Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Iceland, take 2

So, this past weekend I went to Reykjavik again. It was a lovely trip. I went by myself and didn't re-do any of the things I did when I went last year, except for eating lobster soup (humarsupa) at Sea Baron again.

And I saw the Northern Lights! And utterly failed to get any kind of a good photograph of them.

My best shot.

They were huge, and gorgeous. I saw them on the way home from a VERY LONG small-group day tour to the Snaefellsnes peninsula. I was completely exhausted and out of sorts but then we got out of the car and the lights were taking up what seemed like half the sky (actually they were probably about 120 degrees wide and 60 degrees high). They were moving and shimmering and streaks kept appearing and then disappearing. It was pretty damn sweet.

One of the people on the tour, a very nice French girl who worked for the tour company, was trying to explain what causes the aurora, leading to a very funny and odd conversation.

B: It's because of the... I don't know how you say the word in English... "Yawn"?

The English speakers in the car: Yawn?

B: You know? Yawn? The yoan?

Jonas, the tour guide: What, me?

B: No, no the yawn? With the charge of electricity!

English speakers: IONS!

Hah, it was the exact same word just pronounced differently, and we spent probably five minutes going back and forth like this. If she'd just spelled it, we would have gotten it much sooner. It reminded me of one time I was talking to a French-Canadian girl at the museum of science and she was trying to ask me if the monkeys were "amiable", but pronouncing it in this half-French, half-English way. I had no idea what she was talking about. One word, two languages.