Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It is hilariously obvious that I am a foreigner. From the colorful clothes I wear, to the sandals on my cold feet, to my tan skin and dark eyes; I cannot even pretend to be an Icelander!

I am fortunate enough to live across the street from Perlan. ( Every misty morning I get to run through beautiful trails combed through the “forest” surrounding this awesome building. I had to de-emphasize forest because in Iceland there are barely any naturally grown trees. As I have been told, Icelanders began planting trees throughout the city about 30 years ago. You can tell they were planted because they are perfectly aligned and they usually don’t grow taller than the houses because of the strong winds from the Atlantic. Alright, back to my running story....In the U.S. I hated running outside. I would easily become bored and preferred people watching in the gym while on the treadmill. Now, one of my favorite parts of my day is the morning run through Reykjavik. I keep thinking of different routes to take. Every time I find something new. Today I found an AIRPORT! While running I heard,(through my Italian language lesson on the ipod) a roarrr and saw an airplane glide past me! I felt like a kid waving at it! (then I quickly pulled my hand down!) 

A thought came to me today. Iceland has an estimated population of 304,367 as of July 2008. A small percentage of them tourists, I might be one of the few (if only) Boricua on this island at this moment! Doubtful but definitely possible.  

I’ve also enjoyed the European-esque cafes scattered around central Reykjavik. Cappuccino and Icelandic pancakes may become my daily treat. 

This week I also had my first experience at the very hip mall near my home. I wandered around for a couple hours giving myself a headache converting krónur to dollars and starting getting depressed as I began to realize how expensive this country is, economic turmoil and all. However I did find a grocery store tucked inside the mall but I wasn’t so delighted to see a pig as their logo (I prefer the mascot of the grocery store “Food-Lion”). So I start roaming through, and checking items off my list. Hoping that I am correctly reading the expiration dates (backwards) and crossing my fingers that the Icelandic labels are matching my presumptions of the food. At checkout I had 30,000 krónur and was very pleased it was enough. The currency here is hard for me to figure out. I fish out correct paper money and the accumulating coin money stuffed into my wallet, hand it to him (crossing my fingers the amount is correct) and then wait for the guy to bag my groceries. When he starts to ring up the next customer I realize, I was supposed to buy the bags while he was ringing up the items. I look back at the long line impatiently waiting for me,  smile as sweetly as I could, hand him some change for the plastic bags, start bagging my goods, and my apples spill e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Great. 

This first week has been so fun. It is so cool feeling like I live here for a month rather than touring. I live in a home, not a hostel. I drive a car, not sitting atop an embarrassing sight-seeing bus. I have a job and a schedule. I’ll soon have a gym membership. It’s wonderful. I have only 25 days left here and I am trying to squeeze every drip of fun out of it.

In the “evenings” (again, hard distinction between day and night here) I am still finding myself adjusting to the time difference and earnestly trying to fall asleep. So thoughtfully I brought with me a couple random DVDs of the Sex and the City series (my guilty pleasure and aid to insomnia). While watching I realized out of the 20 or so DVDs in the pretty pink velvet case I threw 2 DVDs in my suitcase with a hidden reminder in them. Carrie reminded me, “the thing about needs; sometimes when you get them met, you don't need them anymore.” I smiled, closed my eyes and heard her say one more thing about relationships; “There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you that you love, well, that's just fabulous.”

1 comment:

  1. You and I think a lot alike when it comes to certain thoughts about life: