"Iceland 2000" story # 8

Reykjavik          July 3, 2000

Happy New half-Year! The Icelandic summer is finally warm enough for wearing short sleeves. Itīs still not warm enough for swimming, but I just canīt stay away from that beautiful brown algae. I realize now that snorkelling in Iceland is less like being a bee in a fantastic queenīs flower garden, and more like swimming in a bowl of man-sized Corn Flakes. Everywhere you look, five-foot leaves are below you and around. If the breakfast cereal comparison seems weird, youīll have to excuse me because at the time I made it I think my cerebrum had honestly turned into a snowball. That water is cold!!!

The good news is Iīve found two new jobs, at a pizza place and clothing store. This means Iīll be saying good-bye to the gay bar.
     They canīt take away my memories, though. Like the time the little weasly guy with glasses caressed my forearm with his fingernails. Or when the young, angry drunk in a $400 suit pounded on the barīs window while an old, happy drunk in ripped clothes stumbled to comfort him. Then thereīs the time the guy passed out after taking a shot and it took ten minutes before we realized he was still alive. And who can forget Venus, the boy in a leopard skirt and make-up who danced so close that he/she was practically on top of me?
     (Sniff, sniff) The memories...

This all means that this weekend was my first to go out in Reykjavik in over a month. After having worked a grueling 2 1/2 hours in the past two weeks, I was in need of a good time. So, I dubbed this Saturday "Fun Day." My goal was to stay up for 24 hours straight, doing only fun stuff. On my agenda was partying in Reykjavik, doing some snorkelling, hitchhiking somewhere, and finding a date.
     Just after midnight on Friday, I put on my Fijian shirt, the most fun shirt I own. My Fun Day started, as almost any should, with an 18-inch sandwich.
     My first downtown stop was the Cocktail Bar. I met one of the friendliest, most jolly-hearted fellows here. He couldnīt have weighed much more than 100 pounds, and half of that mightīve been his big, excited eyes. He complained about his shock over a guy trying to pick a fight with him earlier. I was shocked as well. The poor little fellow - I wouldīve taken a punch for him if I wouldīve seen the bully.
     I next went to Tres Locos, which Iīm sure has to be the most northerly meringue bar in the world. Itīs been a while since Iīve Latin-danced, but I still got the moves! Ofcourse, being in Iceland immediately makes you a better Latin-dancer just like being in England would make you a better cook. There just arenīt many good Latin-dancers here. I regret that I was unable to hear a rare compliment directed towards my dancing, because the girl spoke mostly just Icelandic.
     So, Fun Day was well on its way! But what Fun Day could even hope to be complete without including the Japanese word for fun...Karaoke!? At Cafe Austurstræti, I ran into two big, shaggy-haired girls who had earlier asked where I was from. I said Michigan, and I naturally held up my hand in the mitten-shape of the state and pointed to where I came from. I never heard the end of that. The girls kept mocking me, holding up their hands and pointing. "We come from...right here!...in Iceland!" Nevertheless, we were able to put aside our differences and join forces for a mediocre rendition of the Material Girlīs "Like A Virgin."
     My last stop was at Cafe Thompsen, a hard-core techno club. The dark dungeon is a very fun place to dance recklessly in. Fun Day spanned its fourth language when the prettiest girl in the club spoke only Spanish. I speak Spanish about as well as I speak Icelandic, except much worse, so we didnīt talk for long.
     When I left the club, it was 6:30. Fun Day was barely a quarter over, and I was exhausted. My eyes only wanted to shut. I needed energy, and my favorite form of energy is the half-gallon of ice cream with Snickers and Oreos. Mmm.
     But it would seem that this time my faith in ice cream was a little too great (thereīs a first for everything). Instead of giving me energy, the ice cream only sat in my stomach like a boulder. Luckily, the boulder fit perfectly on my stolen mattress. I fell quickly to sleep in my Fijian shirt, marking the sad, premature end to Fun Day.

I try not to focus on the shortcomings of Fun Day, but rather on the accomplishments. While I didnīt stay awake for 24 hours straight, I DID stay awake for 8 hours straight. Thatīs something.
     The award for "Best Capturing the Spirit of Fun Day" is an easy pick. It goes to a tall boy with thick, dark hair sticking straight up. At the karaoke bar, he serenaded his pretty girlfriend with Elvisī "Hound Dog." He was twisting like crazy, pointing over and over at his girlfriend and everyone else, and jumping up on chairs singing. It was absolutely hillarious.
     I think itīs important that we learn from Fun Day, in the hopes that there will be more Fun Days and that more than one item from the agenda will be met in future ones. Two lessons stick out as the most obvious:
     1. Dancing drains a lot of energy, and it should thus be saved for the end of Fun Days.
     2. Eat atleast a WHOLE gallon of ice cream. Half-gallons obviously donīt do it.

later, Justin

"You Ainīt Nothing But A Hound Dog, Crying All The Time - You Ainīt Nothing But A Hound Dog, Crying All The Time..."

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