Saturday, September 29, 2007
The next time I go to do laundry, the washer is fine. Then I get to the dryer. I pull out the part that holds all the water to empty it, our dryer saves the water- then we pour it down the drain.
The container is full of ...... not water but laundry soap!
I do not know where to even start trying to get all that laundry soup out. The dryer does not work well when it is full of soap!
So I went to get angry. I am still a little upset - between the two of them someone should have figured out which one was a washing machine and which one was a dryer.
Now our newest neighbour thinks Davíð did it on purpose, as a joke. He, the new guy, say: Good One!
I am not convinced it is a good one.
at least here for work.
It is true, Iceland is looking more and more like Alberta.
If you ask someone where they are from, they nearly never say Alberta and usually say Saskatchewan, or another province.
If you ask someone in Iceland where they are from, several will say Iceland, but a lot will say Poland, Philippines or another country.
I like it - there is so much more to learn!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Then the fish started eating them, and I was a little disgusted.
The survivors have grown and I am even more proud because although we may never know how many did not make it, we have about 50 left. At night they cover the glass.
Soon I will be looking for a home for these little guys. I will keep some - but not that many!
So if you want some, let me know. They cost a few hundred in the pet store and I share for free- what a deal.
These are, as of now, my favorite complaints from my second job, in no particular order.
- Why are you always trying to feed me dog shit? (the food might look bad because it is blended for people who have no teeth, but I am sure it tastes fine)
- Everyday, no matter what time it is, all there is to watch is porn. (The channels are all scrambled because his family does not pay for him to get channels)
- Do you know what my salary is? I have been here over a month and no one has paid me. (Thinking they have a job at the home, rather then live there)
- Are you trying to kill me? (While putting your socks on?)
- Have you been drinking? I am sure you have been drinking. Are you retarded? People like you should not be allowed to work here. (It would take a lot more then that for me to even bat an eyelash)
I can see how this job could be a bit much for some people, it certainly give some clarity to the Grumpy Old Men bit, but I kind of like it.
Sure the pay is terrible, you have to do a few yucky things, and the verbal abuse is on a level of its own. But there is something rewarding in the job, sometimes, the grumpy old people can even be happy.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
My second job:
At the job interview I was told it was very important that I speak Icelandic. My boss told me that she was sure I would pick it up much more quickly with this work - she was right.
I work with old people who speak no English! This means I am forced to use my poor broken Icelandic for 6 hours a day. One little old lady even calls herself my Icelandic teacher.
My co-workers are all banned from speaking with me in English. Some of the younger ones try to, but when we are heard we get an earful. Ekki Ensku!
If I do not understand something they start be repeating themselves slowly. If I still do not get it, they rephrase it and continue with that until I understand. Sometimes I get a few hand gestures, but no English.
This makes for one killer headache at the end of each day, but already it is paying off. Today the head nurse told me that I have improved a lot over the last few days.
This is speed learning.
The great news is that at this rate I will be completely fluent by next spring. I will have no choice.
Davíð says to look at the bright side - I am getting paid to learn. Maybe not well paid, but it is something.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
She was so cool because she looked strange, but had the same markings as her mother. On my dads farm, every so often, another kitten would appear looking just like her. Must have been a family thing...
Sugar lived to a good age of 13, then my mother had her put to sleep, behind my back.
I miss my cat. There are a lot of funny things that happened in those days, but I am so happy to have grown up now.
So here we are, tormenting the cat.
OH YA, those couches have a great story too, but that is for another day.
First I tried laundry bleach. Hair bleach seemed a little too pricey for me at 13.00 a bottle, so I thought Javex should do the trick just fine.
JAVEX DOES NOT BLEACH HAIR. It may have done some real damage to it, but the color did not change. So I splurged and bought the hair bleach.
Good old Blondisma...........
I looked like a troll.
And thanks to Kimmy posting all these great pictures online, I can relive the moments!
Maybe a little young in our care, but we do our best.
But today was the first time I saw something happy - The snails had babies, or something like that. I do not know anything about snails.
Actually it kind of looks like eggs so I hope the fish leave them alone.
But I saw two baby snail! Tiny little spots crawling along the glass. Lucky guys, there is good eating in our aquarium.
Now I need to learn about snails of the freshwater variety.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Stefán's playschool decided on a no toy policy. Before this Stefán brought a toy to school everyday - they all did. Now that they can not bring toys he has improvised. The other day on the playground he takes the insole out of his rubber boot and uses it as his new toy gun. He even took out the other insole and gave it to his best friend Joven so they could shoot each other.
Kasper is growing up so fast it is shocking. It was not that long ago that we would have to plan out his weekend days and what he should do. Now on weekends he gets up, gets dressed, eats and leaves. I have to start calling around for him in the afternoon for him to come home. He is a busy boy, friends to see and things to do. I am happy that I can know he will be safe.
The police in Iceland has just starting fining people for bad behavior downtown at night. It used to be perfectly acceptable to smash your glass or beer bottle where ever you wanted (leaving a street full of glass) and urinate all over the sidewalks and streets (leaving a terrible smell). Now the police will fine you, and people are shocked!
I have made several friends in the last couple weeks, and we all have one funny thing in common: Our Icelandic husbands brought us here. It is funny really, there are a lot of us. I wonder if there is a group of foreign men with Icelandic wives out there hanging out and drinking coffee....
The total number of people you might find sleeping in our house has risen to 6. Agata is back from Poland and my Canadian friend is couch surfing and ends up on ours from time to time. Temporary, she gets a place on October 1. I am still impressed with how many people can live in such little space.
Our new neighbour, with the combination lock on his door is a little scary. I tried to introduce myself to this huge dark haired biker looking guy today and he just stared at me. I was just trying to get things on a good start but maybe he heard me and Davíð busting our guts and taking pictures of his door last night. I just assumed he was not home because it is locked from the outside.
Well this is life and what can I do?
First you go into a place that asks you to take off your shoes.
If you do not want to, just grab a set of these nicely folded shoes covers.
As you can see, actually taking off the shoes and putting them on the self is not a popular option.
The first clues about our newest neighbors are a little troubling. They seem to lock themselves in the apartment, or use a combination lock when they go out?
I wonder why they do not just use a deadbolt lock like everyone else?
It is just too strange.
Davíð and I talked about it and decided that they must be werewolves. They are locking themselves in the apartment to keep everyone else safe, just in case of a full moon.
But then who is letting them out in the day?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I am not working nights every second week in the hotel and days every weekday (only 8-2) at a old people home. I know it sounds crazy but what can you do? A family of 4 can not be supported on one job alone, at least not foreigner working alone. Life.......
This is not the ideal job, the pay is horrible but, I will practice my Icelandic everyday. I will have to because the old people do not speak any English. I think after a year of this I will be fluent in Icelandic then I can do what ever I want.
The light at the end of this tunnel is that when Davíð finishes school, in three years, I will nap for 3 months!
Davvíð has also dropped a few classes to lighten his corse load so he can help with the kids a bit. It was too much before with him in class 8:20 till evening, then at the liabrary until 10. I need help... So things are looking better.
Our Stefán taking computer games very seriously.
He has recently discovered the Sesame Street website.
1. We went for a play date at Diane's house. She is from Arizona and just moved here with her Icelandic husband and two boys Finn Erik (1) and Stefán (4). The funniest thing is the two 4 year old Stefáns playing. They are the same height, both have blond hair, it looks so funny!
2. I learned a Sepia feature on my camera, so now I can take some different pictures!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Not many people realize how wasteful Iceland is. A lot of it has to do with some great tourism marketing on Iceland's part and the big Hydrogen bus thing. (I have seen the fueling station, but there is only one bus)
It is terrible but true, Iceland is not green - but Canada should be just as ashamed.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
At least it feels like that. It is getting cold and windy. Really cold and windy.
Nothing more refreshing then some wind straight from the North Pole.
I look out the window and see clear sky's that are so deceiving.
On my way to work today I saw snow on the mountain tops, but the ground is clear.
How could I have forgotten this weather so soon? The summer was so nice I hoped it would not end and now I am worried that we are in for a super disgusting winter to even out the great summer.
Only time will tell. I have not been here long enough to know the weather patterns well, but I recognize this from last year.
oh the wind...
She has been writing in her blog about her stay and it is great, reminds me a of myself a year ago!
She also takes tonnes of pictures, including some of my kids which she calls neo-vikings at
I think we will do some cooking tonight!!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
What usually happens is you click on the flag, with a full page of Icelandic text and one paragraph shows up in English. If you click on any tabs, it takes you back to the Icelandic. When you click on the little flag again you go back to the first page you started at, with the first paragraph in English.
This is not terribly helpful.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Okt 7 – 13:00
Það er með mikilli ánægju að Stefán bíður öllum samnemendum sínum á Dvergalandi heim til sín í afmælisveislu!
Þann Sunnudagur 7, OKT. kl.13:00, heldur Stefán upp á afmæli heima hjá sér á Rauðarárstíg 32 (neðsta hæð)
Okkur foreldrunum myndi þykja vænt um að gestir héldu gjöfum innan við hæfilegum kostnaði. Það er engin skylda að koma með gjöf, bara matarlist og bros á vör.
Við hlökkum til að sjá sem flest ykkar.
Stefán og foreldrnir hans,
Oct. 7 – 13:00
It is with much pleasure that Stefán invites his fellow students at Dvergaland to his birthday.
He will be celebrating it at his home, on Sunday, October 7th, at 13:00 (1:00 p.m.) on Rauðarárstígur 32 (bottom floor).
There is no need to bring a present, but for those of you who do, we would ask for it to be a very modest one.
We hope that most of you can make it,
Stefán and Parents,
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
It all started on Monday...
Davíð got up, took Stefán to school and sent Kasper on his way. In Kasper's backpack was his lunch that I had packed the night before, extra socks and his rain pants. I assumed he would be wearing his rain coat to school.
Kasper did not wear his rain coat to school and I guess insisted that he wear his snow suit. The thing is pretty water proof and super warm so Davíð did not see it as a big problem and let Kasper have his way.
It rained on Monday, a lot.
At two in the afternoon, I was just walking towards Stefáns school, I get a phone call from Kasper's teacher.
She then proceeds to tear a strip of me. She states that I dress my son inappropriately for the weather. It had rained so much today and now Kasper was all wet. I apologized and promised it would not happen again, but this was not enough. She continued to rant and rave about how poorly dressed Kasper was, that now he was wet and there was nothing she could do about it. I had not been there in the morning so I told her all I knew is there was rain pants and extra socks in the bag. This is not enough! She was very angry that he was not wearing his raincoat. I said I did not know that, apologized again and said it would not happen again, again. Still she continued on about how important it is for me to to dress him properly and how I leave her in a bad position because, what is she supposed to do? 'He did not even have dry clothing to wear'
There is an huge lost and found full of clothing in case something like this happens. Mistakes happen, it is a part of life! I doubt she takes the time to call every parent to make them feel bad every time a kid gets wet socks.
I work nights so I am available during the day. I told her that if an emergency like this ever happens again, she could call me a little earlier, I would bring dry clothing.
When I went to pick up Kasper, it was not nearly so bad as the teacher had made it out to be. The snow suit was damp, sure, mostly around the hems. Yes his socks were wet and the hems of his pants. But he had a dry shirt on. He had a sweater with him and, because Kasper actually always over dresses, still had a dry pair of tights and extra pants on. It was not like he was completely soaked.
When I got to the school the teacher made a point of coming up to me and complaining about 'what was she supposed to do'?
Kasper then tells me off for not dressing him well enough. I reminded Kasper that first of all I was not even there in the morning, second of all he is almost 7 and should take a little responsibility because he wanted to wear the snow suit.
I learned my lesson! I fill Kasper bag up with his lunch, extra pants, extra tights, 3 pairs of extra socks, extra underwear, and extra sweater, along with his rain clothing. What can go wrong now?
Today I pick him up, the weather was insane and still dry enough. It was a good thing he had all the extra clothing.
As we walk to the bus stop Kasper tells me off for packing so much clothing for him. He tells me his teacher is worried because I make him carry so much around.
Apparently I can do nothing right in this situation and she behaves like a divorced parent by passing messages to me through Kasper.
I am so angry that I only hope I manage to calm down a little at work tonight before I show up at the school tomorrow to express my opinion.
I smell discrimination here. This is not the first time I have been treated like I do not know anything about parenting and it always comes down to my age. I am not 18 anymore, in fact I am 26 - but still at least 5 years younger than any other parent in the school. I think that because of this some people feel the need to treat me like a child.
I know how to look after my children, including dressing them.
Mix ups happen!
I know a snow suit was not the best choice for Monday, but it was not a disaster.
If I make a mistake, I only need to be told once. I acknowledged the problem, apologized and said it would not happen again, this should be enough.
I do not need to be scolded like a child.
OK Time for a deep breath - tomorrow I will talk to the headmaster.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I told the lady at the desk that it was a little annoying having to come down to the post office every time when it says they try to deliver it to me and do not even ring the buzzer. I told her that several times I know I have been home and the notice that I was not home was just dropped off.
She filled out an official complaint for me and she said it will be looked into!
I do not know if this is true, but I think it is important for the Post Office to realize that people are angry at the crap for service they have lately.
Today I feast of good coffee, wearing my new bra! And tonight I rink good tea while eating some tasty Canadian chocolate. Tomorrow I will look amazing in my new make up (if it is not raining).
Sunday, September 09, 2007
The notice that I got a parcel, that they tried to deliver it to me, but I was not home. I can pick it up the next business day. In this case it is Monday.
This is a little funny because they do not even check if you are home. I know this because according to the post office I have not been home since Christmas to receive a parcel. I can check the mail, go inside, then come out 5 minutes later and see they just slipped my notice in the door. they do not even ring he bell! Lazy mail people...
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Wow! First of all it was so good to talk for hours to someone, in person, that was from the same country as me, and had been there her whole life.
Second, the whole thing made me realize how adjusted I had become to living in Iceland, without even realizing it.
The entire conversation was things she noticed that were different to her, and me remembering how they used to bother me too, but now I have stopped noticing or just accepted them.
I have learned to drink milk in my tea and coffee, instead of cream.
I can drink much stronger coffee now! I also drink smaller cups of coffee.
I almost never eat chicken or beef anymore, and don't notice it or miss it anymore.
I take, and give to the kids, cod liver oil every morning. It is a routine.
I bring my kids to work when I need to and expect my employer to be fine with the idea. This would never have gone over in Canada.
I occasionally call in sick to do something like go grocery shopping.
I eat cake at breakfast time.
I am adjusting well, and it takes someone who is not adjusted (it has only been a few days for her) to make me see that.
He will be going two days a week, Thursday and Saturday.
I am so happy for him and this is so good for him.
We, Davíð and I, will have to make this work. With both our crazy schedules it will be tough - but for a good cause.
Now I promised Stefán swimming lessons, I just have to find a good place for them.
That is what stresses me out the most. If I spend more then 30000 on a card, then my wallet falls out of my pocket. It would be more valuable to anyone.
I would worry more about my bus pass then my Visa or debit card.
So this is my idea, and if I was in charge, this is how it would be, when you pay for the 9 month pass you would get 9 one month passes. Each one would be stamped with starting and ending dates and only good during those times.
Then if I lose one, or spill coffee all over it cause that has happened before, I might cry, but I would not have some sort of nervous breakdown.
If I was in charge of Stætó, things would be better.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
He is funny with kids - the penis jokes never get old with them - and he has more advanced stuff for older people.
We were at the mall the other day and Kasper was spinning around the food court. He dropped his hat and did not notice. Stefán picks it up, puts in a grocery bag inside the cart. When we are leaving the mall Stefán asks Kasper where his hat is. Then laughs when Kasper goes looking for it.
He tells stories, usually ones to get someone all worked up. Last weekend he told Kasper that he saw someone out the window. This someone he saw had Kasper's favorite stuffed bunny and was putting it in the garbage. Kasper got very excited and then really angry when he realized Stefán was lying.
OK - it is a kind of cruel sense of humor, but I have to admit I have a hard time not laughing. He has to start being a little more careful because Kasper is going to get really angry one of these days and that would be devastating. Stefan looks up to him so much and even sleeps beside him often.
But is he the funny one in the family.
The definition of a princess: (according to Stefán) someone with lots of hair.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The only reason I know is because he knocked on my door asking where he could find the water controls. Not thinking anything of it, I told him they were in the laundry room. Then I go back to my dinner.
After we eat I try to turn on the water for dishes. No water.
I look for the guy that I talked to, it would be nice to know when there will be water again. I can not find him.
So now I am putting the kids to bed with unbrushed teeth and no bathes.
The dishes can wait I guess, but I hope it is not for too long. The boys had some Skyr and that starts to smell fast in the sink.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Why? Well, I just went to give the fish dinner and saw my two algae eaters lying upside down at the bottom of the tank.
I am a little sad. I really liked them. They were so funny, always sucking on the glass.
I am also disappointed that I have lost 3 in three months now.
I don't know what it is. I think there is just enough algae, I give them vitamins, I do not have fish that are picking on them, so why are they always dying?
Well, I know what happened to the first one, he thought it would be a good idea to eat out of the filter. But the other two?
I am confused.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
The parents all bring the kids to school, just like any other day, but on Fridays they stay.
This is because every Friday morning, the kids sing for us!
OK, that sounded a little bitter, I am very happy with the school, I just question the spending sometimes.
Davíð enjoying two things he enjoys, the computer and bed.
His new laptop might be a third child to him, it has a special place in his back pack, can not be touched by anyone and is well cared for.
Davíð and I agree that what we want most for the boys is for them to be best friends.
If they are mad at us, and all kids get angry with their parents, it is OK. We would rather they stuck together.
We hope for them to build a relationship that will last a lifetime.