Sorry Breiðholt, but I´d Rather be a 101 Douchbag Whore - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Sorry Breiðholt, but I´d Rather be a 101 Douchbag Whore

Sorry Breiðholt, but I´d Rather be a 101 Douchbag Whore

Published September 8, 2010

Right now I’m happy. I know it won’t last but right now I feel a good sense of calm surrounding me like a gooey comfort blanket. Why? Well, after months of dragging our heels, we’ve finally taken the plunge and moved from the outskirts of Reykjavík to a swank apartment right in the guts of Grettisgata. Finally, I feel like one of the hip, metropolitan urbanite set that I know I was born to be a part of.
But while sitting here enjoying the view of my ‘wildlife’ garden containing three lazy cats and sipping a cup of proper tea, my mind still wanders back to my time spent living out in the sticks and how it shaped my experiences. Breiðholt, although it had to end, we certainly shared some good times together.
 When I very first arrived in Reykjavík and told people that I was living in Breiðholt, it was met with concerns of my safety as I would be living in the Reykjavík ‘ghetto’. The way they portrayed it, it was a seething cesspit of crack users on every corner, robbery and violence were rife and that I’d best be careful at night, lest I have a cap plugged in my ass by gun-toting ‘foreign looking’ people.
Of course all this doom mongering was utter bullshit. But looking at Breiðholt for the first time, the apprehension was understandable. Built like a wet dream from the Stalinist soviet bloc era, it seemed more like a concrete game reserve where the lumpen prole scum could be dumped and kept out of sight so that the glistening beauty of downtown wouldn’t be sullied by their miserable mugs. And I was proud to be one of them creating a home amongst the real people of Iceland.
Mind you though, it’s not just the architecture that makes a community. I’ll sort-of miss my neighbours who I never got to know during my stay. The single middle-aged man next door who smelled of booze and puppies. The ever-changing people who lived below us and their constant noise (during one party, they sang along to Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonita’ TEN TIMES!). The nice family across the hall who occasionally lent Sigga a cup of sugar/use of a pan/etc. But I certainly don’t miss the meth users on the fifth floor that attacked Sigga in the laundry room one day. I may be a lover, not a fighter, but that day a lot of righteous retribution was rained down on them I can assure you of that. And despite to greyness of the suburb, there were the little charms that made it worthwhile. The local swimming pool was better than any of the others downtown with a small ice cream shop across the road to ruin all those sessions at the pool. And being next door to Elliðaárdalur, I could get away from everything with bracing yomps along the footpaths.
But as time passed, Breiðholt started to lose its meagre charm. Despite having a car, travelling to any cultural activity seemed to require a level of effort and military style planning that frankly was just a drag. And most of our friends lived downtown so asking them to pop over for a chat was like asking them to donate their left kidney while chewing broken glass (i.e. very unlikely). But the worst thing of all about living in Breiðholt? It was just costing me so much money, dammit! Any time I went downtown I’d end up paying money hand over fist to get a taxi home. At one point I think I helped to maintain the taxi economy during the kreppa in their jewel encrusted alloys and gold-plated beaded seat covers. So in the end Breiðholt, you were good to me but right now there is a massive Gay Pride parade going on right outside our flat, and unless you’re opening a flying unicorn farm next week, there is no way you could possible compete with that!

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