Published July 27, 2007
If you are a newly-arrived visitor to Reykjavík, you might have noticed the happy-casual feel that has taken over the city centre recently. A bunch of people enjoying their drinks and cigarettes at outdoor cafés till late in the evening is a pretty common sight, that is, until the police come to pull the plug on the party. It’s summer. The weather has been amazing. Let’s enjoy life! is the phrase of the day.
But we here at the Grapevine won’t let the sun distract us and are in a pretty serious mood. And what’s more serious to Icelanders than fish. In this issue, Haukur S. Magnússon, with help from a carefully chosen panel of experts, goes to great length to explain the quota system to the majority of us who really understand only a small fraction of how the system works. That’s pretty serious and complicated stuff, especially after a recent decision made by the government to cut the cod quota by a whole 63,000 tons. This is a decision that will surely have a significant impact in the forthcoming months and mainly affect the number of people who live in the small fishing villages around the country and base their livelihood on the fishing industry. They are worried, understandably, as their future is at stake, and this is something we all should think about. I therefore encourage all you readers, Icelanders, foreigners and travellers alike, to grab a large cup of coffee, read the article thoroughly and continue the discussion.
And there is more cod to learn about. We sent our ready-for-anything editorial intern Chandler Fredrick to go fishing on an Icelandic ‘trylla’ out in Faxaflói bay where he experienced first hand how bloody and messy life at sea truly is. He even managed to gut his first cod, ever, and lived to tell about it.
But it’s summer’s prime season, we know, and there needs to be time for something else other than digging into the heavy issues. August, one of the year’s most happening months, is around the corner and in the next weeks we will see endless celebrations. The annual traffic-jammed travel mania of the year, also known as Verlsunarmannahelgin, features numerous outdoor festivals across the country. This annual long-weekend takes place the first weekend of August, so if you are planning to stay in the country for a couple of days, I can honestly say that attending one of these outdoor festivals will be something to remember. Only one warning – during this weekend, some locals tend to show their worst sides and forget all about the good manners their mothers had once taught them. Bring a raincoat and loads of tolerance, and you might have a blast. Info on all of these holiday activities you will find in the pages of this issue of the Grapevine.
If you unfortunately miss out on the mayhem, or after joining in the annual holiday spirit with the locals and you haven’t gotten enough of cheerful sing-alongs, crowded street-parties and painted faces, there’s always Gay Pride the weekend after. Steinunn Jakobsdóttir, Assistant Editor