Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekly VLOG #5 (14/08-21/08): On being alone and first food shopping!

Another week has passed and I am still in Iceland. We had a lovely weekend where we got to see some fun things (and I got to film some fun things for My Year in Iceland). However, on Monday my dearest boyfriend left. It was quite odd to be on myself when I haven't had to be on myself for so long, it didn't help that Skype wasn't working well and there was only minimal communication between us. 

Doing things by myself was quite odd and I won't lie and say I wasn't feeling horribly lonely, because the truth is that during this week I felt lonely. But time won't stop just because you aren't feeling the greatest so I had to shake it off and start doing things. 

I went food shopping and that was such a huge culture shock! Not only was I having hard time finding where the food was located in the store but I as well was just shocked by the quality of the food and the store. In Geneva I always shopped at Migros since they had the lowest prices and were closest to where I lived. So in Iceland that store for me is Bónus. However, Bónus is so dirty and unorganized that I wasn't even sure if they still were actually selling food for human consumption! As I was walking through the store scolding myself for being such a snob and not appreciative of the fact that there was at least a grocery store in a walking distance from campus I managed to pick up some food for me to eat. So I would say that the grocery trip was somewhat a success. 

I feel that a big part of my week was just me wandering around trying to find things. I have never lived in this part of Reykjavík before so I don't really know where things are. One of those things were a pharmacy, I walked what seemed to be a lifetime just to pinpoint down a local pharmacy that I had found online only to see that they were under renovation and of course they didn't mention that on their webpage. The other one was the bank, but I found that one quickly and was blessed with great service.

And talking about good service, I have been happily surprised with how great service I have been having here. Iceland is frequently known for bad service and I would in the past agree with that, however, I have been getting marvelous service this time around! People are actually polite and acknowledge the fact someone has entered the store. The only place where I have gotten repeatedly bad service is Hagkaup, which is both strange and not so strange. Hagkaup is supposed to be a better quality food type of store but at the same time it is mostly a facade of just upping their prices and pretending to be better and that is visible by their horrible service and quite rude staff. 

And that is all for this week, and below is the super short vlog since I haven't really gotten in the habit of vlogging.

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Year in Iceland: The Beginning

I wanted to start a new series on both my blog and my YouTube channel about the year I am spending in Iceland. I wanted to do weekly vlogs (like this one) but I wanted as well to do something different. I decided it would be fun to to short videos where I show one specific place in Iceland a week and talk a bit about it. 

I wanted blog about it as well so I could add some pictures and just connect my blog and my YouTube channel more.  

This week I am not showing a new place but only introducing the series and show a little bit from my flight to Iceland. 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly VLOG #4 (08/08-13/08): Fêtes de Genève fireworks, packing up my stuff and moving to Iceland.

I wanted to add a blog aspect to my occasional weekly vlogs and as well try to vlog more often whilst I am in Iceland. At the moment my vlogs are a week behind since it gives me time to edit them without being stressed and I like having a bit of a barrier between when things happen and when I share those things with the internet. I plan on having the vlog at the bottom of these posts and adding some pictures in the post that I haven't shared before on instagram.

Anyways, back to my week. Packing my things was strangely hard, when I started emptying my closets and drawers I realized how much stuff I actually had! It didn't help that the fireworks for Fêtes de Genève were going on and it felt like our windows would explode from the noise. I am not a big fan of fireworks, I might even say that I find fireworks extremely annoying and I hate them a little bit. I just don't see the attraction, they are loud and smelly and super wasteful!

Or flight was on Tuesday and we barely managed to pack all our things before we had to grab a taxi to go to the airport. We flew with Icelandair in a direct flight from Geneva to Keflavik. It was one of the best flights I have ever been on! Very calming and Icelandair has just the best food on board its flights.

When we landed in Iceland the weather was pretty nice, it was quite windy but not a cloud in sight. The first couple of days we were just hanging around, but I needed to get things sorted for my University housing and to see how and where everything was.

We took as well a lot of walk, and on one of our walks we saw a smack of dead jellyfish. I found it strange to see all of them just floating around lifelessly. Jellyfish are my favorite animal and I somehow just felt sad seeing them all dead.

I managed to do a lot of the paperwork and got the key to my dorm room! It was much bigger than I thought and even though I share a kitchen with 7 other persons I have my own bathroom.

So, that is how my week has been!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Review: The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

Another review of a book from Tess Gerritsen! I know, I know, variation is important and all that but I wanted to finish reading all the books in the Rizzoli and Isles series before my summer vacation was over and I did so there will be some more of these coming!

The Sinner is the third book in the series and by now I have started to expect how the book is set up. The two previous books The Surgeon and The Apprentice are set during the summer and throughout the book they talk about how hot it is. In comparison, The Sinner is set during the winter and on almost every page there will be a mention of how cold it is.

I always like to add what is written on the back of the book (or as it is usually with the Kindle, on the first few pages of the book).

They want us to know why they died...  
Within the walls of a cloistered convent, a scene of unspeakable carnage is discovered. On the snow lie two nuns, one dead, one critically injured – victims of a seemingly motiveless, brutally savage attack. 
Doctor Maura Isles’ autopsy of the murder victim yields a shocking surprise, but the case takes a disturbing twist. The body of another woman has been found. And someone has gone to a lot trouble to remove her face, hands and feet.  
As long buried secrets are revealed Dr. Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli find themselves part of a terrifying investigation that leads to a shocking realization of the killer’s identity..
Sounds interesting, and let me tell you, it really was! After reading The Surgeon and The Apprentice right after each other I was a bit sick of the story, it was just so repetitive. The Sinner however, kicks everything back into action.

As I mentioned earlier, the story is set in the winter and there is a lot of description of the cold and just the weather in general. The change in season in comparative to the first two books is not the only change that we get to experience in this book, the first two books were focused on Jane Rizzoli but The Sinner is focused on Dr. Maura Isles' life instead, it is a nice change and we get a better look into Maura's life. That doesn't mean that we don't get to follow Jane around as well.

And to some quotes from the book, in these quotes, she is always Dr. Maura Isles.
The morning’s snowfall had turned into a treacherous mix of both snow and sleet, and the city plows were nowhere in sight.
The wind blew, rattling the windows, and the door creaked as though invisible hands were tugging at it, desperate to get in. Rizzoli's lips had chilled to blue, and her face had taken on a corpse like pallor, but she showed no intention of seeking a warmer room. That was Rizzoli, too stubborn to be the first to capitulate. To admit she had reached her limit.
For an instant, their gazes met through the window. She saw a lean and striking face, a head of black hair, ruffled by the wind. And she caught a glimpse of white, tucked beneath the raised collar of his black coat.
She heard a creak, and felt the whisper of movement, of another presence in the room. The hairs on the back of her neck suddenly stood up and she gave a laugh. ‘God, Jane, don't sneak up on me like...’ Turning, her voice died in mid-sentence. No one was there. For a moment she didn't move, didn't breathe, just stared at empty space. Vacant air, polished floor.
She had chosen this suburb of Brookline, just west of Boston, because of the sense of security she felt in its quiet, treelined streets.
As before in Tess Gerritsen novels, the murder cases and the lives of the main characters are somehow connected. In The Sinner it is quite visible both with Jane Rizzoli and with Maura Isles.

I really liked this book and found that it actually showed that Tess Gerritsen talent really grew between the books. I would as well definitely recommend for you to read The Sinner, especially if you have read the first two books and were quite bored when reading the second book (The Apprentice) since The Sinner doesn't dwell on the past as much as The Apprentice.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Monthly Goals: July Review and August Goals

I wasn't at all a good blogger during the month of July, sometimes life just takes you by surprise and everything becomes too hectic. 

I did manage to film and upload 7 videos on my YouTube channel, which is something I have really started to enjoy and will keep on doing as long as I enjoy it!

I didn't do as well as I had hoped with my July goals, I did do a little bit of everything but at the same time I really just haven't had the time to do anything at all.

July Goals:
1. Pack my stuff
2. Practice Arabic 
3. Write for 20 minutes a day
4. Finish setting up my personal planner 
5. Start following my daily cleaning schedule again
6. Post one recipe 
7. Lose 2 kg 
8. Do my Makeup Inventory
9. 7 Days of food diary
10. Write in my Journal at least 7 times

As for my August goals I wasn't really sure how I could plan my month with the fact that for half of it I will be in Geneva and the other half in Reykjavík!

August Goals:
1. Move!
2. Go swimming
3. Start filming MYiI (I wonder what that could be :D )
4. Get ready to start my second year of University
5. Settle in my dorm
6. Film Apartment tour (Geneva apartment)
7. Write some book reviews (I have so many half written)
8. Enjoy having nothing to do
9. Try some new Icelandic skincare products
10. Move my Gold Star Chart into my planner.

I am so excited for this month, I am so stressed about it all, stressed but happy!

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