Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Velkomin til Íslands!

(This post was originally written on March 3rd, but I could not post it then because of network problems)

This Thursday morning, we (my wife J, and I) finally arrived in Iceland. After a good week of packing / cleaning / going to work, it was a relief to be finally on that plane. We were unable to ship some stuff on the last day but thanks to an ever helpful coworker we'll be able to work it out soon :).

So.. Iceland! It's still not a huge culture shock since I've been here before and it's quite a westernized country. It's good to be in Reykjavík again, I like this little town.

We've been staying at J's aunt's for a few days. They've been very hospitable (and such good food :)), and the partial immersion in Icelandic is helping me (they usually speak to J in Icelandic, and to me it's 50/50, so I often have to ask for clarification). I've also shown them pictures from Lebanon and prepared a Tabboule salad for them. Intercontinental cultural exchange :)

Two nights ago we met J's grandma, who is our only remaining grandparent at this point. It was good to meet her, and hopefully as time goes by I'll be able to communicate with her in Icelandic.

Today we went to a relative's 85th birthday. The place itself was quite small (maybe 55 square meters) and full of people. There were SO MANY DIFFERENT CAKES. Kannski (= maybe) about 10. Some were really good too. And coffee of course. I'm told this is quite typical for notable occasions in Iceland. And we also signed our names on a guestbook, which had signatures dating back to over fifteen years. Cool.

We have also found an apartment! It's the western part of town, barely still in the 101 postal code. A cozy little place, quite expensive but then this is Iceland. Hopefully we will move in there tomorrow, provided our bed-borrowing plans work out.

As we will be settling in this new place, there are many things ahead of me:

  • Moving on with the job applications
  • Finishing my residency paperwork
  • Getting used to the Icelandic keyboard layout
  • Figuring out where/when to take Icelandic lessons (according to J, this can be solved by going to eat twice a week at her aunt's place where her uncle will correct my Icelandic ruthlessly :))
  • Trip to Paris at the end of the month!
  • Taking pictures of Iceland to justify our recent purchase of expensive camera lenses

More to come,

Bless Bless

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