Back in IcelandDecember 17, 2011
I'm back in Iceland for the holidays, I'm staying for a few days in Reykjavík before moving on to Akureyri. I haven't been in Reykjavík for more than a couple of days for years.
Observations for the first few hours, in no particular order:
Icelandic customs welcomed me with a search of my luggage. It happens 1/3 times I come here, never happens in Europe. One of the reasons I think this is a somewhat crappy country to live in. "Welcome home, fuck you!"
Nobody told me that wearing vintage 1920 hats and growing a beard was now fashionable among the arty types in 101 Reykjavík, but it now is. What'll they think of next?
A common beer costs ~5 EUR at a pub/restaurant. If you're not getting paid in EUR that's more like 10 EUR. Murder!
You can't get beer in this country at anything but obscene prices except in the government run store. I know this intellectually, but it takes a while to get used to every time.
I had forgotten what an actual shower felt like after living in Amsterdam for a while. The showers here aren't just like a warm version of standing out in the rain. They're hot and the water actually streams out of the showerhead.
Icelandic food, what an oxymoron, at least that burger I had.
It is actually cold over here. It's -2 at the moment.
Nobody is amazed that I'm from Iceland. This happens in every other country in the world, but not here. What gives?
The water here is actually good enough that I'll drink it. I have to start buying bottled water in Amsterdam.
I've been reading Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis on Darren's recommendation. I'm 60% through it. The first 1/4 is about the Icelandic collapse, it also covers Greece & Ireland. It's the best account of those collapses I've read yet. This book really needs an Icelandic translation, but it doesn't appear that one exists.