The children come bouncing down the street wearing bandanas on their heads, vests and bloomers all the while brandishing sticks and carrying on an epic saga of Viking heritage.

Watching these blonde cherub-like kiddies play, I affectionately remark: “Oh, how sweet! A pirate party!”.

The guardian of these angelic pirates replies: “hgfsih;shhgktjnkfhubsuibgk harhk dgajlvudbjhzbv!”

I think the literal translation to that is: “Asshole!”

Now, while the Icelandic people are overall a lovely, welcoming and hospitable bunch… I am ashamed to admit, I have offended them.

While venturing further into the heart of Reykjavik, I realize that the “pirate” get-up was not party-themed attire. All of the children dress like this.

To add insult to injury, I become brazenly aware that I have ventured into political tabu. It was just days ago that Iceland’s MP Ogmundur Jonasson, backed by the Pirate Party’s Helhi Hrafn Gunnarsson, sought to grant citizenship to whistle blower Edward Snowden (NSA’s most wanted man). Granting Snowden citizenship would allow him to circumvent asylum laws.

And, as I have arrived in Reykajavik, and have rented a beautiful apartment from a most gracious host, I can’t help but gain accustom to the Icelandic peoples’ humanitarian ploy… which is to extend a warm welcome to those who come to stay. That-withstanding, do not pledge your allegiance so brazenly to the pirate party while walking down the street. Context is a tricky thing when lost in translation.

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Written by Elyse Kishimoto

Elyse Kishimoto is a regular girl with an extraordinary sense of adventure. She's done everything from hiking up volcanoes in Iceland at midnight, to sitting down to dinner with royalty. She's climbed Mt Fuji and the Great Wall of China in the same week, and explored the lost glowworm caves in New Zealand. You never know where her next story is going to come from, but you can be sure that it will be packed full of fun! After spending years reading her favourite classic novels to her students, Elyse is excited to publish her second action/ adventure novel, Sky Watchers in the popular series, The Dining and Social Club for Time Travellers. www.thetimetravellersclub.com

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