þriðjudagur, júlí 12, 2005

july in iceland

...is a time when it seems like the whole world is on vacation. The office is a ghost town; normally, the coffee machine grinder punctuates the day, every 5 minutes or so in the nearby kitchen. These days it's so quiet I can hear the stumbling whirr of my own limping computer fan. When I got back from Boston last week, I went up to the company cafeteria for lunch to find a locked door and a note: "see you in August!" There's hardly any traffic on the roads in the morning, the mail carriers have been replaced by kids, and even my morning news-announcing wakeup pal, Palmi Jónasson, has flown the coop.

By law Icelanders get a minimum of 24 workdays of time off a year, paid or unpaid, in addition to the 10 or so public holidays. It seems like many take this all in a big summer chunk, flying off to a Spain beach or driving the ring road around Iceland and camping. And return to pick up their jobs where they left off. Without even being fired.

What makes this all the more surreal to me is that we're having anything but what I'm used to as July weather. It feels more like April, but with 24 hour light. It's been rainy every day for the last week, with temperatures hovering around 50°F. Not really the ideal weather for barbecues 'n ballgames. But the air is always clean, and the swimming pools never go on holiday.


Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

Are your clients on vacation too?

Blogger JB said...

Many of them are, yes.

Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

Oh man! If Americans only understood the value of a social democratic society.

All they think about in the US is work work work no vacation, and if you take too long of a vacation you can find yourself another job. Where is humanity and fairness????

I want a month long vacation toooo :( sob sob

Yes Europe....here I come....it's on the horizon with all the holidays and vacation days. Life is wonderful over there, accross the pond


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