Thursday, May 1, 2008

Two Go Mild in Reykjavik

Yesterday was a grand day of wandering around and looking at things. I've taken a lot of pictures of grafitti and vandalism, I think people will find it compares directly with what we have in the States. The only real innovation is that sometimes taggers incorporate runes older than the Viking Futhark in some of their work. I mean, I would, if I lived in a culture that had that, go back to the really old stuff and make my mark look cooler. Who wouldn't?

Last night I went to a bar (after seeing 101 Reykjavik) and tried to order a local beer, but... they didn't have any. I got a Leffe, but I bet that's German. The bar was called Cultura and advertised itself as being inter-cultural, but mainly there were a few depressing people in there at the mosaic tabletops. Some grimy guy at the bar, a woman in the corner madly text-messaging someone, two women complaining about men (I assumed, this being in another language but the inflection coming across), and a younger woman and an older man whose relationship I did not guess at. I just wrote postcards and got buzzed off a very expensive glass of ordinary beer--we've been advised everything's going to be pricey here, so this won't be a regular occurrence for me. I just wanted to do it once in order to say that I had. I tried to go to the Celtic Cross, but the bartender couldn't be arsed to pull himself away from his laptop and the place was as empty as a church.

I walked down to the ocean and got some pictures of the land across the water, but the brisk 20mph wind off the ocean dissuaded me from lingering. I walked all through the town, photographed a church and a statue of a viking, and got asked directions by a woman whose accent I couldn't identify. I didn't get mugged, which was all I was worried about. I don't know what the crime rate is in Reykjavik so maybe that wasn't an issue. I just inferred, from the similar graffiti, that youth's aspirations would be on par with that in America so a stupid person could get mugged easily, quickly, for no reason at all.

Sleeping was hell last night, as the bars stay open to four in the morning, and people think nothing of yelling and whistling all night long. The noise-canceling headphones Rebecca procured for me did wonders, however, and tonight I think I'll pop an Ambien. Today we're going to take a tour of the Golden Circle, entailing a lot of geothermal pools, the original Geysir after which all others are named, and stuff like that. I'm looking forward to it. The tours around here are going to be amazing, that I know.

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