Hello, and Gošan Dagin. I spent the last week in
Reykjavik, but I may have met my first-ever
hitchhiking companion. His name“s Will, from Wilmot,
New Hampshire. We“ve been throwing around some ideas,
and the most interesting one so far has been to chase
and tackle someone“s sheep and decorate them with
christmas lights or something.
As long as the hitchhiking takes place, it should
be interesting with Will. He once threw a glass of
beer in the face of Björk“s dance partner. I“m
surprised he didn“t get beat up for that, because he“s
got big glasses, a nun“s voice, and the smile of a
child. To give you an idea just how unintimidating he
is, he once said to me: "Yeah, you should stop by some
time. That“d be great if we could just, you know,
have some tea." He actually said 'tea'. I couldn“t
believe it. Also, he was complaining the other day
because he got punched at work...He works at an old
folks“ home! He said, "I kept telling the guy to
turn down the tv, because all the old people were
sitting around with their hands over their ears.
Then, he got up and punched me. And, it hurt! I
mean, he“s 94 years old, but he“s got muscle tone."
Will“s Irish roommate, Johnny, is an interesting
guy too. He mocks us for our country“s gun-control
laws. He says sarcastically, "The solution to the
problem is simply to arm everyone seven years and
older. If the U.S. has 7-year olds getting shot, then
these kids obviously should be given guns of their
own." Johnny once spent a summer with his friends in
Holland, where their Romanian employers got deported.
After two months of never leaving their tent, they had
run out of money and were reduced to stealing bottles
off people“s porches to pay their way home. "It was
either that or call our parents for money," he said
As I heard the story of Johnny“s summer, it made
me wish I didn“t have my parents“ credit card here in
Iceland to fall back on when money is tight. You
learn a lot about survival when you have to fend for
...Well, I guess I should“ve been careful what I
wished for. Two nights ago, I lost my I.D. and credit
This leaves me with only the cash from the jobs which
I don“t work at much.
The good news is that I“m always prepared, and I
have already devised a Plan B. It“s brilliant, I must
say. The plan is to sell e-mail subscriptions to my
travels, door-to-door. When I devised "Plan B", I did
so with visions of earning $20 or $30 an hour. Get
rich quick, ha, ha!!!
Working against this plan is the fact that nobody
sells things door-to-door in Iceland that I know of.
Also, Icelanders work very hard for their money and
they chiefly like to part with it only for beer.
Wednesday was my first day as a door-to-door salesman,
and after one hour my hourly rate was $0/hour.
Here“s where my days as a solicitor would come in
handy! At age 17, as a door-to-door toy-and-watch
salesman, I learned all the tricks of the trade with
some quick-talking hustlers. Sure, I only earned
about $40 a day at that job. But, this time I“m
working for myself and all the bountiful profits are
ALL mine. Get rich quick, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!
RULE # 1: YOU NEED A SALES PITCH.
I thought back to how I used to move the "Mother
Goose" CD-Songbooks better than anyone else in the
office at age 17. I reflected on that beautiful
poetry of a sales pitch, so harp-like in verse even
the poorest bum couldn“t have resisted buying a book
from me. "Can we get a Mother Goose sing-along in
here?" I used to say. "Six little ducks that I once
knew...fat ones, skinny ones, small ones too..."
So, I tweaked my latest sales pitch Wednesday
night. "I“m Modern Oddyseus," I say, "I“ve climbed
trees after koalas, hitchhiked in stolen cars, ate 6
liters of ice cream in one sitting..."
RULE # 2: GET SOMETHING IN THEIR HANDS.
With a picture of me with aborigines for style,
and a picture I took of my goofy masked face while
snorkelling for humor, I was on my way for Thursday“s
selling. Get rich quick, ha ha!!!
...Actually, things didn“t go much better on this
day. My hourly rate rose to $3.33, but I would
describe the feeling most Icelanders have towards me
as a bitter resentment for my existence. I must be
forgetting some rules.
RULE # 3: WHILE PEOPLE WORK, THEY“RE ALREADY NOT
ENJOYING THEMSELVES SO THEY DON“T MIND YOU TALKING TO
THEM AS MUCH.
RULE # 4: TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT.
So, on Friday I went out again. Rules 3 & 4 made
a big difference. When I went into shops to sell to
clerks, they atleast feigned interest in my travel
e-mails. Other people were sincerely interested in my
travels and me and everything except for the part
where they give me money.
The number of subscribers to "Modern Oddyseus“
Travel Annals" rose on this day, but unfortunately
they were all nonpaying moochers. In fact, I lost
money on the day. As I left the house of a guy who
laughed at me and said, "I have better things to spend
my money on," the sole of my shoe got caught on his
step and began hanging half-unattached to the rest of
my shoe. After factoring in the cost of the
super-glue to repair my shoe, my hourly rate after
three days was a very unwealthy $0.80/hour.
But I will persevere! I have to. I have no
money otherwise. I just need to remember some more
rules. Let“s see...
RULE # 5: MAYBE PUT SOME GEL IN YOUR HAIR.
RULE # 6: SELLING IN BARS IS FUN AND PROFITABLE.
That last one“s good. You don“t know how many
times I used to say, in the old solicitor-lingo: "I
dropped 7 pieces in the Beer Bar, SmokeDog! Who“s got
the juice!? Justin“s got juice, Justin“s got juice,
Justin“s got juice, let“s get fired up!!! Juicy."
RULE # 7: "PRESS ON!" (wait, that“s no rule)
RULE # 8: DAMN, I WISH I HAD SOME OF THOSE
CD-SONGBOOKS WITH ME RIGHT ABOUT NOW.
later, Modern Oddyseus