On days like this, you will often find the above on the doors of shops or businesses in the Reykjavík area. [Except they will be in Icelandic.] That’s right: in Iceland we close due to weather when the sun is shining and the temps are high and everybody peels off their [outer] clothing and heads outside to make the most of those few days of superexcellent weather we get per year.
YT was no exception. Having made a sincere effort at nailing my butt to the office chair this morning I threw in the towel at lunchtime and closed up shop, only to open a satellite office by the side of the Laugardalslaug pool a couple of hours later. There I took calls via my mobile while eavesdropping on conversations in the hot pot next to me.* To wit:
MAN WITH ICELANDIC ACCENT: Stick your feet up…
MAN WITH RUSSIAN ACCENT: [Bewildered] Mwhuh?
MWIA: Like this.
[YT, half-snoozing on a sun lounger, opens eyes. Observes Icelandic man leaning faaar back in the hot pot and sticking his feet up out of the water.]
MWIA: [gleefully] You see! When your feet are up you are not too hot.
MWRA: This is geyser water?
MWRA: This is no geyser water?
MWIA: No. Not geyser water. It comes out of the ground, though. Like the water in geysers.
MWIA: We have it in our houses, too.
MWRA: You do??
MWIA: For heating.
MWIA: Very cheap.
Enter German woman
German woman: [to her husband in pot]: Das ist ja zweiundvierzig Grad!
German husband: Echt?
German wife: Ooh, dass ist ja heiss!!
GH: Nee… ist nicht zu heiss…
And so on.
I could hardly bear to leave [after all I do have a tan to maintain] but come 5.15 pm I suddenly remembered I had Things To Do so I went and showered and gotdressedandallthat, and then went to my car. Just as I was pulling out and turned my head to look behind me, WHAT SHOULD I OBSERVE but that the car next to me had the TWO SIDE WINDOWS SMASHED IN!! Naturally I braked hastily and got out of the car to view the damage. And oh! The car had been completely trashed! The dashboard was half ripped out and in the back seat and the trunk-type-thing [it was an old Toyota hatchback] there were piles of Stuff like papers and a spiral notebook and a jacket that had all been strewn hither and thither and were covered with glass. But the Very Creepiest Thing was a screwdriver stuck into the set cushion of the front passenger seat. There it was, just sticking up at a 90-degree angle, like a warning.
I sort of tiptoed around the car, thinking what if it explodes or something, but I was too curious to beat a hasty retreat – although not so curious that I would venture to reach inside and pull anything out, oh nonono. However. I did manage to see the front of one of the sheets of paper that were lying there and what do you think it was? Hmm? Okay, it was: A photocopy of some laws that dealt with a person’s right to privacy.
Veeerryy sicknificant Mr Holmes.
Now if I were a novelist or a short story writer or something I would undoubtedly be able to chew on something like that for days. But! As we all know, I have given up creative writing altogether and now write only blog posts.
I’ve already said it so no need to repeat myself. Highs reached around 18°C in the capital I should think. Meanwhile, the sun appeared punctually at 03.00 this morning and will go down at 23.56 this evening.
* In Iceland, swimming pool hot pots serve the same sort of function as the English pub: a meeting place where people discuss current events, politics, and whatever else moves them.