Sunday, July 25, 1999 6:37 PM
part 17

The temperature reached 20°C, the sun shone, the wind was still, it was too hot to work. The boss went camping for four days. The rest of us spent most of the day outside, sitting on chairs, basking in the sunshine, eating icecream. The Icelanders got sunburned. I laughed.

Perhaps it was owing to the heat of the day, but Atli, Jóhanna, and I, went to an evening session of a movie. It was a special preview, and the tickets were distributed via a competition, with the spares given away an hour before the show started. Atli managed somehow to get tickets. I have no idea how he does these things. When we arrived, there was an enormous queue of Icelanders who had waited, until just before the show started, to see if any tickets were available. It looked like a riot was brewing.

After the movie had finished, we ran down the street to the next cinema to watch a late-session double feature. When we emerged, it was 3am and a heavy fog had descended, blanketing the entire city. The world had become a white dome whose edge was a few hundred metres away. The mountains across the bay had been replaced by a white wall at the water's edge. It was like something out of a movie. All it needed was the sound of something heavy being dragged, some footsteps, the rattling of chains, a blood-curdling scream, that sort of thing.
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Summer came and went like a match flares and dies: some light, a bit of heat, and gone in an instant.

One of the guys here found the website for Iceland's first school of B&D/S&M (if you don't know, don't ask) with Master Adam and Mistress Eve. I didn't dare to ask how he found it, nor how he came to be looking. I thought that the descriptions were very funny - mostly in Icelandic, and mostly words that I don't know and aren't in my dictionary, but they were read to me. More interesting, perhaps, are the words for which there is no Icelandic equivalent, however some measure of restraint prevents me listing any of them here. :-)

The Icelandic version of the software was released, so it was pizza day once again. It was Friday, too. Very convenient. Atli came to wake me, because I always complained to him in the past when I arrived at work and found that the food had been finished already and that he didn't tell me that it was there. Icelandic pizzas are worth more than sleep.

The boss was reading a book from the last century, describing the social expectations and responsibilities of the time - no holding hands in public; a man must carry a woman's shopping "as far as he is able", and so on. It was written for Icelanders moving to Canada - the boss described it as "how to behave in a civilised country". Ahem. As I look around me, and think that perhaps in Icelandic society much is the same now as it was then, I suspect that many people would have come back here. ;-)

There is a popular song in Latin that is being played on the radio. It contains a chorus that sounds like a phrase in Icelandic that means "He is picking his nose". I had never before paid any attention to the song, never noticed that it was being played, until this fact was pointed out to me. Now, of course, I cannot avoid hearing the song because I have become "tuned" to it, nor can I hear the song without also hearing "that" phrase... and I realise just how often it is being played. In keeping with the "share and enjoy" philosophy (or merely to ensure that others partake of the misery in which I am consumed by not being unable to hear this song), I shared the observation with someone else. She hasn't forgiven me yet.

The local McDonald's contains a television for children to watch. Some content-free alleged entertainment to occupy oneself while consuming nutrition-free alleged foodstuffs. A pleasant way to spend an afternoon, by all accounts.

Summer made a brief reappearance - a smudge of white cloud across a vast expanse of blue sky, strong sunlight, and it was *hot*. I walked around outside until my feet became sore... and got sunburned (not as much as the Icelanders, though). I laughed. So did the Icelanders.

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