Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beware of Icelandic roadside horses

This is going to sound somewhat dumb, but sometimes I forget we live on a planet. I mean, who, apart from people working at NASA and planetariums, actually include Earth in their everyday thoughts? Err, let's see, milk, bread, do I look fat in this and ah, planet Earth? I don't think so.

Iceland made me remember why living on Earth is so amazing. Yes, life form is pretty cool but the Northern Lights, the Blue Lagoon, Geysirs? Fucking incredible. I'd forgotten what it was like to step outside to air that felt heavy with purity. It was so still there, so quiet. But don't let me lead you astray, Rekyiavik was far from paradise you might think. It had the dullness of the granite buildings of Aberdeen, the leftover depressing eastern block houses of Slovakia and the feeling of a black sheep nation from the rest of their luxurious Nordic neighbours. As soon as you went out into the country, it was like you were on another planet. There were no trees, no soil, only mounds of lava covered in moss. It was something else.

Amazingly, on the way to the hostel from the airport, on what was probably one of the longest bus rides of my life, we saw the Northern Lights. As I glanced out of the window, I noticed a green haze streaked across the sky. It wasn't what I was expecting, nor where I was expecting to see it, but it was wonderful nonetheless. And I guess the unexpectedness of it made it all the more special. We saw them again, a couple of nights later, on a planned tour that we booked in the hope of seeing them so late in the season. After waiting in the cold for about four hours and using up all the waiting games we could think of including 'what else could we be doing now', they finally appeared. There we were, two girls from Adelaide, standing in a valley where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet, looking at the most incredible dance of charged particles underneath a magnetic white haze. God, it's so hard to explain, but they appeared out of nowhere and literally moved across the sky. And then, almost as soon as they appeared, they were gone. The more I think about it, the more amazing it seems.

So on our nature day of waterfalls and Geysirs, I got bitten by an Icelandic horse. If only I could describe one properly to do the stupidly of this event justice. Ok, I've got it, they're like a bigger Shetland with a mullet. At the time, I was totally being at one with nature. I was even feeding the fucker properly. The one I started feeding first was totally digging me, we were bonding and it was even licking my fingers lovingly. Then the other manky one butted in, knocked my other bread roll and just as I thought I was getting more horse licking action, it bit me. Hard. Who gets bitten twice out of the two times they've been around a horse? And by a stupid one with a mullet? Me.

The Blue Lagoon was something else. If there ever was going to be a waiting place for Heaven, this would be it. It was smaller than I expected and the blueness of the algae gave the water a slight toxic look. But to swim in Cocoon-like, 30 degree, blue thermal water while the icy wind of the north pole is slashing your face was pretty freakin' cool. The Lagoon water was so clouded that I could only see my hands when they were just about to surface. By the sides of the Lagoon were wooden slits holding some kind of natural face mask that had the consistency of cottage cheese. It dried hard on your face and it was quite comical to see people wading around with these tribal like white faces. Because we liked it so much and also because we'd run out of things to do, we went a second time on the way to the airport. That day there was an incredible amount of fog over the water, so much so, Vic and I could have been the only ones there. The only thing ruining our toxic rebirth were the stupid Brits abroad with their lack of volume control thinking everyone wanted know where Dave was. Luckily he was in the really hot bit.

So, I'll wrap this up as it's pretty long, but it was such an interesting place. While I'll probably never go there again, I'm so glad I went.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Korean kareoke

Luke and I had the most random and fun night on Friday. We were out in Soho and decided to go and get something to eat. By chance, we stopped outside a Korean restaurant. They people told us it was full but they'd be a table ready in 10 minutes. So we followed this guy up three flights of stairs to a small room above the second floor of the restaurant. In there was a skeleton of a large grill, a massive TV on the wall, tambourines on the table and two microphones with shower cap tops on them. The dude asked us if we wanted to watch TV, but we asked if we could sing kareoke instead. So we did. The guy even turned on the disco lights on for us. So while we waited for our table, we sang. No era was left unturned as we used probably the biggest remote in the world to badly belt our way through The Beatles, Queen and Bon Jovi. We actually had to send them away twice so we could finish our songs. It was so random, and so fun. And the food was excellent too. Our meals were garnished with the most amazingly sculptured exotic birds carved out of radishes. We even got these miniature paper towels that when poured with boiling water, turned into large hand wipes.

Now I am off to buy my second set of sheets. It's official. I am going to go flat sheetless every couple of weeks. I figure it's a good compromise. I can have an old school set and then one 'edgy' set. Wooooooooooooo.