2013 in Retrospective (KH)

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katharinahauptmann02_dlJust like most other people I contemplate at the end of each year about what happened in my life and around me in the past 12 months.

There was a big change for me personally: my man and me finally moved into our new home, a small house which we had bought and renovated for many months. Exploring our new surroundings in Reykjavík’s neighborhood Þingholt was exciting.

Exciting was also to see many great movies and series being shot here. First of all, the crew and creators of the popular series Game Of Thrones were here in Iceland again; I experienced some of the crew members firsthand when working at the bar.  I’m a huge fan of the show and was therefore immensely excited about the fact that Iceland was chosen as location again. Seeing your (adopted) home as a real life set on your favorite TV show is pretty damn sweet! It also delighted me to recognize Icelandic landscapes in this year’s biggest box office hit Thor when the hammer swinging God of Lightning and his devilish attractive brother Loki face their enemies on some gloomy and eerie planet. It is great to see that Iceland’s unique and fascinating landscapes are being discovered and featured in so many interesting, cinematic works.

Then there were elections in spring and the “new” government took over. Well, I won’t go into detail here, but... why do people always suddenly suffer of severe memory loss when it comes to elections? Why does nobody remember who did what in the past? Strange...

In late October the new 10,000 króna bill was finally introduced. I remember being really stoked about it. To my disappointment there has only be one single person paying with a tenner since then at the bar I work. I had really expected more of those blue notes.

The news that some rednecks had thrown three pigs heads on the lot of the planned mosque in Reykjavík in order to protest against the building plans really upset and saddened me. What a pathetic and low move is that?

Throughout the year and throughout every single season the flux of tourists just wouldn’t stop. Of course it is sometimes really annoying when you cannot even walk down the street without having to maneuver around flocks of clueless tourists and sometimes you really start doubting your own and everybody else’s sanity being asked really, really weird and, frankly, stupid questions (“Do you have a jacuzzi on your rooftop?” or “Does Björk come here often?”). So apart from that I actually like dealing with the great number of foreigners visiting my bar and that is good as it seems tourism will be increasing in 2014 even more.

It also seemed to me as if Iceland is experiencing some kind of cultural prosperity, more than ever before. So many new releases in the art and music world were met with great approval, Reykjavík is booming with new interesting restaurants and coffee houses and so on.

And this wouldn’t be a proper article about Iceland if I didn’t mention the weather. Yes, the summer had record low temperatures and we were simply cheated out of our well deserved and much needed summer. But well, life isn’t about fairness. At least the winter brought us some proper cold and snow so far.

From my point of view, 2013 was a good year for Iceland.

What I predict for 2014? More discomforting political developments, further rising food prices but more tourists and hopefully just as many wonderful festivals as in 2013 as well as more cultural invigoration.

Let’s be patient and positive.

Katharina Hauptmann – katha.hauptmann@gmail.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.