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The heat is on

The Christmas heat is officially on. Stressed-out Icelanders flocking to the mall – packing the stores that now stay open to 10 pm every night, and until 11 pm on the 23rd. YT made the insane mistake of heading to the Kringlan Mall yesterday afternoon (a Saturday!) only to get sucked into a car parking lot and winding up revolving around and around without parking-space success for a full half an hour. Now if there’s anything to challenge one’s hard-earned serenity, it is precisely that. Yet I’m pleased to report that YT remained impeccably cool and composed during the entire mall foray, even resisting the urge to fire acerbic remarks in the direction of snarky store clerks that have probably been pulling 13-hour days for longer than should be permitted. For being an Icelandic mall store clerk right now must be pretty much on par with being a relief worker in Iraq. When it comes to the most-trying-job-on-the-planet sweepstakes.

I’m also exquisitely relieved to report that the final Christmas gift is now in the bag and my biggest concern now is which bow to tie on which prezzie. Sweet!


Skyrgámur – Skyr Glutton. Yet another impish Lad with a penchant for breaking into houses and ingesting things. This one sniffed out the skyr barrels and gorged himself on their contents – skyr being a dairy product halfway between a cheese and a yoghurt, similar to German quark. Hm. Better than eating the burnt remains off the pots, I guess. These guys are getting more cultured by the day.


Yes, the day is over and midnight approaches. However, I can tell you that it was a nondescript sort of day; overcast, slight wind, not mild and not cold, just sort of there. (Which in itself is a Good Thing). Sunrise was at 11.21; sunset at 15.29 (yet again).



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  • Kim December 20, 2004, 5:58 am

    I tackled the mall yesterday, what a mistake! However on a brighter note, it is all done with the exception of the little odds and ends. If I’m reading this correctly, you had about 4 hours of daylight today? Wow and I thought only having 10 was bad!

  • Anonymous December 20, 2004, 2:47 pm

    Iceland sounds remarkably like Quebec City. We too braved the Mall, Saturday, but we went at 8:30 am and, thankfully, found a parking spot. Most Quebeckers don’t like to roll out of bed till 11. 😉

    And yes, store clerks here have been working their fingers to the bone too. I don’t know how anyone does it.

    ~ Wrywriter

  • Ruth December 20, 2004, 3:42 pm

    I’m proud to say that I’ve only been to THE MALL once and bought 2 tiny things! The rest, I’ve supported the local retailers in the little town of Alliston where I live. The worst shopping “nightmare” here is trying to cross the main street to get to the Stedmans Variety store, and lining up to purchase some neat cheap stuff where you can yak to all the people you know while you wait, and that’s half the line-up to be sure!
    You gotta love this town!!

    (Although, if it ever gets too hectic, by Alliston’s standards, I can always do the Seinfeld re-gifting thing with the various items that are in my Attic’s Gift Section!!)

  • Anonymous December 20, 2004, 6:04 pm

    No Mall going out in the sticks in Ontario! Feel like hypernating till spring. I woke up to -38C in this neck of the woods this morning, they say -43C with the windchill factor. BYW what is “windchill factor” in Icelandic, weather reporter?? Oh, the balmy weathers of ICEland. What a misnomer!


  • Alda December 20, 2004, 7:12 pm

    windchill = vindkæling 🙂