Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Beautiful People...and....Iceland???

I just read an article on MSN Careers which names a number of studies about good-looking and/or taller people earning more and getting better jobs than shorter and/or more homely people. Not too good-looking, though as such people are thought to be quite empty-headed. But just attractive enough. Why would short people earn less? Do they look as though they need less money for survival because they are smaller?
It's no one's fault, just part of human instinct (as always, that unknown and uncontrollable "other" that excuses or explains lots of our behaviours). They say we are hard-wired to prefer symmetrical, attractive faces - proven by babies, who spend more time staring at nice faces.
However, hiring managers say they are more attracted to exuded confidence rather than the face. So: maintain upright posture, confident bearing, direct eye contact, dress well, etc., and you will attract more people and receive more warmth and respect. This is so true.
But in London, one must spend a lot of time with eyes on ground to ensure one does not step in any of the nasty things produced by millions of people and animals in this teeming metropolis.

On to other things. Can you believe it: I am feeling a bit down at the moment, and of all things, a former classmate tried to set me up with a guy who wanted to take me to a Henrik Ibsen play? Even on my sunniest days Ibsen is a bit much...I saw a Strindberg play on TV the other day and that was just ghastly. What is it with those Scandinavian playrights? They're as bad as the Russians. It must be the weather. You think England is bad....

Last year, I saw a movie called Reykjavik 101. I would be loathe to admit to anyone that my grandmother is Icelandic, if that were their only exposure to Iceland.
One very pathetic group of Icelanders hanging on to existence in the perpetual darkness and nearly-endless blizzard of a sub-Arctic winter - something's bound to break. And in this case, it was the twentysomething narrator, who lived a pointless life with his mother. He and everyone else frequented the same bar and they'd all already slept with each other, but he was sort of going steady one-and-off with one girl from a wealthy family. Unemployed for ever, he had no social skills and even less grace, but he was not bad-looking. In the course of one winter, his girlfriend got pregnant and decided to keep it; he went for a most embarrassing dinner with her parents at their big house; his mother started flamenco lessons and fell in love with the hot lesbian Spanish instructor, who moved in with them and then mother came out of the closet; between both situations, he tried to commit suicide and failed as he had with everything else. Rather funny scene where he lies down in the snow with his suicide note in his hand and waits for the snow to cover him. After a while, he falls asleep and then it starts to rain so he gets up and walks home, soaking wet. In the end, he learns to accept his mother and her chica, and they all adopt the baby.

A long time ago, I learned that Iceland has the highest literacy rate AND the highest illegitimacy rate in Europe - all for a population of only a quarter of a million! I doubt it has changed since then. I mean, what else is there to do?
Alright, the official website makes the best of it for visitors, but when you live there it's different.

Back in the 60s, my grandmother visited my grandfather's homeland of Cyprus. She said, "Who would want to live in such a hot rocky place?"
When grandfather visited Iceland, he said to grandmother, "And how could you live in this bloody cold rocky place?"
She's fiercely proud of her heritage though. Her sons often asked, "Well if Iceland is that great, why did you marry a Cypriot?"
My Amma is about 86 and very strong, it must be the Viking genes. She once referred to the "old lady down the hall" before realising that the poor oldster was only 4 years older than herself. We got a chuckle out of that. But there you go, the other day I said that I should visit Iceland with Amma before she gets old...awkward pause followed by the correction "older". When you have a relative called Helga, you can't pass up a visit.

Icelandic joke for today:

Q: What do you do when you get lost in a forest in Iceland?
A: You stand up!

Icelandic Superstitions:
If cows lick trees, it will rain
If your head itches, it will rain
In late winter, knitting at the doorway will lengthen the winter
If you sneeze three times before breakfast on a Sunday, you will gain something during the week.
Good one:
If you see nine cows in a shed, with a grey bull beside the door, and all of them lie on the same side, you are in luck because you will be granted one wish.
[What are the odds of that?]

I am not making this up: a picture taken at midnight in summer
Another visual thrill: The Northern Lights

And on that thrilling note, THE END


Jia Li said...

About Iceland, I didn't know your gandma was from there? You should go and explore your heritage. I've been to England, France and Germany. So explore yours!

About the picture, its called the midnight sun. the sun is up for 24 hours or close to it.

Anonymous said...

Talk about being short. I went to the travel agent today and she said that I look like I am 19yrs old. sigh!

Rebecca said...

Ha ha, a first date at an Ibsen play? How is that for foreshadowing of a possible future relationship? Wow, don't forget some prozac with your popcorn!

And definately go to Iceland!