Today I took my life in my hands and ventured out into Reykjavík traffic. Man! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Icelandic drivers are the scariest in the Whole Wide World.
I drove to visit my friend L. up in Mosfellsbær [let’s call it a suburb of Reykjavík, even though it’s its own municipality; incidentally if you click on the link – how is it possible for one page to have so many typos?]… so anyway I drove to visit my friend L. up in Mosfellsbær because it was a beautiful day and my butt just would not stay put on the office chair. We went for an idyllic walk complete with warm sunshine, rolling hillsides and a dog, and got caught up on the recent developments in each others’ lives.
After a leisurely lunch with L. and her hubby I headed back into the Mad Metropolis that is Reykjavík and Cripes! Every damn speed addict was out on the road, whizzing past and weaving in and out of traffic like there was no tomorrow, totally irrespective of the speed limit, doing 120 in an 80 zone: SUVs, Mini Coopers, rattling old Subarus… the number of times I got cut off on the way back home was more than I care to count. It’s a damn good thing I’m a sensible type and not prone to road rage, otherwise we could easily have had a situation on our hands.
SHOCKING FACTOIDS ABOUT ICELANDERS AND THEIR CARS:
Did you know that Iceland has the highest rate of car ownership in Europe? Officially that’s 620 cars for every 1,000 inhabitants, which supposedly is similar to what it is in the US. Meanwhile, the average distance the average Reykjavík resident has to walk [for what was unspecified] is 3.2 kilometres; whereas the average distance the average Copenhagen resident has to walk is 11 km. and the average distance for Stockholm residents is 17 km.
Meanwhile, we probably pay more for gas than even mainland Europeans [currently it’s around ISK 114 per litre, which is USD 1.84 / GBP 1.05 / EUR 1.56]. And it’s not like everyone’s driving a compact either: the latest trend is the mass import of these huge American pick-ups because for some totally illogical reason, the Icelandic government allows imports of those as industrial machines, meaning people don’t have to pay regular customs rates as they would for regular cars. And what with the US dollar being at an all-time low against the Króna, some fools consider this a really cool deal. Not that they’re picking anything up in them [except perhaps some ditzy broads who actually consider a phallic symbol of that caliber attractive]. Somewhat hilariously, some of them are so heavy that you have to have a special class licence to drive the monsters, which reportedly a lot of the punters didn’t factor in. So their brand-new monstrosities are sitting unused in their driveways because they’re not allowed to drive them. D’oh!
The sun didn’t last and now we have rain out there in the dark. Fairly gentle, though. Not much wind. And as we know, when there’ s no wind, the weather is fine. Showers are forecast through the night, temps are 7°C and sunrise was at 07.42, sunset due for 18.46.