It’s a shop, a hotel, a bar, a book, a postcode, a mindset, a wasteland and a warzone. It’s the epicentre of cool. It’s the seed-bed of ambition and the end of the road. It’s a crucible of talent for multi-tasking would be’s and a safe haven for the lacklustre might have beens. It’s a place where jaw dropping beauty mingles with oafish sullenness. It’s the fresh draught of air that blows down Laugavegur on a champagne summer’s dawn and it’s the blood and puke on Hafnastræti at throwing out time. It’s 101 R and it’s R 101 – It’s 101 Reykjavik and it’s Room 101. It’s everything a man can aspire to and it’s his living nightmare. It’s the magnesium flare of his inspiration and the sulphorous rench of his despair. It’s his shelter from the storm and his blasted heath.
And, looking down on it all is Esja, her moods as many as there are days. She sees it all, but keeps her secrets close. When 101 Reykjvik has become your Room 101, go to her. Climb her as high as your lungs and legs will permit. Perch on her splintered rock and look back on this gypsy encampment of a city. See it for what it really is – a mongrel bitch of a place that responds to the steel toe-cap better than the kind word. Draw strength from her indifference. See the globe bend away from this speck of a place. Sit until your flesh freezes and your teeth chatter, and you hunger for food and thirst for water and long for company. Then you’ll be ready for 101.
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