From Iceland — Letters from 1st issue

Letters from 1st issue

Published January 14, 2010

Letters from 1st issue


Hello Haukur,
As a person interested in the financial fate of Iceland, as we all are, may I be so bold as to outline a possible solution to the present crisis: Use the big green houses to grow high grade marijuana.
Yes, it sounds like a joke, but I am actually quite serious. The government would have to pass a bill to legalise the stinky weed, and we would have to employ some of those jail birds who have recently had their harvests confiscated for their knowledge and skills.
I am not a cannabis smoker and I do not personally condone drug taking of any kind. I do believe there are health risks and possibly some psychological risks associated with smoking cannabis… we could get into a long debate about why alcohol is legal, but that is not the point of this proposal.
With this proposal, we simply advertise Iceland as a ‘Free Weed State’  and sell bags of Northern Lights to the tourists. I am confident that tourism will double and the sales of the weed will undoubtedly put the country on the road to recovery quicker than you could say ‘Skin up’.
Alternatively, we could just sell chunks of our nature to foreign power companies so there is no nature left for our children.
I am hopeful that this idea will be taken seriously, but I am afraid it will only be met with fearful closed minds who think that it is the devil’s weed and that it will start raining fire and brimstone. Let’s face it, it probably will rain fire and brimstone anyway.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this, if you are in the neighborhood and fancy a cup of tea, just pop by.


Hey Tony,
y’know, in all seriousness, this might actually be a pretty good idea you’re espousing here. There’s not a fucking chance in hell it’ll be entertained by the powers that be for even a second, but that’s the case with most novel ideas anyway.
One often wonders what would happen if we made cannabis legal overnight. Our experience with how Icelanders take to fads and novelties leads us to imagine that the whole country would be stoned out of its collective mind for a month or so, before growing bored with it and moving on to the next foot massage unit or yo-yo or something. It’s hard to imagine a lot of cannabis-causalities hopelessly laying around like driftwood all over 101. Alright, your idea just won you some beer. We hope you’re happy. If uhm… the government reads this and decides to go for it, we’ll happily give you a second one.


Dear Grapevine,
I am grieved at the way Iceland is being treated. I cannot believe that if Scotland had its independence and its own voice, we would treat a neighbour and friend in this way.
My wife and I have happy memories of our fortnight in Hafnarfjörður. We exchanged houses and vehicles with an Icelandic family and we visited the interior of your great country.
Maybe one day we will work together in a Northern Alliance with Iceland, Greenland, the Faroes and our other Scandinavian neighbours and friends. And away from Brussels and London.
Your readers might want to pay a friendly viisit to our best Independence for Scotland web site:

Yours sincerely,
Michael Hamilton

Dear Michael,
Thank you for your letter. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your fortnight in Hafnarfjörður, and working in a Northern Alliance with you Scots sounds hella cool – every single Scotsman I’ve ever shared a pint with has been real cool (btw – do you know Olaf Furniss? Tall handsome guy, curly mass of hair. He is awesome!). Have your people contact mine, keep your lawyer on the line – let’s do this!

Hello, i was reading your latest paper with the information about the Icelandic santa’s, a bit child friendly but ok. About Giljagaur, there is an adult translation for that, “að gilja konu nágrannans” means to do your neighbors wife. It is the old meaning of the word. Any way thought you wanted to know, keep up the good work.

Jón Helgi

Dear Jón Helgi,
thank you so much for passing on this pertinent information. Does this then mean that Giljagaur wants all our wives? Or our neighbours wives? That certainly changes our view of the guy.

Dear Grapevine,
I wanted to drop you all a quick line or two to thank you for another year of publications. When we are in Iceland we are always sure to pick up a print copy. Even though we are stuck in Gettysburg, PA, USA, for most of the time, we can still download the PDF version. This year I caught up with all the back-catalogue of issues, so I have them all in a directory on my Mac’s hard-drive. I have just had time, in between holiday preparations etc., to take a quick look at the Christmas special. The Encyclopedia of Icelandic Holidays… terrific! I will have to transpose that onto my iPhone calendar so I can stay current.
Our next trip over to Iceland is just days away. We are taking possession of our new summer house, ironically in the dead of winter. We fell in love with Iceland just over three years ago. A decision to try and buy a summer house was made well before the Kreppa. Our dream of owning one became possible, due to the exchange rate. This year we took three trips over in order to make it a reality. We are so excited.
Originally we stopped over on our way to the UK, where most of my family resides.
We just fell in love with Iceland as a place. Since then we have, in turn, fallen in love with the people, culture, language. We are trying to learn Icelandic, but it is tough going (we’ll get there though).
We just want to be able to get by in conversation, and understand what is being said.
Anyway, I wanted to thank you guys for what you do throughout the year. Here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Cheers!

Paul H

Hey Paul,
you did what now with your iPhone calendar? And the summerhouse and the what now? Who’s in the UK? Where are my pants!?! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!???
Anyway. Thank you for your letter dude. It’s always nice to learn someone’s reading the stuff we’re writing (or at least looking at it in a thoughtful manner), in fact, it’s triple-nice. It’s also good to hear you’ve scored yourselves a summerhouse. Keep on keepin’ on!

Dear Grapevine,
what are the best places to smoke weed in Iceland? that is to say, the places to most successfully and fully enjoy and perhaps to even amplify the effects of a good toke of Iceland’s finest agricultural product.
and heck, while you’re humoring me, what are the best places to satisfy ones munchies after wards?
High Tidings,

Dear anon (if that IS your real name),
we suggest doing it at your house, as it toking the devil’s weed is highly illegal in Iceland. Or maybe at Tony’s house – he seems into it.
Also, any place that would successfully amplify the effects cannabis smoking is likely far removed from any place you can purchase ‘munchies’? In fact, you shouldn’t be smoking anything at all. You should seek help with the good lord Jesus and try and come to terms with who you are.
That said, we are told that Öskjuhlíð can be alright if you’re staying in the city. There’s even a gas station nearby that sells pylsur with shrimp salad on them, and that nice chili ketchup.

Dear Sir,
There are an awful lot of citizens of other western countries who will be very happy at the decision of your president. We feel that our governments have sold out to financial interests at the cost of the everyday citizen. Iceland could help show the rest of us by not lying down to intimidation and threat.

Pat Ruane
Cork, Rep. of Ireland

Dear Pat,
This is an interesting point you raise. Initially we were devastated by our president’s decision, as we were frankly just fucking sick of the whole Icesave debate and hoping to get on with stuff in 2010. But it’s clear there are many interesting sides to this whole debate, and the one you point out is perhaps turning out to be the most engaging one. The everyday citizen has indeed taken the backseat to financial interests for far too long. So thank you for pointing that out.

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