Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Answers

A few weeks ago I wrote a post and said that I would do a Q&A on my blog.  Well, here are the answers to your questions....finally!!!

What is the cost of living comparable to???

Well right now the with the way the exchange rate is the Icelandic Kronur (Kr) is 
100 Kr=$1.32

So 10,000 Kr is equal to $132.

I have been trying to figure out a good way to compare the cost of living here and I think the best way to explain it is like this....

I have been looking around and in the city where I live the rent is about 90,000 Kr for a 2-3 bedroom apartment and that equals out to about $681.82.  Not bad huh?  But.....everything else is outrageous!!!

A gallon of gas here is about 800 Kr=$6.06!!!  You are not allowed to complain about the price of gas again...ok!!

A loaf of bread is about 200 Kr=$2.64 (that is for the cheap brand)

The rent is cheap but it seems like everything else is expensive.

Oh, let me not forget to tell you how much the average pay is....

Since I really do not have a clue what the actual average pay is, I asked around and found out that the unemployment here is 140,000 Kr=$1,060.60 a month.  Could you live on that?

The average rent in my city is almost $700 a month, that means that you have about $360 left to pay utilities, gas in your car, your car payment, daycare, etc, etc!!!


If our most common foods are like pizza, hamburgers and fries and baked chicken, what would you consider Iceland's common dinners to be?

Pizza, hamburgers and fries!!  Iceland is getting really into the junk food.  When I was younger we never got to order pizza and hardly ever got to go out to eat but now a days it seems to be more common.

Icelandics eat a lot of fish, lamb, chicken and beef...we do eat horse too :o)  Fish is cheapest of all of those so when I was younger we used to eat it a lot.  Chicken is really expensive and I swear looking at the price of it, I don't think we will be eating it much!!!

What major differences do you see in the way Icelandic people are vs. Americans? (Like, what are your boys noticing is strange/different?)

Icelandics seem to be a little more laid back.  For instance they are not as strict in the schools and the teachers are called by their first names.  The boys loved that and thought that was so cool.  Most Icelandics are all into fashion and they are willing to spend an arm and a leg to make sure they are following the latest trend (I am soooo not that way!!!).  For instance....a pair of brand name jeans cost about 20,000 Kr= $151.51!!!  Would you pay that for a pair of jeans???  Would you buy your kids jeans for $150???  I know that we are not going to be wearing jeans that cost so much money!!!!

Do they celebrate any other holidays?

Iceland celebrates a lot of religious holidays.  For instance the country pretty much closes down for Easter starting on the Thursday.  I can't remember what the day is called in English and then we are closed down for Good Friday, Easter Sunday and the day after Easter.  Christmas is the same way.  We usually get off of work about noon on Christmas Eve, then we are off on Christmas day and the day after Christmas.

Our Independence day is June 17th.

We celebrate Halloween in February but it is not really Halloween.  Over the years it has become kind of similar as in the kids now wear costumes but they go to stores and get candy not door to door.

Are Icelandic men different from American men? How?


I don't really know how to answer this question.  I don't want to offend anyone...American or Icelandic but I have never been with an Icelandic man so I don't feel like I am the right person to answer this question.

I can tell you that my Dad and Step Dad are really hard working men.  They are great and wonderful and would do anything for me....what Dad wouldn't though :o)

See what I mean??

Is the climate similar?

No!!!  It is not humid in Iceland at all!!!  We have decent weather here but it doesn't get as hot as it gets in the States but it also does not get as cold as it get there either.  This week the temperature is all over the 50s (degrees that is).  It is kinda hard to get used to how cold is still is here compared to what it was like in Chicago before I left (70s and 80s).

Is the volcano affecting anything where you are? Did you see it from the air when you were flying over?

The volcano is not affecting us where we live (we are about 2-3 hours away) but it is affecting the airport which is about 15 minutes from my house.  

I did not see the volcano when we flew over because it is too dangerous to fly over it due to the ash.  But, we were not headed in that direction anyway :o)

How close are you to your family?

If you are asking how close I live....

I live about 10 minutes from my sister.  She is moving on the 1st and then we will be about 5 minutes from each other (in a car).

I live 5-10 minutes from my Mamma's whole side of the family and I live about 1.5 hours away from my Mamma.

YES!!!!   I see my sister everyday!!!  I see my Aunts and cousins a few times a week and sometimes everyday.  My Grandmother lives about 10 minutes away and I see her a few times a week, she is in Spain on vacation right now and I am water her plants while she is gone....speaking of watering her plants, I really need to get my butt over there to water those poor things before they die on me!!!!

Did that volcano effect your travels at all?

No, but I got really lucky!!!  The week before I left for Iceland the volcano was responsible for closing down most of the airports in Europe.  So far there had been no problems with flights coming in and out of the USA though.  The day after I got here they cancelled all flights coming out of the USA.  I was so thankful to have gotten here when I did.  I don't know what I would have done with 3 little boys stuck in Boston waiting for the Volcano to settle down.

Is the schooling system similar? Will the boys have to repeat grades?

The boys are not going to have to repeat any grades thank goodness!!!  In Iceland the children go to school from 1st-10th grade.  Most kids go on to college after that though.  

Do you like your new place?

My new place is actually my old place and yes I do like it.  

I live in a two story house and I own the top floor.  It is a 2-3 bedroom apartment but I have it set up as a 2 bedroom apartment.  I bought this place in the beginning of 2004 and when I was in the States I rented it out to my Dad.  When I told him I was coming home he told me the place was all mine and I moved right back in.  My Dad is working over seas and has been gone for about 9 months so the apartment has been sitting empty all that time but my Dad is coming home around the beginning of June and now he has to find a new place to live :o(  Poor thing....he's happy to have me here so he doesn't care LOL!!!

I didn't used to like this place when I lived here before but I am trying to make some changes to make this place better than ever and make it more like home for the boys and I.  I will be showing you guys some pics of my projects as soon as I am finished! 

Have you unpacked? 

Yep!!  It took me awhile but I have finally found a place for everything.  When I got here I had to pack all of my Dad's stuff and clean everything and that took a while.  It was kinda hard to figure out how I wanted to have everything but now I am settled in :o)

What's Iceland REALLY like? Is it really green, and Greenland is really ice?

Iceland is green and Greenland is Ice!!!

The story goes like this...

Once upon a time the Vikings went all over the world and stole all the most beautiful women and then they discovered Iceland.  They named it Iceland so no one would want to come here and that way no one would steal their women.  

The Vikings then discovered Greenland and named it Greenland so everyone would go there and freeze :o)

What's it been like for you with the volcano eruption? And, how the HECK do you pronounce the name of that volcano?!!

Like I said earlier, the volcano hasn't really affected me at all.  The name of the Volcano is Eyjafjallajökull



That's how it translates :o)

How far from the eruption were you?

2-3 hours

How are your boys adjusting?

Tyrique loves it here!!!  He doesn't ever want to move away again.

Markus said that he is going to go to college in the states when he is 18 but he is doing pretty well too.  He doesn't speak the language like Tyrique does but he is learning and I am hoping he starts to make friends soon.

Kobe loves having all his cousins to play with.  He loves how much time we spend outdoors and he LOVES having his Amma and Afi (Grandma and Grandpa).  Kobe misses his Daddy something awful though!!!

How are YOU adjusting?

Um, well....I am keeping REALLY busy!!!  I do not like to sit idle for a minute...I don't want to sit and think about what is going on.  My friend keeps telling me that I have to allow myself to mourn my marriage and I have to face reality but I like not crying!!  I am a big cry baby and I know that once I start I won't be able to stop.  To me this all seems like a dream still.  I just haven't woken up yet!!

I was wondering how the economy is there, since Iceland has been having a really bad time since the recession? 

The country is bankrupt and you can see that everywhere you go.  It is really sad to see how bad off the country really is but I love that people are trying to be positive.

There are empty houses and buildings all over from people not being able to afford to finish building or from people who have been foreclosed on.  

Everything here is really expensive and the prices just keep going up and no one is getting any richer.

We will survive!!!

How are you getting by?

I have no income as of right now.  I have a job lined up that I start around the 1st of June but it is only for the summer.  Up until I get my first paycheck I am getting help from my parents and sister and her hubby.  It's sad but it was the only way I could move back here.  This was a really expensive trip and I used all of my money getting what we needed to move here.

Okay, I have answered all of the questions that were asked...phew!!!  I didn't realize it was that many questions :o)

If you want to know anything else....ask away!!!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!!


Steadfast Ahoy! said...

You did a great job answering all those questions. I have been wondering about you, your move, and the volcano. So glad it hasn't caused you any personal problems. Good luck with the job hunt. Blessings, Rosemary

Caution Flag said...

That was a great post. I guess I'm a little smarter now. There is something to be said for blogging and the brain after all!

Shana said...

very interesting. thanks.

Erin said...

You are a trooper that's for sure! I'm glad the boys are adjusting and that you are staying busy. That's how I am to. My hardest days with Colby are the ones when I'm around other little boys his age and don't have anything to distracte me from the fact that he can't go run and play with them. I'm a big chicken so I just avoid those situations.

3LittleMonkeys said...

Wow...awesome answers! It's great to learn about another country. Glad to hear you & the boys are adjusting.

Pennie said...

Great post, Helga! I've been wondering all those things!!!

I do hope you have a chance to work things through, though. Being your friend (and I know you don't want to hear this...) I have to tell you - you will need to sit down and have a good cry sooner or later, dear friend. I worry about you! I can't help it!

But, it is fortunate that you had that house waiting for you - and that your dad is willing to find another place when he returns. Thank God for understanding dads! I love the great support system you seem to have in your loving family there. There's much to be said for that, isn't there? You can get through a lot of hardship with a loving family by your side! I'm so happy that you have that there for you and the boys.

Thanks for answering all those questions! I loved the Vikings story about Greenland and Iceland. It explains why you're so pretty...you're from Iceland! ;)

Stacey said...

Loved reading this! That is nice that your family is able to help you out rght now.

Jamie H said...

Just now getting around to reading your Q&A. Thanks for posting it! It was really interesting and helpful!