"Europe 2004-05" story # 1

Reykjavik, Iceland           March 17, 2004

Cheerio, everybody. Cheerio from merry ole England!
     Hey! I would just like to take a second here to thank Elaine, my girlfriend while I was home in Michigan. She was a quite thin girl. Dark, short hair concealed her forest-brown eyes. She was soft-voiced, and she was incredibly thoughtful and nice. Yet, she would really come out and suprise you with her awesome sense of humor. Man, she said some ironic things!
     We trudged through deep snow in countryside woods beneath night stars, looking for bunny rabbits to chase. We built a fort in her basement and slept in it. And, Italian-blooded Elaine wore her finest black dress out to a favorite Spanish restaurant, and she walked elegant with me down the bright night streets of downtown Grand Rapids. They were only good times.
     Thanks Elaine!
     And thanks also to my Mom, Dad, and Grandpa and Grandma Breen for putting me up and loaning me their cars while I was home!

Alas, I had to continue on my way.
     I flew last week into Iceland, on my way across "the pond." It was seven a.m. when I arrived and dark. It was raining some. And, there were insane winds of about fifty miles per hour. Nevertheless, I decided to hitchhike the thirty miles from the airport into Reykjavik. (Luckily, it was some degree above freezing temperature, and, in mid-March, Iceland didn't even have snow on the ground.)
     I could barely walk straight down the dark highway, the wind was blowing so. My eye-glasses collected pools of rain. And, the garbage bag on my backpack was flapping around madly, loud, in the wind. But, those friendly Icelanders - famous for stopping for hitchhikers - came through, and a large, old, laughing taxi driver took me with him to Reykjavik for free.
     An Icelandic girl in a bar explained, happily, "We just figure, if you're hitchhiking, then you must be nice!"
     The Icelandic nightlife, once again, proved that it's fantastic. Fully grown, blond, high-fashion, high-cheekbone Icelanders flock to Reykjavik's intimate downtown streets and get so drunk they jump around and dance and sing and fall down. There are so many bars and clubs for a small town, and they're all packed.
     I tried starting conversations with Icelanders by pretending to be a really dumb American. "So, where are all the igloos? Don't you live in igloos here?" ... "Yeah, Iceland's all right. I'm just a little disappointed I haven't seen any penguins walking down the street yet." ... "Is it true that vikings live in the mountains here, and they come down sometimes to pillage villages?" Of course, I knew these ideas to be totally absurd.
     I spent three months in Iceland before, and it's still one of my favorite countries ever.
     I'm going to miss the clean air and modern architecture of geometric shapes of capital Reykjavik. And I'm going to miss the great hitchhiking and all the amazing geological features in the countryside. Spending the summer of 2000 there was one of the best things I ever did.

Okay - another interruption.
     I would just like to give a shout-out here to eight-month-old Matthew Daniel "Johnny" Smith, who I got to meet before flying out of the U.S.'s East Coast. He's the son of two of my college friends.
     The first morning I stayed with them, Matthew was placed on the blankets on top of me in bed. Big-boy Matt just laid there and stared at me. His big blue lens eyes just stared, and his red-tongued mouth hung ajar, and he just stared at me, motionless, with a happy, chubby-blond-headed smile.
     Matt's tiny fingers may be surprisingly pudgy, and his legs may be wrapped in baby cellulite, but he's gonna be a hell of a kid.

Yeah, so, I flew into London yesterday. I'm staying with a friend.
     So far, I've enjoyed the city's wide offering of Indian restaurants, and wow, those soft nan breads and orange tandoori chickens could make me their slave.
     Also, I went out myself the last two nights, to the downtown area known as "Soho," in search of salsa music. Practically everyone on the streets speaks a different language here.
     Night buses run all night, and even females feel safe travelling alone in this city.
     The main reason I wanted to come to England was because I look forward to enjoying the English's fantastic dry sense of humor.
     Tonight, I was riding a bus back from Soho. A young man in a typically English, black tweed coat sat next to me. Three loud girls came on after partying, and one asked the English guy if he and I were friends.
     "I've got a friend in Jesus, I've got a friend in him," the young man said, brilliantly.
     It took me a second to catch his humor. I, with my long hair, look like Jesus.
     ha. Here should be fun.

Later. - Modern O.

Thanks to Vic; and Kristjan for the rides!

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