The Frozen Island

It is said that if you get lost in the forest in Iceland, just stand up. I can confirm that this is true, for on my stopover I discovered that this island is small, snowy, composed mostly of volcanic rock and almost bereft of greenery. Native plants are only 1-meter high bushes, so anything taller is a recent import. This barren land of ice may be scarce in flora and fauna but thermal water is everywhere and thus cheap heating/energy is bountiful. In the same way that a smart Aussie farmer might sink a bore to pull life-sustaining water from the ground, Icelanders can drill a well and pull life-sustaining heat from the ground. It really kind of shocked me how much the cost of energy and fruit was backwards and I had to completely reverse my normal, western thinking. This is what I pondered as I floated in the blue lagoon, looking up at the stars, with silica mud smeared on my face, while sub-zero currents swirled above me and scorching currents ebbed beneath.

The next day, I took the Golden Circle tour from Reykjavik with an extremely informative guide who told me everything about this unique land. The beautiful countryside was reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands with barren, scraggy, snow-covered peaks everywhere but the whole inner portion of Iceland is literally impassable and uninhabitable. Iceland even has their own breed of furry, stumpy horses which instinctively have 5 gaits as opposed to most horses which can only do 3. They were super friendly too, and many had long blonde hair from their crest which hung down like a tanned Gold Coaster or a trendy black woman.

The people seem smart and stubbornly proud of their way of life, though bordering on xenophobia. Isolation will do that. On the other hand, they’re fine with gay marriage and their president is a single mother with one breast, so they’re probably more open-minded than our local guide gave them credit for. Apparently the whole populace of 300,000 is completely genealogically mapped and a recent smartphone app allows dating singles to make sure they’re not about to go in for the kiss on their 1st cousin. These wealthy, hard-working people really know how to care for their community and take ownership in their government. The people literally overthrew the government in 2009, following corrupt banking/political practices, then told the EU to go suck it when they tried to place the largest bank’s debt onto the state. When’s the last time you banged your saucepan outside your mayoral office and reorganised your government? I feel like this tiny nation has things to teach us.

You know you’re in Iceland when…
– An apple costs more than a dried, fermented shark (and that’s even an option).

About their genealogical database – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/26/iceland-genealogy-database_n_1032621.html

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Comments
One Response to “The Frozen Island”
  1. “It is said that if you get lost in the forest in Iceland, just stand up.” I’m going to start saying this all the time. Hilarious.

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