August 31, 2005
I have had the worst day. The worst.
First my paycheck was far too low. I went to see my boss, ready to bite his head off. It turns out I'm the one who messed up, and part of my paycheck ended up in another girl's account because of it. The problem is, she already quit, and has switched her mobile phone off, and disappeared. My co worker Thorunn says she probably ran off to Argentina with my money.
Just when I was beginning to feel better, I found out that I failed my course in statistics & research methods.
August 29, 2005
What is interesting about the last few days, is the amount of famous people I've bumped into here in Reykjavik.
I myself am not much into celebrities. I don't watch television, don't listen to the radio, and couldn't name a single song on the top 10, and not even a single movie currently at theaters. I do, however, read newspapers obsessively, and listen to my own, "exotic" music.
A lot of world famous musicians have visited Iceland, but I have never been to any concerts. The only celebrity I ever saw in real life was Bjork, since she spends a lot of time in Iceland. I've seen her on several occasions in town or at the mall. But she doesn't count, since she's Icelandic.
But when I was a teenager, I was much more into movies & popstars (what teenager isn't?). When I was 13 I saw "Terminator 2" about 45 times!
That's why it was pretty cool when Robert Patrick came into my shop the other day. (He's not scary at all in real life :p).
Then earlier this evening 2 men entered the shop. I didn't pay them much attention, until finally one of them decided to buy something. He commented on my "Segafredo Reykjavik" t-shirt (which has the names of a bunch of cities worldwide on it), and mentioned that he had been to most of the cities, since he was touring with a band. I asked him what band it was, and he answered "Joe Cocker. Do you know Joe Cocker?".
I said yeah of course, but.. come on, really, is he in Iceland?
So we ended up having a quite long and really nice conversation, and he said he was going to stop by at the shop again.
And I have since found out that Joe Cocker is indeed in Iceland :)
Last night I was on my way home from work, at around 19:30 in the evening. I got on the bus, and guess who comes staggering, completely drunk, with his jeans looking like they're about to fall off, into the bus? Bobby Fischer himself!
And his girlfriend (she was wearing a sweater from my shop!). They sat down very close to me, so I could hear everything they said (he talked the whole way). I was really amused when he was harassed by a bum who sat down behind him, padded his shoulder and asked in Icelandic: "so have you learned any Icelandic yet?". He tried to ignore him, and kept talking to his girlfriend. He spoke loudly, and sometimes he laughed incredibly insanely. He was complaining about some lawyer he called a crook.
I don't know why a rich guy like Bobby Fischer was on my bus. I could tell that he doesn't take the bus a lot, though, cause he and his girlfriend were completely lost, and kept wondering about where to get off.
Since I help foreigners for a living, speak English with confidence and know my way around Reykjavik very well, I could have offered my assistance, and normally I would have done so to the lost foreigners sitting next to me... But I just sat there, and let Bobby Fischer do what he should have done a long time ago: Get lost.
I haven't stopped blogging, really, I haven't!
The truth of the matter is that I am, and have been, working like a dog. I've basically just been working every single day, all day, all the time. And I shall continue to do so for several more days..
I was dying to express myself after the disengagement. The reaction of Abu Mazen and the Arab world had me depressed for several days. My mind was constantly filled with these incredibly evil thoughts about dancing on Sharon's grave, and similar things. I thought it would be best if I didn't say much (since I don't want everyone to know what an awful person I am), and I didn't have the time. I just read the online news during quiet times at work. After a few days of depression and intense anger, I "magically" became more optimistic. I thought to myself:
"Hey, this is Israel we're talking about. In Israel, shit happens. It's always been like that, it will always be like that. Bad shit happens, but sooner or later, Israel is gonna get some of the good stuff as well".
In other words.. Someday, whether it will be while I am still alive or not, Israel will get back their land. There will always be fighting, problems, hatred.. sure, at least to some extent. But there will be better times. The battle isn't lost forever. Not at all.
August 18, 2005
I myself scored a 7/9 on this, and I wasn't too far off on the mistakes I made. The only negative thing about this quiz is the fact that the people who are going to be taking it, are those who are least in need of realising just how little they know.
Trackback URL: http://blog2.mu.nu/cgi/trackback.cgi/109087
Trackback from Abracadabrah, How Much Do You Know about Gaza:
How Much Do You Know about Gaza? Unfortunately, not as much as I should...
August 16, 2005
Israeli soldiers weep with Jewish settler as Gaza synagogue is dismantled.
An Israeli soldier embraces Gaza settler evicted from home.
And to think that this is being done by Israelis, Jews. And all for nothing.
That a tragedy, what a complete and utter tragedy.
This is certainly not the first time a post from Reb Lazer makes me cry. But it is the first time I cry out of grief.
An Open Letter to Arik Sharon
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
On two occasions, when you were Defence Minister under Menachem Begin of blessed memory, you gave me bear hugs: Once was in June of 1981, and the second time a year later, in August of 1982. Back then, after having put my country way ahead of my own life, you told me that if I ever need anything from you, I should feel free to ask. Over twenty years have transpired, and despite lean times, I've never asked of you the slightest favor. But now, I'm calling in my marker; not for my own benefit, but for the benefit of the settlers of Gush Katif and Shomron, and for the benefit of our beloved country Israel.
Daniel Pipes wrote this morning in USA Today that you are making the worst mistake ever made by a democracy. He says that you are letting down the other countries that have been combatting terrorism - such as the USA and the UK - by relinquishing to terror. You and I both know that this move - the first time in history that settlers are being been ejected from Jewish land in Israel - won't lead to peace. Once you allow our bloodthirsty neighbors to taste Jewish blood together with Jewish soil, they go into a frenzy. Already, they are chanting for all of our blood and all of our soil. Turn on your radio to almost any Arab station you like - they're all singing in the streets, "Fallastin, ya habib, udrub udrub Tel Abib!" (Beloved Palestine - continue quickly to Tel Aviv!).
August 15, 2005
I don't know why they're making this such a big story though, I guess it must be pretty rare. But I love this guy! I wish he could have himself cloned :)
Something really startled me when I read this article and saw his photo.
He is my late father's doubleganger. I have been staring and staring at his photo, and there is no mistake. He looks almost exactly like my father (who had no interest in Israel), did at the time I was born. How strange is that?
(And no, not all Scandinavian men look the same!).
I can't say I'm "taking this very well". Like all of you, I've known it was coming, but I'm still in some sort of a state of shock. I spent last night watching images from the 1982 evacuation of Sinai, which has been on my mind a lot lately.
I don't only feel for Israel, for making such a terrible mistake, and for the settlers, for losing their homes.. But also for the soldiers who have no choice other than to carry out such a mission.
Where does 'giving everything up for peace' take you? As I have pointed out earlier, the answer goes something like: This
August 12, 2005
I don't know about the rest of you, but I am soooo unbelievably addicted to google that it's not even funny. I wonder how many times a day I 'google' something, seriously. 50 times a day? But as useful, fun and helpful google can be... Well, let me just tell the story!
As I have previously mentioned, I have a program called "statcounter", which allows me to see where my readers are coming from, and how they found my website. Most of the people who read this page are returning visitors from Israel, USA or Europe. I am also unfortunate enough to get several visitors a day from USA who have found my blog after typing "photos of Icelandic women" (or something else about Icelandic women, ehrm), in search engines, usually google. It is still understandable that google should direct them here, since I am, after all, both Icelandic, and a woman.
Today on the other hand, I saw something quite unusual in my statcounter's "referring link" section. I saw that an American visitor had found my website, Hatshepsut, by typing the following in google search "pictures of ugly brides"!
How thoughtful of google to think of ME!
I clicked on the link and reached this place in google, and I saw that it had one sponsoring link. It made me laugh like an immature 12 year old brat: "All fat women supersite" - A dating website for fat women exclusively!
I actually ended up getting stuck there for a substantial amount of time. It was very interesting browsing through the women's profiles, because they were asked to rate their own appearance with words such as supermodel, pretty, average, girl next door, feminine, some find me attractive, etc etc. They all had photos of themselves, so I found it interesting how their own ratings didn't do much to describe their appearance, but rather their personalities (their ratings were often very unrealistic).
Oh and just for the record, I didn't sign up :p
I'm so glad they kicked their butts. Just like Yediot Ahronot's article says, victory is indeed sweet for Israel's Maccabi Petach Tikva, against the shamless Macedonian team, their idiot coach, and most importantly, the Macedonian fans:
Israeli team Maccabi Petach Tikva overcomes arrogance, anti-Semitism in outstanding opening game of UEFA Cup competition
Victory is sweet - A UEFA cup soccer game between Maccabi Petah Tikva and Macedonian team Baskimi ended in anti-Semitic chants of “heil Hitler” by Macedonian fans, after the Israeli team won an overwhelming victory of 5-0 over their Macedonian hosts.
Petah Tikva, second in the national league, reacted with much anger to comments by the Macedonian coach, who said before the game that his team would humiliate the Israeli team and predicted a 3-0 outcome in his favor.
But the remarks, and 1,500 hostile Macedonian fans were unable to deter Petah Tikva from placing five unanswered goals in the back of the Macedonians' net, marking a promising start to a campaign to qualify for the UEFA Cup first round.
The mood in the Petah Tikva camp was excellent following the game, despite, or perhaps in spite of repeated anti-Semitic chants called out by the Macedonian fans during the game, including “heil Hitler” and “Allahu Akbar.”
Petah Tikva’s president, Amos Lozon, said after the game that his team’s opponents “choked. We did it, and did it easily, and we opened with a powerful blitz. The team was fully prepared, and we were aware of their weak points. It's not that they’re such a weak team, we simply played an outstanding game,” said Lozon.
See, I always knew computer games were a nasty habit. So apparently, they can kill you. Don't believe me? Check this out?
Man dies after 50 hours of computer games
South Korean left seat in Internet cafe only to use toilet, take brief naps
SEOUL, South Korea - A South Korean man who played computer games for 50 hours almost non-stop died of heart failure minutes after finishing his mammoth session in an Internet cafe, authorities said on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old man, identified only by his family name Lee, had been playing online battle simulation games at the cybercafe in the southeastern city of Taegu, police said.
Lee had planted himself in front of a computer monitor to play online games on Aug. 3. He only left the spot over the next three days to go to the toilet and take brief naps on a makeshift bed, they said.
Am I being narrow minded when the following thought enters my head: Why oh WHY did this man not just ... do something else with his time?!
August 11, 2005
I have done nothing useful today. I've had a flu for several days now, due to riding my bike home in the freezing cold the other evening. As if that weren't enough, I'm pms'ing, and I should be studying for my summer exam.
Instead, I've done.. Nothing. Infact, here is a list of the things I've done today:
1. Had breakfast
2. Had a second breakfast (I always do that cause I get hungry almost right away again)
3. Taken about 4-5 naps, some short and some long.
4. Eaten tremendous amounts of chocolate.
5. Had lots and lots of coffee and Swedish pastilles Lakerol (I am so addicted).
6. Written e-mails
7. Sms'd all my friends and told them off for not calling me
8. One friend I sms'd and demanded an explanation for him ignoring me (for about 1,5 days). He then called and said that he had just re-filled his phone card, so I took a chill pill (in the form of Lakerol, hehe).
9. Checked my e-mail about 30 times, even checked my university mail
10. Read every major online newspaper in the English speaking world, as well as several other languages.
11. Tried to make my disgracefully bitten nails look better, even though I know I'll bite them right again right away.
12. Listened to the same Ofra Haza songs over and over (that's nothing new, though :/.)
13. Listened to my favorite Kent album over and over. Also nothing new. I love that band..
14. Eaten more chocolate
15. Sent silly messages to my msn contacts that are "away", and then gone offline quickly so that they don't have time to respond.
16. Oh and I did actually go talk to my landlady. I asked her if she had a stamp (cause I couldn't be bothered going all the way to the post office to get one lousy stamp). She said she didn't, but that she did have a funny story concerning a stamp! (My landlords always have a funny story). Then she told the story.
17. Sat in my chair in the dark, and thought to myself that I should consider getting a new filofax, since the one I've had since I was 17 is getting kind of stuffed.. Then thought about what an exceptionally organised person I am.
18. Decided that tomorrow I will study really hard, all day, and eat no chocolate. But today, oh today.. I'll just take another chill pill :-)
So as you people can hear, I am ill, bored and home alone. So I encourage everyone to send me e-mails, sms's, jokes and anything else fun you can think of! Right now I think I'll go hit the sack, with Ofra Haza's "Shir Ahava l'Chayal" completely stuck in my head. Hopefully I'll dream I'm eating a gigantic cream cake, like I did last night.
August 10, 2005
I thought this was a nice touch from BBC News: Victims of the bombings
Fifty-two people were killed in the four bombs which exploded in London on 7 July 2005. Click on the names below to read an obituary of each victim. They are grouped by the location of the blasts which claimed their lives.
I have a love/hate relationship with the BBC. It is based 90% on hate, but 10% on love, since sometimes they provide a reader with material that just makes such an interesting read. And furthermore, I read everything. But the BBC is not in my favorites ;)
What I feel is useful about showing the world the "faces behind the names of the victims", is the fact that it makes everything more real. Not only do they show the faces, but they write a short biography about each and every person. Here is the biography of the Israeli woman who was killed, Anat Rosenberg.
For someone who has had a number of people look me in the eye and tell me that "hamas is just a political organisation", I have to say that I wished Israeli victims of homicide bombings would be made more visible, as opposed to invisible and thus dehumanised.
Turkish press says police arrest 10 al-Qaeda men suspected of planning attacks against Israelis; Cell was responsible for 2003 bombings of synagogues, British Consulate and British Bank in Istanbul that killed 60 people; Counter-Terrorism Bureau says travel alert regarding southern Turkey still valid
It is only a matter of time before London's financial centre is attacked by terrorists, police believe.
I am officially through with defining locations as "safe" or "unsafe". It keeps becoming more and more evident that in life, anything and everything can happen, regardless of how safe one feels. Even this 'safehaven' where I myself live is under constant danger of earthquakes, volcano eruptions and avalanches.
So we all better just spend our time wherever we feel good. Wherever that might be.
August 09, 2005
A conversation with my dear old granny yesterday:
Grandma: When will you be graduating?
Maria: Next spring
Grandma: What are you going to do after you graduate? (She's asked me this a million times before, but she's almost 80..).
Maria: Go to Israel to study.
Grandma: Israel, ISRAEL. Oh dear Lord, ohh you'll be killed, kiiilled! They will blow you up.
Maria: It's highly unlikely.
Grandma: But Israel is very dangerous.
Maria: Several other countries are just as dangerous, except you'd be in danger of getting shot, stabbed or mugged instead.
Grandma: Well, I am not leaving this country! It's best to just stay here so I won't be blown up, shot, stabbed and robbed!
Maria: So you think it's better to stay here and die of boredom?
Grandma: Well dying of boredom.. That isn't good. But, if you get shot, it'll happen so fast you won't even have time to be bored!
August 07, 2005
I wonder how the average Frenchman would respond, if I told him the story I am about to tell you, considering the fact that the French are known to be very proud of their country & heritage.
I can not remember being so young, that I didn't know what the flag of Britain looks like, or The United States, the Scandinavian countries, and several others (such as the Israeli). I remember when I was 6 years old. I was standing in a staircase in our house in Norway, and my father told me "yes is 'ja' in English, and no is 'nei'". I repeated 'yes', and 'no'. I had learned my first words in English, the language they spoke on Falcon Crest and Dynasty. Shortly after, also at the age of 6, my father taught me all the capitals of Europe, taught me to count in Spanish, French and German, and a few years later taught me basics of Spanish (he was quite enthusiastic about me learning languages, since he himself spoke 11 languages).
In the part of the world where I live, people normally speak 2 or 3 languages. In Iceland people always speak Icelandic, the native language. Most people speak enough English to get by in daily life, and many people speak, or at least understand, Danish (since we study it at school). There are also those (and they're not few), who speak a 4th language. People have a good idea about the major capitals of the world, at least Europe, and can point out the flags of the "most important" countries in the world. People like myself, who know the population of Mongolia, and know what year Papua New Guinea became independent, are considered to be freaks and nerds, of course (well there aren't a lot of people who spent their entire teens reading geography books and National Geographic), but what I am saying is that people aren't entirely clueless about the world.
This is why I am so often stunned by the things that Americans and Canadians sometimes say. I usually defend them. I usually say that it's wrong to stereotype (which it is), that this and that is wrong. But that still won't change the fact that there is a substantial percentage of people in these countries whose ignorance regarding the rest of the world is simply beyond my comprehension. I am not able to understand how they were able to reach adulthood without learning even a little about the outside world, since my knowledge was superior to theirs even at the age of 6 (*note that I am only talking about a percentage. Many, many Americans and Canadians are among the most intelligent people I know).
An incident, one of many, that took place at work a couple of days ago, is an example.
At work we sell these little flag pins. A lady, around 40 years old, comes up to me with the flag of Belgium, and asks "is this the flag of France?". I said no, that's Belgium. Then she asks if I could show her what the flag of France looks like! I said I would, but before I could, she had already pointed at the Irish flag, and asked if that was it. I told her no, that this was Ireland. I showed her the French flag, and she bought it. Then she asked "is this the flag of England?!". It was. How impressive. Then she said "but you don't have Canada?".
That's how I know she was a Canadian.
If anybody out there is not appalled by this story, I advise you to go to this website: flags and maps of the world, and get a basic idea about what the world around you looks like!
Tony Blair - Tougher than the posh British accent would have you think!
One really cannot help but give attention to how Tony Blair is tackling the recent terror bombings in London. He has apparently decided to show the world that you don't mess with the English. And why on earth not? Why shouldn't he protect his people from dying? He'd make a lousy leader if he didn't. (And as you know, I am all for countries protecting their innocent citizens, ehrm.. ). The New York Times headline reads "Blair is seeking to curb radicals who preach hate" (referring to the fact that bookshops selling books that encourage suicide bombings will be shut down).
Prime Minister Tony Blair promised new measures on Friday to close down mosques and bar or deport clerics deemed to be fostering hatred and violence, bringing Britain's antiterrorism policy more into line with some of its neighbors' and answering critics who say the country has sheltered Islamic extremists for years.
He also said two Islamic organizations would be banned. A global list would be drawn up of people "whose activities or views pose a threat to Britain's security," and they would be kept out of Britain.
"Let no one be in any doubt," he said at a news conference. "The rules of the game are changing." (Wow!)
What I found interesting was that the Icelandic article that covered the matter had a slightly different take on it. Their headline was "Human rights come second" (referring to the fact that a lot of people who are suspected of involvement in terror will be deported, even if it can not be proven). I found that quite interesting. After thinking about it for a while, I reached the conclusion that no matter how people fake concern, all they truly care about is themselves. The British only began condemning terror when they themselves were victimized by it.
Scandinavians call protecting your citizens from terrorism violation of human rights. I wonder how the people of Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Reykjavik would respond to a guy called Mohammed, Khaled or Abdullah blowing himself and 300-500 Scandinavians up? They might become less "politically correct".
August 04, 2005
I am somehow not willing to write post after post describing the accurate details of all the dramatic events taking place during the preparations of the disengagement. At least not right now. I'd rather write about something more positive. Here's something that made me laugh like an idiot:
Apparently, David Beckham just found out he's Jewish!
See, on this picture he's got a hat and a beard! :p
The news didn't really come as much of a surprise to me for 2 reasons:
The first was that I already knew that David was raised by Jewish parents (he was adopted). Jewish parents often prefer a Jewish child. Secondly, he's supposed to be the world's best football player. He is thus, in a way, bound to be Jewish. Why? Well, Jews seem to have at least one guy who is best at everything, no matter how useless and ridiculous the subject. Jews even have the "best" pornstar.
By this I am not saying that Jews are in some way "superior" to anybody else. But I am mentioning the effects of what my shrink (and yes, I see a shrink, and he's a genius) once talked about. He said how the greatest inventions, achievements and ideas have very often come from nations/people/ethnic groups that are going through great difficulties. Hardship forces the mind & body to go further. An easy life, does not.
Oh so, maybe that's why David Beckham, Elvis Presley and Ron Jeremy are Jewish.. Hah oh I crack myself up sometimes :-)
And yes I'm sure Orly will criticise everything I just wrote. Go ahead Orly, give it your best shot!
August 01, 2005
Today was a national holiday in Iceland. Pretty much everything was closed. I was working, because the shop where I work is a tourist shop, but almost everything else was closed.
I didn't really have a good day today. It was very busy, lots of unpleasant incidents, and I'm basically getting more and more tired of the tourists with all their problems and attitudes (although many of them are really nice, and I like all the British ones). But okay enough whining! So eventhough I'm a very hard worker, and definitely a perfectionist, I suppose I am beginning to become less enthusiastic about solving the many problems of my darling tourists (although I still do it, constantly).
But this morning a rather bizarre incident occurred.
It was about 45 minutes after I opened the shop, so it was one of the few places in Reykjavik that was open. A middle aged couple entered the shop. The man looked quite troubled. He was sweaty and breathing heavily. I didn't think much of it at the time, I thought that he had just been walking fast (he was quite overweight). They approached me and asked me where they could find a pharmacy that is open. (*most tourists aren't willing to go anywhere that is far from the center of the city). So I casually told them that since it's a holiday, pharmacies are closed. The man seemed to become very desperate, and asked me "so what are people supposed to do if they need medicine?". I asked him what he needed, and he said he needed medicine.
Then he and his wife began speaking to each other in Hebrew in front of me. Like magic, I turned into the world's most helpful store worker. I told them there was a pharmacy that is open, how to get there, where to get a taxi, the number of a taxi in case there was none at the closest station, where to find a payphone, where to find an emergency medical center, etc etc. I wrote everything down on post-its for them. The man, who was clearly feeling ill and desperate, thanked me again and again, and they rushed off.
I should turn into this super-helpful-lovely person for everybody. Well, it's not like I wouldn't have told a sick German or Taiwanese person about the open pharmacy, of course I would have. But because it's the right thing to do. Not because I would have enjoyed helping them. Maybe I'm just a bad person.
It is funny how there are things we've never even noticed, never even thought of, until an outsider makes it clear to us.
A funny and meaningless incident took place when I was standing in line at the grocery store on my lunchbreak today. The young man who was standing in front of me in the line had a bag from the snackbar, which sells things like peanuts, dried fruits, etc. It was obvious by his appearance that he was not local, so the guy by the cash register spoke to him in English:
Salesperson: You are with this?
Foreigner: Excuse me?
S: You are with this?
S: YOU.. are with THIS (pointing at the bag from the snackbar).
I stood there listening to this conversation. I translated "you are with this?" into Icelandic in my head. It becomes "þú ert með þetta?", meaning "do you have that", although the translation would literally be "you are with this".
I explained this to the tourist. He thanked me, and said he was getting very confused, and said that he did not know what the salesman had wanted!
So it is funny, how organising ones words wrongly can be the cause of such confusion.