We were settled in comfortably, standing at the bar near the door and watching the comings and goings of the always-unfolding scene. A good-looking woman in a shimmery dress slid by us and stopped to talk. First it was a rapid-fire Icelandic exchange with Þórir and then she turned to me. We started speaking Icelandic, much less rapid-fire, and she switched immediately to English, displaying unfortunately common bad form. And then about two sentences later, she found out I was American and her face clouded over. "You'd better keep a low profile here," she said. I couldn't believe the quickness of her judgment and, utterly disgusted, I turned away from her and back to the bar. Þórir said something appeasing to her as she walked away. It was then that I learned that she was famous in Iceland as a newscaster and broadcast journalist. But skiptir ekki máli, I would never treat an immigrant in the United States that way. Even if I was Tom Brokaw.
To her credit, she came back over a few minutes later and apologized to me. But the damage was done. I've been feeling a little more of the anti-American sentiment here in the Land of late and it's not becoming. I love Iceland because Icelandic society seems to hold up every Icelander as an important individual. It hurts when the same sentiment isn't extended to those of us who chose to be a part of the society.