May 22, 2005

A day off, and tales of globe trotting toys

Ohh, a day off at last! I daresay this is the first real day off I've had since I was in Israel. After turning in my essay I've been working like a dog. In addition to that I am doing my best to get back into shape. I have been doing things such as riding a bike to and from work every day. Sounds simple enough for a 20-25 minute bike ride, right? Well not when you live in Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world, in the windiest inhabited spot on earth! It may be late May by now, but I still need to dress like an inuit (it is indeed incorrect to say 'eskimo', except when referring to the indigenous populations of Alaska), and I sometimes have tremendous problems fighting the wind. I am getting healthier by the day, but it has been leaving me veeery tired.
Infact, I even missed the Eurovision Songcontest last night, for only the second time in my life. This will give me problems keeping up conversations with other Icelanders for the next week or so, since it's ALL anyone is talking about, as usual.

Apart from that I don't have much to write about, since all I've been doing lately is work, work and work. I have been meeting some interesting folks from all over the world at work lately though. Like yesterday I had an encounter with a middle aged couple from London that went something like this:

British man: Pardon me, but could you by any chance tell me where I could purchase clothes for a small teddy bear?
Maria: Ehh.. We might have some doll sized Icelandic woolsweaters.
Man: We need clothes for our teddybear 'Teddy'. You see, he travels with us wherever we go.
Maria. Aha...
Man: Oh yes, he even has his own passport.
Maria: You've got to be kidding
Man: Would you like to see it?
Maria: Very much so

Okay so then he pulls out the passport, and I am no kidding here, it was an authentic British passport with a PASSPORT PICTURE of the teddybear on the inside!
It said:

Name: Teddy
Nationality: British
Height: 30 cm

The little teddy's passport had stamps from all over the world. They had taken it to Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and all over. I asked them how airport staff in such distant locations responded to their requests of getting a stamp for "little Teddy's passport", and they said that Teddy had always been very warmly received.

I just started laughing like an idiot, and told them they were completely crazy, but I also congratulated them for showing me the most original thing I've seen in a long time. They were very happy. Before they continued their quest for some traditional Icelandic clothing for their globe trotting toy-bear, I got them to say "I can't believe it's not butter - can you?" for me. I just never get tired of the way that sentence sounds with a British accent.

Posted by Maria at May 22, 2005 10:59 AM | TrackBacks
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Hey Maria! That teddy bear story is one of the weirdest I've heard. Your job does have interesting sides!

I am going through a busy time, so forgive me if I won't visit your blog on the next weeks. Now I have to write a few words about the Eurovision. I was sure you'd watch it!

Despite what I had said in the past, I did watch most of the songs in the first half, untill Israel's, and most of voting. Shiri Maimon was fantastic!!! I still think her song wasn't a winning song. It wasn't catchy enough, I think. I would still prefer to see a rhythmic song, or something that is typical of Israel in some way (and it really bores me that almost everyone sings in English!!!)

However, the Eurovision was filled with so many rhythmic and ethnic gimmicks, often grotesque and badly performed, that Shiri's song became a delightful pause within so much trash. And she did give a great performance! (and her dress was almost modest compared to all the rest)

The voting, as usual, was a good geography lesson, with all the tribal voting inside the Balkan Bloc and Eastern Bloc etc. The surprising thing was the douze points given to Greece by Turkey, interpreted by some as a Turkish effort to please the EU.

Shiri did manage to do very well in the voting, given the circumstances. She was in the top of the chart all along, even led it for a while, and finished 4th. It was no surprised that Israel got 10 points from France, as the Jewish community there massively votes for Israel. Maybe they also contributed to the 12 points from Monaco (or maybe a group of Israeli tourists to the tiny country). However, there were about 40 countries, and Israel did get high scores from many of them, though none from Iceland...

Posted by: Orly at May 22, 2005 11:59 AM Permalink

Of course Iceland awarded Israel (drum roll please) 0 points in the Eurovision contest. I know, big surprise! I can only be happy that there wasn't a Palestinian song entered in the contest, because they would have tried to award 13 points for that... even if all they did was stand on stage and launch mortars! :-)

Posted by: David at May 22, 2005 12:00 PM Permalink

PS The winner, the Greek song was okay, in my opinion, but not more than that. Among the songs I saw I don't think any will last.

Posted by: Orly at May 22, 2005 12:05 PM Permalink

Orly: well as I said I didn't watch it.. I actually thought Shiri's dress was nowhere near modest. I think at least a third of her points must be have "cleavage" points. But then again, I didn't see the others...

David: Hehe funny. But, yeah..

Posted by: Maria at May 22, 2005 03:05 PM Permalink

Oh, I love the bear story, and if you htink about it , it is quite an ice-breaker. What a great way to catalog their journeys, gets people talking etc.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at May 24, 2005 09:14 PM Permalink

Hi, I just came by this site by searching on "Globe trotting teddy". It was nice to read that there are other teddy bears that get their paspports stamped when they travel. I am a teddy bear with its own British passport too. The passport officials have a good laugh when I show them my passport asking them to stamp it for me in the language of whichever country I'm in. They show their colleauges which holds up the queue behind us so other people get a little annoyed.

See my website and photos of me on my travels, there are also photos of me with celebrities and a teddy bear problem page.

Posted by: Bearsac at June 22, 2005 08:11 PM Permalink