You don't get what you deserve.
You get what you take.

-Nemi

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Yay!


Hekla, aka. the gateway to Hell

Althingi, the place where the vikings established the parliament and held their annual meetings.
The national day of Iceland, 17th of June.



Hiking to Esjan




Thor!


Working...


I'm moving to downtown tomorrow!

Also, I finally got the cable, so here's some pictures. Apparently the package had come here on 23rd, but the post probably thought that I can't be bothered getting it and never sent any notice. Today I finally went to ask for it and *tad-ah* it was there.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Food.

One of my favorite topics, so I thought that it's time for me to say something about the Icelandic food.

Food in here is mainly similar to other Nordic countries (yes Nordic, not Scandinavian, for those of you to whom I still haven't kept my lecture of the difference, here's a link http://satwcomic.com/how-the-north-works), but last week in Nordjobb and Snorri's Icelandic evening we had couple of exclusive delicacies. We got to taste fermented (=rotten) shark and a jello made out of sheep's head. I had great expectations towards the shark, since I had heard a lot about the smell. (Un)fortunately we were smart enough not to open it inside, but took it outside so the smell didn't get to us that strongly. The taste was not that bad, it was like a slightly dry fish, but I don't think that it was that bad. Worse was brennivin, the local schnapps, that was supposed to take the taste away. I should have had it the other way round. I must warn you people, if you're going to see me after I come back from here, be prepared ;) The jello was also pretty bland, it tasted like the jello made out of meat that we have in Finland. My dad told me that he still remembers that his relatives used to make jello out of head of a pig, so it really is not that different.

Other oddity (more common than those above though) that I've encountered in here is that people eat cereal and muesli with sour milk! I don't know if this happens anywhere else, but it would have not come to my mind. Or maybe it's just our hotel, if anyone knows more about this, please tell me. Personally, I think it's bizarre.

Then, apparently Icelanders love hot dogs, which are called pylsu, but I haven't tried one yet. They also love their yogurt Skyr, which is the made in some specific way and is almost non-fat, but it tastes like it's the creamiest thing ever. The texture is like in viili (Finns know), but it tastes so much creamier.

The one plus side of my work is that when a person checks out, everything we find from the room, we can keep. Of course, if it's something valuable or clothes, we take them to reception in case the person calls for them, but food etc. we can have. I've learned to love people who leave food in the rooms, and this happens quite often. There's usually chocolate or cookies, cheese, ham etc. in the fridge, and because we barely make living with the salary we get, it's wonderful to find something like this. For example, today I found from one room an unopened bag of pasta (1kg), an unopened jar of pasta sauce (500 g), some eggs and a packet of salt (the room was really messy so that was the least they could do for me..).

In Iceland, they don't celebrate midsummer, but because there's so many Swedish and Finnish Nordjobbars here, so we decided to gather at the beach, and just enjoy the evening, before going to downtown for the night. This was my first midsummer abroad (probably not the last one), and it was so hard for me, because I love midsummer so much. Luckily I had really good time, though this time it didn't involve planning a revolution.

It's unfair that all my friends gets to read what I've been up to and because I haven't had a regular internet connection I haven't really been in touch with anyone, so I challenge everyone to send me an email and to tell me what you've been up to lately (varsinkin suomalaiset kertokaa miten meni Juhannus).

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Rambling.

I'm starting to enjoy more of my second home now (hotel), after I realized that they have wifi in here! Of course I realized this after most of the nights I've spent here already, but oh well.

I remembered that last time I forgot to tell about the Independence day of Iceland, which was last Friday, on the 17th. The whole city went crazy already on Thursday (it felt like being at home when the celebrations started on the eve of the actual day) and we followed it the best we could. I was the lamest, going home already at 3.30 am. Surprisingly I wasn't awake to see the big parade on the next day, but later I went to see what was going on in downtown, and run into Siri and Kajsa. We walked around, seeing circus tricks, martial art tricks, bands etc. The whole city was a festival. I think Icelanders have a really nice way to celebrate their national day (I think all the Finns would agree that our way kind of sucks, but December doesn't give too many options..), though I didn't pull it through on Friday, because of the early wake up on Saturday (of which I got even lamer reputation from couple of americans). Pictures will follow later, I should get the cable some time next week.

I've started to become numb to this work, at least time goes fast and the routine has started to form, but I noticed that I'd need a helmet in here. As some of you know, I'm pretty accident prone, and I keep hitting my head on cupboards etc. at least twice a day. Also, my legs are full of bruises, of which I have no idea how I got them. Two weeks ago, my right ankle was swollen quite badly, and it still has quite horrible bruise, and I have no idea why. I think that subconsciously I'm trying to kill myself.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Shadows and highlights.

It's been a while now, and there are some great highlights so far, as far as some downsides. I'll go through the bad stuff first. We've had some issues with hotel staff, of which I have mentioned to some of you already and I'm not going to go into details in here. Shortly, it's quite clear that they don't really like us, so it'll be interesting two and half months left in work.. Also, I can't move from Seltjarnarness to closer (I would have had 2 different rooms in downtown available from 1st of July) before 1st of August, because I had to pay the deposit for another month too, and I'm not getting it back (one of the surprises in the beginning, no one told me that I'd have to pay two months right away). My parents have gotten couple of "delightful" phone calls within the past two weeks.. I'll just try to remember to breathe (ja päästellä muutaman ärräpään aina välillä).

Then the positive stuff. It has gotten warmer (sometimes it's even +16'C!!) so I can walk without a jacket every now and then :D I've also gotten to know some other Nordjobbars and hang out with them, survived from couple of nights out in Reykjavik, confirmed in the Reykjavik's night that how small the world is etc. I can't get enough of Nordic summer, the temperature is not that important as long as there's a lot of light. I love walking home during the night and you can still see the sun and the fact that it's never properly dark. Also, the nights (or more properly mornings) in Reykjavik are wild, no one goes to bars before 2 am, and the bars are open until 5 am. The amount of people on the streets from 1-5 am is confusing but also quite refreshing especially since it's also so bright.

On Wednesday we went for a hike on Esjan, a small mountain close to Reykjavik, and the landscape was so beautiful! I could have just spent hours there watching the scenery, but we had pretty strict schedule, so we almost had to run to the top and back. And I had been working for 9 hours before that, so I was half-dead already. After the hike I decided that since the last bus had gone already, I was not going to walk the 7 km home, so I took a taxi.

Today we were on the Golden Circle-tour, which meant seeing the Alþingi, place where the parliament was founded in 930 A.D and where it gathered ever since until 1700's. After that we went to see THE Geysir, though it's not working right now, but there's one right next to it that erupts every 10-15 mins. Then we went to a waterfall (I have some kind of a thing for running water, I could spend hours watching it), which was so wonderful that I didn't really want to leave. Finally we went to see quickly a crater lake, that had previously been a volcano apparently.

You won't be getting any picture yet, because of course I forgot to take the cable that transfers the pictures from camera to my laptop, and apparently no electronic store sells that cable in Reykjavik. Now I'm waiting that my mom sends it to me from Finland. I think that next time when I go somewhere I'll just leave the camera home, since I always forget some extremely important part of it, last time it was the charger.

I guess that's pretty much what I've been up to lately. I'll try to post some pictures as soon as possible, but I have no idea when I will get the cable. Also, I have even less time to proofread than usually (and you know how perfect english I write anyway..), so I have no idea if the sentences even make sense, I'm just too tired to even try to read this through now.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

First week behind.

I finally found an internet cafe to abuse, so I can post something about this place.

I work in a hotel as a cleaner and I also serve breakfast. The job is not the most glamorous, but will do for this summer. I found the first room with needles and blood already, so I'm kind of terrified of what other things I will find during the summer. However, it gives me a lot of time to think, which I'm not sompletely sure if it's a good thing. So far I've decided that the hotels should have copies of Edda instead of New Testament in their rooms. Also, I wonder if anyone has plantations for blueberries in Finland, because there probably wouldn't be need for them, since the forests are full of them anyway and the bears don't eat all of them. It would be cool to be a bear, because you just sleep all winter and while you're awake, you just try to eat as much as possible so you can sleep also the next winter. But you probably wouldn't see the Northern Lights then, so that's kind of a downside of being a bear.

I live in a bay right outside Reykjavik, in a place called Seltjarnarnes, which is about 30mins walk to the downtown, but about 15 km to my workplace. If I go to three directions from my flat (or a room), I get to the sea within less than 1 km. After being in ABQ, having sea this close is like a heaven to me. It's funny how the nature is in here, the hot water is not just heated water, but to my house it comes from three blocks away, there's a hot spring right around the corner. So the hot water really is hot, up to 80'C. Cold water comes from the groundwater like in Finland.

The downtown of Reykjavik is adorable, the whole city being like a one big old town. I had my first day off yesterday and another one today, so I haven't really been able to explore the city properly. Though I went to the National Museum yesterday with Nordjobb (though I was the only one besides the girl who organized the event), and got to see some really cool viking things :) Reykjavik is full of great street art, I'll be posting pictures later.
(I decided not to post pictures from the Deep South-tour, because there's just too many of them, and most of you will see them in Facebook anyway)