Apartment 62 opened onto a small patio with two benches hidden from the bustle of Reykjavík by a copse of shrubbery. The women who did the cleaning would pause there, sometime for a smoke, sometimes just to talk. I met them several times over the course of my last stay. After the second or third time I fell into a conversation with the supervisor of the crew: at first we talked about my bicycle, then about travel, and then about life in general.
She had moved with her husband and their children many times, living several countries. She was not impressed with Florida (“the dead years”) but she spoke highly of their time spent living in a small Spanish town. She was glad to be back in Iceland (“for good!”) She asked if I had visited Iceland previously and when I told her I was on my fifth trip she became even more animated. Literature, Theatre, Music, all of my Icelandic enthusiasms came gushing out. She had a story for every topic I brought up, and I even had a few stories of my own to complement hers.
As she was going back to work, she turned and shook my hand, saying:
“Until the next time…”
Until the next time…