From Iceland — Sour Grapes And Stuff!

Sour Grapes And Stuff!

Published September 5, 2011

Sour Grapes And Stuff!

Hello (we would like to request that this letter be read with an Icelandic accent, it’s funnier that way).
We love you guys.
Ok so, we have a couple of ideas and warnings.
Thing is, we were sitting on a Sunday evening with some gypsies and opera singers drinking ginger juice as one does.
Suddenly it came to us, something was going on. Hold your horses, it has to do with sheep, the Iceandic nation, the future, our possible extinction and the evil plots of the sheep. Did you know that there are ca. 900 000 sheep in Iceland. 3 to 1 person. They know.
We believe that they have Geirfinnur.
We think they are responsible for Eyjafjallajökull.
And as if that wasn´t enough.
We started looking around us, and we saw a lot of shady birds, basically everywhere (spying? You tell me). We think that the Sjálfstæðisflokkur is responsible for the bird problem or birds responsible for the Sjálfstæðisflokkur problem.
We believe that the travelling birds from South America are drug-trafficking. Nobody knows these things, it´s disturbing to say the least. You can imagine how excited we were to realize this, and scared. The operasingers were under suspicion for a while cause they were tweeting (like birds) –turns out they were just enthusiastic and super nice also.
We think the best thing to do is, get rid of money, put it in Silfra a giant treasure chest. We can turn Iceland into Niceland and Icesave into Nicesave, it will lead to Lifesave. Problem solved and the birds will have to find other places to plunger. We can keep the kría and a couple of other harmless species.
Or not, it’s just a modest proposal. Ramblings. Just for fun. All for laughs, laughs for all. With a serious undertone ofcourse.
High five. Klessiðann.
Lína and Rob

Dear Lína and Rob,
OK you win. You get a t-shirt. You clearly want it hard enough. Just give us a drag of whatever you’re smoking.

Good day,
I wanted to express my dissatisfaction with your recent review of Thai Reykjavik, sneeringly titled “Blah Reykjavik”. To begin with, the accompanying photo does little justice to the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant, especially when juxtaposed with the polished picture supplementing the article on Restaurant 1919 (the photo attached to the Thai arti-cle depicts a waiter awkwardly bending behind a bar table). I have dined at Thai Reykajvik since they opened, and I have never, NEVER, encountered a hair in any one of my dishes, and I find it suspect that the reviewer didn’t point this out to one of the waiters, who I am guessing would have indemnified the grievance with a new dish. The service is excellent and the food is better, and I have been waiting for Grapevine to review the restaurant for a while now, since most everybody I know has been delighted with the place, and so I was downright angered by the blatant ridicule and rudeness of the author. Hopefully, the review doesn’t deter any future customers, which would be a shame since the place kicks major ass.
Ragnar Hallgrimsson

Dear Ragnar,
thank you for your letter.
Now, the thing about restaurant reviews is that they are almost entirely anecdotal data; the personal experience of one person at one point and time. A food critic does not and cannot speak to anything other than their personal experience at an establishment. Naturally, different people are going to have different experiences at different times that they visit the same place.
We can accept that sometimes a restaurant just has an off night. But a food critic takes this into account, delineating between what might have been a one-off, and what might indicate an ongoing pattern. We believe this review achieved this. Of course we’d love to believe Thai Reykjavík was having a bad night, and we’re also happy to hear you and others have had a good experience there.
Here’s hoping they can turn this criticism into an encouragement to do better.

I just want to say thank you for extruding the racist comments in the horrific story of the blond-haired-blue-eyed-thirtysomething professional who won the most awesome letter in June. I cannot believe there are people like that! I am black-haired-black-eyed-twentysomething and does that make me liable for detention? Just look at what the blond-haired-blue-eyed-thirtysomething Oslo bomber did. Maybe this sort of misjudgements is what leads people to say: “Hey, he’s blond, how could one possibly think he will use a gun to kill more than 80 innocents teenagers and bomb a city? Don’t you see he is a European citizen from one of the most peaceful countries on earth”. She tried to make us think that Icelanders should be ashamed for thinking that an American blond-haired-blue-eyed-thirtysomething person would ever do that! Even the UK’s Daily Mail joked about the Oslo bomber with the headline: ”It’s safe to come out, you’ll be saved… I’m a cop!’ How blond, blue-eyed killer lured teenagers to their deaths”.
Then according to her one should be arrested on the grounds of looking like a terrorist and acting like a criminal. I hope that what happened in Oslo teaches us that regardless of ones race and cultural background there are people who will inflict good and others who will inflict evil on others. I invite the blond-haired-blue-eyed-thirtysomething American citizen to read the American Declaration of Independence where it says that “all men are created equal”.
A black-haired-black-eyed-twentysomething man
But Not a terrorist or a criminal.

Dear Jonathan,
thank you for your letter. You are entirely correct in most of what you said. But don’t be too hard on that woman; as a native of the Western hemisphere (and one that can afford to travel to hard-to-reach, peripheral places like Iceland) she has been raised (like the rest of us reading this) in a position of such incredible privi-lege that she probably has lost all perspective (like the rest of us reading this).
We could all do well with contemplating what “all men area created equal” really means. And then trying our darndest to live by it.

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