Best Place To Cool Off On One Of Those Icelandic Scorchers - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Best Place To Cool Off On One Of Those Icelandic Scorchers

Published July 31, 2014

Bónus Walk-in Refrigerator

Eli Petzold
Photos by
Alda Villiljós

Bónus Walk-in Refrigerator

It’s 15 degrees. Fahrenheit? No, Celsius. Shorts weather? Fuck you, it’s underwear weather. The sun bears down on a thick, humid Reykjavík day. The sunbathers in Austurvöllur have burnt to a crisp. You’re parched, you’re sweaty. Does anywhere in this country have air conditioning? You look out to the harbour, considering a dip, but no—with all those ships, it just doesn’t seem safe…Where do you go? What do you do?

“Draw close, child; if they open for you, you may proceed—to the Holy of Holies, the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Dairy and Meat Walk-in Refrigerator.”

But then common sense kicks in. “Duh,” you think, and your feet follow. You thought you could get away with not wearing deodorant in Iceland? You stink. You’re a zombie in your sweat-drenched bro-tank, hiking up Bankastræti, turning right on Ingólfsstræti. And then it appears, nondescript, unadorned haven for the heat-exhausted. Yes, you have finally arrived at Bónus.

The sliding doors open before you and you enter, humble pilgrim. But this is only the vestibule, the waiting room. Follow the path down the candy aisle, past melting chocolate and liquorice until, at last, you reach the twin sliding doors which only open for the true seeker of a place to cool off. Ah, the chill air. Ah, the bountiful plenty of imported, underripe fruits and vegetables.

Your warm body has gotten a taste of coolness, but why stop here in the Outer Sanctum? There, next to the fruit juices, you spy it—the very Veil between death and life, between humanity and divinity, between tomatoes and milk. Draw close, child; if they open for you, you may proceed—to the Holy of Holies, the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Dairy and Meat Walk-in Refrigerator.

Like magic, your warm perspiration turns to cooling balm. Gone are the smells of simmering trash on the city streets. There is a sterility, a simplicity to the olfactory ambience, lightly incensed with fish. RÚV plays faintly in the background, not as loud as in the rest of the store. As you sit your ass down on the cool tile floor, next to the skyr shelves, you think to yourself, “Damn, this is chill.”


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