From Iceland — A Personal Account From The Big City

A Personal Account From The Big City

Published July 14, 2014

On 'dating' in Reykjavík

A Personal Account From The Big City
Gabríel Benjamin
Photo by
Jói Kjartans

On 'dating' in Reykjavík

I accept the date request after doing some Facebook reconnaissance and looking into our mutual friends. As soon as we walk into the restaurant, I spot three of my acquaintances, who eye us curiously and follow us with furtive glances.

Once we start dining, we ask each other where we went to school, which is really a way to ask, “do you know this person?” We’re in the middle of discovering that his old classmate is my co-worker and that my friend is the mother of his co-worker’s child when a woman I know from law school enters the establishment.

Much to my horror, she marches right over to us, and if that wasn’t bad enough it turns out that she knows my date as well. Then comes a flood of questions, such as when we got together. We mumble that we’re not really together and the shameful silence that ensues makes her realise what’s going on and she smirks at us. She then delivers a speech about the possibilities of us having a happy future together while we try to get out of the situation by diverting our attention to the desert menu. She declares that we have a shot at success despite the fact that we are pretty different. Now we know that.

Walking back after the meal he spots an ex-girlfriend of his (who I remember from primary school) and we avoid a potentially awkward reunion by jumping into the first taxi that we see coming down Laugavegur. Behind the wheel is my uncle Gunnar who greets us warmly. Our farewell moment in Vesturbær was even more uncomfortable. I imagine my entire mother’s family has heard about the boy who gave Hildur a ride home.

Over the next few days I got a series of messages from inquisitive friends, because like in any small village, good news travels fast. My date and I, however, decided that we wouldn’t be going on more dates. It’s still great to know that I can expect to run into him all over the place from here on out.

We need more people in this country. Let’s ease up on our immigration policy.

Article by Hildur, translated by Tómas Gabríel Benjamin.

A version of this piece originally appeared in Fréttablaðið and on Ví

Hildur Sverris 2

Hildur is a lawyer and a member of the City Council.

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