Monday, April 27, 1998 7:07 AM
part 4

Finally, I moved into my apartment. It's nice, but smaller than my apartment in Australia. All of the light fittings have been removed, so there are bare lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling. Icelanders call this the "Russian" style.

I've learned some Icelandic words for time:
"a day or two": a week;
"after the weekend": two weeks;
"a couple of weeks": a month;
"tomorrow": some unspecified time in the future. I know this because something that was promised me when I arrived more than 2 months ago, has not happened yet.

The teenagers with oversized jeans, big white sneakers, and baseball caps on backwards... are here, too.

It was Iceland when I arrived. Now it is Rainland.

Someone sent me this. It describes perfectly my job since I've been here:

CLARIFICATION OF CORPORATE LINGO "JOIN OUR FAST-PACED COMPANY:" We have no time to train you.
"MUST BE DEADLINE ORIENTED:" You'll be six months behind schedule on your first day.
"SOME OVERTIME REQUIRED:" Some time each night and some time each weekend.
"DUTIES WILL VARY:" Anyone in the office can boss you around.
"SEEKING CANDIDATES WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE:" You'll need it to replace three people who just left.
"PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS A MUST:" You're walking into a company in perpetual chaos.

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The first questions that every tourist is asked on arrival are: Where are you from? How long have you been here? (and for those coutries whose lowest temperature in winter exceeds Iceland's highest temperature in summer, the next question is "What are you *doing* here?"). Then, without fail, the next question is "So what do you think of Iceland?". The exception to this rule is in the case of the taxi driver who is taking you to your hotel, in which case the second question is not required, but the last one is asked anyway.

You can see which of the programmers have the heaviest workload by how many days pass between shaves.

We released a "pre-release" version of our software of April 1st. The interest was so great that many people were unable to get it from our internet computer, and thus thought it was an April Fool's joke.

Now that we have released the official version of our software, I found that I had some spare time, so I went for a short walk about some of Reykjavík. In the main street, I noticed a sign advertising the "Iceland Phallological Museum", with appropriate pictures for those who don't know a phallus is. :-) The entrance to the museum is right next to the sign. I didn't go in, though. Maybe later - I never knew that such things exist, so I'm curious.

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