Apologies for the long dry spell here at Iceland Report. Our one-man staff has been swamped for the last 10 days. Last week saw two 5 a.m. Keflavík airport runs plus an one-day business trip to the north. Then there was the Golden Circle tour, the party, the reference call from Vietnam, and the research paper massaging for my Czech economist friend. Add to that apartment viewings on a nightly basis, and the fact that I also work, and you begin to get the idea, Gentle Reader.
I felt like Al Pacino in Heat. "I've got three dead bodies on the sidewalk off Venice Boulevard, Justine! I'm sorry if the goddamn chicken got... over... cooked..."
But the redeeming feature of the last week or so was the fact that E and I had not one but four visitors from the Other Promised Land, the Hub of the Universe. Even after only a year in Iceland, it's easy to forget that it's special and think of it as just another place, but showing new people around always makes me remember the magic. I always see the place again through new eyes.
I picked up the crew in the early morning of Friday, standing at the airport with a bogus limo-driver sign with some semi-derogatory nicknames. (Not many other bus drivers there had signs that said "Fatty", for example. And every single new arrival coming through the customs door reads your sign, I learned.)
While I was working on Friday, E showed our guests around Our New Fair City, then we all met at the Daily Driver swimming pool in Laugardalur, where the slightly daft pool attendant heaped abuse on us for broken-locker related issues, and the Fellas enjoyed their first hot pots. That night the six of us cooked up an epic lamb-and-potatoes dinner and then sat around and drank wine and sampled Icelandic sweets and laughed about things afterwards. And they all started saying "Já, já."
Saturday we were up bright and early and took the crew on a two-car Golden Circle trip that encompassed not only the normal sights of Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss, but also the added bonuses of the Nesjavellir hot water pumping stations, Þingvalla Lake, and the effervescent swimming pool of Hveragerði. That night we threw a party for them and then dragged our exhausted selves downtown afterwards.
On Sunday morning the Beantown Four embarked on a two-day whirlwind adventure that took them all the way down the Icelandic south coast and back in time for sandwiches at Smáralind on Tuesday before they headed back to Boston.
Fatty, Patty, Paully, and Steph: it was fantastic having you here. I wish you could have stayed longer, and I hope we'll see you again for mad fireworks on New Year's!