What a Difference a Day (or Week) Makes: In Which our Search for the Elusive Kennitala Comes to a Triumphant and Edifying Close

(Let’s kick off the day with a little Dinah, yeah?)

So big news, everyone: Mark and I not only both have kennitalas now (Whoot!), we have also both received our National ID cards (double–triple!–Whoot!). OMG: we are real live legal adult humans in Iceland now. (Although funny story–or funny now that we have the cards in hand, but still kind of not funny at all–you may remember that we trucked off to Kopavogur, a suburb of Reykjavik, in order to have our photos taken for our ID cards, since the machine at the Directorate of Immigration in Reykjavik was broken. You may also remember that this involved two buses and a very taxing episode in which the fact that I don’t (yet) speak Icelandic was made abundantly clear. Well, haha, guys–joke’s on us. We had our pictures re-taken at the Directorate in Reykjavik when we went to drop off our housing form, making the ones taken in Kopavogur completely useless and irrelevant. Ha! Hil-arious. Good thing our new pictures are extra super attractive and not as shamed-deer-in-headlights as I assume the other ones were.)

So, you might ask: what have we done to take advantage of our new personhood? I will tell you. The first thing we did–Mark’s great idea, actually–was to go to the public library and get our library cards! Yay! Totally perfect first act as a citizen in a new town, right? In fact, our ID cards were so brand-shiny new that our information hadn’t yet made it into The System, and the poor librarian had to enter all of our data by hand, instead of it just auto-filling. Library cards in hand, we paid our annual library fee (the public library system here is a bit like a subscription library–you pay a membership fee, although it’s extremely nominal: about $13 for the year) and headed up to the stacks to load down with goodies. At least I did. My first goal was to pick up some Icelandic movies/TV shows so that I can start my daily infusions of listening-to-Icelandic, since I’m told that watching TV is basically how anyone learns any language ever. So I started with:

  • The first season of the Icelandic legal drama Réttur. This is particularly timely: I just read that the American rights for the show have been purchased by NBC. It’ll be developed and adapted into an American version which will be called “Rittur.” We have already watched the full first season of this show (six episodes) and besides being very watchable, it’s also been rather enlightening in regard to the Icelandic legal system. More on this later, though.
  • Sveitabrúðkaup (Country Wedding), a very popular comedy starring about half of the famous actors in Iceland and one which had long ago been recommended to me (thanks, Amber–I’m finally going to watch it!)
  • An Icelandic-language version of the Disney movie Tangled, which I figure will be useful in terms of having a somewhat more accessible vocabulary. (And cartoons are the way to do it, right Leigh?)
  • An audio book for kids called Snuðra og Tuðra. I had never heard of this series (about “two rebellious sisters with minds of their own…”) but apparently, there are ten books or so, and they are rather popular–I found a theater adaptation, for one thing.

So I’m off to watch a movie now. For school. Win!

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