In every single campsite we’ve stayed at they have asked us this question and they take note of it. I assume the Icelandic tourism board wants to keep track of who is bringing in the money/overwhelming the country (depending on who you ask). With over 1.7 million visitors in 2016 for a country with a population of only 330,000 – that went through a huge economic crisis in 2008 – you can understand their love/hate relationship with tourists.
We often don’t know what to say when we get asked, which in fairness is the story of my life. I tend to say Chile, which is where I most feel I’m from. Kai sometimes says Germany or sometimes sticks to the more neutral “Switzerland”, since that is where we came from for this trip and it is on our caravan’s license plate after all.
I tend to get annoyed if we don’t at least mention Chile: a) because I’m slightly patriotic (more than slightly for all those of you that know me well!) and b) because I think it’s funny what saying Chile might do to their statistics and to their surprised faces.
This particular time, in Stykkishólmur’s campsite, the young receptionist asked me the question.
-“Where are you from?”
– “From Chile.”
– …blank stare on her face
– “C-H-I-L-E” I spell, trying to be helpful
– … blank stare
– “It’s in South America.”
– “Oh ok, I’ll write USA then” says the receptionist. Imagine my dismay.
– “Well, eh, actually it’s not in the USA.. you know, South America? You know Argentina?” I say a bit embarrassed.
– ” Oh yes!!” she scratches USA and writes Argentina.
– … facepalm
That should teach me to just stick to saying Switzerland!
Note: this was the only time it has happened so far thankfully… and the girl was rather young. I’ve made my peace with it. 🙂