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How many people does it take to make a grilled chicken?

There are so many jobs available here in Iceland right now it’s ridiculous. According to official figures, 4000 people are needed to fill current vacancies. Everywhere you go – the local bakery, video store, supermarket… there are job advertisements in the window. Bónus has promised a … um, bonus of ISK 50,000 [USD 715 / GBP 380] to any staff member who is able to recruit new workers, and the same goes for various places like nursing homes etc. that are really having trouble employing people. The other day I went to Hagkaup to buy a grilled chicken and there weren’t any. When I asked a floor worker if they were all out, I got a long loonnnng lecture about how understaffed they were and they hadn’t been able to grill any chickens because every person there had to do work equivalent to three people and the store manager had to work the cash and they just hadn’t had the damn time! I actually started walking backwards about 3 or 4 minutes into the lecture and the woman was still talking by the time I made it to the door. Gah!

Then the other day I managed to catch the mailman [actually mail woman] just as she was sticking the mail in our slot – I’d been waiting for an opportune moment to ask the person delivering our mail if he/she could actually read, because for the duration of the summer I’ve been getting letters addressed to my neighbour and she’s been getting mine and we’re forever sorting out each other’s mail from our own. At first I blithely thought, oh dear, the mail carrier has been a little careless today and shall be forgiven because my neighbour and I have the same first name and everything, but as it turned out it wasn’t an isolated incident and this was soon happening every damn day. I finally started getting a little sick of it when mail addressed to my neighbour’s husband started appearing in my mailbox, f’rcryingoutloud!

So anyway, I happened to be going in just as the mail woman arrived and I thought I’d just sort of casually mention this. Imagine my surprise when I was met with a blank stare, after which the mail carrier responded in English. And broken English, at that. Turns out the mail carrier is one of the myriad workers imported to save our asses in these times of economic prosperity, who can’t even tell the difference between Alda Kalda and Alda Someone-Else or Alda Someone-Elses’ Husband.

So it’s going to the dogs, I tell you. Never mind that I currently have more work pouring in than I can handle and was offered a high-paying job a couple of weeks ago that I had the luxury of actually refusing on the grounds that ‘it wasn’t right for me’. The thing is, I’m pretty sure this is directly caused by the economic boom resulting from our current government’s evil pact with Alcoa and all the money that’s being pumped into the country as a result. It will all be over soon but in the meantime we’ve got rising inflation and mail carriers that can’t sort mail and no grilled chickens. To the dogs, I say!

Magni was in a Kastljós interview on Sunday evening. Magni was in a Skjár 1 interview the next day. Magni was a guest on one of the radio programs this morning. Magni was spotted in the Penis Mall cinema catching a preview of the latest Borat flick. Magni will be playing a gig with fellow supernovarockstar Dilana and his old band here in Iceland in a couple of weeks. Magni, consequently, hasn’t been doing much sleeping like he said he would.

Pretty damn fine today. Went for a run along the seashore at lunchtime and was greeted by a jovial fellow in a suit who struck up a conversation [clearly he did not know that you do not strike up conversations with people who are running, but was forgiven because he seemed so happy]. ‘Beautiful day!’ he said, ‘But would probably be better for you if there was a bit of a breeze.’ I assured him that nonononono, breeze is not good for people in Iceland who are running and anyway, there is no such thing as no breeze along the seashore in the west end of Reykjavík. Still, there was only minimal breeze at noon today and that incredible crystalline light that had a hint of melancholy fall in it. Later it started raining and for a while there it was coming straight down, the sort of soft rain you get in other countries but hardly ever in Reykjavík where it tends to be horizontal. It’s getting dark early now, and around 6 pm it was sailing into evening already. Temps are currently a mere 8°C and sunrise was at 07.04 and sunset at 19.40.



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