A two-hour time difference doesn’t sound like a big deal, but last night I wanted dinner at 17h and bed at 22h. I forced myself to stay up just a little bit longer, while I chatted with friends on facebook. I woke up at 6:30 this morning and immediately noticed how much pain I was in. Everything aches and there are mysterious bruises on my leg, but mostly it’s my shoulders and arms that took the beating. I lugged all of my luggage up hills around Reykjavik yesterday afternoon. At the time it felt like great exercise.
Iceland is not, at first, a wonder to behold. I glanced out the window from my aisle seat on the airplane, trying not to make eye contact with the old man in the window seat. Rocks, seagulls, turbulent sea, and a mossy brown landscape. But the idea that I was approaching a solitary, volcanic island in the North Atlantic ocean, started to dawn on me. Iceland looked so lonely. I started to wonder about their imports and exports, and how much ocean polluting happens here. I started to wonder about the people here, and if they ever felt like they were trapped.
I had slept on the plane. I bumbled around the airport with my ears not adjusted properly. I shouted or whispered, I cannot be sure, to the woman selling bus tickets. I saw my first snow-capped mountains on the bus to Reykjavik.
We passed a billboard with the European Union flag and the Icelandic flag and “Nei Takk!” written underneath.
Today is my birthday and so in order for someone to have gifts I bought souvenirs for my friends. When I left the house with a pile of trash in my hand, a tall man with a child on his shoulders strutted past me.
Tall, fit, big blond beard, and piercing eyes made him my stereotype Icelandic man. He was beautiful and I started to notice how beautiful everyone is. I sat down at the café closest to my room and observed the people around me. Many of them were speaking in Icelandic, some English, and one mother and daughter in French. I watched the old men read the paper, and how every other person sat behind a Mac computer screen, working and staring.