Sunday, January 23, 2011

School is difficult because no homework is actually due. I am used to being motivated by due dates and grades. It's different in Iceland because the people here actually want to learn. Teachers don't assign homework to make sure you are doing the homework. Instead, they assign practice problems because they know you care about the topic and want to learn more. The final is usually a written exam and is around 70% of your grade. The other part of the grade is based on your presentation on a certain topic to the class. Besides school being difficult to adjust to, I have been noticing some other odd things about this country.

There's geothermal energy, but then everyone drives a huge car or Hummer. Also, recycling is still unheard of. There's a lot of pride in traditional Icelandic meals, but there's still a very strong American food influence. When most people go out to eat they will go for a hotdog, hamburger, or pizza. We went to small hamburger place the other night. They were delicious and fairly cheap. Here's a not so appetizing photo of the burger.

It doesn't look as good as it tastes.

Handball is one of the most popular sports in Iceland. The world cup is in Sweden this year and games are played about every other night. Iceland lost against Germany yesterday, but play Spain tomorrow. I have not been able to see a bracket or understand what kind of ranking we have, but I am told that we have a good team. The bars project the games on screens and the downtown area is packed. It's an exciting game to watch. 

One of my goals when coming here was to get good at making fish. Here's my first attempt at making fish and chips. Again, it tasted better than it looks. Fish and lamb are about the only meat that's safe to buy in the stores. Most of the meat is questionable because you aren't sure where it comes from or how fresh it is.

I've been here for three weeks and haven't traveled as much as I hoped. It's hard to get anywhere with the sun only being around for 4 hours and rainy every day. It's getting better because 5 minutes of sunlight is added to each day. Today it was very exciting to go out at 4 pm and the sun was still out. Also, there was a small glimpse of blue sky. The weather has been making me feel down and homesick, but keep reminding myself that soon there will be sun, nicer weather and green scenery. The weather isn't cold, just rainy. Today I went out with only a sweatshirt on and was comfortable. The gulf stream warms Iceland more than one would think. I got invited to a cave trip next weekend so that post will probably more exciting than this one. Thanks for check in.

1 comment:

  1. I am excited for you to make me fish and chips when you get back! I miss your lovely face. :)