“It’s a good thing we’ve got your fluent Icelandic for this trip,” he says. Once we’re settled in our rented wooden house I sit up on the windowsill and call the pizza–place down the road. ” An unexpected and potentially confusing question. “So, don’t expect to go making any friends on this trip,” I warn Conor, helpfully. Maybe it’s not the Icelanders, maybe it’s me who’s been shy — I mean, “aloof” — all along.
It’s snowing outside, and dark, although it’s not even four o’clock yet. Icelanders never ask for your last name; there aren’t enough people in the country to justify needing it — even the phonebook is listed alphabetically by first names. By the end of our third day in Reykjavík Conor has made seventeen friends. Oh, just some guys he met at the Aikido club he visited, and look, here comes Jón Þór, the tattoo artist he met yesterday up near the church. “It must be your Irish charm,” I say, later, as we soak at the pool.
Norway, in turn, was united with Sweden (1319) and then Denmark (1376).
Eventually all of the Nordic states were united in one alliance, the Kalmar Union (1397–1523), but on its dissolution, Iceland fell under Danish rule.
Towards the end of the tenth century Christianity came to Iceland through the influence of the Norwegian king Olaf Tryggvason.
Teachers are already sensing a change among students in the scope of their Icelandic vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Anna Jonsdottir, a teaching consultant, said she often hears teenagers speak English among themselves when she visits schools in Reykjavik, the capital.
This is a high-stakes game and all stops are pulled.
You don’t go gently into that good night, unless you want to go home alone.