From Iceland — Well, You Asked: Beautification Only A Thrall Would Love

Well, You Asked: Beautification Only A Thrall Would Love

Published January 6, 2024

Well, You Asked: Beautification Only A Thrall Would Love
Catherine Magnúsdóttir
Photo by
Art Bicnick

The Grapevine’s finest answer your most pressing questions

Why do all the city beautification projects end up looking like a prison yard?

Not a fan of the concrete collection of “cell chic” or “bespoke block beauty”? Well, to each their own. But yeah, I think it’s because there is no plan, there never was a plan and there never will be a plan as to how the city should be laid out and everything gets mushed together on a whim of “hey, wouldn’t that individual piece look good?” But hey, I hear if you sneak the guard a treat you get extra basketball time on Skólavörðustígur.

My husband found the light level at night in June hard to sleep through. How do you cope with the seasonal light levels?

Once I get out of the initial spiral of losing my sense of time, reality and all meaning it’s quite nice, actually! So much to do when you have endless light! How do you think Icelanders hold down so many careers and still do outdoorsy stuff? Everybody becomes manic! Let’s go climb a mountain, write a crime novel, do the laundry, get the bikes out, go for a swim, go to job number one, pick up the kids, record an album, walk the dog, job number two, go to a concert, grab a drink, go shopping, do some knitting, take a roadtrip, no sleep only do. Quickbeforetheendlessnightreturns!!!

What is a thrall?

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume you don’t mean the World of Warcraft character. Now, how do I put this gently… Slaves. They were slaves. Vikings went raiding and stole people. Thralls didn’t have rights and were at the whims of their owners. Sometimes it was a punishment, sometimes it happened to a person under financial duress for a time but the kidnapping was very much a thing. Hot take of the day: Vikings often did bad shit.

Keep up with Well, You Asked right here.

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