From Iceland — Sour Grapes And Stuff

Sour Grapes And Stuff

Published October 7, 2011

Sour Grapes And Stuff

Dear Grapevine,
If someone told me six months ago that apartment-hunting in Reykjavík could come close to a hellish experience, I would have (politely) laughed in his/her face. After a few weeks of endless hours behind my computer looking at listings and after millions of phone calls I am ready to beg forgiveness on my knees to that imaginary someone. I even regret not having accepted work in a slaughterhouse in the north of Iceland instead of moving to the capital; that’s how bad it is.
True, my partner and I are willing to be in the hype 101, and realizing we are making things more difficult for ourselves, we are now considering the neighbouring 105 and 107. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there are no apartment or houses available for rent. We actually have had some opportunities. The first apartment we looked at was a small basement studio where we couldn’t fit an extra chair. The second one was of reasonable size, location and price (!), but we could only stay until May -the apartment is rented to tourists for the summer. Fifteen times the rent of the winter months, how could anyone resist? The third one -well, I didn’t get to see the third one, because the landlord did not show up at the appointment he himself set up. The fourth one offered us no contract and required a five-months advance for rent. We politely declined. And so on… I’ve wondered what makes apartment-hunting so difficult in central Reykjavík. I haven’t come up with an answer. Maybe I’m just out of luck.
Dear Stephanie,
thank you for your letter. Yours is a plight many of us can relate to. We have had countless interns over the years who have spent half their stint with us just trying to find a decent, reasonably priced abode so they could stop couch-surfing their friend’s houses. It seems like the best way to find a place in this city is by good old-fashioned word of mouth—and that can be really hard when you have just moved here! What are you supposed to do? Just go hang out at a bar and tell every stranger you meet you need an apartment? That could seem like a really forward and creepy pick up line, right!?
We feel for you though, so until you do find a place to live, have yourself some t-shirts and stuff on us to help turn your luck around!

I noted the article on the homophobic pastor in Reykjavik, I think it goes beyond simply the money issue – the city refusing him money due to his homophobia. I cant find the article now, but it seems that his words were simply the “blaming the victims” of his homophobia for his problems, which should be pointed out to the readers. But there are much worse people – the vatican – a world wide conspiracy to deny equality to gay people.  you’ll be interested in the website     HYPERLINK “” t “_blank”      which in a number of pictures shows how the vatican supported hitler and his maniacs who murdered 6 million Jews, unknown numbers of gays, and yes slavs, gypsies and others.
now they of course hate gays and gay marriage.  see t he link   HYPERLINK “” t “_blank” See the link:      (about letter from Vatican telling bishops to hide the molestation. I’d be glad to write articles for you highlighting all the crimes of the catholic church, a worldwide monstrosity whose “protect life” campaign is designed to hide their involvement in the worst of the mass murders of history. And I’d ask that material I provide / give links to be rewritten in Islandic  by others and republished in other Islandic papers if possible. Are there any other Islandic web site blogs in English I would like to contribute to?  – regarding supporting gays and progressive people, and exposing the vatican of mass murder and hate. I was in Reykjavik in early august for gay pride and vacation in general.  If the whole world were Islandic,  gay marriage and love of our gay friends and neighbors would be universal, and war would simply be in the distant past horrors of human history. I’d move there in a second, even leaving my crabby wife, but for the distance to my children and grandchildren, and the long dark winters,
Stephen Kay
Dear Stephen,
Thanks for the links! That is some crazy shit up there. We always tread with caution around conspiracy theory stuff but it’s all worthwhile reading. Gotta say though, for someone who is so concerned about the rights of LGBT folks outside of their own country, it’s a little startling to see you dropping other not-cool terms like ‘gypsies’. That might be why your wife is so ‘crabby’.
Take care!

Okay, can someone tell me what’s so great about the KEF airport? Isn’t it supposed to be award-winning? Like the best in Europe? That’s what some Scotsman with a mohawk said. But it cannot possibly be the case. The self check in kiosks don’t work for US-bound flights! After trying three I asked for help, as did other ppl, and it turns out we like expected to know this fact that they don’t work if you are going to the States. They at least need a sign that says ‘Convenient check-in for European flights ONLY. US flights, see long ass line. Maybe somebody at this fine office can get to the bottom of this.
– Goldie Jasonberg
Dear Goldie,
thank you for your letter. Look. We are all for being cynical about Iceland, Icelandic xenophobia, Blue Lagoon, Keflavík Airport, Björk, whatever. HOWEVER, you gotta realise that not being able to self-check in at KEF airport is probably your own US government’s fault. Indeed, visiting the US entails ALL SORTS OF VESN, including filling out various forms, talking to scary security people that confiscate your hangikjöt and taking off your goddamn shoes all because of that one goddamn guy that tried to plant a bomb in his shoes (ONE GUY!!!! ONCE!!!). So write your letter to Barry Obama. He’ll fix it up real good, like your economy.  Then go occupy Wall Street. That is a great movement.

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