≡ Menu

And that’s why I love it when they speak to me in English

So AAH, whose hobbies include hanging out in cafés, decides she’d like to try working in one. That way she can combine the two, with the added bonus of getting paid. Being an ambitious sort, she picks the most popular café in Reykjavík and submits an application. She’s promptly called in for an interview.

INTERVIEWER: So do you have any café experience?
AAH: I worked in a bakery for about a month where they had a café.
INT: When can you start?
AAH: Um …
INT: Today?
AAH: Well, actually I have to …
INT: Tomorrow?

And so, for the past two days AAH has been pulling eight-hour shifts at the busiest café in town. She’s working again today and has been asked to work all weekend. They’re desperate for people, just like virtually every other place in town, and in fact it seems like she’s one of the few Icelanders working there. Half the staff speaks English at work.

The last time I blogged about this, it was still a novelty to go into a store or a café, address a staff member in Icelandic, and have them respond in English. Now it’s become par for the course and hardly warrants a raised eyebrow. Don’t misunderstand: it doesn’t bother me. I think it’s kind of fun. Plus it can only be an improvement, considering the fact that foreigners usually provide better service than Nicelanders and are usually better tempered too, like the African woman who works in Bónus who is always friendly and smiling, unlike her teenaged Icelandic counterparts. In other words, not only do foreign labourers help the economy, they may even help raise the standard of the Icelandic service industry. And as we all know, it would not be a moment too soon.

Which is stupendously gorgeous and I don’t know why I am still hanging around inside. It’s time to hit the pool again to soak up some rays. Yowsa! What a life of luxury I lead these days, it’s quite decadent. Current temps 16°C [59F], sunrise at 3.02 am, sunset at 11.59 pm.