When things get ugly, you can always move to another country.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Niceland # 11 - The Most Interesting Person in Iceland
At a coffee shop in Akureyri, 2010.
To introduce the most interesting person in Iceland as part of my Niceland chronicles, I'll introduce the artist and poet Solvi Signhildar-Ulfsson. He's a dear friend of mine and one of the most interesting people I know. He will accept any invitation to adventure. We met in 2006 and we were roommates in Reykavik in 2009. We've met on and off through out the years as we weave through different countries.
Akureyri swimming pool, 2010.
He grew up in Reykjavik and Canada before settling in Selfoss with his parents. Solvi studied at the University of Iceland, earning a degree in literature. He speaks English and Icelandic at the native level, and speaks several other European languages at varying degrees of fluency. He travels to foreign countries for extended periods of time while adapting to local cultures, lifestyles, and languages. He's lived in western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, North America, and Scandinavia. He has been able to live an untethered life style. I like to view his adventures as a collection of experiences that will be re-rendered into book form. He is a window into the life style of a great writer before they began publishing work.
On New Years Eve, 2007.
We first met at an small house party while I was working in Reykjavik in 2006, as a summer aupair. Everyone at the party had been friends since junior high. The party was intimate and Icelandic was the main language spoken that night. While I was meeting everyone else, we were introduced through a friend and didn't speak much to each other. For a long time I thought of his as a friend-of-a-friend. Over the years, that status as changed. He is an incredibly warm person; also one of the smartest people I have ever met.