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The Cursed One (Interview #1)

People call me Au∂i. I'm 22 years old and I live in Reykjavik. I have no direction in life and most of the time I don't know if I'm coming or going.

910473524630l.jpg For a living I try to convince people I know something about electric appliances. I really don't. In January I'm planning on going back to school. I'm very interested in people and different cultures and I love traveling. It's always been my dream to be able to write for a living but who knows what will happen with that. I will settle with just doing something creative.”

When we went to Reykjavik this past September, one of our regrets when the visit was over was that we hadn’t really interacted with very many Icelandic people, excepting cashiers and waitresses and clerks doing their jobs. This interview, and those that will follow in the coming weeks, is an attempt to at least have a shadow of that experience that we missed out on. We won’t make that mistake the next time.

When I was developing this blog I spent time searching out Icelandic blogs. Little did I know how many were out there. One of them, though it had been abandoned, stood out, if for no other reason than its title alone: Au∂i The Cursed One.

Luckily for us blog readers, though “The Cursed One” is no more, Au∂i is maintaining a new English-language blog: A Woman Without a Man is Like a Fish Without a Bicycle. And it's well worth visiting regularly. Whether she is writing about herself:

Why is it so difficult to hear good things about yourself? I went out to this coffie house earlier tonight with two of my girls and it's was a nice change from the "wow she's hot" rambling with the guys. Not that I don't enjoy hearing them talk about what they would do to Angelina Jolie if they got the chance. Heck I would consider a thing or two with her. They drove me home and outside my house one of them starts saying all sorts of things to me that really ment a lot to me to hear. I really needed to hear those things and it's aways nice to hear good things when you have not been fishing for a compliment. They sound much more genuin that way. At the same time I felt really akward cause I really can't take compliments. I feel all embarrased and I just want to run away. When you have been told your whole childhood you're stupid and ugly you sort of start believing it and you can't believe anyone who says otherwise. I think I'm going to sleep smiling tonight

Or about music videos:

I just watched 50 cent's P.I.M.P video and I have to say that I was a bit surprised. The women in the video are naked. I mean ok women in these rap videos are normally not wearing turtle necks but I mean they were naked naked except for some little thong they were trying their best to hide. I mean I'm not blushing over here or anything, I only have to look down to see a pair of breasts but I'm just thinking like what next. 50 cent was groping their breasts and in my time (hehe) that would have passed as slightly pornographic. Now they are showing a video like that at nine in the evening in the most popular station among the teenagers. What did I miss?

Or about important social issues:

The healthcare system here for those who suffer from mental illnesses is a disgrace. There is no one who monitors them after they come out from the hospital if they get into it in the first place. There is no support for the families. The waiting lists for the children's wards are unbelievable and it depends on how often the child has tried to take their own life where it is on the waiting list. The worst thing is that it doesn't only affect the person who's sick, the whole family is a part of it like the family of this young man I know who don't sleep at night out of worries. Only about a year ago a man like that commited a murder right here in Reykjavik cause he just didn't get the treatment he needed. How many more need to do something awful so something will be done???

Throughout her writing, Au∂i is consistently honest, thoughtful, passionate, and humorous.

Recently I had the chance to ask her a few questions about herself and about Iceland:

According to one blogging survey Icelandic is the 12th most popular blogging language which is amazing considering the size of the population. Why do you think this is?

Au∂i: It's quite simple really. There is a saying over here that says if one cow pees all the other ones do as well... that's what this is all about. This is the new trend. Now everyone blogs, when I was 14 everybody wore their sweaters backwards. Also we are a bit full of ourselves by nature, everyone is an artist of some kind and is sure he has something to contribute to the world. When I heard about this I wasn't a least bit surprised.

You've mentioned having both an English and an Icelandic blog. How are they alike? Different?

Au∂i: They are alike in the way that they both tell a tale of the same main character, me, but that's about the only thing they have in common. I try to be honest and true to myself in them both though. I'm much more conscious of who is reading my Icelandic blog so I avoid writing things that I know will hurt people. I also don't give away any information about myself like where I work or where I live exactly cause Iceland is a really small country and if I write about a difficult customer or something it's likely they could hear about it. I let myself go more in the English blog. And I curse more.

If you had to compare yourself to a character on Friends, which one would you say you are most like? If you could be any Friends character, which one would you be?

Au∂i: The answer to both the Friends questions is Phoebe. I'm like her in the way that I sort of live in my own world and the two worlds don't always go together. I'm a bit wacky and eccentric like her. Why I want to be like her is the fact she wants to do the right thing all the time although she doesn't always succeed. At least she tries.

Tourists, whatever country they may be from, can often be annoying to the people who live in a popular tourist destination. Do you find this true of tourists to Iceland? What advice would you give tourists to be less annoying?

Au∂i: I don't find the tourists over here all that annoying. Only thing I've noticed is the reputation Icelandic girls seem to have and a small portion of the male tourists tend to treat them with a little disrespect. The most annoying thing about tourists in general is when they expect the locals to speak their language and then get all irritated when they don't. That's annoying.

I love music. What Icelandic bands would you recommend to me?

Au∂i: You have about an hour? My favorites at the moment are Maus, 200.000 naglbtar, Sigur Ros, Mum, Ensimi, Jaguar and Botnle∂ja but other good bands people like are Minus, Brain Police, Ulpa, Leaves, Quarashi, Ske and many many more. At this site you can find a list of the bands that have a homepage and most of them have some kind of sound clips. Rokk.is is also pretty interesting.

How has Iceland changed in your lifetime?

Au∂i: First of all my lifetime is a relativly short period of time. What comes first to mind is how much Reykjavik and it's surroundings have expanded. My mum now lives where me and my friends went to pick berries when I was younger. It took us all day to go there and we packed lunches and everything. The number of immigrants has grown, especially in the past few years. There also seems to be more violence and crimes now but maybe I simply didn't notice it back then.

What is your favorite time of year?

Au∂i: Winter because of the stars and the northern lights. Summer because of the 24 hour sunlight. Spring because everything is waking up again and fall because of the beautiful colours. There is no way I can choose between them.

If you could recommend one place to eat in Reykjavik, what would it be?

Au∂i: Being the poor little girl that I am I usually don't have money for anything fancy. The best junk in town is without a doubt Nonnabiti in Hafnarstæti, especially after a pint or two.

Well, I could have asked Au∂i many more questions, but she was headed off to a vacation in Denmark (and you can read all about it in her blog). I enjoyed having the chance to talk to her and will be interviewing more people in the coming weeks. Look for more interviews in the near future.

nóvember 4, 2003 | Permalink


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I'm so glad I found this bunch of electrons :) I'm becoming an Iceland fan, and this page is a precious addition to the long bookmarks list.

Thanks for writing about Iceland. Information indeed is one of the most valuable things... and I'm really thankful that most of the time it's free on the net... !

the happy one from Hungary

Posted by: Lili | 14.12.2003 10:09:52

hi ...i am a poindexter..descendant of rollo the ganger...am considering visiting iceland....i consider iceland strange and unknown..because it is to me..i want to know about iceland...i here you have faeries there....perhaps they will remember me.

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