Disbatch from Iceland Day 1


4:29 pm: Prikid -french press. Antonio Carlos Jobim soundtrack. The girl beyond B looks xactly like Bjork probably did ten years ago. I spilled my coffee all over the table, strong coffee jitters. 2 coffees are 400Kr=4.59.

The stores are closing up for the weekend, being Saturday at 5PM so I go buy the two Icelandic CD’s I want, which I haven’t seen back home.(2 CDs =4098 Kr=47.00US).

We realize we forgot to bring a bottle opener for our wine and all the stores now are closed. After much searching, a wine opener is located as an amenity for our room via the front desk man. For dinner we went to eat at Kaffi Brennslan, the bar that boasts 101 beers and B proclaims 101 crappy beers, after he witnesses the price list: (Bjorlist: Chimay Reserve- 1,690 Kr = $19.42, Blanche De Bruge- 590 Kr=6.78, Viking Sterkur-590 Kr=6.78,Thule-590 Kr=6.78…and so on, and this is before the 24.5% VAT-Value Added Tax) Our food was fine,if not bland which was good considering we both were not feeling up to par.

On that note we knew it was our only chance to see what all this weekend nightlife was about, but after visiting two more bars our jet lag won out. We go to the Dubliner, which becomes extremely packed at 11PM, and I was very grateful they were still serving coffee after I drink one beer. There was, what I thought to be an American, (his accent became hard to place after awhile) playing folk songs very loudly into a microphone. Two other American girls we had seen earlier in the day at the coffee shop were now our bartenders,(two Guinness cost 1,300 Kr.= $14.94)and there is the standard Guinness, Jameson and Newcastle paraphernalia hanging on the walls,candles burning in empty beer bottles.It is a warm,cozy Irish bar.

We cross the street to Gaukur a Stong, where we are hoping to catch the Icelandic bands that were to play that night.We had to get past the eight young security guards at the door to get in.

Eager to try out the Icelandic traditions, we both order a shot of Brennevin or as they nicknamed it, The Black Death. B almost throws up immediately, being it tasted of caraway schnapps and rubbing alcohol. We watch a slurpee machine go round and round on the bar as a boxing movie plays behind it.B comments on how he has noticed they really seemed to be into boxing.Next to us is a vending machine containing toys, salty fish licorice candy and assorted things like condoms,cameras and a ladies “extendo cock” for sale.

I take a photo for my friend Susan back in the good old USA because she had always said this would be a brilliant money making idea- put a vending machine of impulse items in a bar! We are far too early for any bands to be playing,and after I eat an entire bag of “Katjes” salty fish licorice and B bemoans another horrible Viking beer we call it a night.

We find through halted sleep the bars really do stay open all night on the weekends. Outside of our hotel room on the street people are frolicking into the late,late hours of the night,even setting off fireworks.