Little City

Colorfully painted buildings at the corner of Hverfisgata and Frakkastígur, now torn down

There's a special pleasure living in downtown Reykjavik, a community feel I realize now I'd been searching for for many years before I found my place here.

Not being a telephone or drop-in-for-a visit kind of person, I need to know that if I leave my home I'll certainly see familiar faces, if only that of the nice man in the corner store. Each day is different, with a varied cast of characters filling the main streets and cafés. The world outside my door seems to have a seredipitous rhythm; I run into the right people at the perfect time, or on more personal days, no one I need more than nod at.

And actually, when I think about it, that's also the beauty of Reykjavik: if I'm having a nod-only day, no one takes it personally. We would never get through life together in this little town if we had to greet with care every person we knew, if we had to whip out the good old American How Are You Today? and the requsite Fine!

There's an understanding, we're all in this together. Some days I just need to get to the bank without having to turn on the social faucet. I'm allowed that here. Other days it's like a big block party, smiles all around and lots of love. I had to tone down some of my California spunk because it came across, in the longer haul, slightly false. Now I understand the daily routine, I'm comfortable. I like the safety of knowing the size of my pond.

For now, at least, it feels like home.

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