Sunday, January 20, 2008

Icelandic adventures and a realisation

Whatever you´re doing, wherever you are right now, make me a promise that one day you will come to Iceland in the winter. Yes it´s cold and yes, there´s not a lot of daylight, but a country covered in thick powdered snow has an ethereal mystique that I for one have never seen before.

In the past 48 hours I´ve watched geysers spit huge clouds of water and steam into the sky, a kind of earth burp that will never end. I´ve seen a giant waterfall and felt like I was on the edge of the world as the water crashed down around me and the spray showered my cheeks with droplets of ice. I´ve swum in an outdoor thermal spa, in the dark, surrounded by steam and mist and wondered whether this is what it´s like at the border of life and death. If so it´s something to no bad thing. I´ve covered my skin in white Icelandic mud on a promise of eternal youth and watched the northern lights dance their crazy green dreams across the stars. I´ve also bought the most fabulously kitsch Viking-themed tat for one and all (this country has the tacky souvenir factor down to a T), walked around a Viking longhouse (go to a museum called 871) and lost my phone in a Rejkyavik nightclub owned by Damon Albarn. It is yet another tribute to this country that within 25 minutes I had said phone back. In London it would have been bought and sold on eBay by now.

The only thing I have realised is that I am too old, mentally if not biologically, to party here. Yesterday, after attending three parties in the warm up to the night out itself, I found myself falling asleep in an Irish bar at 3.30am and begging for a taxi while my Icelandic host wanted to dance the night away. While there is a lot to be said for getting the drinking done first (booze here is prohibitively expensive. I spent twenty pounds last night on a pint of beer, a vodka/lemonade and a bacardi/orange), my sad old body can´t cope. Once the drinking stops, it´s time for bed these days. I have somehow lasted til 5am the last few nights - but it´s been a challenge. My sister (without whom I wouldn´t be here, we are staying with friends of hers) has ventured out again tonight, our last night. I meanwhile have opted gratefully for a night of blogging and composing a love letter to MC (we nearly split up last weekend but I don´t want to marr this post with all that right now). In any case being away from him here has made me realise just how much he means to me. I am pathetically excited about seeing him tomorrow. Even though I don´t want this current adventure to come to an end.


fake adult said...

it's a bad sign when one gets jet lag from staying out beyond one's normal bedtime (i've been wide awake since 2.30am, messed up by sat's catastrophic drinking).

sounds amazing over there, zu! i'll be thinking of you on wed - little bit of iceland in the form of bjork.

sorry to hear about mc, hope it all works out x

silverfox said...

Hey Zu, Iceland sounds absolutely amazing, what an inspirational journey. Drinking the night away isn't your thing? I don't believe it! We'll have to put that to the test next time we meet for a second innings.(I didn't think it was my thing anymore either but the weekend gone, I managed to drink the night away while FA went to bed at 3:30ish, I got there a few hours later after the sun had come up, I don't know what's got into me, I'm ready to party all over again and I know I'm too old for that shit)

I hope everything smooths out with your boy, nothing like getting a bit of perspective not being under each others feet x

Dette said...

I'm so jealous!! Iceland sounds awesome! I've been wanting to see snow for ever (I'm from Perth, Australia and we've had a few days where temps were 40+ celsius over the Christmas/New Year but it has never snowed here).

Peas on Toast said...

Hi Zu
Iceland sounds like heaven on Earth! My aunt packed fish there back in her youth, and I'd be interested to know whether you've had a random Bjork sighting... but wow, your words indicate the most beautiful imagery possible!

silverfox said...

Hey Peas, Bjork was nowhere to be seen cause she is in Oz, I went last night to the Opera House to see her and she was UN-FUCKING-REAL!

Peas on Toast said...

Silverfox - seriously?? I love her, so am very jealous!