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Voting

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This weekend I got to vote in Iceland for the first time! We dirty foreigners are only allowed to vote in local elections. The law was just change to reduce the waiting time from 5 to 3 years of residency. I have lived on and off in Iceland for 20 years now, but due to my wanderlust I never reached the 5 consecutive years I needed. But that is over now.
Icelandic voting is different from German voting in that you do not have a first and second (direct and proportional) vote, but you vote for a list of people from a party (proportional). The cool thing is that you can edit the list you vote for, change the seats of candidates (put someone on a lower seat to the first for example) and cross people out. I have been long enough in Iceland to have personal grudges and friendships with people on the list, so I had a lot of fun doing that.
There were also local elections in Germany, but I missed the deadline to apply for voting by post. I managed to do that in the last parliament elections in Germany. I had a lot of fun reading all the names of the fringe parties (there is a HipHop party) and wonder about the envelope sizes (the ballot needs to be folded strangely to fit in the inner envelope, causing me to read and reread the instructions).

Pictures of the German ballot, obviously I couldn't take pictures in the voting booth




A very inside joke

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Today is Good Friday, and in Germany and Iceland it means that by law one is not allowed to dance, gamble or make jokes. I'm nothing but not a rebel, so here is my very inside joke for today:

The office of Efling union is restructuring. To safe costs all employees are fired and replaced by Andri Sigurðsson and his never to be finished web site.




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.


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