Day 13, 6th August: pilgrimage to Nexus

Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2eq): 361 kilos
Sigurðar saga fóts: 67/252

I did various fun things this weekend, but this one warrants a special post: my trip to Nexus!

Nexus, Hverfisgata

Nexus, Hverfisgata

I don’t watch many films and I’m even less likely to make an effort to visit places connected with them. Well, okay, I do remember going to that place where they filmed the fight between Robin Hood and Little John for Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. That was cool. But the endless ‘Come to Jökulsárlón, where the opening sequence for some James Bond film was shot!’ tourism stuff cuts no ice with me, glacial or otherwise. Nevertheless, this shop Nexus (books, DVDs, comic, toys, games) has a special place in my heart because it’s the model for the role-playing-games shop around which my favourite Icelandic film, Astrópía, pivots. (It used to be up here; maybe one day it will be again.) I guess the story’s all in the title of the film, which is also the name of the shop: at one level it’s a transparently spacy Graeco-Latin blended neologism meaning, I suppose, ‘the movement of the stars’. Good name for a lúðabúð (‘loser-shop’, I believe). But pía also means ‘chick’, so, yeah, ‘astro-chick’. It’s about this pink-and-white-handbag type girl who, through having to get a job in a role-playing-games shop, finds humanity and social redemption. It’s not a great film, but unlike all the other Icelandic films, it’s not actually about being an Icelander. And it’s about role-players, I mean, you have to like that.


Astrópía, not on Hverfisgata

But even I’m not nerdy enough to go into a role-playing games shop just because I saw its prototype in a film. Fortunately, I’ve owed the blogstress behind This Wicked Day a copy of Icelandic Scrabble for much too long, so that she can nick the þs, æs and ðs for her Old English Scrabble Project, and I figured that if anyone would sell Icelandic Scrabble, it would be Nexus. Alas, they don’t! Sorry, This Wicked Day Blogstress 😦 (I think I’ve found it for sale on the internet, so never fear.)

BUT, it WAS just like in the film! Well, okay, no-one was dressed as a Star Trek character. But I walked in to hear the shop assistants making alien explosion noises to each other, and then, once I’d interrupted them, there was the explanation of how, alas, they didn’t have Scrabble, but did have this other word-game, of whose rules I then received a detailed and enthusiastic explanation. Of which I understood almost nothing. So I bought it. Woo! I hereby challenge This Wicked Day Blogress to a game of Orðaskak. In Old English.


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3 Responses to Day 13, 6th August: pilgrimage to Nexus

  1. Pingback: Day 15, August 8th: leaving Iceland | alarichall

  2. wickedday says:

    You are ON. The Dictionary of Old Icelandic (to which I turned after Google Translate was unhelpful) informs me that “Orðaskak” in OI means “scolding”. I assume it’s changed its meaning in the intervening millennium . . .

    Astrópía sounds like it could be a fun film. I already like the sound of it, I have to say, just for positioning the role-playing-shop set as the agents of friend-making and self-finding as opposed to the ones in need of it.

    Also – “myndasögur”, that must be the Icelandic for “graphic novels”, right? (Picture sagas!)

    (I completely did not mean the request for Icelandic Scrabble to turn into some sort of epic round-Iceland journey. Honestly, don’t worry if it’s really hard to get hold of! It was just a passing fancy. Really.)

  3. alarichall says:

    Woo! An Icelandic Scrabble mission is quite a good thing to have on one’s quest list, I find.

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