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View Diary: Icelandic Exceptionalism (211 comments)

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  •  I've been to Costa Rica too. :) (2+ / 0-)
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    dewtx, elfling

    Stayed with a lovely family In Ciudad Colón, learned a little Spanish, etc while helping with a radio station.  Costa Rica was the first place in my life that I've ever gotten full eating just fruit  ;)  I'm still big on guanabana-flavored stuff (thankfully it's strangely easier to get here than it was in Iowa), though I try not to eat too much because of the anonacin risk.

    It's hard to classify either Costa Rica or Iceland as having "no military" or "a military".  For example, what they have to be counting in the case of Iceland is the Coast Guard and Víkingasveitin (sort of a an elite police swat/counterterrorism team).  But I know Costa Rica has that sort of stuff too.  In fact the guy who ran the radio station I was helping with told me about one time when he had death threats against him that the office of the vice president sent a team of 8 people with enough weapons to take over a small country to defend him  ;)  

    Either way, they're both pretty darned peaceful countries as a whole!

    There is no single "best time".  I'd say as a whole summer has more to offer, but there's different things at each time of year.  And even different times of summer.  For example, June has the longest days, July the hottest weather and the lupine, August has the blueberries and the most large festivals, etc.  

    •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

      We have an week-long Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver planned for mid-August this year (our first time to Alaska and first cruise). So maybe Iceland will one of our next "big" trips. Although we also want to visit Ireland some day too, so maybe we can combine the two with a week in Iceland and then on to a week in Ireland--after all they're only one letter apart!

      I also didn't know how much music was such a big part of Icelandic culture and society. Sounds like Iceland could be the place where someone's singing "A Song of Fire and Ice". Wonder if George R. R. Martin has ever been to Iceland? You also mentioned the large number of books that are published and read in Iceland. I was curious what percentage of those are in the Icelandic language and what fraction in English. I'm sure that of course the large majority is in Icelandic, but if an English-speaking tourist like me were to visit a bookstore in Iceland could I find a reasonable selection of Icelandic authors in English translation (or written directly in English) to pick from and take home? Being a big mystery reader, the only Icelandic mystery author whose books I have here at home (in English translation of course) is Arnaldur Indriđason--his first English-translated book "Jar City" being still my favorite one of his. (I had already known about the famous health study in Iceland to collect blood samples from all native Icelanders for DNA/disease studies since their native Icelandic family trees can be reliably traced back many many many generations, which actually plays a part in the plot in that particular book.)

      So all the best to you in Iceland from a native Iowan (who's now become a Texan). Please keep writing these wonderful diaries about Iceland--with your descriptions it sounds like such a fascinating place.

      These are troubling times. Corporations are treated like people. People are treated like things. ... If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now. — Rev. Dr. William Barber, II to the NAACP, July 11, 2012

      by dewtx on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:02:12 PM PST

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      •  I don't know about George R. R. Martin... (1+ / 0-)
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        but parts of Game of Thrones were filmed here.

        There are some pretty sizeable bookstores here like Eymundsson - for example, here's the basement of one of the Eymundsson's (it's 3 or 4 stories).  About half the books you'll find in there are in English.  If I had to guess I'd say 80% of the books in Icelandic are from Icelandic authors, while about 80% of the books in English are from foreign authors.

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