miðvikudagur, janúar 18, 2006

giving a little bit back pt. 2

We get a few English-language magazines delivered here, and for a while I was at a loss as to what to do with them when I was done reading. For a while I was just taking them down to the seaside Sorpa recycling center and dumping them in a huge corrugated steel container where they mingled with more traditional Icelandic fare such as Birta and Hús og hýbili. But then I hit on the idea of dropping them off at the swimming pool. Every pool here has some kind of space around the pool ladies' reception counter with chairs and tables, and sometimes free coffee. It's often full of husbands and boyfriends waiting for their wives and girlfriends. Perfect! I drop magazines off there on the way into the pool and it's always a game to see what's going to be gone by the time I get out. Copies of the Economist and Wired look downright exotic here next to Blaðið and Sjómaðurinn (the seaman's newspaper) and the Economist especially is fast gone. E has gotten into the act too, watching as teenage girls lurch for the UK-edition Marie Claire minutes after her subtle drop.

We took the show on the road, too. A copy of the English-language Reykjavík Grapevine found its way to the ramshackle train depot at Veseli nad lužnici in South Bohemia. We left it lying on a faded wooden bench under the train-schedule rollers behind scratched glass, across from the ticket windows. This free and ubiquitous newspaper from Iceland took on an almost mystical quality when transplanted to a waiting room in Eastern Europe. And days later the Czech weekly newsmagazine Týden made quite a splash back here at Grafarvogslaug.

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