First days

My support group :-P

My support group 😛

Two days ago I left the Netherlands. My family and a couple of my best friends came with me to Schiphol to say goodbye. I was very nervous and anxious for the flight. It felt weird and a little bit sad that I had to leave all these people that are close to me. But at the same time I was very happy that they were there to support me.

I’m afraid of flying and didn’t really like the fact that I had to fly alone. But as it turned out I was seated next to a woman who I knew from a couple of years before! I couchurfed at her place in Blönduós in the winter of 2011 and had a really good time then. I recognised her immediately and remembered her name too. We started talking and I felt at ease right away. Talking to her distracted me during the flight, so I was really happy. It was interesting to hear what she’s been up to the last two years. I also watched The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Obviously not a great movie but entertaining enough and I still needed the distraction. The flight itself was very calm and there were no problems at all. Seeing Iceland through the window of the airplane was kind of emotional. Finally I was back again. 🙂

At the airport the couchsurfer said that a friend was picking her up and giving her a ride to Reykjavík and that they could take me with them. Of course I felt very lucky! I had met nice people, I didn’t have to buy a bus ticket and I didn’t have to call a cab in Reykjavík! The ride to Reykjavík was great and there was more light than I had expected. I could see a lot of scenery, mostly lava fields with snow. I immediately realised (or re-realised) how much prettier Iceland is than the Netherlands. We had good talks in the car and I got dropped off in front of my new home.

My bed on the first night

My bed on the first night

My new house is nice, and very different from the bread factory. It’s cozy, but very small! I will need some time to get used to this. The evening of my arrival was great though, met my landlady and she’s been very nice to me. She introduced me to some of her friends and we drank a beer together. They instantly started talking English, so I didn’t feel left out at all, very cool!

Yesterday I went to Ikea to buy a bed and a desk. The bus ride to get there was pretty! In the Ikea I felt restless and I couldn’t find what I was looking for, and I didn’t understand Icelandic. I hadn’t expected this, but of course when you don’t speak a language you may encounter difficulties. 😛 After some coffee everything went better and I did find everthing I searched for, even though it took me three hours.

New desk

New desk

In the evening all of the boxes got delivered to my home and I started the big Ikea puzzle. I figured it out and my room is starting to look like something, even though it’s still a mess!

New room

New room

Hello!

Hello!

New bed

New bed

Tonight I will go to Kópavogur (‘Baai van de zeehondenpuppy’s’ in Dutch) to celebrate New Year’s Eve. A couchsurfer is hosting a party and there will be bonfires and lots of fireworks. After midnight I’ll get a ride back to Reykjavík and head downtown. Have a great New Year’s Eve everyone, and best wishes for 2014! 🙂

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Last week in the Quality Bakers

My last week of living in the Quality Bakers has begun. It feels weird to leave the place that has been my home for the past four years. I always get sentimental when I move, but I try not to pay too much attention to that feeling… I will miss this place though.

Today I have had some serious fights with my suitcase! It refused to close. I had to pack and unpack several times before we got on equal terms. Now it’s locked and weighs around 22 kilos (23 kilos is the maximum). I also packed my backpack and it weighs 10 kilos. Unfortunately, I will bring hand luggage too: add another 10 kilos. This means I have to carry 42 kilos, wow! I had never expected to bring so many goods, as I’m used to travelling light. I used to love packing only the things I would really need. Did I change in the past year? Did I overestimate my packing skills? Or is moving to Iceland completely different from any trip I have been on so far? Nonetheless, it will be freakishly heavy…

And unrelated but exciting: I signed up for Icelandic lessons. I start on the 13th of January!

Afbeelding

Room in Reykjavík – update 2

Suitcase needs ordering

Suitcase = chaos

Good news! I found a nice place to live in Reykjavík. It’s on walking distance from BSÍ, Hallgrímskirkja and even Hlemmur! So the location is pretty neat. If you’re interested in my new address, just send me a message. I really would like to get a couple of pen pals actually! I’m excited about moving there, because it is the first room that really feels right since my search for a house in Reykjavík began. I’m already thinking about how to decorate it. It’s a lot smaller than the bread factory (of course), so what things do I really need?

Empty closet

But: closet = serene

Meanwhile, I’m busy cleaning my old room,  and even the living room with help from my sister. It seems like I can go on forever with getting random stuff out of closets. I have collected a lot of paraphernalia over the years! But I want to search through everything and make sure I don’t leave a mess, because my cousin Lisa will move in my old room. I know she has a lot of good ideas about how to give the place a fresh look, and I want to make sure that there’s no old rubbish for her to clean up.

The coming weeks will be a bit stressful for me. I have the feeling that I need to leave my old life in the Netherlands with no loose ends. At the same time I’m experiencing an amazing sense of freedom. I know that I will be able to grasp new opportunites with both hands once I’m back in Iceland and I can hardly wait to be there!

Room in Reykjavík – update 1

For the past two weeks I have been actively looking for a room in Reykjavík and unfortunately I didn’t find the right one yet. One thing I noticed is that there are a lot of scammers out there. In the Netherlands I’ve never encountered this, so that’s why I didn’t expect it. But of course in this case I’m a foreigner and that makes me a prey for these kind of things, I guess. Luckily the scams are quite easy to recognize. They all involve:

  • An overly positive attitude towards me. ‘You’re the best flatmate I could wish for.’ Or: ‘You sound perfect.’ What!? I only told you I was a freelance editor from the Netherlands.
  • The warning that there are a lot of people interested in the room, but that if I pay NOW the room is reserved for me without any problems.
  • The fact that there are a lot of things making the procedure difficult. Like: ‘My father just passed away and my mother is in London to take care of things, so you have to send the money to London.’
  • Zero respondence to my question if a friend of mine could have a look at the apartment in one of the following days.

I’ve had contact with a girl who was the victim of identity theft. She fell for a scam when she was looking for an apartment in Germany and since then ‘they’ have been using the copy of her passport and her name for deceiving other people, like me (didn’t work though…). Basically, this sucks! And I notice that I have difficulties trusting ads and responses to my ads. I have to be careful, but will probably need to take a risk at some point… I wonder: maybe it’s better to wait and start looking for a room after my arrival in Reykjavík?