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Published: October 29th 2012
· Like any metropolitan city Reykjavik has its share of graffiti. Some of the graffiti definitely makes an economic statement and warns of greed. Profound considering the economic crash that occurred in Iceland in 2008, making Iceland one of the hardest hit countries in the world.
· On one of the main streets there is a DJ that plays music throughout the day, allot of dance music, rap, etc. There is a lot of political statements stated as well but the ones I witnessed were not related to Icelandic politics – more world politics.
· There appears to be a worldly awareness and promotion of free speech here. I was also interested to find out that Iceland is one of the havens for journalists and one of its parliament members is closely tied to Wikileaks. Iceland also has a Modern Media Initiative.
· A Woman in Iceland is considered to be a man. What? Women are not referred to as women but as men and are referred to as ‘he’ instead of as ‘her’. Why? The word ‘man’ is a derivative of Human and since males and females are equal we are all therefore ‘men’. In Iceland you are an individual and therefore equal – this includes equal opportunity and equal pay. Canada and the US could take a lesson as should the rest of the world.
· Icelanders are notorious hard workers and many have more than one job. They have difficulty with downtime and are extremely driven. Weekends are not commonly associated with downtime and not working the weekend is considered almost ‘cheating’. (So I come by it naturally!)
· Iceland naming is based on patronymic and as a result the phone book is listed by first name, last name, occupation and the phone number. Icelanders are notorious for their sense of humor and due to their not having to prove their occupation there are…..
· I think I’d like to be listed as SæunnHoff, Cat Herder, 555-5555 (If you knew my day job, you’d understand that ‘cat herder’ is quite fitting.)
· Iceland is a safe country with an extremely low crime rate. When parents are shopping or going into a café, they leave the baby in the stroller outside. The fresh Icelandic air helps the baby sleep and the community acts as a unit, just like a family does. I find that quite profound and beautiful.
· In Iceland, if you speak English, language will not be an issue. Most Icelanders speak English extremely well.
· Iceland has an extremely high literacy rate and they are also very proud of their literary background (i.e. Icelandic Sagas). They offer a number of eclectic bookstores that also sell books in English and if you want to learn more about the history of the Icelandic Sagas check out the Icelandic Heritage Site.
· Iceland is not a cheap country. Even though it is not as expensive as it used to be expect to say goodbye to allot of cash. Gas is very high (as it is in many other European countries), food prices are high as is jewellery and clothing. They do have very unique finds though so I do recommend a shopping trip there – just keep in mind that even though there may be some deals to be had if you’re looking for something unique expect to pay for it.
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