It has happened to me three times now, so I’m wondering if this is an Icelandic cultural thing I should know about. The first time, I was having a really hard day. The calendar said it was LATE SPRING, but the weather felt like the dead of winter and every time I went outside I got grumpy. Come to think of it, when I was inside I was grumpy too because I felt entitled to be outside enjoying warm weather. Anyway, I was on my way home and an old man came up to me and the girls mumbling something in Icelandic. I must have looked confused because he pulled out his wallet. I thought he was giving me a visual clue (like a good ESL teacher) and asking me for money, and I tried to explain to him in my broken Icelandic that I didn’t have any cash on me. He kept repeating a sentence in Icelandic that was something to the effect of, “Life is hard (erfitt), but you’re doing a good job.” He made it sound like he had been watching me and he thought I was handling it well here. With that, he reached into his wallet and gave me 1000 kronur. I tried to give it back, but he refused to let me. I went home and told Colby that I thought I had just encountered a drunk angel.
Two times since then, two different old men have come up and literally just given me money because my girls are so beautiful. One of them said that he really wanted to get them something, but he thought I would know better what to get them. He made me promise that I would get them a special treat with the money (How did he know that I’d be tempted to save it?!). I mean, I know my kids are cute, but…..I’ve never gotten PAID for it. Maybe I should have some more kids and start a side business.