miðvikudagur, mars 29, 2006

all ages show

Last night I played in my first concert with the esteemed Lúðrasveit Reykjavíkur, the City Band of R-town. As I was sitting in my seat before the show began, looking around at the ensemble, it occurred to me just how astounding was the mix of ages playing together at the front of that church. There is one old dude playing trombone who told me he's 76 and has been playing with the band for as long as he can remember. Then there are kids that don't look a day over 10, and maybe even younger. In the middle there are awkward teenagers, less-awkward people in their 20s, hip cats in their 30s, and wise folk in their 40s and 50s.

That's been one of the biggest changes for me in coming to Iceland from Boston: I am now interacting on a daily basis with almost the broadest variety of ages possible. In my young-professional cocoon in Boston, I pretty much worked with, ate with, and rode the T with my own ilk. I rarely saw a baby, a young child, or a teenager in my daily routine. Kids and their parents were ensconced somewhere "safe" and uneventful in the suburbs. People in their 70s were kept somewhere else like managed care. Kids, the elderly, and even people in their 50s and 60s were all completely alien to me, and seemed to have almost no part in my daily society.

But here in the small-town comfort of the Land, I am forced to have conversations with the teenagers around me in the band. I talk to the old dudes in the hot tubs. And my friends come from a broad spectrum of ages, from early 20s to mid-60s. Last night at the post-concert party, the old trombone player was drinking a big glass of beer, puffing on a cigar, and leaning over a tableful of teenagers to sing "The Lion Speaks Tonight".


Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

so i'm having to catch up retrospectively on your journey from boston to iceland...how did you make the move? why did you make the move? and the language??? howwwwww...

i'm really curious :)

i wish i could come just get a summer job/internship in iceland and test the waters, but I'm not sure how easy it is for non EU citizens. argh


Blogger cK said...

True. Most of us don't take time to interact with a mix. I've a local I go to in Minneapolis where we don't serve hard liquor and we close by 11, so the lights stay on and no one's afraid to bring their kids. It's a community pub, you know? You get a nice strata of folks. Good stories, loads of laughs.

I love the ending observation of the singing. You gotta feel good at those moments.

Blogger JB said...

CK, That sounds like a good place. Some of the bars and restaurants here attract a wide crowd, too.

Robyn, have you thought about a semester or summer at the University of Iceland? I know they have study-abroad programs for visiting students; I overhear those students all the time in the hot tub at Vesturbæjarlaug. :-)

Learning Icelandic is really just a matter of desire and dedication and not worrying too much about looking like a fool when you say "áhugavert" instead of "áhugasamt". Drop me an email, as I know some people in the foreign language department at the University.

Also coming soon is gonna be some on how I found my job here and moved here, something I haven't really gotten into yet. So stay tuned.

Blogger ECS said...

Robyn: I'd also like to point out that Iceland is NOT part of the EU, which makes it a wee bit easier for us foreigners, because people from EU countries also have to do paperwork to live here.


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