Oh Canada!

This weekend I went up to Burnaby, British Columbia, which is near Vancouver, and gave a lecture at the Scandinavian Community Center on The Saga of Erik the Red, specifically on the way the plethora of collaborating evidence for that saga in particular has destabilized claims that the sagas are fictional narratives instead of historic sources. I met several members of the Icelandic Association up there, and stayed at the house last night of Jana Hermansdottir, who is married to an Icelander named Odinn, whom I didn't get to meet. They live out near Point Roberts, which is a strange little peninsula attached to Canada but part of the United States, simply because it stretches south of the 49th parallel. This geographic oddity became the home of some early Icelanders in the area, and today one can still see traces of Icelandic settlement there in the streetnames -- Goodman and Julius Street for instance. So I got to speak Icelandic, and talk about sagas and archaeology, and see beautiful countryside, all in all a good weekend. 

The most disconcerting thing about going to Canada however is that one's cell phone ceases to work. So no one was able to call me, and I was unable to use the navigation function to help me find my way around, nor was I able to retrieve my various birthday facebook greetings. When I crossed back into the mainland U.S. this afternoon around 2pm, they all suddenly flooded into my phone. My colleague, who was traveling with me, noticed my surprised reaction, and asked me if anything was wrong. I just laughed and said not a thing. 


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