Cultural Anthropology & Costco
Updated: Sep 2, 2018
Without realizing it, I believe that Ky & I have become cultural anthropologists. Rather than just being considered nosy, I kind of prefer to think that we're earning honorary degrees. Everywhere we go, we tend to compare and contrast by hanging out at grocery stores, visiting sporting venues (especially pickleball courts) and airports of all sizes. Driving around gives us clues about aggressiveness, and advertisements and language usages gives us more with which to work. Getting out in nature tells a great deal about how a culture values and utilizes their communal spaces.
Today was one of those rich experiential days where we did almost all of the above. We don't tend to look for the top 10 things to do on Trip Advisor and set about to conquer them all. Not that there is anything wrong with that approach, but we prefer to dig about on our own and see what we can discover.
The parks within the city limits are spectacular and are modestly improved with trails for biking and hiking. The rules for flying drones are much the same or less restrictive than in the U.S.
Iceland needs to learn about pickleball. We went to an indoor tennis center and tried to teach someone, but there was no one there except one tennis student who was practicing alone. We played a makeshift game on these carpeted tennis courts that have little tiny rubber pellets sprinkled about. There is a big opportunity for some young and eager players to be the "best" (only) pickleball players in the country! I was eager to meet the owner and share the vision with him, but he never showed up :-(
Ikea is exactly the same in Iceland as everyone in the U.S. except that we couldn't read the signs. Good thing we knew about the required maze to be able to exit the store! The food is awesome and in a country known for exorbitant prices since everything is imported, we were happy to find reasonably priced excellent meals there. This photo was taken before the huge line formed all the way out of the restaurant area for lunch.
Reykjavik has it's very own Costco now and the locals are thrilled. There is even a Facebook page for it where people are excited to compare the prices there to other places.
They of course sell whole chickens. It wouldn't be Costco without them would it! Right now though instead of the U.S. $5 birds, one will set you back just over $12!
They also had a few things that I don't think you can find in U.S. stores and in general I'm okay with that ;-)
107 Iceland Krona to U.S. $ - you do the math on the pizza and hot dog. The dog and soft drink is still a really good deal.
Swimming pools are a bit different. Actually, these are hot spring pools at a really neat beach area. Black swim suits seem to be required uniforms.
They seem to be a very hearty people in general. To live in a place that can get as cold as it does here in the winter you have to be able to swim in 15°C water. BRRRRR! Not hearty enough to qualify! They teach youth to sail and kayak here.
Other things to note about Iceland:
1 ) It seems that most laws (at least all the rules that we can read :-) are logical and not heavy handed. I'm guessing that we have already unintentionally broken a few, (but we only guessed that we did after the fact).
2) They know how to make an aviation enthusiast happy. There is a running/cycling path that goes directly under the approach end of the local regional airport were planes fly right over your head. My video is taking too long to upload, so you'll just have to believe me for now that it was AWESOME!
3) People are quite courteous drivers here and there are no billboards to distract them.
It's dark now which means it's really late since sunset isn't until 9:19 pm. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to bed I go!