From Iceland — Sour Grapes And Stuff!

Sour Grapes And Stuff!

Published September 28, 2011

Sour Grapes And Stuff!

Iceland Express for a Day
My mate Ari and I decided at 4:30am one Monday morning that instead of going for a night swim somewhere, we would jump on an Icebreaker fare to Gothenburg for 77GBP a pop. Now we really wanted to go to Oslo, so being a morning flight, due to land in Gothenburg around lunchtime, we figured there would be plenty of time to make our way by land to Oslo for the night. Not so…
We packed some cool clothes quickly, made our way to the airport, had a quick drink at the “leave your bottles here” section at the airport…including some damn fine VSOP Brandy that we offered around and skulled!
The flight was delayed due to a malfunctioning electrical generator so waited an extra hour to board the plane, and then we realised the plane actually landed in Oslo, before flying into Gothenburg, perfect we thought, it shouldn’t be impossible to arrange that we leave the plane in Oslo instead, we would save a lot of our time, and shouldn’t be too much hassle for Icelandexpress.
It turned out 2 people who were supposed to leave the plane in Gothenburg, walked out in Oslo, which is what we asked to do when we realised the plane actually stopped in Oslo first. We were told this was not possible, and the luggage was packed for each destination separately, which seems logical.
So upon hearing the announcement that the plane was now delayed again and looking for 2 bags in the same place as ours would have been, asked if they could look for ours too, so we could get offf! Logical one might think… Not IcelandExpress, I was met with “you have 30seconds to take your seat!” from an anxious unfriendly English pilot.
The only compensation I was offered from your attractive but weak and appologetic under pressure hostesses, was water, (which I had already) and a khaki Icewear outdoor jacket, clearly not mine, which I expressed, but it still made it’s way to me via Swedish toll, given to them to give to me by a cabin crew member name starting with H.
What is going on?!
So let me know your thoughts!
Cheers Rob Lilley
Dear Rob,
Oh man! What is going on indeed!? We aren’t totally sure we understand your story 100%—your writing is pretty fancy—but what we are getting is that Iceland Express messed around with you and FUCKED SHIT UP! That sucks! All you were trying to do was to have a nice spur of the moment adventure to Norway via Sweden and then you got sent to Norway first but lost your bags and wouldn’t let you off and… wait, what happened? Okay really, we’re gonna need you to go eat a shitload of tapas, drink some yummy cava, calm the fuck down and tell us the story again. WE ARE CONFUSED! BON APPETIT!

Dear Anna Andersen,
First of all, a very nice issue of the Reykjavik Grapevine… again! As a volunteer at a tourist farm this summer, I got to know the newspaper at the end of May and since then, I didn’t miss my copy.  What caught my attention in the latest edition is your article about Iceland belonging to the Scandinavian Club. Despite your geographical remote location, your Danish, Norwegian and Swedish friends of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) did NOT leave you out the club! On the contrary, they offer flights from your nearest friend in Oslo, every single day! In my case, it was even the cheapest way to come over here, after a cheap Ryanair flight to Norway… Even in high season (I just checked if I perhaps accidentally took the first and last SAS flight to Iceland), their rates are often reasonable. So, your dearest Scandinavian neighbours, they do their best to stay connected with Iceland!
However, I am not the type to (only) make fun of others mistakes. So I would like to mention something different in this brief letter and something I am more curious about: Why for God’s sake are there so many rusty road building wrecks along the Icelandic roads? Since I’ve been here, every now and then I spotted one of those old construction vehicles at the side of the road. Why do they get stuck there? Will they be there for eternity? It doesn’t seem they are still able to do some road maintenance, or do they? Is it maybe too expensive to dismantle them and to get finally rid of it? Are they the remnants of a past glory of a construction age?
It creates however a unique atmosphere between human activity and nature (see picture taken in the West Fjords). Which can less be said about the countless farms with a couple of rusty car wrecks near each other that horses and sheep now use as a windscreen. It is not only ugly, it is also a favourite place for those animals to take a shit! Any concerns or thoughts about the future of those wrecks? Please let me know!
Kind regards,
Dries De Vos (Belgium)
Dear Dries,
Anna is a bit busy right now so we’ll just talk to you instead, but thanks for your letter! So, nice point about SAS and whatnot. The article was sort of trying to be fun. Rest assured, through our ‘Nordic House’ and whatnot, we try to keep a good connection with our Scandinavian brethren. We like to do that sometimes (only sometimes.) We hope you’re right.
As for the old rusty construction vehicles, believe it or not some of those DO actually get used for real roadwork. A lot of them just stick around to help fix the roads in an emergency, like in the case of the glacial flooding during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. It’s kind of pointless to drive them all the way back to a town or depot until the roads get fucked up again when conditions can be so unpredictable. So yeah, they mostly do serve a purpose. Think of them as art installations!

“Most Icelanders Favor Land Sale”
I think it’s a huge mistake. Why does Huang Nubo  need so much land for just a hotel?  Sounds suspicious to me. The Icelandic government needs to look past the monetary issue and focus on the environmental and what his plans may really be.  There are too many questions and suspicions and it sounds like the company he is associated with cannot be trusted.  That part of Iceland would make a perfect military installation for the Chinese.
Tread with caution Iceland!
Hey Anonymous,
We have noticed a lot of people (around here and from outside too) expressing concerns similar to yours and getting really nervous about the proposal. We agree wholeheartedly that it’s important to ask questions and get as much information as possible where foreign investment is concerned, so we went ahead and put a set of comprehensive articles on Huang Nubo and his fancy eco-resort building plans in our last issue! Check out the great pieces by Marc Vincenz, Paul Fontaine and Egill Helgason in our last issue, with HAM on the cover) on this whole shebang and what it could entail. Cheers!

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