Craziest party on the planet(?) and first impressions of New York
22.07.2011 - 24.07.2011 15 °C
"Escooort!" - Cried customs officer Selgado
"You don't believe me?" - Said I with contempt in my voice.
The most overly protected border in the western world just became rediculous. Going through border control has never before been a problem for me, I don't look like I'm a terrorist and I'm a very friendly person. But this time I met the most sour idiot that has ever been placed in that power position.
Customs officer Selgado had it against me from the very start. His English was way below par, and mine was far superior. Maybe that was the first reason as to why he decided to make my entry into the United States of America as painful as possible. I couldn't understand him, and I couldn't hear him over all the background noise.
Add to that a completely dry throat after over five hours in the air with basically nothing to drink and an intense craving for a smoke and you get the overall look of a nervous person.
I was lead into a second room for further interrogation, apparently Selgado wasn't happy with my answers to his repeated questions. I really wanted to call him an idiot, but decided that wouldn't help my cause.
After waiting for a couple of minutes I was called up to the desk to talk to a new customs officer, Rowan. This one was a happy fellow, smiling and almost laughing as he was asking me a few questions. He quickly decided that it was rediculous to keep me from entering 'the greatest country on Earth' any longer and quickly stamped my papers and let me on my way.
But really, I owe you guys something more from my Iceland trip. Because, Reykjavik was truly an insane place. I love that town!
Where else can you watch as your 50+ year-old landlady stumbles up to the door at 5am after an insane night of party, drops her keys and looks around to make sure no one's watching. Then picks them up again, opens the door and falls in through it. Picks up the newspaper like nothing happened and stumble on up the stairs.
Where else can you find almost the entire population of a town out on a friday or saturday night?
As soon as I landed at Keflavik airport I felt welcome, the air was fresh and the people were friendly. The girls were cute and the tax free whiskey I bought was delicious.
I was only able to stay at the Reykjavik backpackers for one night, after that they were fully booked. So I moved into a guesthouse with Lea and Jonas, my two new-found friends.
Basically the entire weekend was all about party by night and exploring tiny Reykjavik by day. You can pretty much walk around the town in an afternoon or so. It's small and very cute, with lots of life on every street corner. The people are very friendly and open, and English is hardly a problem for these vikings.
I tried to learn some Icelandic, but it's a sort of difficult language to learn in just one weekend. Though I did get complimented on my pronounciation on more than one occassion.
On the day of departure I walked back to the hostel with all my stuff to see if I could get a bus to the airport. Inga at front desk got extremely nervous when she found out my flight was leaving in about 3 hours and I had missed the last bus. I kept my calm, I've been in way more stressful situations and I know that as long as you stay calm things tend to have a way of working out for you. This time was no exception as another girl, Svava - a friend of the other girl at front desk, had a car and wouldn't say no to some extra cash.
Svava turned out to be a very nice and interesting girl. She'd just come back from a world trip herself so we had lots to talk about in the car over to the airport. I also told her I want to go back to Iceland and check out the rest of the island and the nature. Turns out she loves to hike around the country so we made a deal that she'll be my guide when I return. It's great to be able to make new friends in any situation.
My plane was delayed for about half an hour or so and as I already mentioned I had some minor difficulties going through the border control. So it took me a couple of hours extra before I could start walking in Leif Erikson's footsteps.
But now I am here and the US must look out for the crazy viking from Sweden for about one month as I travel through the continent.
Today the weather is semi-clear in New York which makes for perfect photo opportunities. I need to get ready for another day of exploration and will therefore leave you to go back to your own lives, until next time.
Beppe Karlsson, NYC