Print Story The Iceland Diaries II - - Day 11
By BadDoggie (Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 12:15:31 AM EST) (all tags)
Day 11
Sat 29 Jan
5°C, overcast and some fog.

I'm an idiot.
Did I *really* blurt that shit out to BEIG at 6:00 a.m. this morning?

Yes you did, Brett. Yes you did!

There's too much going on tonight: Concert that I may want to see, þorrablót that I may go to, supposed to stop by three clubs, and BEIG will be in Sirkus tonight.

That's just pride fuckin' wit' choo. Pride only hurts for a minute.

Inside: Icelandic Hottays to the left of me. Icelandic Hottays to the right of me. Icelandic Hottays everywhere talking to me. Icelandic Hottays on a mission.

The Iceland Diaries II: The Iceland Diaries II: Preface, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, "Food", Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 14, Day 15, Day 16, Day 17, The End.

I woke up to the cell phone ringing. I went scrambling to find my trousers and just as I got to them, the phone had stopped. It was the mailbox calling. That would explain the awful noises in some dream I was having a few minutes earlier. I didn't call it back and it hasn't tried to call me for the past three hours. Strange.

I realised I have a busy day ahead and a drive to Akureyri tomorrow. Must remember to disrobe in same room as I sleep so that when they bring the car tomorrow and call me, I can actually get up and take it. I started cleaning up and realised that even with a sparsely-filled apartment and only one suitcase, I can turn any place into a shithole inside five days.

OK, there's nothing mouldy in the fridge yet (I posit that spores are smarter than humans since would never dare try to subsist on that sour-preserved food). There are some dishes to do, a lot of papers around, sweaters (jumpers) on each piece of furniture, general chaos. I can't help it. But luckily I only have one suitcase of stuff and half of it's in the wardrobe, folded neatly no less.

 I haven't accumulated too much gar-bahj. Strange. Again, I think it's because I don't collect knick-knacks, I'm intentionally travelling as lightly as possible, but mostly because I don't need a lot of reminders. I will be back, possibly in March for a week, probably in June for three to take an intensive Icelandic language course. Certainly in the first week of August. Maybe some other time. There are more adventures to be had when I go explore other areas. I came back to Reykjavík because I'd said I would and because it's where I hope, I expect to live, not that I wouldn't consider another city here. But here in Iceland is where I want to live next.

Of course, once I've been here for five or six years, I'll probably want to move on again. I have a 20-year-old mind in a 40-year-old's body and don't know where the time went. That might change with the right girl, but I don't know if that'll ever happen.

On the way to 22, I remembered to stop in the dead sheep gallery. There wasn't much more to see, and it wasn't a museum. It was a gallery and what was on display was mostly modern art silliness. They wanted something like 900 Eurobuckies for the death mask (along with scraps of leather and wood shavings because that's the complete "artwork"). The photo is a cool 1500 or so. Meh.

I spent three hours in 22 writing. When I checked my mail I found a response from the pigfuckers at Postbank. In it I was told that you can reach the 0180-numbers from foreign countries (they charge per-minute to call, not available in Iceland). I was also given the one normal number that I'd already tried to call and told it only works from outside the country. Since my cell phone is German-based, the number is rejected and passed on to a recording to call an 0180-number. The author of the response also admonished me for allowing my cell phone to divert to voice mail.

Pest is German for plague.
So that's who woke me up this morning. Thanks for trying back a second time, bitch. I checked the voice mail and it was a useless message telling me Postbank was calling and I shouldn't let my cell phone to divert to voice mail, nothing more.

Postbank left me sitting here with 15 Eurobuckies for four days before answering an urgent request. The reply was only that the card wasn't disabled and that I really should figure out a way to pay them for the privilege of calling them so they could be equally helpful on the phone. There was no advice about what to do for money. I only recently transferred to Postbank and have had so much trouble with them I'm looking for another bank again. Bite me, Postbank.

I replied to the E-Mail. It bounced. Pigfuckers. Nutzlose ziegefickende Arschgeigen!

I went back home to clean and pack before the night's festivities get underway. I don't have anyone's number, I have no way to get hold of Dave, I don't where Nasa is (where the popular band Gusgus is playing and I'm supposed to be on the guest list or have a ticket or something, but only if I know the name of the guy whose list I'm, which I can't remember), it's windy as hell and raining.

I'm not looking forward to the drive to Akureyri tomorrow if this shit keeps up.

At 7 I ran into Dave at 22 (it was the best guess). He said we'd meet there at 8. He got stood up by the girls which is probably just as well. You don't want to be half naked in this weather. Even with the heat of the lagoon, the wind and rain suck.

I wrote a bit. Gully showed up and said he couldn't swing tickets or list for the concert but that he was DJing upstairs anyway starting at 12 or 1. Fair enough. Dave returned and we headed up Laugavegi, dropping off my computer on the way. He went into the student union storefront and they told us we had to go to this Irish bar where it was being held upstairs. A þorrablót in an Irish bar?

We arrived and the doorman pointed us to the stairs an. There was a party/concert room and maybe 30 people, only half of whom were Icelandic. We were early. More started filtering in and some of the Icelanders brought in trays of some of the þorramat. This wasn't a þorrablót proper but rather a sort of introduction to the some of the most common of these "foods" for the foreign students. I was helping essplain what some of the goodies were. There was also a girl carrying around a bottle of Brennevín and itsy bitsy cups. Hilarity ensued.

They got some of the not-so-bad Hákarl but only a few were brave enough to try it, Brennevín or no. Dave gave it a shot. The harðfiskur (the good stuff: Steinbitur, ocean catfish) was quite popular, no doubt because of its mild flavour and lack of sour preservation. Also available were mounds of súr sviðasulta, blódmor, lifrarpylsa, and hrutspungur, the latter which most of the male students paused much longer before eating than the females. You just don't want to think about where it comes from, but it's not so bad... for þorramat. I remembered the stuff in my fridge, especially the blubber.

Fifteen minutes later, I returned to the bar with my súr hvalur and súrt hvalrengi and cut it up into samples, telling the Icelanders what I had. Most of them had never had it. The hvalrengi is much better except for the mushy bit. The Icelanders who tried it nodded the way they do when they eat a lot of the other stuff, something along the lines of the guy who shrugs and answers, "Eh, it's a living." The only one who seemed to really like the blubber was the Japanese girl. Go figure. I got into a brief discussion with a couple people about the stuff and whaling and said that in all probability, this stuff came from Norway, the country with oil and an advanced salmon aquaculture industry and which never joined the IWC and never stopped whaling.

After it became apparent that nothing more was disappearing from the trays and that the piles of sour-preserved nastiness were there for the long haul, the trays were taken away and the floor show began. The main host guy talked for a few minutes, then someone else did. The language of the evening was almost exclusively English. Then one of the girls (I think) asked David -- one of the only two non-students there who was invited as a journalist -- to get up on the stage. He mumbled through some brief song and got a round of applause. Then one of the Icelandic girls started pointing at me and got everyone to join in on one of those clapping and screaming "Go" or "Yes" or "Doggie" chants. No way. Not gonna happen.

But no one else took the stage.

The girl did it again, managing to get 150 or so people to join in. As the noise ebbed, I said loudly (and in Icelandic) that I didn't have anything to say beyond "Takk fyrir" (thanks). I didn't have any story to tell at the moment. That wasn't good enough. She and some others kept pushing me to go up. I finally said, "The only way I'm going up there is if you sing Frost er úti fuglinn min with me." She refused but the two girls on her sides both eagerly agreed.

The lack of sleep, the cold, the alcohol and the late nights, among other reasons, have left my voice pretty shattered, not that it's terribly good to begin with. Most people dont make the mistake of asking me to sing along with them a second time.

I'd been in the record store a couple days before and noticed a Stundin Okkar with lots of the songs which have been sung on the show. Sure enough, Frost er úti fuglinn min was listed so I finally got the singer's name: Hera (Hjartardóttir). I had a look at her CDs but never a listen. Hottie or no, I saw the lyrics and wasn't so inclined to grab it. I figured the title "Not Your Type" was there for a reason.

Anyway, Frost er úti fuglinn min is a children's song, a little girl's song, actually. It's not a song any boy over six or seven wants to sing. However, I am trying to learn this language and it was easy enough to listen to. I learned quite a bit of vocabulary and grammar from it, actually.

Frost er úti fuglinn minn

Frost er úti fuglinn minn,
ég finn hvað þér er kalt.
Nærðu engu í nefið þitt,
því nú er frosið allt?

En ef þú bíður augnablik
ég ætla að flýta mér,
að biðja hana mömmu mína
um mylsnu handa þér.


There's frost outside little birdie
It seems cold to me
Curl up in your nest
Because there's frost everywhere now

But if you wait just a second
I'm going to run off
To go ask my mother
For some crumbs to feed to you.

Yeah, no Pulitzers or Grammys for this tune, but it's well-known. It's also thankfully short and you don't have to sing it twice through.

Doggie and Hottays sing

So here's the foreigner who's almost twice as old as most of them standing up on stage, resplendent in a black T-shirt with big, thick letters spelling out "FUCKER" beginning to sing this song. And the girls sang with me, Sólrún Lilja on my left and Dagbjört on my right. And as we sang, all the Icelanders started joining in! All of them. More Icelanders had shown up as the reservation of the upstairs for the party had only been until 10pm and the early bird partiers were starting to show up. They were singing, too. Only the foreigners were sitting there wondering what this apparently national treasure of a song was and why they didn't know anything about it. There was a massive applause as we finished and I spent the next 20 minutes explaining the same story over and over about how and why I'd learnt it.

It's the first Icelandic song I ever learned, and they should be glad I didn't choose to do "Við Skýum" replete with its clapping and thigh-slapping and running in place and hip-shaking.. Come to think of it, the hip-waggling bit might've been nice, but I would've had to do it, too.

It was just past midnight. Nobody else went up on stage until the band that was scheduled to play around 11:30 showed up at about 12:15. I only remember they were playing loud so that the cute Icelandic students (and maybe some foreign ones, too) had to lean in really close to talk to me. I was offered a few phone numbers and Eva told me I had to be here next Wednesday (when I'm supposed to be in Akranes) for the Stúdentkallarinn at 8pm whatever that is. I made notes and she gave me her number.

After a while, David wanted to go and I joined him. We went out and across the street to the Celtic Crow. We weren't queued up for 30 seconds before he'd managed to initiate some conversation with a group of wimmenfolk also waiting to get in. We all went in at once and took an empty area at the bar. The girl went to the standard but managed to get straight to sex within a minute. "None?" She seemed shocked. "I've been here 10 days this time, was here a week in summer, never." We talked about nothing for a while as people kept shifting around playing musical conversation partner. Girl returned and told me the group are all co-workers and her friends had assigned her the task of getting me laid tonight. This drought has gone on far too long. I agree, but it's still pretty freaky being told such a thing.

So what was I interested in? Maybe she was trying to shock me, but along with proving my idiocy, I think these diaries have given me the chance to prove my lack of shame, intentional or otherwise. "You're quite attractive," I shot back. "I also have a boyfriend who'll be here in 15 minutes." She's fast on the uptake, but hell, 15 minutes is enough time to at least fulfill the basic premise of her assignment.


She was On Duty and seemed to enjoy having been assigned the task, but she equally unwilling to go that extra kilometer. I scanned the bar. There were a few girls at a table catty-cornered from us. A bit young, but certainly legal and attractive. "That's interesting." She disappeared again and I was talking to the top-heavy Southeast Asian girl and her husband for a bit.

Shortly thereafter it was determined that we'd be going to a different bar. Whatever. We headed back up to Laugavegi to another queue. I forget the name of the place. I'll edit this if I ever find out what it was called. Could it be "Sólon" or something like that? Whatever it's called, it was popular enough and late enough that there was a queue. I had some books and a camera with me and really wanted to drop them off at home, only a couple blocks up. I told everyone I'd be back and split.

It didn't take me 15 minutes to return but the others were already inside. I started essplaining to the doormen that my group was in there and I needed to join them. I think they waved me in more to shut me up rather than any belief in the veracity of my claim.

I found the others quickly, got a beer and followed everyone upstairs to a packed dancehall. Groups split off as some people ran into friends and within 15 minutes I was standing at the bar talking to the bartender, having met through someone else at the bar who'd recognised me. I went back into the piles of people trying to dance and talk and what grouping had existed earlier had completely broken down. I don't know what it was but it wasn't my scene. Maybe it was the music or the people or the breakdown. I have no idea. All I knew was that it was time to move on. I couldn't even find the girl on the mission. No matter. If it's planned, it ain't gonna happen, and in hindsight I shoulda known this. Still, it was fun and amusing.

It wasn't yet 2:30. I headed off to 22 to catch Gully-as-DJ. As I walked up to 22, the doormen stopped me and I told them I'm on Gully's guest list. "Gully doesn't have a guest list." Ha. I don't know if the girl recognised me from being there every day or if it was my muttering or what but she just handed me a ticket and let me in.

I grabbed a beer and went upstairs. Gully was mixing pretty nicely and there were a lot of people, but I managed to get a seat. DJ Ósóma and I didn't get much chance to talk and most people were in groups. I headed to the bathroom...

...where some guy was hassling some girl. He must've noticed the cape and tights because I didn't have to say anything and he was off. She and I started talking. I don't remember much of it but I think I have her number in my phone. We talked for about 15 minutes before I went to take care of business and go back upstairs just as Gully was packing up his CDs and waiting for the last song to finish. It was close to 4:30 so I grabbed my coat and went across the street to Sirkus.

I got a place at the bar. BEIG was there but busy. Look, at 5:00a.m. behind the bar, I'm finished, too. All I want to do is close the place, chase the mooks out into the street, restock the bar and relax with a quiet drink with my co-workers no matter who else is there. I did my best not to make things worse for her.

I ended up talking to a few people I recognised and a few people I didn't. I wasn't halfway through my beer as someone plopped a full glass in front of me, telling me to take it because they got one too many and won't be able to drink it. Five minutes later I was handed another small beer just as the lights came up. The staff gave me and my beers a hard look as I said I was drinking as fast as I could.

Drink faster.

I did my best and asked for a plastic cup so I could take at least the one with me. I did my best to show I understood the system and would get the hell out of the bar. With my plastic cup full of Thule in hand, I went outside, said my goodnights and stumbled home. At this point, even if that woman from earlier had managed to fulfill her duty and find me a girl for the night, I no longer could have fulfilled my duty. Maybe it's just as well. I don't think I was even up to being a cuddle-bitch at that point.

OTOH, had there been an Icelandic Hottay hanging off my elbow, I doubt I would've had so much to drink, and had I not had so much to drink, perhaps there would have been an Icelandic Hottay hanging off my elbow. I'm an idiot.

< [Redacted] | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
The Iceland Diaries II - - Day 11 | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Marcelles Wallace... by atreides (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 09:58:35 AM EST spelled with another "e", not a "u". Trust me on this.

Thank you for educating me about Black Cock. Can I have my pants back? -LilFlightTest

*BLAM* by BadDoggie (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 11:00:55 AM EST
DOGGIE: Oh, I'm sorry. Did that break your concentration? I didn't mean to do that. Please, continue. I believe you were saying something about "the spelling of Marcellus"

[silence as ATREIDES shakes with fear]

DOGGIE: Whassamatta? Oh, you were through. Well, allow me to retort. Have you actually read the script?

[ATREIDES still cant speak]

DOGGIE: The original Pulp Fiction script? Have you read it?


DOGGIE: The script! Have! You! Read! It!?


DOGGIE: Well perhaps you should. Does Quentin Tarantino look like a bitch?

ATREIDES: Well, yes.

DOGGIE: That don't make no difference! Quentin wrote the script and he spelled Marcellus "MARCELLUS"!

ATREIDES: Noooooo!!!!

DOGGIE: You ever read the Bible, Atreides?


DOGGIE: There's a passage I got memorised...


"Eppur si muove." -- Galileo Galilei
"Nevertheless, it moves."

[ Parent ]
To offer my bona fides... by atreides (4.00 / 3) #3 Wed Feb 23, 2005 at 11:05:29 AM EST
In the movie credits and such, it's spelled "Marcelles". In real life, as you can verify with such luminaries as Webwench, MillMan, Blixco and others, my real name is Marcellus. Trust me... After years of Pulp fiction references, I know the difference.

That is all. :P

Thank you for educating me about Black Cock. Can I have my pants back? -LilFlightTest

[ Parent ]
The Iceland Diaries II - - Day 11 | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback