Prostitution in Iceland, Horse Meat, and American Immaturity

Letters from Iceland (Thursday, May 11)

Now that’s how you do building graffiti.

Let’s begin.

First full day here in Reykjavik. We know we have to explore, see the geysers, the Blue Lagoon, drive to the Golden Circle, experience the beauty of a nation that channels Vikings and the Aurora Borealis, but we’re worried about its effect on nap time and Happy Hour here at the hotel. We may do the Golden Circle tomorrow, but only if Melissa stops calling it the “Golden Shower” and saying it reminds her of Trump and Russian hookers. Speaking of, she did ask if prostitution is legal in Iceland.

“Why do you care, honey?”

“Thinking about how I make a living if we move here.”

So, there’s that.

As for the Blue Lagoon, we hear it’s overrated, a tourist trap, smells of rotten eggs, charges for towels, and now Melissa, after reading about in the guidebook, is worried about what its geothermal water will do to her recently chrome-colored hair.

“Maybe I’ll just wear this over my head,” she said, picking up a plastic yellow grocery bag from a place called BONUS.

Clearly the two of us should not be allowed to travel.

We ate at Steikhusid tonight — that’s Steak House for those not as versed in the Icelandic language as I — though neither one of us had steak (or, well, keep reading). I had lamb, because Mother’s Day is on Sunday and my mother made great lamb chops and I saw a picture of her today; Melissa had cod and said, “I like this because it doesn’t taste like fish.”

I’ll have the large horse, please, and a Diet Dr. Pepper.

My dear friend Michael Doane, who was the guiding light behind my keeping a blog, commented today about how lucky I was to be away from the craziness of America at the moment — as he called it being “North of the Fray.” It reminded me of what a magazine editor here in Reykjavík wrote to me a few months ago.

We look at you in America and we frankly don’t understand what you’re doing. Trump, I mean, we don’t know. And everything you argue about — LGBT rights, global warming, choice, national healthcare — is a given here. Those issues are not discussed by anyone because there’s nothing to discuss.

Yeah, but you serve horse.