A Little Life

November 22, 2015

Living in Neskaupstaður has already made me appreciate what people call “the little things.” Moving here, I knew that I would be learning how to slow down my life and take everything at a more relaxed pace. Right now, I’m lounging on the couch in my apartment listening to my Spotify Discovery Weekly playlist (who, seemingly, knows me better than I know myself) with zero things plaguing my mind. If you know me personally, you know that I always have 80,000 things going on at the same time, and right now I’m free of obligation. Well, at least for another two hours, when I head down to learn more from the head chef here at Hildibrand, Guðni.

This weekend we had our first Christmas buffet for guests. On Fridays and Saturdays until Christmas hits, we’ll be preparing both a hot and cold buffet of traditional Icelandic fare. That includes reindeer and goose patês, smoked guillemot in gelatin, smoked lamb, cured lamb, smoked salmon, gravlax w/ delicious gravlaxsósa (sauce), lamb & tempura shrimp sushi (Food Rule: to make any dish Icelandic, add smoked lamb!), cured goose breasts, baked ham and potatoes, potatoes, potatoes. Toss in a couple desserts like a rhubarb cake and some gingerbread and cream sandwich cookes and you got yerself a good ole Icelandic Christmas. Þórður, a fellow in town who heads up the church choir, plays accordion in the lobby as the guests drink Christmas beer (beer w/ sweet malt) and a type of mulled wine.

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Don’t forget the fried laufabrauð!

Þórður and I are getting together later on tonight to work on a troll musical he and I are writing. Yes, trolls! It’s going to be set in the area and talk about some of the trolls that currently are perched up on the mountaintops gazing down on our East Fjord town. So yep. Other than that, I don’t have much else going on.

And I’m totally okay with that.

I don’t mind having a whole day to myself, working a couple hours on the town blog or in the kitchen (or both), hanging out with my new friends, watching some “Fargo” (WHY ARE YOU NOT WATCHING THIS SEASON?!). I love looking out at the fjord, watching the unseen sun cast light on the mountains above me (we won’t get any direct sunlight until April or so), hearing the sea birds cackle and occasionally gander at the fishing boats that slowly trawl their way up and down the fjord bringing in the freshest catch. I meet a new person almost every day, and they’re all wonderful and smiling all the time. Whoever said Nordic folk are cold and distant got it all wrong, by the way.

Nothing feels better than to be enjoying my job, having zero money concerns (my expenses are super low here), and just breathing in the ocean air and sighing in pure satisfaction. I didn’t think it would be possible to rid myself of all that Jackson Hole stress or the depression I had kicking around behind closed doors. I’m finding a balance here. Sure, it took flying halfway around the world to find it, but man it feels good to be standing on solid ground.

Munz.

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