Monday, January 28th: Our bags came. Yay! Now Curtis finally gets to wear shoes!
I suppose before going any farther I should make a few observations, or rather, state some trivia. 129 ISK (Icelandic Krona) is worth 1 USD, so 1000 ISK is just under $8, and 1.300 is about $10 (decimals are commas and commas are decimals, which I guess wouldn’t make them decimals, but kilomals or something. And I supposed commas would just be comicals. *slapping the knee*) Names beginning with the letter “C” are not recognized by the Elvish government, and are technically ‘illegal names’ because the letter “C” isn’t in the Elvish alphabet. If I was an Elf I would have to change my name to Kurtis. It kind of makes sense. The letter “c” kan always be replaste by an /s/, a /k/, or another gnu letter that makes the /ch/ sound… which phonetikally is really just the /sh/ sound with a quik /t/ in front of it. “Tshoo-tshoo goes the tshrain.”
The Elvish phonebook lists people by their first names. The sun rises in the SE, gets up to about two hands, and sets in the SW. And that’s plenty for now.
We broke fast with granola that you could put yoghurt, strawberry goop, apple goop, or figgy goop on, bread, cheese, hard boiled eggs, and ham; all cold. Knowing me, I made an Egg McGhetto and put the ham, egg, and cheese on the bread and consumed it suchly. The winds whipped white caps up from the bay, but the sun rose and calmed the weather a bit and we ventured by foot into Reykjavik.
The language is strange, and if you weren’t paying attention, sounds a lot like Dutch with some Russian sprinkled in. I thought about learning some, but gave up quickly after seeing the words “viðbjóðslegur” and “sérstærðarfarangur.” We walked towards Hallgrímskirkja, which is the big landmark in Reykjavik. It’s a church named after some guy named Hallgríms or something. I’ve seen quite a few cathedrals and churches now, and the one thing that set this apart, besides its modern appearance on the outside, was how plain it was on the inside. It was tall and vast and grand as could be, but they weren’t trying to show off, which was refreshing. The outside of the church paid tribute to the landscape by mimicking lava columns, where lava cools in hex/pentagon pillars (Devil’s Tower in Wyoming has the same columns), and the inside, at least in my opinion, paid tribute to the personality of the elves; open, welcoming, and down to earth.
Outside we tried to take a statue of the picture of Leif Eriksson, but a film crew whistled and yelled and told us to get out of the way. Spoiler alert: if you watch Top Gear, they’ll have an episode involving Iceland and three huge old all-terrain trucks.
We headed down good ol’ Skólavör¬ðustígur street down to a popular flea market, but apparently it’s only open on weekends. The wind was making my face cold so I got a souvenir scarf to wrap my head area in. We sought out the ‘famous hotdog stand,’ which was just a plain hotdog with some unknown Elvish sauce on it. Their claim to fame is that Bill Clinton ate a hotdog there once. It was good, but quite honestly Costco hotdogs are way better. The shops had really cool fur things though. If I had money to just burn and throw away, I’d use that money to buy furry Elf slippers. But after all – ‘what do I know about wearing the fur fox?’
We hopped a bus over to the other side of town (2 miles away—honestly, Bellevue’s bigger than Reykjavik) and walked on the icy paths to the local zoo. The sign said “HÚSDÝRAGARÐUR-FJÖLSKLDUGARÐUR.” Mumsy joked and said it translates to “zoo.” I laughed. However silly, she might be right. All the words and names for stuff are hellishly long around here. She said it’s an island, like Hawaii, where they have long names that sound cool because they have lots of time to talk. And they’re on ‘island time,’ like the sun, and get up late and go to bed early.
I suppose Iceland and Hawaii do have a bit in common. Both are islands formed by “hotspots” in the earth’s crust, where the earth essentially leaks lava from one spot, and new islands start popping up as the tectonic plates move. That’s why Hawaii is a trail of islands, and that’s why a new island formed off the coast of Iceland in 2010 or whenever that happened. I don’t know how Hawaii was discovered, but Iceland was discovered twice by two separate Vikings who accidentally drifted into it. the third guy went there on purpose and called it “snowland,” but left. The fourth guy went there to settle, and called it “Iceland” because he saw ice floating near the land… true story. Vikings weren’t known throughout history for being creative; they just went around claiming things.
We walked back to our room via good ol’ Kringlumýrarbraut street and took a brief nap before trying some exquisite Elvish cuisine. Cab fair is a bit pricey because gas is 2,58 ISK/liter, and if you’re keeping track at home, that’s roughly $7.68/gallon. The restaurant was called “3 Fakkar,” which I thought meant “3 friars” because the print ad had 3 friars on it, but when we walked in the menus had pictures of 3 guys in trench coats and seemed to use the character Rick from Casablanca as their mascot; so I didn’t know what to think. On the walls they had trophies of just about everything on the menu except for whale. That would be ridiculous. Some of the options of animals to eat were cod, halibutt (<–heehee. I said butt), salmon, shark, “wild seabirds,” puffin, whale, reindeer, lamb, and horse. So basically just about everything at the zoo was on the menu–Oh! I forgot to mention the zoo:
We saw animals. There were some pretty chill seals and two almost identical foxes; except one was snowy white and the other black like cooled lava. At first we only saw snow fox with its cute round fluffy face, but it quickly hid. We were turning away until I saw lava fox trotting towards us out the corner of my eye. It looked really curious and social, like it wanted to talk to us, probably because its camouflage is so good no one hardly ever notices it; everyone is drawn to snow fox instead. I wonder how many times people chase after snow fox because it’s beauty is easier to see, and don’t even notice the equally magnificent lava fox standing right in front of them? But enough about my personal life—back to dinner!
Mumsy chose the whale steak with pepper sauce, and I the wild sea birds with game sauce. They were delicious. We even had puffin as an appetizer. The meat is maroon colored. With mumsy’s wealth of knowledge she said it must be rich in iron. We figured the elves eat all these strange animals because what else are you going to eat on the island? There ain’t many choices. Even their potatoes are only bite-sized.
For dessert was Skyr brule, like crème brule with yoghurt, and a little fruit called a cape gooseberry, which ornamented a dollop of whooping cream. The berry was most intriguing having the size and bite of a grape, the leaves of a turnip sprouting from its top (possibly grown underground), the texture and color of a tomato, and the taste of the ripest kiwi with a bit of citrus. A very confused and contradictory berry… maybe it was adopted.
Back at the hotel we saw a post notifying today’s tour group that the northern lights tour was cancelled due to weather. We originally were going to go on our tour today, but changed to tomorrow because we didn’t know if we’d have shoes and coats.
On a quick side note, why is “þ” a letter? Let’s there’s the word “þear.” I want to read either “bear” or “pear,” but in Elvish it would be pronounced “thair.” This language is devilishly confusing.
Disclaimer: I have no idea if this is any good. I just typed it down and didn’t bother to read it. Don’t ask me how that works. It’s probably littered with typos and nonsense, but really—what’ snew?
Also, before I begin, I would like to pay respects to the two brave pens that gave their lives for this nonfictionalized account. They bled for this story, and it only seems fair to honor them with a brief moment of silence:
And now, if we could; a moment of screaming in gut wrenching guilt and agonizing mourning:
Much appreciated. They will be mist.
Now, lettuce begin…
Saturday, Jan 26th: The day started with the pissing down of rain at about 1.5” per day, and in O.C., that’s a debilitating amount. At the terminal the lady said my bags needed to fit easily into the little sizer box thing, and I thought “does it really matter if it fits easily? What if I have to kick it in, but it still fits?” There’s no point for style.
There was a lady and her dog sitting next to me. I was wasting time on the internet and thought she was talking to her whining dog about flight information, but she was actually on the phone; however she then hung up and continued to talk to her dog about people stuff. She told a random person “She wants to say hi to you,” and the person got out of their seat and went over to kneel down and kiss the dog’s ring, or whatever the hell miss dog lady was expecting them to do.
“He probably smells my dog.” How many times have I heard that? Or maybe he smells your fragrant pants area.
“Oh, it’s a she? Sorry, I didn’t know.” Ugh. It doesn’t matter what gender it is if it is going to keep whining and barking on the plane. However, miss dog said the furry thing curls up in a bag and sleeps stowed under the seat in front. Fair enough.
The PA system called “all passengers to board a flight to Phoenix, but I didn’t want to go to Phoenix, so I got on the plane to Seattle when they told “all passengers” to board that flight. I’m pretty good at remember faces, and I saw a flight attendant that I recognize from two previous Alaska Airlines flights. I didn’t look at her nametag because that’d just be weird. The strangest way I can put this is that she has really big eye-wells, like her eyes are sunken into her face by the gradual tug of gravity due to the weight of her brain. Another flight attendant zoomed down the aisle without pause and told me to turn off my book. Suffice to say I was confused, and closed my book anyways. It’s never given me confidence when they make us turn off our ipods and headphones on takeoff and landing, like listening to the latest hit by Taylor Swift will somehow send the plane into a tailspin. There are no babies near me. I am a happy man. I put on my noise cancelling head thingies and tried to nod off. It’s strange getting used to noise cancelling headphones because the way it works is it essentially blares silence into your ears, so there’s still pressure from sound waves in your ears even though there’s no sound, like the feeling that my ears are constantly going to pop… or maybe I’m on a plane.
I landed in Seattle. It was weird because I didn’t even step out of the airport. I didn’t even check the weather; it was grey (is it “grey,” or “gray?”). I rendezvoused rather seamlessly with mumsy and we checked the heavy stuff and walked through the non-existent security lines. For a moment I didn’t know what to do because there was no line to file into. I just kind of stood there expecting to wait. When we got to the terminal I had to clarify to the jovial “Runway Grill” guy that I wanted 2 cheeseburgers, not just one. Mumsy thought he was Jamaican, but he was just from the city. Maybe he wishes he was from Jamaica. Runway Grill sounds like they cook burgers on the tarmac, which fortunately they tasted like they weren’t. Initially I read “Runaway Grill,” which launched me towards a series of alternate themes for the restaurant.
While eating, Mumsy and I wondered what you are supposed to call Icelandic people. Is it “Icelanders,” or is it something random and cool, like how Netherlands people are Dutch, Belgians speak Flemish, and New Zealanders are Kiwis. A bit of googling revealed it’s just “Icelanders.” How disappointing. In the Iceland travel ads there’s a package where you can go on a six day excursion to go “knitting with the elves” –no joke– so I’m just gonna call them ‘elves’ to stay entertained. There’s a lot of folklore in them thar elfish hills, eventually leading our discussion to another important issue: what’s the difference between elves and gnomes? I’ve only known gnomes (knowmes?) as garden-dwelling dunces and have no knowledge of their folklore or mischeivery, but apparently google labels a gnome as a diminutive ground dwelling guardian of Earth’s precious treasures or something like that – developed in Renaissance times. I didn’t look up elves, but I’ve seen the Keebler commercials from the 90’s, so I’m pretty well verse.
Once on the plane and seated, the head of ground control got on the PA and joked that none of our bags were on the flight with us… except she wasn’t joking. She explained that weather was looking bad in Iceland and we had to carry more fuel in case we’d be forced to land in Glasgow instead. “In order to carry the extra weight, some luggage and passengers had to be eliminated.” Her exact words. I thought I was flying ‘Mafia Air’ for a second. She continued to inform us through the ambiance of sighs, yelps, and a few “F-you’s,” that our bags have been put on the next flight, and to make sure we fill out a lost baggage form when we land. I don’t know why they would hold Us accountable for bags we didn’t lose, but they are. The alternative solution was to stop in Canada for a refuel, but then people would miss their connections… I guess we night be going to Scottland.
Remember when we would pick berries, and when everyone stood on the hill to watch the airshow we’d sell them for 25 cents a cup?
Yeah. Remember the dog barking at us from the deck because he wanted to pick berries with us too, but he fell through the slats and landed on his face?
I remember he fell, but I don’t remember seeing it. Do you remember what we spent our earnings on?
We weren’t allowed to keep the money; we had to put it in the piggy bank. Do you remember when I took it and hid it?
Do you remember when I smashed it open and took everything?
No, but I remember getting punished for it. Do you remember how much was in there?
Not a clue.
I walked along the back of the hospital where two men in overalls were hiding an exhaustive list of graffiti with fresh paint and rollers.
+===+== Some say the world will end in fire, =+===+===+ It’s raining men!===+===+
+=+= Some say in ice.===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+== Hallelujah! =+
+===+===+= From what I’ve tasted of desire, +===+== =+= It’s raining men!===+===+
+=+===+===+== I think neither would be nice.=+===+===+= Amen!==+===+===+
+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+====+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+ Continue reading