Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I just looked for them online and every class is full and seem to be booed up for a while, at least there was no open classes in sight.
How can people expect us to learn Icelandic then not have classes available?
Then there is the cost:
These classes, if you get in, are far from cheap. A couple hundred dollars for 2 nights a week.
The theory is that when you finish, your union will reimburse part of the cost to you.
What happens if you do not have that kind of money to spare in the first place?
What if you can not get a job because you can not speak Icelandic? If you are not employed you have no union to help.
The entire system can be so frustrating!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
It was as bad as I first had imagined, but different. I thought I had lost a filling. It turned out hat the filling was just useless now because a cavity had started on one side and hollowed out my tooth.
So they filed my tooth down to nothing. Drilled into the roots and built me a nice little plastic tooth on top of the very little real tooth that was left.
I was fortunate enough to have had enough freezing that I did not feel a thing during the drilling, sanding etc.
It is unfortunate that this freezing had to wear off and now I am hurting. A lot.
Another every sad and almost as painful thing was the cost. The price was more then
25000IKR, but the nice guy gave me %10 off. Good thing other wise I would not have had enough money in my bank account...
So the final bill was 22800IKR (378 American). Good thing I get paid in two days....
Saturday, October 27, 2007
It was actually the first time most of us had met, but the conversation was great.
We have all just moved to Iceland. The longest resident being Cassie who had been here a year and a half. Mahwish and I were close behind and Diane was the freshest off the boat at only three months.
It was so good to talk to people gong through the exact same thing, here different views, give tips and get some back.
We sat for about three hours, then the place was getting to loud and it was after midnight so we all went home, but what a great time.
I defiantly plan on doing this again!
(Everyone meet through my facebook group, the Internet is so great)
and my tooth has 2 big cracks in it now, probably thanks to the big whole from the lost filling.
Now this would have been bad enough in Canada when I would have had to pay a fortune only to be reimbursed 2 weeks later. But now I live in Iceland, where everything costs even more and I have no dental coverage.
The thought of the impending dental bill is causing me much more pain then the tooth is.
I will go get it fixed next week, first I have to find a dentist, then I will get it done, no avoiding it.
Maybe I will need a third job to pay for this?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Then they started to annoy me.
Then people stopped sending them.
Now the only person who sends me forwards is Denita, and she can be forgiven because I have not seen her in almost a million years.
Today she actually sent me some funny pictures and rather then spam everyone I know with them I will just put the best ones (that I think) here.
This guy should have been arrested a long time ago.
And this is as classy as it gets, good old shot gun weddings.
Man I love Saskatchewan - being a proud Saskatchewanite myself!
Stuttering sign, just like the driver probably is.
Well that's my spam for the day - please don't hate me for it!
This year I am feeling more poor, so I decided to send everything C mail. The post office told me this takes 8 weeks and costs much less.
So I started my Christmas shopping in September and finished up a couple weeks ago.
Yesterday I took all the parcels down to the post office and they told me it would be best to send it all by airmail, otherwise they could not guarantee arrival in time for Christmas.
I pointed out that there is actually 9 weeks left and they told me before it would be delivered in 8.
The staff at Posturinn seemed skeptical that 9 weeks was enough time for a parcel to get to Canada. (I think they strap them to the back of sea turtles to get across the ocean)
Anyways, I still sent everything the super slow way to save money and I really hope it gets there in time. If not, consider them new years gifts, or Easter, depending on the arrival date.
From he start:
I usually upload my videos onto Google video and embed them from there, no problem, but for some reason it was causing me some real problems so I thought I would try youtube.
This worked. I uploaded the little movies of the boys then put them on here.
Then I get an email, jacoeur has subscribed to my videos on youtube.
I though it might be someone I know, at first, but when I looked at the profile I felt nauseous.
This guy has a collection of favorite movies that would make anyone feel sick. It is all porn or videos of young kids. And this guy was watching my kids playing around....
When I upload videos to Google it asks if they should be included in search results and I always say no but youtube automatically makes the movies public and I never thought to look into and change that until I had the subscriber.
So I changed the movies to private and he can not watch them now. (It was enough that he managed to watch each of them 4 times)
I can only hope now that he gets help.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I love getting mail and now I can get mail from strangers.
I love sending mail and now I can take advantage of endless hours of sitting in a desk next to a try of postcards and a drawer of stamps.
I am going to postcard the world.
After all, who doesn't want a postcard from Iceland?
I think you should try it, I know a few of my friends would enjoy this.
Check it out at:
Monday, October 22, 2007
It is just a mess they just move around so much
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Here are some videos he made:
How Kasper is super active! A real bundle of energy. Stefán, he always wants to be the center of attention and does everything to get in front of the camera.
These videos were taken by Davíð and I take no responsibilities concerning the poor quality.
There are actually more, but I will not torture you with that.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I have learned some great things that will help in my next employment.
It has been a good experience, but some things are making me crazy.
- My responsibilities have increased so much, but they are not sure if they can afford to give me a raise.
- I get no overtime pay.
- Even working here almost 100 hours a week, I still make much less then Davíð did at a regular job.
- They want to close for 2 weeks in December, so I will not be working and will not get paid for these forced holidays.
- They are a little sexist. When I work nights it is expected that I help out with getting the breakfast ready. The other guy who does nights does not have to help. I asked my boss why and he told me it was a girl thing to do. I am a little mad now.
So - I think I have taken the experience I need from this job and am looking for a new one.
The official job search has begun again.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Our new neighbor put red lights in all his windows leading to jokes about how this building is the Red Light district of Reykjavík.
To make it worse, he (the new guy) has started to change hallway lighjt bulbs to the red ones.
It is getting hard to see our way around now.
But if you walk past our building you will know you are here from all the red windows and if you open the building door you will be greeted by a nice red light.
It is all starting to get a little creepy.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
and a filter.
The first two are nothing special, just algae eaters to replace the ones that died in the summer.
But our newest fish is the coolest. It is called a Blue Shark and it looks like one! It eats fish food so i think the other fish are OK, but it is exciting.
It might not actually be called that, that is just what the lady at the pet store said but I can not find it online.
At least I hope our little shark stays little.
Time to start wearing that extra layer of clothing.
Monday, October 15, 2007
The evening went by nice and uneventful except for some drunk guy screaming and swearing because I could not understand his mumbled Icelandic at all. I told him there was no room to rent. (not to him at least)
The night shift was a little more problematic, I will start from the beginning.
When I went to close the reception at 11:30 I had 3 guys from Poland drinking beer. They did not seem to understand that they would need to go back to there rooms. I tried English, Icelandic, Hand gestures and pointing, nothing worked. I turned off the lights, they kept drinking. Finally I lead them out the door by the arm.
Then I waited around for my last check in that did not turn up until after midnight. I supposed I could have let the guys with the beer hang out until then, but they really had drunk enough already.
I do to sleep and an woken up by the fire alarm before 3:00. I was so startled I ran out of my sleeping room leaving the master key on the table and locking it in the room.
Usually when the alarm goes off it is just someone smoking, I turn it off and everyone goes back to bed. That night I turn it off, turn around and it starts again. I had no way to go around checking rooms, besides knocking on doors because my key was locked in a room. The reception is FULL of people and the alarm is screaming in our ears.
The first time the fire station called I told them there was no problem. No one had seen a fire and I was sure I could get the alarm off.
I tried but it always turned back on so the second time they called I said they better come down. The guests were all getting a little antsy at this point.
After 30 minutes of this nonsense my boss and a security car turn up (if the building had been on fire it would have been long gone). They check everything out, no fire just a chain smoker who did not get the hint to slow down on the smoking or go outside, even with the alarms going off.
Everyone goes back to bed.
At 5:00 a.m. the buzzer rings, a couple wants to check in. Although it is a very strange time to check in they seemed normal enough so I gave them a room.
5:30 the alarm system starts beeping. I called the room of the people that just checked in and asked them if they were smoking, they said no but they had taken down the smoke detector for some reason (probably planned on smoking) and the system goes off because it lost a sensor. I told them to put it back, they did and that was the end of that.
By the time next shift came at 730 I must have looked really bad because I got the day off with out asking and was told to get some rest.
My head did not stop hurting until this morning.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I can think of a few good reasons, right now, why you should consider just staying home.
- Unless you are walking, odds are you are creating a huge carbon debt with your trip. That 'cheap airfare' to just pop over somewhere for a weekend has other costs.
- Chances are, when you are on your trip you will consume more then if you would have stayed home.
- You are not a better person or more interesting because you have been to a few places.
- If you really just want to sleep somewhere different, try trading apartments with a friend.
- If you stay home, you can catch up on all those things you just never have time for! Like setting up a greenhouse in your backyard or going to the gym.
- You are not going to learn anything by experiencing another culture for a few days. If you really want the experience, then move there. After a year or so you will get over the culture shock and will really 'experience' the country.
- If you really need a photo with yourself beside some great art or tower, you can always just download a picture of it and copy and paste yourself onto it. It really is just as good.
- There is a reason kids are terrible while travelling, deep down inside they know it is unnecessary.
I could go on, but I think this is enough. It is something that I feel very strongly about and might sound a little harsh.
Remember you can get away from it all without going far - just have an imagination. There is so much so close by.
But where is it from and how did it get here?
I live in Iceland so when I go to the grocery store to buy fruit I know all the apples, oranges, grapes, melons and other tasty treats are not from around here. They have actually been flown in.
On AIRPLANES! Planes burn huge amounts of fossil fuels and contribute greatly to global warming.
We have food in Iceland so it does not need to be flown in to keep us from starving, it just gives a little more variety from the usual tomatoes and cucumbers.
When I lived in Canada, things were not much different. The strawberries were brought in from Mexico just so I could eat Strawberries in January. Other fruits were brought from California, fruit that also grows in British Colombia. Ridiculous really.
Imagine if everyone ate locally grown food. Imagine all the traffic and needless shipping that could be avoided. Imagine how much cleaner the air would smell.
If this does not convince you, think about this: Locally grown or raised foods are fresher and should contain a high amount of nutrients. It is just healthier.
Stuff = Extra clothing, a 50th pair of shoes, decorations and other crap you really do not need.
- When you buy new stuff, you often throw out old stuff - adding to the land fill.
- When you buy new stuff, you must dispose of packaging. There is almost always far more packaging then what is needed. Plastic packaging, need I say more??
- You probably drove your car to the store because no one likes to carry stuff home or on the bus.
- The stuff did not magically get to the store, it most likely travelled very far from a place that can make cheap stuff like China or maybe Poland. The trip to your store was long and polluting.
- When you buy stuff from these countries with little or no environmental protection laws you know they are destroying more then they are creating.
So buy less stuff, make it last, save money and save some earth.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
A weather sticker - now everyone will know how t is here, and can keep watch on dark it is getting
Fish - you can even feed them by click. I like fish.
Decorations - no more questioning how old the boys are getting
A translator - in case I start using strange words
I think this should cover everything I might need!
It is just a trial, it might get annoying, but for now I am going for the super tacky look.
The school age children are often dropped off at school at 7:30 a.m. and left there until 5:30. Some kids stay even later in the after after school care until about 8:00. This is a long time for kids to be left at the schools being basically ignored, mostly due to under staffing, or being watched by underpaid young adults.
These kids always just want to talk to you, they just want to talk to someone and be heard.
Seniors are in a situation that is no better, maybe even worse. In Iceland you do not see seniors going around on the buses much, or doing the early morning walk at the mall like you would see in Canada. The buses are not friendly towards wheel chairs or walking aids because they have stairs. No one is at the mall in the morning.
If you want to see seniors, old ones at least, you have to go to a nursing home. Most of the people in these homes have been completely forgotten by their families. Visitors are few and far between. It is like they no longer exist, except to the underpaid and under staffed nursing aids who care for them night and day.
Even the most important things are often forgotten. Families are expected to pick up dirty laundry and bring clean clothing, this is often neglected leaving nurses to do laundry.
Last weekend I saw a man turn 90, and no one came by to visit. There was no cake or gift. Not even a phone call. His children were busy. One called three days later, only because she remembered that she had forgotten his laundry last week. We do what we can, clean his clothing, sing him a song, but we are not family.
These people just want to talk to someone or listen. They are amazing people with great patience and stories to tell.
So this is my idea: It is about time these two groups of people were brought together.
I think the after school programs should all make plans with the neighbourhood nursing home and create a visiting program.
These are the details that I have thought of so far:
- The kids would be split into groups and each group, once a month would take the bus or walk to the nursing home.
- The visits would be timed with visiting time and the nurses could match kid with a senior who is alone and would want a visitor.
- The pair should be mixed up often to avoid kids being traumatized when the old people die, because this happens.
- I know the after school care has access to a bus two days a week, so no extra funding would be needed.
I honestly have no idea how to get something like this going, but I think it would be great so I will talk to Kasper's school on Monday.
Just think: The kids would have someone to talk to, visit with, look up too and pay attention to just them. The seniors would have someone to talk to and listen, they like to listen, while feeling important, like they should.
Maybe the kids could even learn a little respect for older people.
Friday, October 12, 2007
And it is about the environment - and I have so much to say.
It might sounds like a lot of complaining but I do plan to look at a few good things.
I even have lots of great new knowledge in my head because I have been helping Davíð do a bunch of research for school and he has been focusing on environmental solutions in everyday life.
October 15, this is so exciting!
So I went to use the new pin number that the guy promised me would work, and my account froze on me.
I called him today, he promised he had fixed it again, but tomorrow I will test it.
I am just getting so frustrated with this spending every day off at the bank.
Why can they not just be normal????
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I read No Logo a few years ago and was hooked. (I had actually bought it for Davíð for his birthday because I wanted to read it)
Today I ordered The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Sounds promising.
Now I can only hope the 10-12 weeks shipping will pass by fast so I can feed my brain.
Monday, October 08, 2007
It was madness, and in the chaos I did not get enough pictures, but a some people promised to send me some.
This is what I got:
Cutting the cake
ah, must not be important
If only for one day I year it is good for me to stop complaining. I do not think I was completely successful, but I tried and was semi positive for a day.
It was a strange feeling.
Tomorrow the whining will start up again - in full swing!
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
I have not been able to transfer money between accounts, it was always saying no account symbol.
Today I called and I guess my account is not set up right in the computer and I will need to go back down to the bank and get a new secret number.
This might be fine except that I work all the time and it should ave been done right the first time. I remember picking out the number - but no one put it in the system.
Now this is my problem, or rather, Davíð's because I can not transfer him money for the family and I am working all weekend.
This is not the first problem either. A month after I had my account I had to go in and get my online banking sorted out because for some reason I could only see my balance and it said I was not allowed to view transactions.
I am now thinking that anyone can get a job at Kaupþing - you do not need to do anything right...
OK, I think I feel better now.
A little venting is good for you.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
1. Hotel Smári - I work six days a week, anywhere from 12 to 16 hours each time. Do not worry, it is not nearly as bad as it sounds. When I start work at 3 or 7 in the evening, I am done all the 'work' well before 11:30, when I can close the reception. That means I can sleep from midnight until 7 in the morning. If I am lucky it is an uninterrupted sleep. I have a toothbrush here now, extra socks, underwear and a coffee cup. I finish and leave work at 7:30 in the morning.
2. Sunnuhlíð - I work at the nursing home 3 - 5 days a week from 8 - 2. I consider this my exercise job, because I do not spend the entire thing sitting down, I need that. This job is the most stressful because I am not allowed to speak English so I feel stupid a lot, but it is getting better. I am glad they have a uniform for me there. I have not been there long, but already I have a few old friends, fabulous little old ladies.
I miss my real home - I miss my pillow! I miss the boys, although I can bring the kids to the hotel when I am going through some kid withdrawal. Kasper loves sleeping over.
The most unfortunate thing is that even working this much, I still only make half of what Davíð did in a month. We have about the same skill and education levels, the only difference is that he was employed in a male dominated industry, and I am employed in 2 female dominated industries.
Canada and Iceland both seem to be behind in the times.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Thursday - Kasper stays home, still very sick.
Friday - Kasper is still very sick and stays home again.
Saturday - Kasper starts to get better, but still sleeps most of the day and has no appetite.
Sunday - Kasper is almost back to normal and Stefán starts puking.
Monday - Kasper is back at School and Stefán is home - sick, sick, sick.
Tomorrow - Stefán will be home and I am not looking forward to what the next few days bring.
Davíð and I can not get sick- It just can not happen!