Hundreds of Icelanders convened in an empty warehouse on the outskirts of Reykjavík last weekend. While the levels of excitement displayed by the hefty crowd are usually reserved for car-dealership BBQs or reality TV auditions, this particular Saturday was different, for neither instant-fame nor hot dogs were up for grabs. What was on offer, however, were hundreds of old bikes in all shapes and sizes that the Reykjavík police department was auctioning off from its Lost-and-Found, along with a bunch of power tools.
The auction went in a typically Icelandic fashion, with the first ten bikes going for cheap, for no one wanted to seem too eager. The next hundred were overpriced, because no one wanted to miss out on a good deal, while the remaining hundred (a total of 250 bikes was up for grabs) went for an overtly reasonable price as all the high bidders had left for home with their fancy new second-hand bikes. One bidder remarked to the Grapevine: “This is a good place to get a bargain, sure. However, it seems that some people are so eager to bargain that they constantly overbid in their zany attempts to save money, usually for stuff they neither want nor need. It may be Icelandic short-sightedness in a nutshell.”