What Are Icelanders Talking About: WAB is here. Pride is here. Jim Ratcliffe, too. - The Reykjavik Grapevine

What Are Icelanders Talking About: WAB is here. Pride is here. Jim Ratcliffe, too.

Published August 23, 2019

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Pride

When it comes to land ownership, one would expect, at the very least, there would be some provision requiring the purchaser to reside in the country in which the land is purchased. This has proven not to be the case in Iceland, where billionaire Jim Ratcliffe has bought up massive amounts of land in the interest of conserving Atlantic Salmon. Apparently, with enough money and some semblance of noble motive, anyone can purchase land here.

“Where will we meagre peasants purchase tickets on a budget so we, too, may go on holiday?”

As a whole, it’s become an issue that foreigners are buying up entire farms here and allowing the land to fall into disuse. The good news though, is that the Minister of Transport and Local Government, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, has been working to reinstate restrictions on who can and cannot purchase land in Iceland. The bad news is that these provisions have been in the works since September 2018 and nothing has happened. Hopefully something passes soon, before somebody buys more land and allows it to turn to shambles.

Sparkles included

It’s that time of year again; Reykjavík Pride is in full swing. The two-week-long string of events is the perfect way to celebrate your beautiful queerness (or support the beautiful queerness of others) in whatever way your heart desires. Whether you go to a drag show, the parade, the gala, or all of the above, it is an experience not to be missed. Note, there’s no need to worry about toting around the tots: The parade is family-friendly and open to all ages. Check out the Grapevine’s Guide to Pride online for more info.

Bow down

Budget airline WOW Air went under earlier this year, much to the devastation of many króna-pinching Icelanders. The question on everyone’s lips has since been: Where can we meagre peasants purchase tickets on a budget so we, too, may go on holiday? The new airline, WAB is the answer. They are in the financial stages of the venture, and have bought a 300 square metre office in Garðabær. WAB has already begun hiring new employees, and they hope to have the company running full blast by the fall, with planes flying to 14 locations in North America and Europe. Fingers crossed.

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