Reykjavik is Weird, but Brilliant. But Really Weird.
As a die hard Brian Tells Stories fan, you obviously read my piece on going into a glacier in Iceland. At the end of that piece, I left you hanging. The tension and the terror. The ending of a blog that has had you waking up in sweats.
“When will he tell us what happened?!” - I hear you cry.
Well, I am going to tell you right……now.
So, we last spoke about having rum at the back of a bus with an American mother / grand mother combination. The journey back was hilarious and so much fun. I can’t remember the last time I went that long without swearing. The two kiwis and I managed to trick the ladies into thinking that we are 3 upstanding lovely gentleman.
We were recommended a place to eat by the ladies. A Taco Bar. Absolutely perfect. We hopped off the bus, quite tipsy at this point, and headed back to our hostel in the freezing cold Iceland night. We polished off the rest of the rum and headed to downtown Reykjavik. Downtown Reykjavik consists of two streets. It is a lovely little city. What it lacks in size, it makes up in weirdness.
We were staying in Reykjavik City Hostel which was a 30 minute walk to the hustle and bustle of downtown Reykjavik. It is a very pleasant walk. It is a lovely stroll along the sea with a stunning mountain range in the distance.
We arrived at the Taco Bar and were greeted by the lovely staff. I wish I could tell you what I ordered but……see rum intake above. However, it was glorious. If you are going to go, we had three different types of Taco. Fantastic. Fish, meat & veg. Glorious food.
The staff were great fun and they brought us to another bar where they knew the staff. The bar was closed but there was a lock in. Great fun. The lock in consisted of singalongs and drinking games. It was a tremendous amount of fun. What songs did we sing? Oh, I’m glad you asked.
We opened with an emotional rendition of “You Say It Best” by Ronan Keating, before moving on to “With Or Without You” by U2. I know, a stunningly emotional beginning. It continued in that vein until we finished with “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. Not to be dramatic, but there were Icelandic tears all over the dance floor.
I don’t know how to say “OK Lads, you are taking the piss now. Get out” in Icelandic but that is what I sensed the owner of the bar was saying towards the end of the night. Thankfully and oddly for a city of its size, bars stay open very late. We moved on to the next venue, Kiki’s. A gay bar. Gay bars are always a large amount of fun. We danced the night away with our Icelandic friends.
Now, this is where things got weird.
The night was coming to a close, so we popped outside for a cigarette and to discuss how sweet our dance moves were. At this point, there are 4 of us. Andy, Mike, THOR (not his actual name but if you have heard or seen Icelandic names…..they are impossible to spell or pronounce) and myself. We were all just chatting away and throwing compliments to each other.
“Your robot is on point, bro”
An Icelandic couple join us. Ask us why are we in Iceland before explaining how much they hate Iceland. This seems to be a common theme for Icelandic millennials. They all appear extremely disillusioned and frustrated. They are all incredibly friendly but they do not appear to be that patriotic. You will hear more when you subscribe to my podcast series and listen to the upcoming #ICELANDSPECIAL.
Anyway, so our robot dance was incredible. I am chatting to the male of the couple that just joined us. I am probably explaining how good at dancing I am. I look over his shoulder and I see his girlfriend kissing THOR.
I panic. I don’t want to be apart of some Icelandic war. I, then, begin asking our Icelandic male any question that I can think of to keep him distracted. Unfortunately, THOR and our new friend’s girlfriend were in no mood to slow down. The boyfriend then turns around and sees what is happening. But just shakes his head and rolls his eyes, before resuming conversation with me.
I am unable to continue the conversation as I am stunned at his reaction. I have to ask.
“Are you cool with that?”
“Yeah man. She is my girlfriend, not my property. I respect her more than that”.
I am struggling to make conversation as I am quite puzzled as to what is going on. An open relationship, I guess. I start chatting to Mike to explain what was happening.
Then, over Mike’s shoulder.
I see the male of the relationship grab Andy’s face and give him a huge kiss.
What the hell is happening?
Andy is less enthusiastic than the female who was on the end of THOR’s hammer, but Andy in good spirit, awkwardly laughed it off.
At this point, I haven’t said anything in about ten minutes and for people who know me, that is a long time. I am very confused.
We are still outside the gay bar and an American girl B-lines from the crowd straight to Mike.
“I saw you inside, and I have to say. You are so hot”, she says to Mike.
Wahey! Mike has pulled. Mike and the American begin making small talk. I continue to talk with more Icelandics. Mike asks our American chummette what brings her to Iceland.
“Oh, my husband works here. But doesn’t really work near Reykjavik. So we are fine.”
At this moment, Mike and I lock eyes. Mike, like a true gentleman, expressed that hooking up with a married woman is not necessary something that he is comfortable with. Our American got very angry. Quickly followed by sadness. She slumped down outside a doorstep to be consoled by the couple and Thor.
At this point, I feel like I am actually being Punk’d or something. Our American is very very drunk and wants to drive home. I can imagine driving in Iceland is sketchy enough, but in her state. Not recommended.
We all recommended that she get a taxi. There was even an offer that we split the fare for her. She was having none of it and would only listen to Mike. Mike was then left in a bizarre scenario where he is trying to get a married woman in a taxi home, while she is trying to drag him to her car.
Oh, then THOR starts making out with that girlfriend again.
Andy and I cross the road, light a cigarette and just stare at what was unfolding. We do not talk. Just stare.
“Iceland is weird"
It finally all ends. I can’t even remember how. I think I blacked out. Not through alcohol. I was stone sobre at this point. I think I blacked out through awkwardness.
We all strolled home by the sea, chatting and laughing about the events from the night. It is always so trippy to think about the chain of events for such a memorable evening. None of it would have happened if we were not recommended to go to the Taco bar by the Americans.
Always make conversation when you travel. Who knows where it will lead you!
We climbed into bed at 6.30am with no plans but to sleep. Needless to say, we were rather excited about it.
The following day, we ate some great food, went to a penis museum, met some great people & I got hit on by a 60 year old Icelandic bar owner.
Another weird series of events.
But I bloody love you.