Day 3: Learning Some Culture

Jennifer Docherty

2016-09-29 14:33:00

We taught our Swiss friends how to say 'ya pure nugget'


After quite a late night last night, it was pretty difficult to make it down to breakfast. In fact, only two of the four managed Alan and myself - and I was on time today!

It was a relatively quick breakfast though, as the convention was going to start at 9am. We heard from a couple of people, including Brad Weber who was discussing how to focus on customers.

There was an air of excitement in the room though, as we knew it wouldn’t be long before we would be relaxing in the Blue Lagoon.


The first point of call was lunch. Of course. We were met with a spectacular spread of food at the Blue Lagoon restaurant and enjoyed the company of our new friends.

Everyone knows you’re not meant to eat before going swimming, so that’s why we had a three course meal and went straight to the spa pool.

It’s an interesting concept. The water is actually the by-product of the power plant which is what makes it a cloudy blue colour and full of minerals. It’s meant to be very good for your skin, yet it’s terrible for your hair and jewellery… This raised a few questions with those of us who noticed that there’s something odd about that.

The water itself was very relaxing, as it was effectively a massive, cloudy, blue, outdoor bath. This was quite pleasant, but there was something fairly unsettling about bathing in the water while looking at the power plant from which it came. You can actually see the steam and the chimney's in the picture below.

Nevertheless, we had a nice time and were suitably relaxed for the journey home - I think 90% of the people on the bus were asleep.

Before long it was time for dinner at the Brewery which meant making new friends. At one end of the table, there was some business chat and networking. At the other end, there was mostly confusion and laughter at teaching each other phrases from our homelands.

Every time I meet someone from another country and they speak a different language, I always try to learn a word or phrase. I have a very random bank of foreign words now in my memory, my favourite being a phrase from Zambia. I’m not really sure how you spell it, but it’s something along the lines of: “Mula monica bueno” (Moo-la Monica Boo-wen-oh) which means “you look nice.”

So, having made some new Swiss friends from Palisis, I was keen to learn a phrase or two which I could use in the future. Josef taught me how to say:

'Chuchichaeschtli'- kitchen cabinet

'Chaeschuechli'- cheesecake

'Jöööö' - cute

Of course, these words might not be used very often in everyday conversation, so we recruited the help of the other Swiss guys, Nico and Lars, to think of something. I’m still not exactly sure the meanings of the phrases that they wanted to teach me, but thankfully I didn’t understand them.

One which I can pronounce, is ‘Schlaefly’ which means to go for a little nap. I also learnt that adding ‘ly’ to words, makes it a cute version of the word. So ‘Hund’ is dog. but ‘Hundly’ is a wee, cute dog. So ‘Schlaefly’ is a nice way of saying a nap. At least that’s what I was told! This word sprung to their minds because there is actually someone from Gray Line with ‘Schlafly’ as a surname, which seemed to amuse them somewhat.

We wanted to return the favour and so we taught them some fantastic Glasgow phrases. ‘Scunnered’, ‘pure mad wae it’ and ‘ya pure nugget’ were the most obvious choices to start with and provided some hilarious results.

We went on to the after party and continued learning about each other’s countries and cultures.

There was a rumour going around that the Northern Lights were going to be amazing once again. So, for one night the city of Reykjavik was going to turn off all the street lights so we could see it from where we were. Imagine doing that in Glasgow and turning off the Glasgow Glow!

Turns out the rumour was extremely true and Reykjavik turned off the lights. Some of us got to see the Northern Lights again from the balcony of the pub. That’s three nights in a row!

The after party went well into the night again, and this time Alan and myself decided to walk back to the hotel with our new friends from Gray Line Vegas (literally very new, as we just met them outside the pub).

Google maps was telling us it was just a straight line, so we set off into the night. It wasn’t until we had been walking for 20 minutes that we realised our guide had interpreted the map wrong and we had just walked in the exact oppostie direction. About turn, and off we went again. It took around 50 minutes with our little detour and we arrived back at the hotel at 1am.

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