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So, two days ago AAH comes in and announces ‘Someone stole my scarf from downstairs!’* I immediately dismissed the remark with a ‘Yeh yeh,’ thinking that someone in the house must have taken it by mistake and that it would turn up sometime in the next few days.

Later that evening I was sitting at the computer and ordering some stuff from American Apparel [as you do], and suddenly wondered what size the dress-slash-top was that I wear a lot. It was downstairs on the clothes line, so down I went to check – only to discover it missing. It had been removed – and not from the end or beginning of the clothes line, but right from the middle, with a bunch of other laundry left hanging on either side. Something that doesn’t really gel with the notion that someone might have taken it by mistake.

This, I thought, warranted a little message to my immediate neighbours [who incidentally are all very good people] that I pasted up downstairs, asking them to check if the stuff had landed in their laundry by mistake.

The next day, as I was going out for my run, I met my neighbour across the hall, who remarked on my note. I explained, and then we had a good long gab session about all the recent excitement and the cops swarming around incessantly, etcetera. And then I went running.

On returning, I saw a scribbled note from the same neighbour, pasted to my door, asking me to knock when I came back. Turns out she’d gone downstairs and discovered clothes belonging to her son were missing – and they were not cheap clothes, either. One pair of Diesel jeans [worth ISK 17,000 – USD 250] and a fleece jacket from 66°N [worth around ISK 10,000]. Then this morning she discovered yet another item missing – a zipped hoodie.

On closer investigation, it turned out that the window downstairs had been forced open and damaged, i.e. it was just swinging loosely on its hinges, with the fastenings broken off. And also, other neighbours were missing stuff. Clothes. From the line.


So we called the police [i.e. we stuck our heads out through the front door and called them – they were everywhere] and gave a report. Break and enter. Theft. They were unsurprised. We asked whether it wasn’t just our friend next door who’d gone in the wrong window, perhaps? They said it probably wasn’t him, he wouldn’t do anything that close to home – they knew him. Indeed, a short while later, having had a word with the Prime Suspect, they said they had an idea of who it might have been. We shouldn’t get our hopes up, though, that they’d be able to recover the stuff. [Needless to say.]

Having given our report, we pumped them as to what was happening. Turns out Mr Tattoo was supposed to have vacated the apartment by 1 November, but he refused to leave. The ex-girlfriend had signed the lease, and she was up the creek because he wouldn’t get his ass out of there. Which is why she kept calling the police. They also said that he was well-known in the underworld, that they had been using a lot in that apartment, and that our tattooed friend hadn’t slept for about four or five days. They hastened to add, though, that as criminals go he was ‘ok’, he never did anything to ‘normal people’ unless prompted, and he was ‘fine’ with the cops, as in ‘he always drops his weapons and stuff’. [!!!] [Yet in spite of that, they saw reason to send in the Viking Squad – Iceland’s special forces – the other night and the next day, with at least one guy wearing a bulletproof vest. Very reassuring.]

Anyway, long story short, he’s gone now, as is the girlfriend and the ferocious-looking Doberman [that according to the cops is really a nice pooch. M-hm.]. Certainly their absence is keenly felt [the neurotic high brought on by constant tension has dissipated] but I have to say I’m immensely relieved. Now all we have to do is get past this feeling of violation as a result of the B&E – and put bars on the windows.

It’s mild – around 6°C – with moderate winds from the southeast and the odd shower. Right now there are scattered clouds with lots of blue patches in between. Sunrise this morning was at 09.16 and sunset at 17.05.

* We hang our laundry on clothes lines downstairs because I don’t believe in dryers.