föstudagur, febrúar 03, 2006

the web cam finis

I spent the next hour or so talking to the chef. He knew all kinds of things about all kinds of things, not least of them food.* He promised that he cooked a mean salted cod. He was originally from the next fjord over, and before there had been a tunnel between them, the only way there was over a mountain pass. In a bad winter, they could be isolated in their fjord for a week or more, and his family often made snowmobile runs over the pass to bring back milk and newspapers.

When the cook went back to the kitchen, I spent the final half hour wandering around the tidy downtown. Almost everything was closed up tight, on account of Sunday, and there were almost no people anywhere.

Finally it was close to 3 p.m. I walked back across the town plaza and behind the Hotel Ísafjörður to the water's edge. Figuring to give my viewers a good chance to see me, I hit the stones at five minutes to 3. Because it was darkening, and to make sure they saw me, I climbed on top of the stone wall next to the lamppost.

I felt pretty silly. All I had to do was stand there. Waving was pointless as the webcam refreshes only every couple of minutes and any attempted wave would have involved a sustained arm-in-air rictus. So I stood there in my red ferðamaður jacket, a couple feet above the road, on top of a rock, watching the minutes go by and watching the little black webcam eye looking down at me. Every minute or two a lonely car would pass by, and slow a little. The townspeople inside would look out at me quizzically as they drove past in the fading light. It was a desolate Sunday in this town on the edge of the world, and I was about the most interesting thing happening. Just standing there.

At five minutes past 3, I got down from the rock and went back into the hotel to talk to my new friends some more.


Blogger JB said...

*This chef looked and acted exceedingly familiar, and about halfway through this conversation it finally dawned on me that he bore an unbelievable resemblance to my own good friend Rossini from Boston who is a physicist by training and now a professional chef. I told the chef this, and mentally nicknamed him the Ice-Ross. He's now become something of a living legend. Well, they both have.

Blogger Byron said...

I think you've just devised a revolutionary technique for international film auditions! I'll let you know when I'm casting ;-)

Blogger JB said...

OK, sign me up! I can be Dark-Haired Extra #3.

Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

Good story.


Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

Did anyone actually see you fellas????? You left me hangining.....

Blogger JB said...

Fellas, I was waiting for someone to ask that. Yes, indeed, people saw me. My parents, my brother, and (now ex-) girlfriend in Seattle all saw me. As well as countless members of my mom's family: she sent out a mass email. Also AFErsen, I believe. And weren't you part of it, too?

The image is not that impressive, however. I am pretty tiny/grainy, like a little string of red pixels. If I can find a copy of it at home tonight, I'll post it.

Blogger JB said...

Here is the actual image from that day. Pretty anticlimactic, eh? That's really me.

Anonymous Sirry said...

Wow, what a fantastic story. I remember you told me you went to Isafjordur, and I actually said to you, who would EVER go there....for no reason at all!? Well, ;D now I know the reason!
Great story!

You sure are unique J, no question about that. Unique is fantastic.

Now, is the camera placed in Hnifsdalur or in the suburbs of Isafjordur. What is the town in the far distance?

I suppose the chef was from Bolungarvik. Hmmm no wonder why he moved to Isafjordur. :D

Blogger JB said...

Hi Sirrý,

The camera was located in the Hotel Ísafjörður itself, and it points roughly south, away from the mouth of the fjord. The town in the distance is just the "sprawl" of Ísafjörður down the side of the fjord.

The Ice-Ross actually comes from Suðureyri.



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