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Monday, October 10, 2011

Occupying the World

I was being quite literal by the way at the conclusion of the last post when I said that the Occupy Wall Street protests had reverberated even to the primarily desolate stretch of Iceland where we were….either in or outside the village of Grindavik, Iceland somewhere, I'm not really sure. I was reading an English language alternative-type newspaper from Reykjavik over breakfast (regarding the big Iceland Airwaves music festival taking place there this week, featuring artists such as Björk [naturally], Sinead O'Connor, and Connecticut native and personal favorite tUnE-yArDs), that was available in the motel; and indeed, there was one article entirely devoted to the protests, and another which referenced them with respect to dissent which broke out in Iceland over the bank crisis there a few years ago.

We had dinner at the motel, called Northern Lights, on Saturday night, and, quite abruptly, all of the other diners got up and went stampeding outside the front door! “What’s going on,” this startled visitor from Queens asked the staff, which stood unmoved by the commotion. “It’s the northern lights!” So out we went, and indeed, there was an eerie illumination overhead. I was skeptical though; seemed to me it was merely an illusion created by the bright lights from the nearby geothermal power plant (from which the Blue Lagoon was spawned) against the clouds. So, there I went again, talking about something about which I know absolutely nothing! However, the second time that everyone went racing out (apparently, the night desk clerk keeps a vigilant watch for such an event), there was no doubt about the rays of light stretching across the sky. It was quite a sight to behold, even though it seemed like an average event compared to pictures of the phenomenon that we see.

Iceland is crazy, man….imagine a country with a total population of just over 300,000! That represents a mere corner of a corner of a corner of a city like New York!

That's not ice, by the way, but rather the silica deposits from the water that powers the power plant. In fact, it doesn't actually snow all that much during the winter, and the average temperature during that time is actually warmer than in Toronto or even New York,

Back to Stockholm. We stayed near an area referred to as “Sofo.” Not sure how exactly it’s derived, but I’m sure that the reference to our own Soho is intended in terms of the hipness factor. Reminded us more though of least the Williamsburg of a few years ago before the hideous high rises on the waterfront started to transform the neighborhood. Besides the ample references to American culture, there were political ones too....saw a flyer regarding Occupy Wall Street, and one that read "We are all Troy Davis today."

A few more from around town.

And I thought you might appreciate this one….a store specializing in riding paraphernalia. It means ‘horse bit.’ I think.

And ah….Paree, Paree, where it all started, seemingly ages ago! And where, we watched a French language report on the Occupy Wall Street protests on TV in our room at the wonderful Hotel St. Jacques.

And now, hélas, we are back. In Queens. Oh man...

Next up...we return to our regularly scheduled programming. Thanks for the indulgence. Until next time, au revior.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the seat on your European was a nice ride - all without going through Customs !