65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 34

65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 34
THE GREEK IN ICELAND “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift com- pletion of their appointed rounds,” said Hero- dotus, but a spell of beautiful summer weather is the undoing of many an Icelandic postman. THE ETERNAL THIRST Several years ago a thirsty Reykjavikan took ad- vantage of his host’s hospitality to steal his boots, his sheepskin parka and several books. When the police made his acquaintance he had sold both boots and parka for a bottle, and, thus fortified, sat in a restaurant reading the books. Dialogue during the Laekjargata fire: “Get up, there’s a fire!” “I’m sure someone’s called it. Let me sleep.” “You’re a doctor. They may need you.” “I’m tired. It’s cold. There are plenty of people out there.” “Well! If you won’t do your duty, I’ll do mine!” And she went out to watch the fire. The value of good citizenship was tested when a Reykjavikan queued up for thirteen minutes be- fore the stamp window in the postoffice, bought his stamp, dashed to the street with a minute to spare, met a red pedestrian light and couldn’t even shout ”I’m coming” over the traffic, but could see the policeman sheck the parking meter and leave a ticket. “It costs fifty kronur just to stand still,” he grumbled later to friends. We’ve all heard: “Sleep eight hours a night — it’s good for your health”, and “Brush your teeth twice a day; see your dentist twice a year”________ now comes the latest from an adapted Icelander: “Get married; it’s good for the kids!” Some time ago a prominent Reykjavik gyneco- logist received a frenzied call from a woman who cried that her pipes had burst, the water was spreading all over the room and she needed help immediately. To the doctor’s relief and the woman’s embarrassment, the call was correctly switched to the Municipal Hot Water System. EYE TO EYE SLANT Armed with a B.S. in Physics and bored with just weighing and measuring lambs’ legs at the Uni- versity’s Reasearch lab, a resident American wife wanted o better perspective on sheep. On her naxt rural walk, therefore, she climbed a bar- bed wire fence and approached the nearest graz- ing speciman. For a long moment they gazed into each other’s eyes. “Why,” she exclaimed astonished, “they have horizontal slits instead of round pupils!” A gruff farmer suddenly appeared and indi- cated the no-trespassing fence. She explained her discovery to deaf ears, how- ever, for apparently everyone with any sense knows that sheeps’ eyes have always had horizon- tal pupils. The new hotel employee knew that the cardinal rules of room-service are courtesy and discretion. When he took up morning tea to Mr. John Smith, he was careful, therefore, to ignore the female guest. “Would you gentlemen like me to pour the tea?” he asked politely. 32 65



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