I’m in motherfucking Iceland!
Got in at ass o’clock in the morning, after a wonderfully uneventful flight — better than uneventful, even, since it was ahead of schedule, and a couple near me asked if I could switch from middle to aisle so they could sit together, and then I ended up chatting with the girl next to me, who is my age and from the Midwest, and we exchanged email addresses and will maybe grab a drink this weekend.
I couldn’t check into the hostel ’til 3pm, so after dragging myself and my shit like a mile in the dark there, I hung out in the lobby for awhile until it got light out — after running across the street to the pseudo-711 to get a new power adapter for my laptop, since turns out the one I got in the US was only for USB devices, and holy shit, that 7-11 dude was more friendly and helpful in making sure the ones they had would work with my laptop, and letting me know where to go in case it didn’t work, than like every actual 7-11 employee I’ve ever encountered in my life, put together.
Eventually I dragged my groggy, plane-crusty ass out midmorning to wander around the neighborhood. The waterfront is only a couple of blocks away, and I now understand the etymology of Reykjavík — bay of smokes.
Like… this isn’t ugly.
(More and better pictures on my actual camera, but I am too tired to deal with anything but iPhone pix.)
Found a grocery store and picked up some food for fairly reasonable prices, including a lox and egg salad sub that was actually fucking delicious (and I’m glad to find Iceland to be civilized in terms of lack of celery in egg salad).
Food is definitely the hardest thing for me to keep within my budget. I’m not a foodie, and on the whole don’t feel like I’m missing out if I don’t spend too much time/money sampling all the local cuisine, but when you’re bouncing around so much, it is hard to buy just enough food to cook for yourself for a few days without ending up throwing shit out. And then I’ll do dumbass things like spend $7 to go to a fucking Subway or something, instead of spending a couple of dollars more and at least eaten something halfway good or interesting. But even just, like, trying for half your meals to be homemade makes a big different in cost (not to mention, like, not eating crap 24/7).
Finally, finally got checked in, showered, and promptly took what may have actually been the best nap I have taken in my entire life, no joke. I can almost never nap, even when running on no sleep, and if I do fall asleep, it’s for ten hours and I’m even more boned after. But I slept hard for like three hours and woke up around 6pm feeling at least vaguely human again.
And then, speaking of eating like crap, I went to the kitchen to make my ramen (listen, I put two eggs in it; it counts as food). Ended up chatting with the other kitchen denizen for awhile, and then with two girls from northern Canada, and also two guys both named Kevin from California and Estonia (obviously), who made themselves DIY wristbands, marker-colored, to try to get into the Iceland Airwaves music festival, which I had no idea was happening until I was on the plane but is apparently a huge thing. I am hugely curious as to how that went for them and it is highly unlikely I will ever find out.
They left in search of music and adventure (after sharing some whiskey), and the remaining four of us ended up randomly playing spades for a good couples, which was actually hugely fun, and I think we all turned out to be fairly kindred spirits (or at least like-minded ridiculous senses of humor). And somehow we all ended up with a plan to go to the local thermal pools (the inexpensive place, anyway) in the morning, before the girls take off on a camping road trip around Iceland.
I fucking love hostels so much.
Like, as sad as it is, that’s definitely more new friends and probably close to as many actual plans made as in the last 10-odd months rotting in Florida all told. It’s very strange to almost step back and watch the way my personality kind of shifts when I’m back in those liminal spaces where I feel most at home, in the deep-rooted comfort of transience. I mean, I’m still awkward and uneasy, and I hate the way my shyness and (lack of) self-confidence so often manifests in talking obnoxiously loud and unintelligibly fast, just to get it over with, but at least I’m talking, interacting. Doing slightly more than existing at the bare minimum level.
(“The sun came out, and I walked on my feet and heard with my ears. I hate the bits, the bits that stay down and I work, I function like I’m a girl. I hate it because I know it’ll go away.”)
Anyway, at least I kinda blend in here in tall blonde nordicland.
And I should probably go to sleep if I’m going to actually wake up in time tomorrow.