miðvikudagur, júlí 12, 2006

two families

Yesterday at Laugardalslaug (and despite being neither) I found myself sitting in the tourists 'n' families hot pot. That's the hot pot right outside the locker room doors, for you Iceland Dreamers (and for you too, HSPM, if you're reading this). It's a big curvy hot pot with inlets and bays and various levels of shelves and seats. Anyway there was a family of Americans there. And a smattering of Icelandic moms, dads, and kids. It was all brilliant sunshine and still air and midafternoon summer calm.

A minute later, a cloud went over the sun and suddenly there were big raindrop-plops hitting the water everywhere. So sudden was the rainfall that one of the Icelandic fathers remarked to his kid playing in the sprinkler that, "Það er rigning." And simulataneously the American mom said, "Emily, look! Emily! It's raining! It's raining!" She was pointing and gesticulating at the sky, looking not a little ashen-facedly worried and sort of simulataneously amazed. The Icelandic kid kept playing in the sprinkler while his dad watched him. Meanwhile young Emily said, "Mom, I wanna go to the inside pool now."

Of course, a minute or two later it was bright and sunny again.

Let's talk about rain today. In Icelandic it's rigning or regn, the latter word having a pronunciation very close to the English word. In fact, the Old English word was also spelled regn. The watery words come into both languages from granddaddy proto-Germanic. Rainbow is regnbogi in Icelandic, and is also the name of a classic popcorn-and-dirty-carpets downtown cinema here.

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