14 April 2008

you've adapted when

Back in Oslo for yet another sojourn, I've realized that there are a few things that are marking my passage into really being an Iceland dweller, moreso than any work/residence permit status.

  • I was at the pool here the other day and couldn't figure out why my pre-swim shower n' scrub was being observed with perplexity, then I realized that there was no sign instructing you to scrub all your naughty bits with soap before donning the suit. After the swim, I then carefully carried my shoes out into the corridor where they unhelpfully did not have a bench, at which point it occurred to me that there were no signs demanding shoe removal before entering the locker room. The Icelandic pool habits are so automatic now that I apparently cannot fathom that anyone would do it any other way.
  • So here I am in Norway, land of fishing boats, gnarly fishermen, and a fish preservation technique that's almost more terrifying than hákarl, and yet still, I'm thinkin "no, best not order the fish since it's never going to be good as the fish back home in Iceland." Best í heimi it is in Iceland, and even going to another country where they're fishing from almost the same territory is not enough to convince me otherwise (although I did order fish eventually and it was quite good).
  • Then this afternoon I was walking down Main Street Oslo (Karl Johan) and I saw a Land Rover, the type Icelanders are always driving on glaciers, and I thought, "something's wrong with this car's proportions". These vehicles now don't look proper unless they've got the fat daddy Dick Cepek tires and a couplea antennas sprouting from the top. Don't forget a winch and shovel for proper Full Glacier Attire.


Anonymous said...

Thank's for continuing to post. I've been reading your blog almost since the beginnig and it's been amazing following your conversion from perplexed outsider to a 100% insider: Picking up even our half-unconscious national habits, when abroad :-)
Looks like you've become more Icelandic than many Icelanders I know, but you still retain your perspective - your ability to see and analyze in what way your behaviour has changed. It's wonderful to read about.


SOe said...

So, you are getting more and more Icelander - having a car, Icelandic habits, ... :-) But I really hope you will not start with writing Icelandic on your blog ;-)

Food, she thought. said...

LOL about your self-conscious scrub.

Rose said...

Ditto soe.

Anonymous said...

I'm okay with an Icelandic lesson by blog! Just not too much... :O) I've missed your posts!

-Sarah :O)

PS I was wearing my Iceland sweatshirt at the store yesterday and a woman stopped me to ask me where I got it (Iceland, of course) and she said her mom is Icelandic and they go back often but she hadn't seen my sweatshirt before. Icelanders in Yorba Linda, whoda thunk it? :O)

tsduff said...

It is good to see you becoming to thoroughly indoctrinated into the Icelandic way of life. There's still hope :) I am curious about the preservation of the fish in Oslo - how can it be worse than the rotten shark? :)

ECS said...

pétur: thanks for continuing to read! It was a bit of a surprise to me that I was doing these things but I'd expect that at some point things get under your skin to that extent.

soe: I am nowhere near writing in Icelandic, but I will say that the car is a nice thing to have here.

food, she thought: I talked to a friend of mine about this yesterday and she nodded and said, "and weren't you thinking, 'those dirty foreigners, what are they doing NOT WASHING?' weren't you?"

rose: don't worry, I won't start writing in Icelandic- it's gotten a bit rusty after all this time in Norway!

sarah: Of course Icelanders are everywhere! They've got a talent for that, I think.

tsduff: it's called lutefisk. Read about it here