08 August 2010

I don't think this would ever happen in the US...

Jón Gnarr, the Mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland, came to the city's gay pride parade dressed in drag (he's straight and married). Here's the picture of the comedian-turned-politician. But maybe this isn't a surprise from the country whose Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, is the only openly-gay head of government in the world.

On a very different but still Icelandic topic, I just learned that Icelanders don't have surnames. I knew there are a lot of "X-sson" ["son of X"] and "X-dóttir" ["daughter of X"] names around but I figured that was a relic like "Johnson" in English. But no, it turns out that they are real patronymics: Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir actually is the daughter of Sigurður, and you have to call her by her full name or as "Jóhanna" rather than "Ms Sigurðardóttir," which doesn't make any sense. Phonebooks in Iceland are alphabetical by first name but apparently also list a person's profession in order to reduce confusion. Having found out all of this, I really want to take advantage of one of Icelandair's cheap flights.

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