I didn’t go on this trip to fall in love, or even lust, with some Nordic looking tall freak of nature. That’s a good thing, because it didn’t happen. It was nice to fantasize about though before I landed.
Once I actually arrived, my OCD took over and I was so obsessed with my overzealous schedule that I never really had time to socialize. The fact I was always wearing 3 layers of clothing that made me look like giant toasted marshmallow didn’t make me feel very attractive either. But that’s ok! This was my trip of empowerment! FREEDOM!!! I am woman, hear me roar! Or something like that.
I barely allotted 3 hours between my horseback riding tour and my Northern Lights tour. Fortunately my hotel had half-price happy hour between 5 and 7. If I have one complaint about Iceland, it’s that alcohol is so damn expensive. I can understand why food is expensive, because you can’t exactly grow vegetables in volcanic soil so everything is imported. A pint of Carlsberg (which hte Norwegian bartender/receptionist/dialect coach convinced me tasted better than any Icelandic beer, still cost $5 US. So $10 a pint of draft beer regularly, and that’s not even at a real bar. I find this counterintuitive, becaues in a land with 8 hours of daylight, what are you supposed to do all night? Plus bars stay open until 4 am. Do people spend their entire salary on booze? You can’t even grow grapes or potatoes to make your own. How would I survive? This, and the volcanoes, are the only things keeping me from moving there.
But back to the Norwegian. I bet you were thinking something was wrong with me for just dropping that tasty tidbit (Or Timbits, my lucky Canadian friends know well). The nametag he wore on his Icelandic hipster t-shirt said Martin. This saddened me because I didn’t think he could pass the Sheldon test. (See here.) But let’s face it…I would have called him Thor anyway.
When I found out he was Norwegian, I tried to flirt a little harder. But I had literally headed straight for the bar after the horse shuttle dropped me off and didn’t even change. I wanted to maximize my not-really-cheap-beer consumption in my short window. Trying to flirt when you had horse slobber, mud, a wet wool hat on, and probably horse shit on your hiking boots was a challenge, even for me. Added to that, I had been awake for about 28 hours at this point and not fixed my makeup once. Hot lumberjacky mess came to mind.
Thor (I have to) moved to Iceland to study linguistics but not Icelandic. He was studying English. I thought perhaps this was my opening to give him private lessons. However, when he learned I was not in fact Canadian as I pretend to be when I’m traveling, he wanted to discuss the US election. No, there would be no discussions of shacking up in an ice hotel. Instead all he cared about was Donald Trump. He asked if it was really a joke we were playing on the rest of the world. I tried to explain how fucking corrupt and complicated our government is, when a British family came in and ordered a round. The wife and kids sat at a table while the husband stood next to me listening to my political foreplay.
British Guy: “You’re from America.”
Me: “Yes. Connecticut.”
BG: “Please tell me you’re voting for Hillary.”
Me: “Actually no. I can’t. I voted for Bernie and think she is totally corrupt. So morally I can’t vote for either Trump or Hillary.”
BG: “But you have to. Every vote counts.”
Me: “Actually it doesn’t. It’s not one person, one vote. Only 5-6 states will decide the election, so my vote really doesn’t matter.”
BG: “That’s what everyone said in England and Brexit happened. You can’t let Trump win. He’s despicable. You have to vote for her.”
Me: “Actually I don’t. We have the Electoral College. My vote won’t matter, and I can’t in good conscience vote for her.”
Thor: “I love Bernie too.”
Me, in my head: “I want to jump you right now, Thor.”
BG: “Trump can’t really win, right? You people aren’t that crazy.”
Me, in my head: “For fuck’s sake, are you still here? I have limited time to close this deal.”
Me: “Hillary is disliked by many people. He very well could win.”
BG: “And Americans think they’re soooo great. That’s just absurd to vote for that lunatic because you hate women.”
Me: “It’s more complicated than that.”
At that point BG’s wife summoned him to the table. At that point happy hour was almost over and I barely had an hour to walk the 15 seconds across the parking lot to get a Domino’s pizza to scarf down in my room before my tour. Thanks for cockblocking me Brexit Guy. Just for that you get no vote.