From Iceland — YOU’RE SUCH AN ASSHOLE and other phrases lost in translation

YOU’RE SUCH AN ASSHOLE and other phrases lost in translation

Published December 3, 2004

YOU’RE SUCH AN ASSHOLE and other phrases lost in translation

My eavesdropping took place in a cozy coffee shop. I’m glad we still have the choice between entering a smoky coffee shop in order to smoke it out even more, or to head for a smoke free one to listen to kids and crying babies.

Now the ‘kids’ I’m talking about aren’t the little ones sitting awkwardly on their chairs mashing up slices of a very expensive chocolate cake under the watchful eye of their mothers. I could make a whole Betty Crocker Devil food cake for the price of that slice…now eat it or pass it here! The kids I’m referring to are the ones Kalli Bjarni, the winner of Pop Idol Iceland, familiarized me with just the other day. I was watching the idiot box when Pop Idol Extra came on. Kalli Bjarni was there commenting on this seasons contestants. He was saying things like “the kids are great this season” See how stressed the kids are, I can remember how I felt and these kids must feel the same way”. I thought him a tad condescending referring to teenagers and people roughly the same age as himself as “kids.” I was later enlightened to the fact that it was just fine and dandy to refer to them as kids and that it had no derogative content whatsoever. Are these the people Kyle Minogue and Robbie Williams don´t mind doing it for?

Anyway, all this Kids stuff got me wondering if the young of this volcanic island, the 22, 23, 24 year olds are happily hanging onto their youthful sounding classification of “kids” because it’s not as malicious as being “á þrítugsaldri,” which sounds like your in your 30´s. I thought I was in my thirties. It was a nasty surprise to hear that here I am á fertugsaldri, which sounds like I´m in my 40´s. Which is almost reason enough to leave, krakkar mínir.

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