An Icelandic couple is living in a tent in Laugardalur valley in central Reykjavík with their 11 pet hamsters, because they cannot afford an apartment and if they would accept social aid they would have to live in two separate institutions.
“We are fairly comfortable here, and the hamsters too,” Saevar Arnfjörd, who has been living in Laugardalur with his wife Ólína Ragnheidur Gunnarsdóttir for one and a half months, told Fréttabladid.
Arnfjörd admitted it was cold sometimes, but said he and his wife heat the tent with candles and a camping stove. They don’t get bored, he said. “We play cards and we have two guitars, so we play and sing sometimes.”
Before moving to the tent the couple lived in a rental apartment in Dalvík, northeast Iceland, but they had to move out on short notice because the apartment was to be auctioned off. At first they camped in Öskjuhlíd, near the Pearl, but one day a city worker tore their tent down.
“A police officer told us that the only place we could camp legally was in Laugadalur, so we just moved. The swimming pool is just around the corner and we can use the bathroom in Glaesibaer [shopping center],” Gunnarsdóttir said.
“I admit that we have a habit of drinking,” Arnfjörd said. “But we were just talking about trying to stop.” Both Arnfjörd and his wife have prior experience living in a tent during winter.