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miðvikudagur, apríl 03, 2013

Foreign Reykjavík

Today is a day where I kind of feel like I could be somewhere else than Iceland, so I'm gonna write in English to make the experience more complete. I understand there is all sorts of weather in the world, but often summer comes late here, compared to the rest of the northern hemisphere. Today, though, we have sun and mostly clear skies here, and I am looking at pictures of snow in lots of other places. Reykjavík is a beautiful city today, with people in the streets, walking and biking, and laughing children playing. I went swimming in my favorite pool, Vesturbæjarlaug, and it was so sunny I got freckles on my cheeks, from sitting in the hot-pot, and I even sunbathed just a little bit until the goosebumps took over too much. After I had sunbathed, warmed myself up again in the sauna, gone to the hot-pots and cleaned and dried myself off, I was famished. I decided to go to a supermarket to get a sandwich and juice and eat it somewhere in the parked car. I drove to Grandi, an industrial area right next to the center of Reykjavík, parked besides a fish-factory and ate my shrimp-salad-sandwich with a view over the bay to the other side of Reykjavík. From where I was parked I swear it could have been another city, a foreign one, even a bigger one than Reykjavík is. With the (few) tall buildings (I'm not even gonna try to call them skyscrapers) on the coastline, and the sun, and people in the streets and sandwich in the car, my illusion was complete. It was just a city, like any city, and I immediately felt much better about living here. Its not that I hate Reykjavík, it's just that I know it so well, and it lacks in size and surprises. But once in a while you get the illusion that there is actually a lot of things going on. Like now. Lots of tourists taking pictures everywhere. Of course it is a good looking place and I think people who know Reykjavík a little less appreciate it a bit more. It might be the same with all places in the world though. Growing up in a place will get you too accustomed to notice the magic and charm it has to offer, but when you catch a glimpse of it you understand. Tourist season is starting in Reykjavík,and when that happens you know winter is almost over. That means better weather, more variety of things to do, and look at. More singing and smiling and dancing. More surprises, I guess. More people. More sunshine and ice-cream. I went home after the sandwich and the foreign skyline and I continued a little less exotic, and more mundane things. Clothes in the dryer, answer e-mails, fold clothes, pat the cat, but I still had the "Reykjavík is OK"-feeling with me. I am gonna nurture it, and actually go out on my bike for ice-creams later in the day. Hey, the sun might be gone tomorrow, and then the people disappear from the streets and the kids go back inside to play video-games. You never know in Iceland. I guess the surprises here come with the weather.