Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.
The first man had married a Woman from England and had told her that she was going to do the dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple days, but on the third day he came home to a clean house and dishes washed and put away.
The second man had married a woman from Belgium He had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and the cooking. The first day he didn't see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table.
The third man had married a girl from Iceland. He told her that her duties were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn't see anything, the second day he didn't see anything, but by the third day some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, enough to fix himself a bite to eat and load the dishwasher.
Waagfjörd points a finger at young, inexperienced men who, she says, became too dominant in the boom. "I was in the US for six years, and when I came back 10 years ago, at the age of 40, things had really changed. Suddenly there were a lot of young men about 35 or 30. They used to call to try to sell me derivatives which were really complicated. They thought they were really clever, but they were still living at home with their parents."
8. The nation has to deal with “elves — in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe.” Alcoa, an aluminum-smelting multinational with operations outside of Reykjavík, had to “defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it.”
Right. I’ve heard the elf thing mentioned in tired travel articles (normally wedged between paragraphs on the beauty of waterfalls and tips for eating ram testicles), but I personally know no one on this island who believes in elves. Not one. As for Alcoa, their rep believes Lewis is likely referring to a law regarding environmental-impact assessments. The assessment includes an archaeological survey to ensure no important artifacts or ruins are destroyed, and the site’s history is also surveyed to see if it was ever named in any Icelandic folklore. And yes, some of that folklore involves elves. But if you’re going to introduce the notion that some kind of Ministry of Elf Inspection exists within the ranks of the Icelandic government, you might as well also note that we take the Hogwart’s Express to the office every day.
3. Iceland’s geothermic water is so hot that when municipal work is being done on the cold-water pipes, sometimes people are “boiled alive” in the shower.
Reykjavík's water-utility company says that even if the cold-water pipes are turned off, it's impossible for the water coming out of a shower to ever exceed 70°C.
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