Iceland, 25.04.2017, Tuesday, Reykjavik Roasters.
A blond girl at the table and me with both our macbooks. She’s an Online-Nutrition Coach from NY, enjoying to work wherever she can, a few days in Iceland right now, then jetting over to Oslo (“so close and cheap to relocate here, in Europe!”), afterwards a couple o’weeks in Ireland. Nice choice! We’re both tucking in on some fancy sourdough bread and delicious volcano-force (!) coffee. Cosily nestling inside, watching slow rain and quick people drizzle past, some cars tick-tick-tick by, spikes still mounted. To my right the grinding arm of the coffee roaster monster is continuously turning the beans, the sour smell lingering in the room, a stylish-haircut-girl behind the counter, two women in skirts and cool cardigans sticking labels onto freshly sealed coffee bags, the room filled with vinyl tunes and grinding machinery.
When heading down here, I passed that tall, slim basalt-column cathedral up the hill. When stumbling out of the rain and into the airy, clean design of Hallgrímskirkja I was met by sweet tunes in full blast by the morning session of the famous church’s organist. What a treat! So whilst watching Japanese big bunches and Spanish selfie hordes hurrying in and out, I leaned back and soaked in those soaring tunes.
It’s as if I’ve been here for a while already, everything feels so familiar. But I just arrived yesterday. On a glorious flight from Arlanda (Stockholm) to Keflavik (Reykjavik), marvelling at miles of snow-covered mountains and white glacial tongues licking the dark blue sea. When staring out of the window down on that massive island of fire and ice I had some time to dwell on that special encounter on the way to the airport. There was this guy, extremely good looking, btw, whom I already had noticed at the station. His luggage was small, his grin quite broad, his style relaxed. And so was his attitude. On the bus he was sitting behind me, next to a quite handsome other Swedish male and I happened to eavesdrop on their 40 minutes conversation. Well, actually, I HAD to listen. My Swedish is not very brilliant, beware, but I understood that he just got sacked, had his last day of work on friday, got rid of everything, just kept his spotify list and was going to throw away his Swedish Sim card at the airport. He was on his way to San Diego – on a one-way ticket. He needed to get away, got six months in the US, and had determined himself to hike (the entire!) Pacific Crest Trail. Puh! – “I just like friluftsliv a lot” he confided to his seat neighbour, and when he added that he also loved dogs a lot and might want to go and find a place in Canada to work with huskies in autumn, I constrained myself hard to not just swivel around and beg him to take me along. But also a fight of “keep quiet, it’s none of your business, and by the way: you’re much too shy to take up a conversation with two smart guys at the same time” and “I just MUST talk to him” went on in my head, until we had nearly reached the terminal. When he got ready to get out, I finally turned around and addressed the two men. “Sorry to interrupt you – I happened to overhear your conversation, and I just wanted to say: Good luck. What you’re gonna do sounds great, and it’s surely the right thing to do – I think it will be a brilliant experience.” (Ha, always easier to encourage a third party than believe it yourself.) Their astonished faces came to no surprise. When I told them then I didn’t really have a plan nor booked a return flight either, the other guy smiled in disbelief (he was the one with the office job, three kids, a wife and recently acquired house): “Two one-way tickets!”. Yes. – Just wonder, if one day it might be two tickets – one way.