Tokyo Damage Report

norway 2

this trip. . . . it is dildos. page 2

 

MONDAY
no time to go to the hospital for my finger, because I have to wake up at 6:00 AM for another tour group. They have this neat rule where , if I overslept or went to the hospital, I would have to pay the ludicrously expensive fee anyway. Naturally my watch alarm does not work!
despite jetlag, I woke up in time. . . that was probably the last good thing that would happen today.

for starters, I was told at the front desk that  the 3-day stay that I had booked was in fact a ONE day stay, meaning that my tiny 22 dollar a night room was actually 3 times as expensive but not in fact 3 times larger.  luckily they have room for me to stay tonight, because I would not have had time to pack all my stuff and still make the plane.

as for the rest of the trip, let me quote from their travel brochure, because it is very persuasive:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

ICELAND GLACIER TOURS! ONLY HALF THE PRICE OF AN ACTUAL GLACIER, WITH NONE OF THE MESS!

We are advertising this as an “airborne sight-seeing tour.”  and sure enough, you will enjoy our view of the plane’s engine, out your window.  there is another seat with a clear view of the beautiful mountains, but the crew decided to put a big cardboard box in that seat.
from the plane, you will transfer to a bus. the bus driver shakes your hand, with the sprained finger.  the bus driver assumes you are uninjured and squeezes with Viking hardiness, causing you to squeal like a girl. he never looks at you the same again.

on our fine bus with 4-wheel drive, you will pass 19 amazing views en route to the glacier, each one more picturesque than the last — mountains, green valleys, breathtaking sheer cliffs and canyons, cute sheep and horses. the bus will stop at exactly none of these. instead the bus will take you on a 2 hour ride to a glacier that looks like NOTHING. people think that glaciers are fun to look at because they are full of falling icebergs and magnificent cracks, huge cliffs of ice, etc. but that is just the END of the glacier. the other 99 percent is a flat, featureless river of ice that looks basically like a regular snowy mountain.   plus up here you can see the scenic Icelandic fog!  so it is white and featureless 360 degrees in every direction.

here’s the front of the glacier, where we didn’t stop:

and here’s what the actual glacier looked like:

the only visible feature of the glacier;

 

. . . and the view out the skilodge window:

from the edge of the glacier, we will mount the snowmobiles, which our guides (with Australian casualness-in-the-face-of-extreme-danger) refer to as "scooters."  you will try to ride a scooter but publicly humiliate yourself in front of the whole tour group when your sprained right hand makes you unable to steer, and you plow into the same snowbank like 3 times in a row. you wind up in the comfortable "girl seat" behind our handsome Nordic glacier guide!  like a lady you instantly fall in love and wrap your arms round his solid form.

after a record-breakingly dry Icelandic summer (only 4 days of rain in 6 weeks) it finally rains!  witness the rejoicing of the grateful Icelandic people at this triumph over the specter of global warming.  or imagine witnessing it because actually from now on you won’t be able to see anything through the thick soggy rain.

thence, another hour’s ride brings us to a stretch of coast full of icebergs! they are really quite wonderful, ranging from small and cute to over 40 feet wide!  there is a boat that takes people out into their midst.  you again disgrace yourself by arriving one whole minute late for the boat and everyone had to wait for you.  your fellow passengers, who have been studiously ignoring you the whole time, finally talk to you but it is not to say hello.  the reason you are late is you actually found someone – NOT part of the tour group – who was actually friendly, and you sort of lost track of time.

this mother looks like a straight-up cathedral!!


the icebergs make this SOUND. nobody thinks of them as being loud, and they are not. but their sound is really wonderful, peaceful and hypnotic, sort of a insectile ticking of melting ice cracking microscopically.

 

I go pee at the iceberg restaurant bathroom ? the urinal cakes have a mascot printed on them: an ant. AN ANT.

Is this imported from Japan???


after that, it is a scenic 40 minute wait at the airport. your fellow tour members turn out to be dna researchers.  as if they did not already hate you for being a big girl who can’t ride a snowmobile and is late for the boat, you again disgrace yourself by asking if they are working for DECODE , the famous dna company that got permission to sample the dna of all Icelanders.  it turns out decode is their chief competitor.  the conversation quickly dies of freezing.

here’s some pictures taken out the window of the non-stopping bus:

as we passed all the awesome sights without stopping,I imagined the following conversation:

guy 1: dood, fuck a tour bus!  we need us some horses and some mead. a. . . all piled in mad bear skins, just sweaty-swaddled, all watching scenery glide by slowly cloppity clop style.
hell yeah! all with no backpacks, a goat to carry all our shit.  barbeque sauce, samiches, some FON-due, mad trail mix, tents, swords, and a big-ass generator with bass speakers.

guy 2: word! all woofers in place of saddlebags, bass echoing through the valley.

guy 1: fuuuck yeah! all grim frosty metal in the valley mix.

guy 2: naw I disagree dogg.  the mood of nature is already black metal. it is easy to see!  so that kind of music would just be patronizing. like a director who uses a diminished orchestra hit every time  the villain appears on screen.
so what would YOU play_

guy 1: james brown kid! picture like "you got to have a mother for me" echoing off the valley walls.

guy 2: ho shit!  look at this waterfall!  dude, lets do this !! stop here, let the trusty steeds get their graze on, break out the bar-b-q and turn the goat up to 10.

guy 1: awesome!!!


you would think that would be enough adventure (i.e. fuckups) for one day, but check this out —
I take very first taxi from the wreck.a-vic airport back to the tourist info center to try to rent a car.  I get there exactly one minute after it closed! then, as both my camera and ipod are out of charge, I get another taxi to take me to a hardware store to get a European-style adapter for my American plugs. the taxi ride costs 20 bucks. it is also closed.  Iceland is famous for being light 24 hours a day in the summer, so I assumed stores would be open longer hours.  anyway, I have him take me back to the big church that is the center of Reykjavik, because it is close to some veggie restaurants.  however after exiting the cab, I find that I left the map with restaurants back at the  hotel. 

 

instead of a restaurant I go to a supermarket and buy some stuff, where I proceed to pay the clerk with 10 times too much money.  luckily he corrects me but still. In addition to all this, I have diarrhea: we can’t bring liquids on planes so I bought a bunch of dried fruit instead. I know dried prunes make you shit, but it turns out that dried apricots have the same effect.   later I find a bookstore selling electric adapters!  but. . . they work the OTHER WAY.  FOR EUROPEANS TRAVELLING IN THE U.S.A. 

 

in despair I return to my hotel, where they just happen to have a spare adapter handy for free. so I guess there were 2 good things today, at the beginning and end.

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