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Things I Learned from 1.5 Nights in Reykjavik

June 06, 2012|Stephen Markley

Jesus. I totally understand why the city of Reykjavik shuts down all the bars at 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. Normally, I'm against outlandish blue laws that prevent me from having more fun. "More fun" being the explicit goal of any traveling band of twentysomething guys. In the 'Javik, however, I get it. One night out here on a Tuesday and I can understand the kind of evil that probably goes down on a Friday night. Some quick lessons learned:

1) There is a bar here called "Lebowski" that is explicitly themed after the Jeff Bridges/ Coen brothers cult masterpiece "The Big Lebowski." What this translates into aesthetically is a bowling alley-themed, Playboy-spangled retro hell.

2) "We don't have prostitutes in Iceland. Look around! There are no prostitutes anywhere. No ladies in the skimpy clothings going, 'Hey baby, you wanna ride?' We don't need prostitutes because you can just get it for free!" -What an Icelandic young woman actually told us.

3) Guys from Miami University-parentheses-Ohio are omnipresent. We arrived at the Kex Hostel and Bojo literally bumped into a guy from his engineering program back in school. He was traveling with another Miami alumn, so there were the five of us--four Miami grads--trying to explain to everyone that this was all just a random coincidence.

4) There is some shot that a bunch of girls got us to buy, which may be the worst alcoholic liquid I've ever tried to get past my uvula, including Isopropyl. This thing was like Jaeger that had run through the sphincter of a swine with colorectal cancer. It was a licoricey, maple-syrup-type, soy sauce concoction that I wanted to spit back into the shot glass. Trinetti, who is supposed to be on a seven-month trip and for whom this was day three, bought ten of them. Good luck keeping that pace up, my friend.

5) Everything in Iceland costs a fortune. Even with a financial crisis, even with a highly devalued currency, this town has us bleeding money. A beer, it seems, is about the equivalent of 6 to 8 dollars, and this is just for the pisswater Euro equivalent of Bud. Of course, since I have no conception of what I'm spending (a thousand kroner here, two thousand there--every time I pay for a sandwich I feel like a Zimbabwean Deputy Secretary of Extraction or something), I'm simply not paying attention.

6) Icelanderians could not give a flying f*** less about the NBA playoffs. It's not on anywhere, so don't even ask. And the Celtics won?! I wake up, turn on the ole iPad and discover that Bostonwon game 5? I wanna go home to catch the rest of that series.

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