Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011

I can´t believe the year is almost over. 
This year has been very interesting and challenging. 

-German class for 6 months
-FM4 interviews (about Eyjafjallajökull and Icesave )
-created (and it´s podcast)
-met with a pianist and also joined a band "The Hurricane Project" (genre: pop/ classic rock)
-taught Jazz and wedding dance workshops (a big hit) in Casomai
-met friends for movie nights, dancing and dinner parties
-went to Zurich for a job interview at Swarovski. Didn´t get it but was honored to be invited. 
-Kosovo and Albania (including the most interesting wedding i´ve been too)
-broke up with my boyfriend of 6 years
-moved to Iceland
-round trip around Iceland with my best friend
-new job at NordicaSpa in the reception
-became a Zumba instructor after a weekend in Norway 
-Zumba teacher at NordicaSpa, my class was reviewed and on the cover of Morgunblaðið
-wrote articles for Pressan
-party, dinner parties, movienights and other fun with friends and family
I´m working on my sites and :) 
I hope to have them up and running sometime in the new year but until then you have their facebook pages which i try to update daily

I´m just grateful for everything i have in my life, my family, friends and to be at peace with myself and my life. I´ve been working a lot on myself and what i want, discovering what makes me happy and i can say that i´m in way better shape mentally and physically than i´ve been in years. 

So for 2011, i want to work even more on myself and my goals, because when you work on yourself, you help others as well. 2011 is my year :)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Post Break-up

Let´s just face it, breakup sucks and it´s hard to get over. It´s been 5 months since I broke up with my boyfriend and moved back home but i´m still recovering from all the change, from not having that special someone in my life.

It´s funny, i´ve noticed some things about being broken up i didn´t know. The frustration that follows. Seeing happy couples, songs (it seems all songs are love songs) or all this love in movies and TV series can make you makes you want to throw things at the TV like in this clip from Legally Blonde.....

or leave you bitter and hopeless like the following scene from Sex and the city

During this period i´ve discovered a couple of things that make you feel better

Break-up movies: "500 days of Summer" and "The Break up."


Break-up songs

 I will survive-Gloria Gaynor (ultimate break up song)

You and I-Medina (or Kun for mig in Danish)

Irreplacable, Beyonce

Big girls don´t cry, Fergie

Since you´ve been gone-Kelly Clarkson

Don´t Speak-No doubt

You lost me-Christina Aguilera

Single-Natasha Bedingfield

Single-Myah Marie

Single ladies-Beyonce

and my favourite (because it starts "love made me blind" focusing on the negative and then focusing on the positive "i´m feeling like a star, you can´t stop my shining")

Ridin Solo-Jason Derulo

Thankfully, like the song by Jason Derulo you get over these negative feelings and focus on all the positivity in your life. Your new found freedom, more time for yourself and things you love to do and discover yourself again. And that´s exactly what i´m doing...."I´m solo...i´m riding solo"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New article: "Ég elska bókasöfn" as well as one UNPUBLISHED

I wrote two articles, one about libraries and another about the people voting for people to re-write/add to the constitution. Which one do you think got published? The one about the library. The other one wasn´t published. I´d love to hear their reason why.....

anyway, i used the social media and published it on my facebook site!/note.php?note_id=471795857286

The other one can be read on Pressan


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One Minute Fly

I just love this video. Talk about finishing your life list just in time ;)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

My name is Anna and I´m a workaholic

  "My name is Anna and I´m a workaholic"
This sentence is me these days.... i´m a workaholic. 
I might as well change my home address to my work address because i´m never at home. Finally this weekend i got a chance to do something at home and RELAX, which meant to me blog, work on my sites, write and watch some tv i couldn´t watch during the week.

When i´m not working i´m hanging out with friends. I try my best to meet my friends regularly, at least for a movie or chat. My work colleagues are also cool, so i´ve been out with them a couple of times. That includes Halloween. Last year i celebrated halloween in Vienna. The only problem was, I was the only one. I was the only one in Vienna dressed in a costume, an indian one. To top it off i was saying goodbye to a person i´d only talked to via e-mail so she and all her friends got to enjoy the sight of me in a costume. Me dressed up in a group of normally dressed people. Lets just say i was left scarred. 

So this time, i was went all out. I wanted a cool costume since we in Iceland dress up for Halloween (at least some). So i bought my costume at an erotic store (that´s right, the only place for female my age to get a decent costume is an erotic store) and headed over to my work colleagues, who were dressed as Pamela Anderson from Baywatch and a stewardess. Me, I was dressed as a slutty FBI agent. We chilled at their place and then i met my friends Svava and Sara at another party, held by our gay friend, awesomely decorated. Leave it to the gays to have the most fabulous parties. Everybody was dressed and you could really get into the halloween spirit. Then we walked downtown to see our friend Haffi perform at Nasa. It was quite empty when we came but after we were on the dancefloor for not even 5 min it was soooo crowded. Talk about a full house. Then i went to other places to meet my work colleagues again, at Vegamót, where i managed to fall up the stairs due to too many people. That left a huge mark (purple one and it still hurts).  When i was finally upstairs a guy came up to me and said "Anna Claessen, you´re famous!"... funny since i have no idea why i should be famous. Although a couple of days earlier i was on the cover of the most respected daily news in Iceland "Morgunblaðið" with pictures, review from my zumba class and interview with me about zumba. AWESOME!!! so i was famous for a day. I really enjoyed seeing my photo on the cover of the daily news. Normally you have to do something huge to deserve that. Also, the photo was good, which isn´t always the case, especially with icelandic photographers. So halloween ended with me going to B5 but it was so crowded, i asked my dad to pick me up. Not really ideal but i was soooo exhausted...

What else...ZUMBA ZUMBA i´m teaching Zumba 8 times a week, i´m looking forward to my sixpack for christmas, at least i fitted into small size of this FBI costume. I felt so proud
btw. i´m looking for some help with websites i´m creating. So if there are any website creating geniuses out there who can help me out, just holla. I just changed to bluehost hosting site and i am thinking of doing it in wordpress. Does anybody out there have any templates or ideas for a cool site. I want at least a big video on the main page and then blog (not sidebar). Any suggestions?

Until next time....xoxo
zumba girl ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Our Zumba fitness facebook page

I just created a facebook page for fans to follow our Zumba fitness courses. We have big plans for Zumba so stay tuned. This is just the beginning...!/pages/zumbafitnessis/160215017346325

Friday, October 22, 2010


Oct. 20 was a "purple day" where they asked people to wear purple to remember the lives of the teenagers that committed suicide due to gay bullying. Horrible how many have taken their lives due to bullying. That´s why i had to share this video above of councilman Joel Burns, sharing his experience with the subject. It´s a video that everyone should see.

I hate bullying in general but why is it always against people who are considered different in some way. I was always drawn to those people because that meant they were special, had something that the others didn´t see. And i know a lot of gay people and they are the sweetest and most special people in my life so that´s why i walk in the gay pride parade each year. For them. For my gays. So they can one day feel free to be who they are, to have the same rights as us.

I wish for those who don´t understand gay people to hang around them and they will see it, that it´s just love. Can you imagine if someone judged you and wouldn´t allow you to be with the one you loved.

Ask yourself: "how does a law allowing gay marriage affect me?"
Answer: "not at all."
But it does matter to them.
Equal rights for all!

My wish for 2010 is that people will understand that being gay is not a disease, not a choice - people who are gay are not looking for a cure but ACCEPTANCE and EQUAL RIGHTS!

Just missing a halo

In Iceland we don´t really have a rule like the Americans do with the 10% of your paycheck should go to charity. But we are happy to give our money to charity, especially if there is a special occasion. The charities in Iceland have been very active and creative, finding ways for people to give money and receive something instead, like lipgloss, candy, pin, necklace, key chain and ticket to events.

I try to support a charity every month in some way but nothing tops the other day. The Red Cross was collecting money, asking people to volunteer and go from house to house. See ad below

Of course I volunteered. I had to work so i grabbed a box and placed it on the table at the reception. I also gave them money, since i was in the red cross youth group and know all the great things they do.

That wasn´t all i did. I had to go to the book shop and saw a pin to support breast cancer (october is breast cancer month) so i thought, since i´d already given something, why not finish the day with a bang.

So there i was at work with a sticker that said i was a volunteer with a box to collect money and a pin to support breast cancer. The only thing missing was the halo ;)

What can i say, i love doing good things....

New article: "Ísland í ESB, nei takk....EÐA?"

A new article for Pressan, where i talk about a billboard i saw against EU. Here in Iceland people don´t really want to join EU and they can´t really point to why not, so i´m encouraging them to at least read more about it to form an opinion instead of just saying no.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An official Zumba teacher

After spending a weekend taking an instructor course and master class with the great Jenna Bostic in Oslo, Norway I can now finally call myself an offical Zumba teacher.

Me, Marta (the other Zumba teacher) and my mom flew on Friday, spent the day in downtown Oslo, shopping and sightseeing. Oslo is really beautiful, i was astounded by the diversity of houses. Otherwise we saw H&M, H&M, H&M, it was all over the was even by our hotel. Let´s just say i probably spent my whole salary there. But it was all clothes i really need. I normally don´t shop often so when i do i buy a lot.

Saturday was Zumba day, first masterclass, then learning the steps, the music (intro-verse-chorus-break, etc) and then we created a dance by ourselves. It was so much fun. After the class we went to the hotel and took a little nap and then had dinner at the restaurant at the hotel. We had a blast, talking the whole night.

Sunday was Zumba day as well, pretty much same schedule, ending with handing out the diplomas and talking more about being a Zumba teacher and member of ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network), where we get cd/dvd´s and all sorts of material and access. Then we had our diplomas and left to our hotel only to eat dinner at the restaurant and then headed to the airport to go home.

A short but interesting weekend. I learned so much and was inspired to create my own routines so this weekend will be spent doing that ...can´t wait. My class is gonna be AWESOME!

I introduced Zumba to a town outside Reykjavik, called  Reykjanesbær (near the airport) during health week, where over 70 people showed up and more than half signed up for classes. A big success.

So if anyone needs a Zumba lesson, for any occasions, events or other,  don´t hesitate to contact me ;)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Two new articles and a recommendation

"Íslendingar njóta ekki lífsins" and "Ofbeldi leysir engan vanda eða?"

I was also asked by Ferðapressan (the travel section) to write recommendation about Vienna

Feel free to comment... i´d love to hear what you think about the issues i talked about.
Do you agree/disagree?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New articles in Pressan

I´ve written four articles since I moved back home,

Fjölmiðlar á Íslandi=fávitar
Fulltrúi Íslands erlendis
Líf án peninga
Vínarkaflinn á enda

Be sure to check it out, like and share (man i love the facebook options).
Feel free to comment here, it´s always nice to hear your opinions....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Life in Iceland

Wow.... i can´t believe it´s been two months since I moved to Iceland. A lot has happened.

I came home to a brand new life, back at my parents house in my old neighbourhood, where my sister, her fiance and 1 year old twins were visiting from Denmark so I could hug and play with them a bit before they left again. It´s amazing how much they´ve grown up. You can really see a difference in their personalities. Viktoria is really friendly, smiling and crawling all over the place while Helene is more to herself, it´s not easy to entertain her. She just gives you this look like "really....this is suppose to entertain me" its so funny. My brother also lives there so it´s wonderful to be back with my family. Not that i see them much since we all work different hours but it´s good to have people around.

It was also 5 years since I graduated from Commercial College of Iceland so I headed to the reunion. The day before i posted on facebook that i had broken up with Lumi, mostly because it happened to be on what would have been our 6 year anniversary but also because i knew that i was going to a reunion and i thought that if i would post it people wouldn´t ask me about it....boy was i wrong. I was asked about it all night and even got a "but you were so great together" (from people that barely know me, only saw my photos on facebook). Why is that? I get that my friends would place such comment and ask questions but strangers? It´s none of their business. The pre-party with my class was great and the reunion was ok, except it felt like a speed date, 2-5 min talking about yourself and what you have done. Not really fun.

Since I had been away for 5 years I couldn´t get unemployment benefits but thankfully my mom became the executive director of a spa/gym NordicaSpa and offered me a job there in the reception. I was so grateful. It´s been really fun, it´s an interesting, busy and diverse job with fun people. To top it off, I´ve been teaching Zumba fitness classes, a mixture of salsa, merengue, chacha, samba and more latin american dances as well as aerobic. We had a Zumba marathon where we got a teacher from Denmark to come to Iceland. I got the honor to pick her up, show her a good time so we went to The Blue Lagoon and then had dinner at the hotel (where the spa/gym is located). We danced Zumba for 3 hours or so, crazy but soooo much fun. Now I teach Zumba classes from Mon-Thursday, alongside work, two classes on Tuesday and Thursday. It´s been a blast and this is only the beginning.

After a crazy, busy month it was time for the staff party, and it was so great to hang out with all the people outside work and get to know them a little better. Two of them were the alcohol masters, mixed great strawberry margarita and mojito. We talked, danced and had a great time although some were more sick then the others (mostly due to Edwards russian vodka :P ). It was exactly what we needed to bring the staff together, after such a stressful first month. I also partied with the girls from the reception but it ended like a typical night in town, a bit of drama. But it brought us closer together so something good came out of it. And that means it will only get better.

I´ve been working like crazy but I also spent a lot of time with friends, karaoke and dinner at Saffran (delicious healthy restaurant) with my girls Jóhanna and Harpa, met Árnný and Klara before they left  to Canada and Italy, met Hulda (a fellow Vienna expat) for milk and pancakes, walked down memory lane with my childhood friend Ragnhildur, me and Þórunn went to the movies (saw The Sorceres Apprentice, quite good family film and Remember me, amazing), me and Frikki went and saw Going the Distance ( it was so good and real, as a person who´s been in a long distance relationship it describes it so well), met my girls Dagný, Matthildur and Guðrún and had a dinner party at Guðrún/Jón and Frikki/Davíð. I got this moment where i thought, "wow, a month ago i was wishing that i could have dinner parties with friends and here i am." So amazing.

My friends have taken such good care of me. I´ve been spending most of the time with my best friend Frikki, since he was on a summer holiday from his school in Milan so he had a lot of free time. Also because he´s my best friend, we have fun no matter what we do.

We went to the national museum. It´s so funny, they had telephones where you could talk to the people from earlier times and ask questions. You could also dress up in costumes, which of course we couldnt resist. My favourite part was though the stuff from this century and stuff from 40´s onwards. I remember my sister being shocked that the stuff she used to play with was in a museum. She was petrified asking "Am i that old"..

We went to our friend Óli goodbye party, dressed as stepford couple (aka 50´s look) and brought muffins in a basket (ala Bree, Desperate Housewives style). It was a hit. We stayed there a while and then went partying at Barbara (a gay club). I´m sorry but it has the best music and enough space on the dancefloor and everybody is free to dance as they please so i love it. The other clubs in Iceland are so tiny you can barely move. So you can expect to find me there.

 We also had a latino dinner party, where we cooked Fahitas, served nachos and punch and played latino music. Everybody got along great and we had a blast, i laughed so much I cried. I taught them a Zumba routine to Shakira´s song Waka Waka that we ended up not only dancing at home but also at the clubs later that night. We had a blast. We will definitely keep on the tradition.

We went to a concert of a guy who was with me in school and his band named after him, Jon Jonsson, they play sort of Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Gavin Degraw music and it´s great. I was so proud of him. It´s amazing to see people follow their dreams. I also met another guy from school who had been around the world and did a video blog about it, it´s amazing, you have to check it out: . After the concert we met up with a friend of ours Júlli where he had been photographing a bar (which used to be a strip joint, cleans up nice) . It was a  Thursday so the bars closed early and we headed to his place and talked for hours about everything from politics, news to people. It was great. I love when you meet people that you can talk to for hours.

My grandpa celebrated his 80th birthday....he´s amazing, so strong and such a good role model, in fact both my grandparents are. The whole family celebrated it at our home. The funny thing is that my uncle mentioned one of my articles, about the icelandic media, .... i just thought it was so cool that my family was reading it and even better responding to it. I love hearing discussions after reading my articles. That means it was effective.

What else... got sick, then well, have been actually working out (with Frikki, believe it or now, especially since we are known couch potatoes) and eating a bit healthier (but i still eat my icelandic candy that i love) and working at the gym/spa and hanging out with friends. I also try to update my site with new video and quote every day. I love it, especially researching for my site, my e-mail is filled with positive and inspiring e-mails. I have a room at the house and we bought couches, small table and a closet but i still live in boxes. I´m waiting for the shelves, TV and then i can clean, put everything in it´s place and decorate it as i see fit. Can´t wait.

This time has been really challenging but thanks to my parent´s and mostly my friend´s support I´ve been able to go through it with a smile on my face. Of course there comes some down points, you feel empty, miss being loved and it seems the only songs on the radio are love songs but I´m keeping busy, focusing on the positive and enjoying my new life in Iceland.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A trip around Iceland

I was not in Vienna, not in Kosovo, not in Reykjavik, but Akureyri (north of Iceland). I had this bizarre moment after watching Inception. I felt I should have an object to spin to realize in which world I was.

I had never traveled around my country so when my best friend was going there, I couldn´t resist.

It was before a holiday weekend (Verslunarmannahelgin or what i call lovingly "the drunken weekend") in the end of July/beginning of August, that my best friend Frikki, his boyfriend Davíð and his brother Valdi picked me up. What stood before me was a nightmare. A tiny car full of stuff. Yes, me and his brother were in the back and it was so full of stuff i couldn´t see him. I couldn´t help but laugh. To top it off the car would only play cassettes so we listened to Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Queen cassettes. It reminded me of old times.

We drove the south part of the country first and stopped at Skógarfoss (beautiful waterfall), where i dared Davíð to come out of the waterfall with the soundtrack from Baywatch. He laughed but didn´t do it. I gave him the nickname Davíð Hasselhoff anyway. Next stop: Jökulsárlón, where the Bond movie "Die Another Day" and "Tomb Raider" were filmed. No wonder. It´s such a beautiful area.

Finally we put up a tent at Haukafell, near Höfn á Hornafirði. We were the only people in the camping area so the first thing we did was run around and dance. After all theres a reason there is a saying "dance like no one´s watching. It was so much fun. Davíð og Valdi put up the tent while me and Frikki try to stay out of the way. We drank, listened to music but the best part was when me and Frikki were talking and Valdi put on his poncho and insisted on dancing the poncho dance around the tent. All of the sudden we heard a big THUMP! We asked "Did you fall?" Valdi: "Yes"....We almost fell out of our chairs laughing. Needless to say Valdi´s nickname became Valdi Poncho.

We stayed another night at Haukafell and spent the day in Höfn, swam, ate and stopped at Frikki´s friend Birna´s ranch, where we chased a pig. It was hilarious. Birna then joined us at the camping spot and showed us the area better. We had a dinner party, where Davið earned the nickname Grillmeister. The food was delicious. Birna´s friend came over and we drank, talked and listened to music. Great company. The night was horrible. I woke up in the night shivering, so cold that i couldn´t think straight. To top it off i had a stomach ache from hell as well which left me terrified. Me and Valdi slept on one side of the tent while Davíð and Frikki on the other so i went over to the other said and told Davíð my problem. He was worried so he let me stay with them and i got his sleeping bag. It helped.

We woke up, packed the tent and headed to Neskaupsstaður, where Frikki and Davíð´s friends, Andrés og Gulli, manage a hotel (Edda hotel). We got the most delicious Icelandic buffay I ever tasted. Then Andrés showed us around town. It was so tiny, calm but beautiful. They had a festival there so each neighbourhood had a different color and was decorated according to it. Brilliant idea. We spent two nights there where we were treated like stars. Loved it. Thank you Andrés and Gulli

We kept going..... Egilsstaðir, Krafla, Mývatn and also what looked like Ódáðahraun (desert of rocks)....where Valdi found 3 golfballs. I couldn´t stop laughing and sang "Útilegumenn í Ódáðahraun, eru kannski að golfast smá á laun" (a rearrange of icelandic song, you have to be icelandic to get that) .

Finally we were in the north of Iceland and second largest city Akureyri where we camped in the backyard of Davíð´s friend. We barbequed, went swimming, partied (where Valdi was drunk for the first time....adorable) and most importantly, did Stuðmannadansinn (a dance from the Icelandic movie Með allt á hreinu) down the whole stairs as shown below.

Now you can enjoy the two videos below. One showing us singing "Íslenskir karlmenn" by Stuðmenn and dancing the Stuðmannadansinn and the second shows the dance Valdi Poncho came up with dancing around the tent. Needless to say, seeing this will brighten your day :) 

We stayed two nights in Akureyri and then drove south, with one stop. Otherwise we were pretty tired after having traveled in that car. Traveling takes a lot of energy. I was though so happy with the trip, it is something every Icelander must do, travel and see it´s own´s so beautiful. I´m so grateful for Frikki, Davíð and Valdi. Thank you so much for inviting me on this trip. I will never forget it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye

It´s the end of an era....the end of my Vienna chapter.

Once you take a decision you have to take action. I talked to my family, booked the tickets and prepared everything for my leaving to Iceland.

The hardest thing was though to say goodbye to Lumi, my love for 6 years. After 6 years either you get married or break up.... i hated to do the latter but there were more reasons to break up then stay together. I hate to say it but culture and the language barrier did play its part. It´s really hard to be in a relationship with someone from such a different culture and speak another language. And then once you think of the future, it will play an even bigger part. We ended the relationship in good terms and we still stay in contact. He is an amazing guy and I wish him all the best. He will always have a place in my heart.

The second hardest was to say goodbye to friends. I had a goodbye party at Charlie Ps (my favourite bar) and around 20 people came, i was overwhelmed by all the people. So great of them to come.  Got some great presents, including a key chain that said Hotel Mama, another key chain with the letter A in glitter, a pop up card of Vienna, candles and more. Unfortunately I a had sunstroke, so i was feeling sick the whole time. 

My dad was so great to come to Vienna and help me with the rest of the move. It was great support. Andreea also helped me pack (it was so much fun to pack with her, more dancing on couches, less packing). We put all my stuff into 5 boxes and sent to Iceland. It was quite poetic. 5 years into 5 boxes.

My Vienna chapter may be done but that leaves an even better one to come. 

So as the kids in Sound of the music sang
"So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye"

Sunday, July 25, 2010


There came a moment.....

A moment of clarity, where i could see clearly what I wanted. 
I had distance from Vienna and time by myself so i had no influences, only myself to think of.

So I thought.... 

"What do I want with my life? What do I want to become? How do I want to spend my time? 
Am I happy with my life now or do I need to make a change?"

The answer was clear

I wanted to move back home to Iceland....

My best friends were not surprised but others (who I talk to occasionally) were shocked, after all I said everything was fine. And it was. But I was not happy and I wanted more with my life. 

I also really wanted to get out of Vienna because it´s not the place for me. I´ve lived in Vienna for 5 years and gotten everything out of it that I can. So it was time to leave

So Iceland, here I come

Friday, July 16, 2010


After a week of not seeing my boyfriend (due to family visits) i was happy to spend a week with him in Albania. We drove from Kosovo to Dürres, Albania

It took 5 hours by car, we stopped once while waiting to get into the new tunnel and then to hand out passports at border control where once they saw I was from Iceland they asked Lumi "Where did you find here"... not surprising, since they probably don´t get a lot of Icelandic visitors. 

We stopped at a restaurant looking for a hotel and the owners of it told us they had a room for us. I was surprised but Lumi said this was how people raised money in the summertime. I trust him so we saw it, liked it and stayed there. It was 15 Euro a night (for both of us) and next to the beach. What a bargain. I loved how cheap Albania was.

We went to the beach during the day and then had dinner at different restaurants every night. The burgers there has the fries in the burger (not on the side). Turns out they eat the french fries first and then the burger. My stomach was still strange after the food in Kosovo so I mostly ate salat.

I loved the beach, I managed to avoid getting a sunburn by staying in the shadows. A miracle, since I´ve got such white skin I burn every holiday.

We also got temporary tattoos, me a rose and lumi the albanian flag icon, to remind us of this trip.

The thing I didn´t like, was seeing the gypsies or Roma people begging on the street without limbs. It broke my heart.

Once we drove back to Kosovo we stopped in Prizren, the oldest town in Kosovo, really beautiful little town. Then we drove home to Vushtrri, packed and I took the plane back to Vienna the next day.

Gotta love holidays, but I was happy to be back in a land, closer to my culture and where I could speak the language. Visiting other countries makes you appreciate yours.

One flaw in women

So beautiful

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kosovo Albanian Wedding part II

 Mother and father of the Bride

Sunday, the Wedding day, started out with a trip to the hair and makeup saloon and then i got dressed in a traditional kosovo-albanian dress, tons of golden jewellry and high heeled shoes Then I greeted all the women of the family with a respect (like the night before) and took more pictures.

 Women and men celebrated separately. The women of Lumi´s family lined up on the side of the door. Then the groom´s family came with their cars, the women in his family came to us, greeted us and then joined the party while a few went inside to get Sqhipe (the bride). The women then danced and chanted, teased that they were getting the most beautiful woman to their family. 
Sqhipe came out and was led to the car by Lumi and his uncle alongside most of the groom´s family and they went away, honking their car horn, leaving Sqhipe´s family alone and crying so much I thought something had happened. After all this was a wedding, not a funeral 

 One woman asked me if I had cried when Sqhipe went away, i looked at Egzona, who translated and asked "is it rude if i say no", she told me to say a little so that´s what i did.

This is what I didn´t get, a wedding is generally seen as a happy occasion, some even say its the best day of your life, yet i didn´t see Sqhipe smile once. I tried to ask her if she really loved the man she was going to marry and she said yes. I felt relieved, especially knowing that most kosovo-albanian weddings are arranged. Maybe this is how they react....calmly.... i can´t say since I haven´t been to other such weddings. It was an interesting wedding but i would not like such one.

Kosovo Albanian Wedding part I

One of the main reasons we wanted to go to Kosovo this summer was that Lumi´s sister Sqhipe was getting married. I have been to two weddings in my life, one traditional Icelandic church wedding (pretty much like the American), a lesbian buddhist 30´s theme wedding and now I was about to experience a Kosovo-Albanian one. I couldn´t wait.
The wedding took place for two days. The men and women have separate gatherings, so I can only speak for the women but as far as I know the men talked and drank beer. The women talk, congratulate and spend the last night celebrating before Sqhipe gets taken (literally TAKEN) to her new home.

Before the wedding, there is the preparation. Me, Sqhipe and the women of the family went to the hair/makeup session for several hours. Then came the dresses. Sqhipe wore at least 5 dresses on Sat and then one on Sunday (typical white wedding dress). I, however, did not have the proper wardrobe so a woman in the family borrowed me a couple. The first one, the one they wanted me to be in was red, with a corset and very tight skirt, how tight...well I moved like a penguin. That was my limit. I was about to explode of anger, no way in hell I would wear that. I have my limits. Thankfully i got a hold of Lumi who could translate and tell them to find another dress for me. I got a blue one and then a green one which I loved.

The next thing i did was to greet everyone, not with a handshake but with respect, so i had to take their hands, my arms in the height of a praying position, bend down and put their hands from my chin to my forehead. Below is Sqhipe, the bride, showing respect.

Sqhipe looked absolutely beautiful but as you can see in the photos she is not smiling. On Saturday she had the stomach ache I had, so i felt bad for her, having to be in such pain on her wedding day.

So the women in Lumi´s family came, all dressed up, some in traditional clothes, others normal. They sat, talked and in the end of the night we ate some gulash, meat, bread and salat. Normally they also dance, but since Lumi´s grandma passed away recently they didn´t feel like dancing.

I was the only one there that didn´t know Albanian and a total foreigner, although everyone was so nice, took the time to come and tell me how great i looked and take a picture with me. Which was nice until I was doing nothing but taking photos with people. I felt like a celebrity. It´s fun at first but then it gets really tiring.

At that point an Albanian girl, Egzona, who lives in Sweden came and not only could she talk English but could also explain the albanian traditions and things that I´ve been seeing but never understood (from a Scandinavian point of view). She saved my night and for that I will be forever thankful to her.

I don´t know what the men did but when i asked lumi´s teenage uncle, he said with a smirk "We drank beer".....sound good.

That was the end of the first day of the wedding. I was so happy to get off my high heels, take off my makeup and hairdo (reminded me of old days of ballroom/latin competition) and get into normal clothes and fall asleep. It´s exhausted not understanding and just smiling. I dare you to try it.

Holiday=Sick leave

Image a stomach pain from hell!!!! That´s what I had on my holiday. When you´re sick you really want to be home, not in your boyfriend´s family house, surrounded by people that don´t understand you (or you them) and in a house which only sometimes has water and electricity.

I was though grateful because Lumi´s aunts worked in a hospital so he could take me there, no waiting. There I got nutrition through my vains (since I wasn´t able to keep anything down, only throw it up). Turns out I had a virus, which has been going around, my nieces in Denmark had it as well as rest of the family in Kosovo later in the trip. Thankfully I was better by the weekend, when Lumi´s sister got married. More on that later.

One thing is for sure: Being sick makes you really thankful to be healthy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New look

 As you can see I have a new look on my blogsite. I thought it was about time to do so. Let me know what you think. Do you prefer this one or the old one.

Look forward to hearing from you....

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Youtube experiment

Two years ago, i put up a school project on youtube. Needless to say, it got a lot of attention (and criticism), 12,800 people saw it... and that was a bad one. I have other videos as well, who are better, who have barely been watched, which made me think "is it better to put up a bad one than good one"

Let´s test it. I put up a video of me, singing Bohemian Rhapsody in my kitchen. So here´s the experiment. Let´s see if this video can get more hits than the other.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reliving Vienna as a tourist

My best friend Frikki (who lives and studies in Milan, Italy) came to visit me in Vienna from Jun.1 - 8. We had a great time and I finally felt at home here. That´s what I´m missing here, best friends. I have gotten to know some good friends but it´s still not your best friends who you can call anytime and meet instantly (without having to book an appointment). It´s also because my boyfriend works all the time so I have time to think about it.

June 1, Picked Frikki up at the airport,  we took the train to the center and stopped at Subway (since there is none in Italy and my favourite place). I then took him to my apartment, where I introduced him to Lumi (my boyfriend) and then left for my German class. In the evening we dressed up and went to see Sex and the City 2. I don´t know why it´s getting such a bad rap, i thought it was hilarious, Kim Cattrall (Samantha) should get a Golden Globe for her performance. After the movie we went to coctailbar Sky Bar for a cosmopolitan and then danced at the salsa club Floridita.

The weather was really cloudy and cool. We laughed because it reminded us of the weather in Iceland. We both felt at home, we didn´t realize we were in another country.  That´s the thing with best friends. We could be anywhere and still feel at home.

June 2, We ate again at Subway (our plan was to eat there everyday) and then went sightseeing around the Ring, visiting sites such as Burggarten, Hofburg (my favourite palace), MuseumsQuarter, Parliament, Rathaus and ended at Charlie Ps (my favourite bar in Vienna) for a drink. As you can see we did unique photos (see photo above) as well as traditional sightseeing photos.

We were pretty tired so we decided to stay in for the night, Frikki cooked Italian food and we wached Gilmore Girls. Then we put on some fun music, danced around and took tons of fun pictures.

Us making exciting babyfaces

June 3, my sister´s birthday so called her, put up a video on  in her honor and sent her a message as well. I really miss my sister, she´s amazing.

Anyway, we used the day and walked around Schönbrunn, where we almost got attacked by a squarral, yes thats right. We first thought he was cute but then he started run towards us so we ran. Every time i´m in Schönbrunn i feel like Alice in Wonderland in the Queen of Spade´s garden.

ate Sacher Torte at Cafe Hotel Sacher (most famous cake in Vienna). In the evening we went to Centimeter, a great restaurant which has the biggest Schnitzel ever and Beer. LOVE IT! And of course the decorations are brilliant (dedicated to centimeter)

Since my friend is gay and i love gay clubs (good music, girly drinks and fun people, everyone can be themselves and no one bothers you) i decided to use this chance and finally check out the gay scene. I wanted to take him to "Why not" but of course it was closed so we went to Mango bar. We went into this tiny bar and all i saw were men. We weren´t getting any service, despite barely any people there, 2 bartenders, my friend is cute and i was the only girl, apparently that was not enough. We finally got their attention and had a beer. This beer was though not good so i got water for the rest of the evening. Funny enough, one bartender noticed my routine of ordering water so he dropped by every so often and gave me a water with an orange and a straw (so it looked like a coctail). So FUNNY.

Then the weirdest thing happened. A guy from Finland came to our table, which was no big deal until he said "You´re so´s not only your look but also your spirit", I thanked him but then he asked me if he could hold my hand. I thought it was weird but gave it anyway. He wouldn´t let go!! So i looked at Frikki and asked him what i should do. He just laughed and said "You´re too nice" and was advising me to be mean. I kept talkign to Frikki in Icelandic and eventually the Finnish guy left. So I go to a gay bar with a gay cute guy and I get hit on...SERIOUSLY! I was disappointed with the music, mostly techno, only at 2-3 o´clock came Cher, Britney, Madonna and other girly songs. So not a good gay bar. When we were leaving we met this guy called Rob and talked to him for a while, who told us this was more of a bar you go at the end of the night to find someone to go home with...OOPS my bad. That explains the "No prostitutes" sign on the door. We took a taxi with him since he lived in the neighbourhood and therefore didn´t need to pay. what a night!

June 4, We finally had summer weather, sun and 25 degrees so we went for some more sightseeing, this time to MuseumsQuarter, had ice cream at Zanoni Zanoni (best ice cream in Vienna), Secession, Karlskirche, Belvedere and had a drink at Sand and the city and went through Stadtpark to take the u-bahn back home to get ready for a barbecue at Rob´s house.  Free food, why not, we went to his apartment, including the most decorative toilet i´ve ever seen (with pictures of jesus all over and music as soon as you closed the door and this funny toilet holder, see picture below, "Marijuana, billions and billions stoned"). Rob made delicious food and then we talked rest of the night. It was really fun, especially hearing industry stories, since Robert is working in the media branch. Frikki was so tired so we walked home because there´s nothing like fresh air to awaken the spirit.

June 5, great weather, perfect for Präter, the amusement park. We are no daredevils so we only went to three rides, one where we went back in time (scariest one, the animals, darkness and ride, you never know what´s going to happen, i think i´ve been to too many horror rides so i didnt enjoy that one) and then two water rides, one where we were in a big boat and floated in circles down and then a typical rollercoaster, except we sat in a log and with water. We walked around and then sat at a bench in the park and enjoyed the sun. We then went home and relaxed. Lumi invited us to dinner so we went to an Italian restaurant and ate good food. I loved that Lumi and Frikki got along because it is important that your boyfriend and best friend get along. They are both amazing and a big part of my life.

June 6 Amazing weather yet again and perfect for a trip to Donauinsel, where we walked around, sat in the grass and listened to music. Then we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, delicious. After some time and sunburn we had enough and went to Schwedenplatz and walked to Strandbar Herrman where we had a drink. I love that place, fake beach surrounded by bars and restaurants.

In the evening I had pain in my leg (due to much movements) so we stayed in and watched more Gilmore girls. I love those series...classic.

June 7 While I spent most of the day waiting at the doctor´s office, Frikki went shopping at Mariahilferstrasse. We had dinner at T.G.I Fridays for a greasy, juicy hamburger. DELICIOUS!

June 8, I had to go to my German class so I had to say goodbye early to Frikki. It was really hard. I had the best time with him, as always. I finally felt at home in Vienna. Things are just easier when surrounded with friends. So thank you Frikki for visiting me, i had a blast with you. Until next time..

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Don´t know if I should laugh or cry?

If you haven´t heard a comedian, Jón Gnarr, and his group Besti flokkurinn (the best group) is now the mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland. I get it, we´ve been screwed over by people we trusted and now we think, why not someone else? I also heard there was a lack of other people to vote for. Either way I think it will be interesting to see the results of this group. Take a look at the video below to see what their promotional video (so funny).

One of his most famous roles was Georg Bjarnfreðarson, who had most symptoms of a dictator. I hope Gnarr is different and will not take this job as a joke. Good luck Gnarr....

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Best city to live in ...or is it?

Vienna topped the Mercer survey once again with best living standards.

I get that, i really do, but i still wish the people here would and be happy with that (change it´s negative atmosphere, nagging) and treat other people with respect.

I agree with a boyfriend of my friend, who said "Vienna is as beautiful as it´s people are unfriendly"

I´m sorry, It might be because we come from Iceland, where most people are friendly or at least in stores (where it´s "customer comes first") so next to that there is no service and the people here are really unfriendly.

A friend of mine found the perfect song for Vienna, just replace the Love with FRUSTRATION so it´s "Frustration´s in the air... everywhere i look around" (and she has lived here most of her life)

The problem that I have with Vienna is that I don´t seem to get the work that I want here, everything is just so difficult and I´ll always be a foreigner here (even if you´ll live here 20 something years). I think you can´t understand it unless you live in Vienna. But also because I´m without family and friends. My best friend is visiting me from Iceland and i finally felt at home, so maybe that´s what I´m missing

Vacationing here is amazing or doing your studies abroad program but living here, despite having the best living standards in the world is not much when you don´t enjoy the day to day living, it´s like having all the money in the world but no one to share it with.

But then again...if you have your family and friends with you it´s different, or as they say, "Home is where the heart is"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Notes on Eurovision

Since I´m Icelandic I´m a big fan of Eurovision, it´s very big in Iceland, everybody watches it and celebrate it with big parties. I think mostly because it happens to be around the time when people are graduating and finished with exams so it´s just another reason to celebrate! Also because we don´t compete in a lot of international competitions (at least not as big as these ones). 

1) Azerbaijan
Good song, beautiful voice and stunning dress. I particularly liked the dancer and the extra effects like wind machine and helped since it was a calm song and the singer didn´t move much. But when she moved during the "drip drop drip drop" I couldn´t help but laugh..

2) Spain
Interesting song and characters on stage. Good singers.
Did you notice the guy who came on stage and was later taken by security...what an entrance!!

3) Norway
Beautiful song and melody but his voice bugged me.

4) Moldovia
I remembered the woman from the semi-finals because of her makeup, the moves by the guys were so funny. At least they had a blast performing. That was obvious. Otherwise funky clothes.

5) Cyprus
His voice really impressed me, such a sweet one. The song was only ok, not really memorable.

6) Bosnia&Herzegovina
Interesting to hear a rock song in Eurovision...but not my cup of tea

7) Belgium
Nice voice and mellow song, haven´t heard such mellow song with only guitar in Eurovision=interesting. I bet next year more indie artists will try out for Eurovision after hearing this.

8) Serbia
Remember a few years ago, Serbia sent a woman that looked like a man, well this year they did the opposite. Didn´t really like the song or the performance, but i predict it will be popular in dance clubs.

9) Belarus
 This reminded me of old Eurovision songs, which were majority melodies. I liked the glitter dresses. Interesting to have the wings appear when they sang about butterflies :P

10) Irland
Irland has won most Eurovision contests with their slow songs so no wonder that they have a slow song. It sounded more like a soundtrack music than Eurovision entry.

11) Greece
OPA! typical greek...loved it. Very interesting choreography.

12) United Kingdom
interesting stage setup with the boxes and backup singers on top , but a horrible song and badly sung. Such a shame since UK has amazing singers.

13) Georgia
Beautiful voice but the modern dance choreography did more for the song than the song itself.

14) Turkey
Interesting music, very different from anything else this year.  Too much lighting for my taste. Loved the robot (woman) dancer in the back.

15) Albania
I liked that they had modern music once again (in the past they´ve had too traditional music) but i didn´t like her outfit. Otherwise nice rhytm and good voice.

16) Iceland
My homecountry, we´re eurovision fanatics so we pick very carefully who goes each year. I´m so proud of Hera, she was amazing, sang so well and i loved the choreography of the background singers. Didn´t like her dress, liked more the one that she had in the video (where i used to swim in school, funny). Loved the volcano on their waiting desk. Nobody can say we we don´t have humor :P

17) Ukraine
What a voice, very emotional but i barely understood her english

18) France
Good summer song...Ale, ale , ale...i don´t know what they were singing about but their movements were very diverse, everything from acrobatics to bootylicious.

19) Romania
Liked the piano and her voice (especially when she went up high)...will definitely played in the clubs

20) Russia
Slow song, talking in between.... was ok. Nothing more, nothing less.

21) Armenia
Interesting music, clothes and instrument

22) Germany
Really interesting and catchy song, couldn´t believe she was German since her English was really good. Unfortunately her dance moves were not. She should have had some dancers.

23) Portugal
Beautiful voice, song and outfit. Very charismatic and worked the camera well. Reminded me a bit of Christina Aguilera. 

24) Israel
Ok song..very dramatic and nice voice.

25) Denmark
Interesting play with the wall and seperation of the two singers. Easy on the wind machine. Otherwise good song.

My favorite were Iceland, Greece, Germany, Azerbaijan, Portugal, Denmark and Belgium. I´ll say Albania too because my boyfriend is from Kosovo.

I loved the flashmob dance (both in Norway as around the world), especially showing from people´s living room, so funny. Nice way to kill time.

I was worried after watching the semi finals that it would be a boring competition but it turned out to be the opposite, really interesting songs and fun competition. Norway did such a good job hosting it.

Germany WON! Although I didn´t like her performance i love the song so I´m very happy with the results.

Great Eurovision. To celebrate we can dance the fabulous mob dance

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ice-English MP3 player

If you haven´t notice I have an amazon mp3 player on the sidebar featuring songs in English by Icelandic artists (Steed lord, Bjork, Sigurros, Gus Gus, Paul Oscar, Emiliana Torrini, Sprengjuhöllin and Hera) or as I call them Ice-English songs....check it out! Which one is your favourite?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"This is dedicated to the one I love"

In my earlier posts, I totally forgot to mention our datenight.
Those who haven´t seen Date Night should go see the movie, it´s hilarious...but then again it has Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, can´t go wrong with those two in a movie. And i saw it in German so if it´s good in German it´s amazing in English.

Back to our datenight, Me and Lumi went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D. It was my first 3D experience and i thought it was great to have Alice in Wonderland in 3D, since it fits the story and Tim Burton´s world really well. Although, I couldn´t help but laugh at us with those funny 3D glasses. Too bad we had to return them, would have made a great christmas card ,heheh

Anyhow, since my love works in a club as a bartender from 6 pm to 6 am, he doesn´t have much time for anything else but sleep so when he gets some free time we normally spend it together at home, watching TV&movies and relaxing. Only occasionally do we actually leave the house.

Lately we´ve  done tons of things, he took me to a stroll in the city center and dinner at an Italian restaurant, went shopping the other day (where he bought me a beautiful pair of shoes) and best of all, he surprised me at a graduation party of my friends. He even bought a round of shots for my girls.

Do I have the best boyfriend or what?