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My childhood friend and all the times she traumatised me

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My oldest friend is finally coming to visit me in Iceland (it has been 20 years, Judith...). This is a good opportunity to talk about all the times she traumatised me when we were children. A bit of background. We are from the same village and became friends in kindergarten. Her father is a teacher and she always was more aware of things than me. As a kid, I used to live in my own world far away from reality. When we started primary school we would walk home together. This is when we had our "deep" conversations, and this is when she would tell me sone hard and traumatising truths.

1. The world has no end I do not really know why we talked about it, maybe because of some movie we saw, but even though I knew the world was round, travelling to the end of the world was such a common story telling trope that I never realised it is not a thing in the real world. A bit of magic vanished from the world for me that day.

2. The world can end any time I have no idea where she got that from or what she even meant by that. In my (hazy) memory she just blurted it out and then walked away. I did not sleep for days.

3. Germany started both world wars We had just started to learn about the horrors of the world wars in school (I think 3rd or 4th grade). Complete with a movie about Auschwitz, which for some reason I was not traumatised by (who shows this kind of movie to 9 year olds? My teachers were hardcore). I think the footage was to grainy to register as real to me. I generally seemed to have paid little attention to class that day, because it was my friend who informed me that Germany had started both world wars. I was horrified, it was my own private "are we the baddies?" moment.

4. "Are you also scared there will be a third world war?" It must have been some time after the above. The first Iraq war (90-91) had just started. I had not really been aware of what was going on, I was to young to pay attention to the new, but my friend must have heard something from her parents. I remember being really scared through all the winter holidays.


Revenge:

I got back at her. When I was six or seven I stayed over in her place and peed in the bed we both slept in (accidentally). She remembers none of the above, but this is burned in her memory.
I also teased her about being afraid to jump from the 3m and 5m diving board in swim class. She always wanted to be "Ronja Robbers Daughter" when we played together (because she has dark black hair like her), so I had to be Birk, which bugged me. Not because he is a boy, but because Ronja is the main protagonist. So I told her that she needs to be brave enough to jump from the diving board if she wants to be Ronja. She did not talk to me for days until I apologised. I was a bit of a bitch when I was a kid.
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Wedding speech

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So my friend whom I made give a Büttenrede to me for my birthday got married a few weeks ago and he decided this is the time to ask me to return the favour. His funeral (and wedding), I guess:

I was asked to give a speech that has to be funny and rhyme,
do you guys really think I have this much time?
And your decision making here has me a bit worried,
that legally you might not be allowed to be married.
Should you not be of sound mind?
You know you cannot trust me to be kind!

So what can I say about these two people getting married here?
I have witnessed their relationship closely over many a year.
Let's start with Mariska
my sister from another mista.
She used to be an adventuress hitchhiking across the far north of this island.
She found refuge on my couch for a while and
I like to think her decision to move here was partly to try and find me again,
though she did not need to search long, for we sat next to her on the plane.
Is she a stalker? Am I? No way to know that,
but before long we were sharing a flat.

This flat soon saw a frequent visitor
and this is how I met this mister.
At first I thought he disliked me and I was quite shaken,
but at brunch he kept feeding me bacon.
I'm simple this way, I cannot pretend
give me food and I'll be your friend.
Now, we still like to make fun of each other and be a bother
- but he is my brother from another mother.

And last there is Maia, the cutest of them all.
Having us wrapped around her finger so small.
Together they are "meine Ersatzfamilie" on this cold rock in the middle of the Atlantic.
I will conclude this speech now, before you all panic
and think you will have to listen to me waffle on forever.
Let us now celebrate with them together!



Thank god for rhyming dictionaries!


And we are back!

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The old laptop running my server finally died (it had been housing this blog since 2012, lived on 3 different continents during that time and 5 countries). It took me some time to set everything up on my not ancient laptop (fortunately I back everything up regularly) and if this post posts (linux permissions settings are my kryptonite) all is good.


Eurovision!

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It is the time of the year again, for tasteless music, ridiculous stage shows and an abundance of glitter. I was travelling with a friend, but of course we had to catch the show int he hotel (we missed the first few songs though, because having a nice dinner was more important). Here is my review:

Portugal
They were the first we saw. We were searching for the right channel and as soon as we came to Portugal's performance, we knew we had found Eurovision.

UK
The song is boring and the set design with the two big trumpets is just weird.

Greece
I always appreciate it when a country knows that Eurovision is all about a cool stage show. I find the triangular cutout on the catsuit of the singer strange, it does not add to the sexiness.

Switzerland
The guy has an amazing voice. Why does he wear a costume that matches the background though? And what are the random shapes doing on stage? I'm confused by the decisions in this stage show.

Iceland
Please don't win, I like my tax money to be used for other things than Eurovision. It is all very 101 Icelandic pop song, the song (think FM Belfast), the cutesy half ironic performance. To me it is grating, maybe I'm too old, but I never liked cutesy things.

Spain
I always like when they sing in their native language. A lot of countries did that this year. Why is the guy wearing black in front of a black background? I really find the stage shows disappointing this year.

Moldavia
Discount Lady Gaga forgot her pants, her background dancers forgot their shirts. Clothing equality!

Germany
Maybe he does not feel hate, but I do. Also embarrassment for being German. It has a big "hey, fellow kids" energy. I have a lot of questions about how this was chosen to be the German entry and what the other option were.

Finland
AKA Limping Park
AKA Topshop metal
AKA Not Lordie

Bulgaria
here we have all the female singers who have been popular in the last 10 years rolled into one: Emiliana Torrini, Adele, Billy Eilish...

Lithuania
I appreciate that they use yellow costumes in front of a purple background. Basic stage design: do not have the performers melt in the background. Fun choreography.

Ukraine
I'm afraid if I do not support Ukraine the singer is going to come out of my TV and kill me. I like the electro-folk music combo. What is going on with the stage shows this year? They all feel like a first draft of half baked ideas and make no sense.

France
Ultimate Frenchness has been acieved.

Azerbaijan
Eurovision 101 song and show. With all the bad stage shows I'm glad to see a typical one.

Norway
I love him! He has angel wings a (fake) fur coat and a glittery suit. The ridiculous stage show with the devils dancing around him is peak Eurovision and he even has the key change! 12 points from me.

Netherlands
I feel so sorry for him, wasting his sincere message on Eurovision. There should be a name for the type of embarrassment you feel when someone is showing emotional sincerity in a completely ridiculous forum.

Italy
This is what Finland would love to be. It actually seems to be a legit rock band.

Sweden
Same as Netherlands. His voice is super smooth.

San Marino
A classic Eurovision song, just like Azerbaijan. I appreciate the costume change, a Eurovision classic.

Cyprus
We are now deep in typical Eurovision fare.

Albania
A woman screaming her heart out in front of a wind machine. Eurovision bingo.

Israel
The song is called "set me free"... awkward...

Belgium
I missed it. My Dutch friend tells me the singer is well known and the song is good.

Russia
Are they performing a mystic ritual on stage?

Random thoughts:

- They are going to use the old computer game graphic gimmick in all advertisements in Iceland now...
- There is a children's Eurovision????
- The "not traditional European looking" participants, from usually strong Sweden and Netherlands are doing very badly, especially with the popular vote. Wonder why that is.

Final thought: I'm postponing an REM post for this. I would be ok if this is always going to be just every two years.




Trip to the volcano

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When we arrived half of Iceland had already parked their car and started walking up to the volcano.



The Norwegian army had decided to use the distraction to invade Iceland. Icelanders general reaction was a relieved: "finally!"


One person slipped on the ice and had to be rescued by the rescue squad. The Icelandic rescue squad has been working around the clock, marking the way, manning the area, making sure nobody kills themselves. They are all volunteers and financed by donations.


Totally does not look like we are all on a religious pilgrimage to sacrifice to the volcano....


It had only been a week, but the valley had already filled up with lava:



Of course I brought some home:





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