MOST AWESOME LETTER:
I AM A NEWFOUNDLAND FISHERMAN AND TODAY MY GRANDDAUGHTER AND I FOUND A LETTER IN A BOTTLE THAT WAS THROWN OVERBOARD OFF ICELAND ON NOVEMBER 19, 2009. MY GRANDDAUGHTER WOULD REALLY ,LIKE TO CONTACT THE LITTLE GIRL WHO SEND THE LETTER ( BY WAY OF HER FRIEND’S FATHER WHO IS ALSO A FISHERMAN ). HERE IS THE INFORMATION WE HAVE.
THIS CHILD IS NAMED LARUS AND WENT TO A PLAYSCHOOL CALLED HOLT IN INNRI, NJAROVIK. HE/SHE WOULD BE 5 NOW AND WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE KNOWING THE BOTTLE WITH THE NOTE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA.
I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO REACH THIS PERSON, BUT PERHAPS YOU COULD HELP.
THANKS, DAVID BOYD
YOU MAY CHECK OUT MY WEBSITE FOR CONTACT INFO
Dear David Boyd,
This is awesome. This is so awesome that you have just won yourself TWO PAIRS of WOOLLEN SOCKS FROM GEYSIR (one for yourself and one for your granddaughter, perhaps). Wow, we thought everything we threw out to sea ended up in Greenland or some island of trash like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (AKA the Pacific Trash Vortex), which floats around the Pacific. Anyways, we have so many questions! Like, what did the message say?
To clear up: Larus from Holt í innri Njarðvík is definitely a boy. No little girl in Iceland could possibly be called Larus. In Iceland, girls are not allowed to have boy’s names and boys and not allowed to have girl’s names. There is actually a special Naming Committee that oversees all of this. However, if you are a boy that feels trapped in a girl’s body, you can have gender corrective surgery after undergoing a series of interviews that are meant to determine whether or not your feelings are merited (it’s a bit more complicated than that, of course. You can read more about it on page ten, where we interview Anna Kristjánsdóttir, the first Icelander to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. Her story is fascinating and inspiring).
ANYWAY. We’re not sure how to reach him/her, BUT it’s actually probably not too difficult. We are a fairly small country and if she really is called Larus, well then there certainly aren’t more than one of those at school (and even if it’s a boy called Larus. There are not a lot of people in Innri Njarðvík). Hopefully one of Larus’ relatives will spot this letter and pass it on! Let us know if they do, and remember to write us about the woollen socks!
I just returned home from a trip to your island. We had a fantastic time, but I would like to point out one aspect of our trip which left us (the majority of our party) feeling…well… a bit violated. It is the practice of having your guests strip nude in front of other people in order to swim in the geo-thermal pools. An older Icelandic woman even had the audacity to show me where the soap was. I am a clean person, who bathes regularly and being subjected to this made me feel horrible. Where can Americans who are not used to stripping nude in front of other people swim in Iceland and have you all considered how this infringes on our rights to be modest and in several cases our religious beliefs?
Shirley Tatum, San Antonio Texas, U.S.A.
Dear Shirley Prude Tatum,
If you don’t feel comfortable showering before taking a dip in our swimming pools, we kindly ask you to stay out of them. People like you are ruining our swimming pool experience. Nobody wants to swim around in somebody else’s filth. It just totally grosses us out.
As the signs in the showering area CLEARLY show, you must wash all six-body parts before entering the pool. In case you missed them, it’s simple; they are all of the ones that grow hair.
Bottom line, we Icelanders take great pride in our personal hygiene, and our right to have clean pool water trumps your right to be prude and your right to worship The Swamp Thing or whatever entity it is that forbids you to shower in public.
Seriously, though, is that in the Bible somewhere? Did the same Lord who allegedly created all of our wonderful bodies (you should see some of those bodies He worked on, they look frickin’ GREAT. Praise unto Him) declare somewhere in His scripture that they were EVIL and to be hid away for all eternity? That doesn’t sound like Him at all. Frankly, it seems ludicrous to suggest that the same omniscient, omnipotent entity that once declared: “Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.” (Leviticus 24:14) would find something shameful about the human body (or about showering in public for that matter) that He created in His image.
THAT SAID, we hear you can probably shower behind a curtain in a few select pools, like Laugardalslaug and at The Blue Lagoon. But you should still stay out of our pools, prudey.
I was disappointed to see that the Grapevine’s bad advice column, Don’t Ask Nanna, was not included in this month’s issue. Does that mean it’s no longer a feature?
Dear John Evicci,
Thank you for your letter. It’s nice to hear from our readers, especially when they enjoy what we’re writing. That said, we enjoy angry letters too. They are pretty fun to read and answer. We imagine the Don’t Ask Nanna column makes some people laugh while it makes others, such as Miss Shirley Tatum with her phobia of the human body, squirm in their seat. Perhaps the next letter we get with regard to Nanna will come from a poor tourist who followed her bad advice to prison. Anyways, to answer your question: The Don’t Ask Nanna column is definitely still around and she’s on page 24 in this issue. Enjoy!
If anybody has a question for Nanna, she’d love to give you some bad advice. Her email address is Nanna.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come back and visit us soon!
Ms Ásta R. Jóhannesdóttir
Honourable Speaker of Althingi,
Parliament of Iceland
Dear Madame Speaker,
I am aware that there is a proposal in the Icelandic Parliament calling for the government to formally acknowledge the genocide of Armenians committed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. (*1)
Born in Paris, I am a descendant of survivors of this genocide. I am sincerely touched by this Icelandic proposal which is an another friendly step helping Armenians to their mourning period. A genocide drives out death and replaces it by murder and deshumanisation. A genocide breaks the human chain of transmissibility, death being the natural link which joins generations to each other.(*2) I also would like to recall that Assyrian-Arameans and Pontic Greeks of the Ottoman Empire were victims of the genocidal program of the Young Turks Government too.(*3) This genocidal program was not based on muslim religion but on a racial ideology called pantouranism.(*4)
The Armenian, Assyrian-Aramean and Pontic Greek mournings will really begin when Turkey recognizes these 3 genocides : as in 1970 Willy Brandt kneeled in front of the Warsaw Monument dedicated to the Victims of Nazism.
Lastly, I would like to take the opportunity with this e-mail to acknowledge that in Iceland there were three Armenian Archibishops living during the XI century. Their names were Petrus, Abraham and Stephanus and they are quoted in Íslendingabók of Ari Thorgilsson Frodi (1068-1148).
– Historical Consultant of the Armenian National Veterans and Resistants Association of France (ANACRA)
– Member of the Board of Directors of UCFAF (Union culturelle française des Arméniens de France founded in Paris in 1949)
Dear Nil Agopoff,
thank you for your letter. It’s hard to disagree with anything you say or make light of it at all. So we won’t. Hopefully, Alþingi will pass this worthy proposal.