If you assumed that life in Reykjavik is one fantastic road trip adventure after another, you would be forgiven. Based on what I’ve written about so far, that’s a reasonable assumption. But the reality is my weeks look like that of your typical college student, I just don’t usually write about it because it’s not that interesting. Considering my computer is still in the hospital and will be for the foreseeable future, though, I thought I’d catch y’all up on what an average week as an exchange student at University of Iceland looks like.
Mostly it looks like the inside of a classroom. My courses this semester are Language and Humor, Being Icelandic, and Anthropology of Art and so far, I love them all. I can understand how any or all of them would be a total drag for most people, but for me it’s the perfect concoction of history, culture, and art, except now some of it is supposed to be funny. Pro tip: all classes are more fun when you leave sassy notes in the margins of your textbooks.
When I’m not in class, I can be found at Haskolatorg, which is basically the student union/cafeteria. Here I can obtain chocolate-covered Icelandic doughnuts and work on homework, and usually someone comes along before too long to rescue me from being a productive little learner. (Which is why I do my homework at Haskolatorg.)
The other nice thing about being so close to campus is that directly below Haskolatorg is the Student Cellar, AKA the only place in Reykjavik I can afford to have more than one drink (except Gaukurinn because when you’re performing stand up there you get two free glasses of wine wayho). We go there for curly fries, happy hour, and, most importantly, foosball. Or kicker. But not table football. Table football is something completely different.
The thing about foosball is, I suck at it. I approach it the same way as I approached every game in elementary school gym class: get the ball as far away from me as possible, as fast as possible. Fortunately when you’re playing defense that’s actually a pretty sound strategy. In fact, I’ve actually won a few games– even when my partner wasn’t German.
Yeah, fun fact, kicker is apparently the national sport of Germany. One German remarked that he wasn’t even that good at it “for a German” after scoring like 800 goals and knocking the ball out of the table as many times because Germans have no chill when it comes to foosball. But my English partner and I made an amazing comeback earlier this week and scored four goals in a row for the win, which consequently marked the end of my kicker career. Until I pulled a Favre and, despite ending my career on a high, came back to the game because I was bored and wanted to be a part of the group.
(I made a football joke, Dad, are you proud of me?)
Speaking of being “part of the group,” I found myself at a Game of Thrones pub trivia night, despite having never watched or read Game of Thrones. Everything I know about the series can be (and has been) distilled into a punchline on a late night comedy show. I thought my teammates could carry me to the win, but this was not the case. After three questions we gave up and spent the rest of the evening deliberating over whether a Harry Potter joke or Lord of the Rings joke would make a better answer.
Surprisingly, we did not win.
In between classes and studying and kicker, I’ve also become active in the English comedy scene in Reykjavik. By “active” I mean I’ve performed twice in as many weeks, but considering I’ve only been here a month I think that’s commendable. On Monday I was a little fish among some wildly talented comics at Goldengang Comedy’s weekly show Come Talk Funny, where I performed a 7-minute set about dogs, children, and the Bachelor. The pity laughs abounded. I think I might’ve even gotten a few genuine chuckles. Video will appear once my computer is not in the ICU. In the meantime, enjoy this high-quality still.
I promise quality content will return to this blog once my computer is returned to my loving arms.