceland for the rest of the summer?

Here, on a nice hot day, it MIGHT get up to 20, but usually stays around 15, or maybe 17.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bad Kids

And I am very ashamed to admit they are mine.

Stefan I will let off easy, because he only copies his older brother.

I took them to the playground this morning, you know the only that you can drop them off for three hours at a time.

I went to pick them up at lunch and they were gone.

It turns out that Kasper's friend was kicked out for misbehaving and Kasper wanted to leave too. They would not let him so someone (neither kid will admit who) got a great idea to kick in a board on the fence and then they could all run away together.

They succeeded and the three of them, Kasper, Stefan and Victor, were free.

And guess where they ran away to? My backyard.

We are lucky nothing happened - but I never imagined that they would do something so bad that a 5 minute time out would not be enough punishment.

So I came up with this, remember I am not going to blame the three year old, Kasper is grounded from the playground and his friend for one week. He also had to go apologise to all the playground staff. He also has to go at the end of each day and help clean up the playground for the staff. He can put away toys for them and stuff. I am trying to get him to work, in a 6 year old way, to pay for the damage he caused to the fence.

And here is the proof:

At the Zoo with Victor

Last Friday night Kasper's friend, Victor, stayed over night for a sleep over.
The boys all had a great time and the next day I took them all to the Zoo.
These are just a few pictures from that.

They also have some rides at the Zoo, there is no Carnival coming to town.
Some things like the tricycle tracks are free.

Another reason to stay home

An article on BBC today showed yet another reason why it is good to have someone stay home.

They say that having both parents working and having more money can have bad effects on children like increased television time, more snacks and less time for activities.


I wish I did not have to get a job...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

part 5

I got my first rejection email from a Aurora Guest House.
No big deal I think, I must have applied to every place in Reykjavík, of course at least one has to say no. This is probably the first of many bad news emails I will get.
Or I might just be ignored, but what can you do?
Agata is still helping with the possibility of employment at the Flóki Inn.

Land of the Ex's

Facebook, who would have known.

They call it a place to meet up with old friends, keep up with people lives.... blah blah blah

What they should say on the front page is: Ever wonder what your ex boyfriends or ex girlfriends are doing? Well let us help you reconnect!

I now have three Ex´s on my list of friends. One I talked to twice now, one I talked to once and the other, other then to decide that we are friends, I have not talked to at all.

It is great, in a way. Most people are exactly they was you left them, or they left you. Like time has made no mark.

Others have changed, but in ways that are not exactly shocking.

These people show a very clear picture of my life at that point.

I am not disappointed with the people I have met on Facebook so far, but I have to admit: I can think of a name or two I would rather not meet.

I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

Clan's Gone

The small town that was living in one apartment on the third floor has disappeared. I am not at all disappointed. It seemed almost magical that they could fit at least 15 people into an apartment the size of mine.

Not that I have much right to complain, there is 5 of us here in my apartment.

This is great news for the laundry room. Finally I do not have to stay up until the middle of the night to try to wash some clothing.

Two apartment are also on holidays and one is empty, so we almost have the place to ourselves.

The stupid guy who does not pay his house fees is still around, too bad.

So all is well on Rauðarástigur, for now.

Freeing Fattie

Last night we set Fattie and Sharko (the last regular gold fish) free into Inga and Robert's pond.

It was a little sad, but they keep eating the other fish I tried to put in the aquarium, so they had to go.

Sharko will probably be eaten by the one trout that lives in the pond. He was a little small.

Fattie, well he was really fat, so I am sure he can fend for himself. He will probably gorge himself on algae for the rest of his days and die the size of a whale. (He was always trying to eat everything, including the plastic plants and thermometer)

So now we only have 2 fish, the retarded bottom feeder (who thinks he is a goldfish) and the fighting fish who looks dead every morning because he sleeps lying down on the bottom of the tank.

But now I can get more fish with out having to worry about if they will become a snack or not.


This has been bothering me for a while:

In the old Ninga Turtles cartoons Splinter used to by a human, then he turned into a rathuman.

In the movies Splinter used to be a rat, the pet of a human, then he turned into a rathuman.

Which one is right?

Freedom Writers

I have been watching Freedom Writers tonight and it is making me cry.

I hate it when movies make me cry.

Not that this is a bad movie, it is actually very good (so far), but it is hard to see the screen through tears.

I am a bit of a baby sometimes, I know.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rain Rain Rain

How the weather changes, although not fast.

It was sunny and hot for weeks! It was beautiful, but all good things must come to and end, so now it must rain.

The back yard it very happy. Maybe it will turn green again.

Now this is the Icelandic summer I know!

The kids traded in the shorts an t-shirts this morning for the more typical leotards, undershirts, pants, long sleeved shirts, toques, gloves, wool socks, rain pants and rains coats.

This might all sound like a bit much to a Canadian, after all it is just a bit of rain. Right?

Well there are two things to remember:

1.In Iceland a bit of rain means downpour all day. It is usually accompanied with a lot of wind.

2. Despite the weather, all summer, all children must play outside all day. The playground does not close for it so Stefan still spends at least 6 hours a day on the playground, and he needs to be dressed for it. Kasper also travels everyday with his day camp, they walk almost everywhere and spend most of the 8-5 day outside. So you can see why they dress for the worst, besides with layers you can always take some off if it gets too hot.

Prostitution, Legal?

In Iceland ???????
News to Davíð and me. Davið still refuses to believe me.

I read in the Grapevine today about a new law in the strip clubs. They are no longer allowed to provide private dances, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about the rules. Is behind a curtain OK? If residents do not complain it is OK? No body seems to know.

The most interesting note in the article is when it is asked why stripping is now banned, but prostitution has recently been legalized.

I was shocked!

Where are all these prostitutes working legally? I live right downtown and I have never seen anything like it. (At least not the really obvious stuff like in Edmonton)

Not that I am complaining...

part 4

1. I got an email reply from the manager of the Fosshótel chain who asked me to also fill out some application form. I did that and sent it back. He then answered to say he sent it to every hotel manager in the Fosshótel group within Reykjavík.

2. Agata is going to meet with the owner of Flókí Inn on Sunday to try to convince him to hire me!! I am really excited but still worried about the Icelander´s only for reception jobs rule.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

part 3

Today I started sending my CV out online to every email I could find of a Hotel or Guest House.
I seems a little like spam but I am sure it will catch someones attention.

I am very determined to get a decent job now.

part 2

Today I applied at Foss Hotel, but I am not getting a good feeling about it.

Agata is going to talk to the manager of Flókí Inn tomorrow for me!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


When we got a new memory card for the camera we put the old one is a safe place, and I just found it yesterday in the car.
So these are very old pictures, I know it is just snow, but I had never seen such fat snow flakes!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Official Job Search - Part 1

So it is that time of year already. Time to admit that summer is coming to an end and the cash is getting is shorter supply. It is time to get a job again.

I have very few demands in employment, I only ask that I am paid fairly, if not well, and that it does not involve prostitution.

I am sure if I was lacking in morals the pay would be better.

I applied online at Hotel Centrum, but it is not looking good. I applied a week ago and I have not heard anything yet. This is my fault I admit, I doubt they even look at the online applications. I have also heard they prefer to hire Icelanders for everything but the cleaning.

Today I applied at Flókí Inn. I think this one has a shot. I am going for Reception, on nights. Agata (my roommate) knows the owner, the owner is from Turkey and I think that would make him a little more reasonable. I also heard it pays very well considering you work one week on and have one week off. The Flókí Inn is also less then 5 minutes away, walking.

I want that job!!!!

Better then I could get

The church (Hallgrímskirkja cathedral) here is only a few blocks from my house and it plays bells super loud every half an hour and the Viking ship is down by the harbor (the boys always want to play on it)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Who would have thought?

That in the land of constant wind and rain (Iceland), a heat wave would last for weeks?
Sure it is not as hot as in Canada, nothing over 30, but here anything over 15 is a scorcher. It even feels crazy hot and we are all sweating.
It has not rained in weeks and they are not expecting any until at least Friday, even then there is only a %60 chance.
I wonder if my lawn can make it until then, it is looking very dry and there is even some dead spots already.
If it does not rain soon I might need to go out and buy a water hose and sprinkler, somethings I never thought I would need. After all, last summer it rained everyday!
Stupid global warming, who knows what to expect with this weather?

Saturday, July 14, 2007


This makes me crazy with anger. I go to take my kids to the playground and the place is completely trashed from some stupid people hanging out there the night before.
Hundreds of chocolate bars, empty cases (makes me think they were stolen), empty pizza boxes and bottles.
Even during the week, when the playgrounds are staffed, the morning staff is always picking up stuff and cleaning the place up before anyone gets there.
I understand that I live downtown, and that is where the parties are, but still. I deal with the noise, drunk people walking around and tons of litter on the road, but what kind of person makes a huge mess of a play ground.
People that do not have kids?
People that are only thinking of themselves?
People that have consumed to much alcohol?

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Great Mouse Detective

This movie was so great and finally I got share it with my children.
This was the choice for movie night tonight and it is one of the few movies I can sit through.
I think the older cartoons are always better. Or maybe I am just getting to old to appreciate the stuff (crap) that is coming out now.

Real Ghetto

Because of the never ending lightness, I had no choice but to put up tinfoil for a few months.
Kasper and Stefan have both been staying up all night looking out the window and getting up crazy early.
Davíð and I are also having a hard time sleeping.
I just do not want to buy dark curtains for only a few months a year. When fall comes you need something bright, and when winter is here you cherish every bit of sunlight available.
So here we are with the tinfoil. Temporary and cheap, does the trick.
Come September we will be back to the Pokemon curtains.


You have had some good days, my dear Timmies cup, but it is time for you to go.
The scratched faded I liked but when you started leaking chunks of foam everywhere, including into my tea, I had to draw the line.
It is time for you to retire, to the garbage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I was informed last night that my husbands name is Davíð, not Davið. The difference, an accent over the i.
So I am feeling a little foolish that it took four years of marraige for me to notice this.


I took Stefan to a little government funded play that is put on somewhere in the city, usually at playgrounds, everyday in the summer.
It is super cute.
Today they did a good one, based on the book where a mole finds out that some animal pooed on his head. He goes around talking to all the other animals to find out who did it. Each animal poos on the ground to show it was not him because his looks like this- total toddler humour. All the kids were in stitches laughing.
This travelling show has been around forever. Davíð remembers it from when he was a boy, with very much fondness.