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Arriving in Iceland

Iceland (or what I’ve seen of it) is breathtakingly beautiful. The landscape is otherworldly: mostly even, with little vegetation and large volcanic masses jutting out of the earth at irregular intervals as whispers of snow dot the ground. (Take that, female character on the Mighty Ducks 2, whose best description of Iceland is “very green”).

Upon arrival I discovered how difficult it is to adapt to a no-decimal system of currency, especially when tired (I may have taken ten times the amount of cash out of the ATM than I had intended). I had also read that Iceland is expensive. It really is. Not particularly friendly to a couple of students on a tight budget staying for a week. The experience of being here is quite thrilling enough, but it’s difficult to keep running into people who insist you must go angler fishing, scuba diving, snow mobiling and eat at the fancy revolving restaurant or else you’ve wasted your time coming.

Reykjavik is beautiful with all the Christmas lights still up and advent candles in so many windows. The sun begins setting around 2:30pm and it is completely dark by 5:45, so the lights are fully appreciated.

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So far we’ve had a bit of a lazy time here, tending to  domestic tasks. We did the grocery shopping, attempting to find the simplest foods we can prepare for the most reasonable cost (not an easy task). We have also discovered there are exactly zero Laundromats in all of Reykjavik. Our small guestroom basin has now seen a fair bit of handwashing and is likely to see a fair bit more.

We did got for a walk this afternoon, but after all the shops had closed (turns out they all turn in early on new year’s eve), and we did find that the frozen city pond was home to a number of geese and ducks.

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Fireworks having been steadily increasing since about midday today and we are about to head up to the church (the high point of the city) to witness the majority of them being set of from after 10pm. Hopeful we will find a famous Icelandic New Year’s bonfire as well. There is also snow forecast for around midnight – we might be lucky!

Life in the world’s most northern capital  city is quite enjoyable so far. Happy New Year’s Eve all!

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Misc 'n' Stuff, travel

 

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The Land of Oz

I’m proud to be Australian, to call this land my home,
With sapphire seas surrounding bush,
Cobalt skies and cracking storms
That kiss our suburnt plains.

We lack distinctive culture, that foreign lands possess,
But in that lack, we find ourselves,
Declaring our culture the best.

Vegemite belongs on toast, no one argues that,
But fridge or pantry wages on, preference passed from father to son.
Thongs go on your feet,
Tomato sauce on a meat pie,
The cricket on the telly and a coldy by your side.

We shorten any name we deem to long to say,
And lengthen some with an ‘o’
Because we like it more that way.

Though we claim to be laid back
Our expressions are anything but.
You could be flat out like a lizard drinking,
And that bloke’s head is emptier than a pollie’s promise,
But we all deserve a fair go.

No one likes a bludger, but that is no excuse,
To treat other people badly, especially those who need refuge.
Our country is not war torn and we sure aren’t lacking space,
So we can be polite and helpful to those who are displaced.

Grab a slice pav, a lamington or two,
Finish off your lamb chop and swig down some home brew,
Gather by the backyard pool or lay down at the beach,
Cos a day off’s what an Aussie loves, if he’s downright true blue.

Here’s to our fair country and to all those living here,
The indigenous and everyone who’s landed after them.
We really are quite lucky to live in a place like this
Have a cracker celebration in a country that’s pure bliss.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Misc 'n' Stuff

 

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