Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chillin' with the Reykyavikers

If you're going to arrive in a country at 6:30 in the morning with two jetlagged kids, you could do worse than Iceland. For one thing, it hasn't been truly dark around here for about a month.  And Reykjavik's legendary nightlife is not friendly to sleep anyway.  So clearly we were not the only people walking around looking like last week's donuts.

Fortuitously, we arrived on Independence Day, marking the astutely chosen moment in 1944, 11 days after D-Day, when Iceland slipped free of then-preoccupied Danish yoke. By the time we rolled into Reykjavik, the festivities were in full swing. We, on the other hand, were not.


A short nap later, however, we ventured forth into the center of town, full of Nordic folk parading, flags waving, and would-be Bjorks wailing. The Icelanders quickly confirmed their reputation as an admirably eccentric bunch, capable of generating a high per capita level of entertainment.

The most curious thing we noted, however, was how warmly dressed everyone was.  Sure, it was slightly chilly for June -- as most of us know it -- about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  But looking at how the Icelanders were bundled up, particularly the children, you'd think it was 50 below.  Surely, to a people that lives through a near-Arctic winter, this should have seemed like a balmy day, right.  

Maybe it's just a well-ingrained Icelandic habit of preparing for the worst.   Either that, or they just don't have any other kind of clothes.

Except maybe these.

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