Published August 3, 2017
There are two news stories I remember reading in the past two weeks. One was about a twenty-something makeup artist who went shopping and couldn’t find any clothes in her size. This is obviously an irritating problem, and we honestly do feel her pain.
The other story I read was about this standup comedian—again, a woman in her twenties—who is insanely scared of spiders. This was the biggest news on the Icelandic national broadcaster’s website last week. The same interview was published at visir.is, one of the biggest news sites in Iceland. I mean, a human being scared of spiders. Stop the presses.
So it’s official: ‘Gúrkutíð’, or The Cucumber Time has begun. Or, as the Germans call it, Sauregurkenzeit. The best way to describe the phenomenon is the English phrase, though. If you’re reading this, you probably know this time as “Silly Season,” like a Monty Python skit.
The two news stories I mentioned would hardly be on the front pages of the biggest news sites in Iceland in winter, although we don’t mean to belittle the issues. And to be fair, the comedian also addressed one of the biggest health concerns of modern times, namely anxiety. And Icelanders do love their Xanax, almost as much as their Prozac.
For me, this is the best season of them all, although I really don’t like cucumbers. But there is one thing that will never taste like a cucumber, and can still be silly as Monty Python, and that is good old fashioned culture. This is why Reykjavík Grapevine is like a fresh mountain river in the midst of a rocky wasteland. Just stop worrying about Trump, spiders or clothes, and dive into the paper. And if you’re really raw about it afterwards, you can always complain to the Icelandic media.