28 November 2008

What is the late November doing

November is the most difficult month for me here- the shrinking daylight, the chaos and lights of Christmas not yet begun, the drenchery, the wind, the interesting colds and flus brought from abroad. I've made an effort to only write when I'm on the more upbeat side so that's partly why I sometimes go stretches of time without saying much here.

Thing is though, when I really look at how daily life feels different, it's just in the prices. Everything's gone up, perhaps with the exception of Icelandic wool, but the things I'd normally buy are still all available. As for all that talk about anarchy settling in, chaos ruling, and people gone nuts rioting in the streets, it's kind of like the food crisis that hit the wires a few weeks ago-blown out of proportion for the sake of a juicier story. I've gotten several emails from would-be tourists asking if they'll be safe or if they should really just give up on the plans to visit altogether. Fact is, what's happening here is a big deal relative to how the population is in general, but the protests as they've been happening so far are not something that's caused massive general disruption citywide. If you're not downtown near the parliament building on Saturday afternoons, you'd never know it was happening, save for a few "out with Davið!" signs that remain leaning on buildings and statues after the fact. I'd honestly say I'd fear for my safety more at 3:30a.m. on weekend nights when the bar crowds have gotten extra rowdy and want their sandwiches and hotdogs.

And so life continues here, one day at a time. Given the prices of things, and given my amount of nervous energy that needs burning off, I've resorted to knitting and weaving all my Christmas gifts this year. I'm obviously not the only person who's doing this, as was evidenced by my last visit to Handprjónasambandið (the Icelandic knitting association) downtown. I'm used to it being full of tourists, caught up in the novelty of the weird materials here and stocking up on the sweaters and mittens. This time the supply corner was jammed and the language was all Icelandic. But, at about 200isk per "cheese" of the unspun lopi (enough for a hat), that's a bargain. So I'm supporting the "veljum Íslenskt" (choose Icelandic!) cause and my family and friends will all be cozy during our upcoming in-a-cold-place holiday gathering. Everybody wins!

7 comments:

alcan said...

Did you "visit" the Central Bank yesterday?

Paul said...

maybe you can post some photos of yr knitting creations or strange materials.

- Hong Kong

Gary said...

What is the official language of Iceland? Can a person who only speaks English function?

Thanks

thierry C. said...

favete linguis

November is birth. Before birth is the time of giving birth. You know, the good times.

Cave canem! Now is the season and this one comes with three heads and no red noses.

My beautiful roaring Dad is leaving. The lion has water in is lungs. His own little home made river. This is a bit stupid... I don't like to sail these waters. But this is my dad. I'll help quietly.

Saving the world in December from Geneva suddenly sucks.

J said...

January is the most difficult month for me. It's dark and cold, it snows and rains. Yuck.

So, I usually flee to Asia for most of it.

Paul said...

This blog is a great discovery for me--a country that I've always wondered about, and a writer who has style and honesty. If you get homesick for New England,I have lots of pictures on mine.

Food, she thought. said...

Thinking of you when I am not seeing you around....happy holidays to you and yours!