Daily Archives: November 18, 2008

The Wind in East Iceland

I have never heard or felt wind this strong. It’s got to be gale force and I’m guessing at least 70 Kilometers per hour — far worse than on Cape Spear in NFLD. It actually sounds as if my huge house might blow down — should be a great night for sleeping.

I got a ride into Egilsstaoir today — a very small town without a town centre to speak of — where I bought two books by two well-known Icelandic writers: World Light by Halldor Laxness and Silence of the Graves, by Arnaldur Indridtason (actually, it is more like a union of d and t, but EePC can’t do this).

The latter title should provide for some real nightmares, but they were the only two books in English in what I think was a dollar store.

$1 Canuck =182 ISK, so I’ve been spending thousands — it is a visitor’s dream so what are you waiting for?

There are just over 300,000 people here and I think only about 3000 live in this valley and the surrounding area. It does boast a large mountain ash forest, which is quite a site, even at this time of year — the trees are very small — probably because of the wind, but a painter would go crazy.

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I am not American!

It so surprising to me that in a country like Iceland where the standard of living is high and the people are both well-traveled and educated, they still confuse the United States with Canada. Most of the people I have met so far have confessed to thinking that there are actually no differences between the US and Canada and are shocked to find out that:

We use the metric system
We have don’t have a president
We have universal health care
We aren’t snowed-under most of the year
In contrast to the USA, we use UK spelling

I actually find this ignorance to be quite insulting, considering that I know the difference between Greenland and Iceland, so perhaps the education we receive in Canada is something we should be proud of.

Which reminds me, a couple of days ago a cabbie in New York wanted to know if he could run away to Canada with me to live together forever. He said he’d do all the driving (he’d be pulled over so fast and thrown into jail speeding during rush hour), anyway, he offered to do the driving and since I hate driving, I thought that was a nice gesture. However, when I explained that it would take us at least a week to drive to Vancouver, he didn’t believe me because he was quite sure that the Canada he knew was just a few hours north of New York. I don’t think I ever managed to convince him that it was a lot bigger than that.

No photos until I get home — I had to repack in Toronto because I couldn’t lift my suitcase — I had to buy a new and smaller one — but, I left my connector cable for my camera in Kate’s room…OMG, I’ve taken some amazing shots…


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