From Iceland — Clever Airwaves Hacks For the Savvy Traveler

Clever Airwaves Hacks For the Savvy Traveler

Published November 5, 2015

Eli Petzold
Photo by
Eli Petzold

It feels like Christmas in July in Reykjavík, though it’s neither July nor Christmas. Albeit, Laugavegur is beginning to look a bit like Christmas and Jóla Bjór is on tap at most bars around town, but I digress. What I mean to say is that Reykjavík feels like its summer self, even in this stormy prelude to winter’s darkness. The entirety of downtown has been jolted out of its soporific hibernal silence into a boozy bacchanalia more reminiscent of high summer than anything else. Those nifty pastel-painted bikes have closed Laugavegur and part of Skólavörðustígur to car traffic and bright-eyed tourists have filled the streets in hordes. Gone, however, are the familiar bright colors of the water-resistant nature-inspired tourists; there’s an entirely new species of travelers in town. Sure they may be just as eager to go elf-hunting, to see fjords and Northern Lights and all that pizzazz; but this species of tourist hides it all beneath a veneer of city-sleek and—dare I say it—hipsterism.

Just as any self-respecting tourist should have all the right equipment and know the ins-and-out of traveling, it’s important for the hipster tourist to be prepared for any circumstance that Airwaves might present, but you wouldn’t want to be caught dead on Laugavegur with a telephoto lens at this time of year. It’s important to be prepared, but it’s also important to look cool, obviously! If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out how you can balance these imperatives and have a great time at Airwaves this year, calm down and look no further. I’ve made you a handy guide for looking cool and being prepared at the same time! Wow!

Bring a toothbrush!
You never know where you’ll end up at the end of the night. Besides, dental hygiene is cool and if you’re like me, you’ll want to look cool always. You can get creative here! Try fastening a toothbrush to a piece of floss and tying it around your neck. Not only will you wow your friends with your circumspect concern for the well-being of your pearly whites, but you’ll also be a sartorial revolutionary! Maybe one of those cool street fashion blogs will take a picture of you and then you’d really have something to show your dentist back home! An added plus: if you’re at a really boring show waiting for your favorite band to come on next, you can pass the time by getting those nasty little bits of hákarl that are stuck in your molars out with your floss necklace. Wow!

Have something to share!
If you’re like me, you like being a nice, sharing person. The best way to be a sharing kind of person is to share! Some clever ideas for things to share include, but aren’t limited to: cool stickers, poppers, silly hats, magic mushroom tea, your phone number, secrets, and small animal bones. You’ll never know the friends you might make! Bring a small vial of glitter to shows and ask, “Who wants magic fairy dust!?” Or, if you’re interested in something more indelible, bring India Ink and a sewing needle and see if you can stick-and-poke a triangle on someone’s hip. Triangles are very cool! And you’ve made a forever friend! Wow!

Remember to sleep!
I know what you’re thinking: sleeping is not cool. Wrong! Humans actually need to sleep and it’s a pretty nifty trick. All you have to do is find a flat surface and close your eyes. Before you know it, you’ll feel fresh and recharged. Be sure you sleep somewhere where you can be seen; why waste this opportunity to be seen doing something cool? Go to a nice ambient show this weekend, push your way to the front by telling everybody, “This is my favorite band!” Then lie down on the floor and if anyone gives you a hard time, chastise them for not enjoying the music as much as you do. If you do it right, you’ll set a trend and have the whole audience sleeping through the set. I think the band would love that! Wow!

Learn some Icelandic!
Whoah, watch it with your English. Don’t be a linguistic imperialist. Memorize a few Icelandic phrases that you know you’ll use more than once this weekend. If you’re too lazy to look them up yourself, I’ll offer you some really important ones: “Hvar get ég keypt sólarolíu?” (“Where can I buy sunscreen?”); “Hvenær spilar Björk?” (“When is Björk playing?”); “Hvað heitir naggrísinn þinn?” (“What’s your guinea pig’s name?”); “Finnst þér gaman að tala um rútuáætlanir?” (“Do you find it fun to talk about bus timetables?”). Not only will you get the insider scoop on Iceland by asking these simple questions, but you’ll show everyone how worldly and considerate you are. Moreover, you’ll be halfway to unlocking the entirety of the Icelandic language. Wow!

This list is obviously a work in progress. Remember: you can never be too prepared or too cool. Maybe you have some cool tips of your own; maybe you’ll try some of my tricks. Leave your own ideas in the comments and tell us how that goes, why don’t you?

What a fun week we’re going to have. Wow!

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