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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:





Morgunblaðið is mocking me!

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There have been hundreds of earthquakes in the last week. While most were, as usual for Iceland, under 3 on the Richter scale and not noticeable, we had enough big ones to feel the earth shaking several times a day. After a day or two, this had become common place and everyone stopped worrying about it. Except for me. Because I had to go to the dentist for a filling this week. I am already terrified of the dentist, the idea that an earthquake will hit while he is drilling into my teeth is a nightmare scenario. I guess someone told Morgunblaðið (Icelandic newspaper), because their cartoonist drew this:

morgunbladid_cartoon

It went well, or at least only was traumatizing the usual amount, without added earthquakes. The earthquakes is probably a sign of an impending volcanic eruption, something I am excited about, because I could see it from my living room window. Fingers crossed.


An ode to Swiss Mocca

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When I first came to Iceland in 2001 I did not like coffee. Then I discovered Swiss Mocca. Consisting of half hot chocolate, half coffee and topped with whipped cream it was my entry drug. In winter you can get a version with chili flakes from Te og Kaffi, the better Icelandic version of Starbucks.
No Swiss person I ever met had heard about this national drink of theirs. I did some investigations into European coffee drinks and think that the closest European drink is Vienna Coffee, a drink that outside of Vienna is often made by mixing espresso and chocolate, topping it with cream. I guess some Icelander who brought this drink to Iceland got their European mountain countries with strange German dialects mixed up. In Vienna itself, the only coffee you can get is a "Wiener Melange", an espresso topped with steamed milk AND milk foam (as a huge fan of milk foam, I loved this drink when I was in Vienna, it is 60% foam 40% coffee. I would have milk foam by itself).
So next time you order a coffee drink, good luck it really is the wild west out there....
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