Wide Awake in Wonderland

We’re only dancing on this earth for a short while

Things NOT to say to an English customs agent August 11, 2008

Reykjavik, Iceland street scene

Reykjavik, Iceland street scene

Black sand beach near Vik, Iceland

Black sand beach near Vik, Iceland

“I think maybe I’ll be here four days…No, a week…Wait Is Ireland part of what you’re counting? Two weeks. Yeah, probably two weeks.”

(To which he stared at me a full minute before finally asking, “What do you mean PROBABLY?”)

“No. No, I do not have any friends in Great Britain. None. Nada. Nobody…”

And where are you going after you leave here?


And then from there?


From there?

From there?


From there?

He got sick of me after Poland, stamped my passport and waived me on.

All I could think is, “What the hell am I going to do when I don’t speak the language!? That was in English, and i all but f-ed it up.” Maybe I can get by on my winning smile?

Meanwhile, I had a lovely final 24 hours in Iceland. I went to the Blue Lagoon and with the exception of a world-class toe stubbing (it’s still throbbing), it was a very mellowing few hours. Contrary to my ‘typical’ personality, i just hung out and let my mind wander about my book…and nothing much at all.

When I first got there and started wading around, I noticed a handful of people who had REALLY slathered on the zinc-based sunblock: Everything from haphazard application to super chunky layers. I was half-tempted to alert some of these folks that they needed to rub their SPF 99 in a little better, but I didn’t want to be rude. Finally, I reasoned this must be some kind of cultural thing? Maybe Icelanders are really afraid of skin cancer? Or their particular brand of sunblock is really hard to work in? Anyway, it was a solid ten minutes before I caught onto what was actually going on – white silica mud. To commemorate the moment, I will add some pictures from the Blue Lagoon – as well as a a self-portrait – to yesterday’s blog. For the moment, I’m having some issues getting my computer to read my photo data card, so that’ll have to wait until I can get to a PC somewhere.

Anyway, later that same day, Jon (my extraordinary Icelandic tour guide who should be remembered in my will for generously spending so much time showing me around) and I went down to the south point of the island for some good old fashioned arctic weather. While I was taking some pictures of the black sand beaches and volcanic rock formations, the wind started blowing so hard it actually knocked me down. I have the bruise on my bum to prove it! I guess it was one of those days where I couldn’t seem to avoid a little physical abuse.

Speaking of abuse, don’t even get me started on the nightmare of getting from Heathrow to my nearby (Heathrow in the name) hotel. Let’s just say, if time is money, Heathrow owes me $200. On second thought, make that 200 GBP. Hey America, could you straighten out this crashing dollar value situation pronto? It’s starting to bum me out. Thanks!