Friday, December 12, 2014

10 Things I Learnt About Iceland.

Hello guys! Sorry I know I haven't been blogging for a while. But you see, I was in Iceland feeling cold and stuff. Yeah, cold and ...

Hello guys!

Sorry I know I haven't been blogging for a while. But you see, I was in Iceland feeling cold and stuff.

Yeah, cold and stuff. I'm great at describing places, I know. But to be fair, I'm trying to provide you with the most accurate description of my holiday. And cold was what I was feeling 90% of the time.

It doesn't look it, but feeling cold was possibly the affair which I most actively involved in. I even put my wonderful multi-tasking abilities to work and participated in feeling cold alongside other activities. Like walking, eating, breathing glacier hiking, dog sledding, and snorkeling.
Anyway, I thought that I would just share some of the things that I learnt while I was in Iceland. You know, because underneath my various layers of materialism, superficiality and hedonism lies a giving and generous soul.

Which is an improvement from having the giving and generous soul being hidden under that as well as layers and layers of clothes.

#1 Water that falls from the sky is not necessarily rain.

Sorry guys, but that's the cold hard truth (pun intended). And when the Icelandic skies open, the cold hard truth pours down the form of hailstones and snow. Oh my god, hail stones. I cannot even begin to describe how incredibly cold and painful it is when strong winds whip the hailstones across your face ok. Words have failed me. And that doesn't happen often.
Anyway, I would also like to highlight that not all water which falls from the Icelandic sky is equal. There is rain, and there is also freezing rain. It's a thing. See my HTC said so.
But it's okay. Just know that I am super strong and kickass for being able to withstand hailstones. And also Iceland's worst storm in 10 years. I'm not kidding! Read about it here - The Storm: Don’t Go Out!

#2 There is no McDonald's.

So what I like to do when I go overseas is to check out the menu at McDonald's to see what local specialties they have. Like you know, Singapore's local McSpicy and Double McSpicy.
(Via McDonald's).

Or seasonal favourites like Shaker Fries and the Samurai Burger (omg please come back Samurai burger I love you so very much).

To my immense disappointment, I did not find any McDonald's outlets in Iceland. I was also rather confused because, to my understanding, McDonald's makes you fat. And fat protects you from the cold. And the cold in Iceland is unlike any sort of cold us sunny islanders has ever experienced. It cuts through the air like bitchy remarks on a crappy day. It stings and you can feel your will to live slowly drain from your body. Ugh. The cold. Yucks.
(Via adorepics).

But I digress. Back to McDonald's. I found out from my new Icelandic friend that McDonald's left Iceland after their economy crashed in 2008. Which is sad. I could have potentially gotten a meal of fermented shark McNuggets or a Viking Reindeer Burger.
(Via MBL).

I would like to add that Edwina and I did try the fermented shark meat aka hákarl, and we laughed because we were expecting something very bad. It's not that bad. Seriously. Durians are worse.

#3 There is also no Starbucks.

So, the coffee scene is pretty decent in Reykjavik. They have local coffee chains like Kaffitár, and also cool and hipster joints like The Laundromat Cafe and Reykjavik Roasters. (I appreciate the alliteration).
But no Starbucks. I mean sure, Iceland has snow and real pine trees to make for a white Christmas. But what is Christmas without Starbucks' signature toffee nut latte? Seriously, these Icelanders don't know what they're missing out on.
(Via Complex).

#4 Alcohol is not cheaper than water.

In Prague, I was excited to find that alcohol was cheaper than water. And I naturally assumed that this would be the case for Reykjavik. I don't know why. It must be because Prague sounds very much like Reykjavik.
(Via Quick Meme).

Maybe it's something to do with them having glaciers and other water sources which makes it harder for them to have very expensive water. But it's ok because alcohol there is still slightly cheaper than what it would be in Singapore. And as it turns out, I'm already quite used to paying Singapore prices for alcohol.
And also because its a frivolous necessity, I really don't mind paying for it. Especially when I'm holiday. Anyhow, even if you are a little stingy and miserly, you can always work around this by getting free drinks. Which brings me to my next point.

#5 Icelandic people are very forgiving.

I mistook this quite normal Icelandic guy for a creepy person. Instead of holding it against me, he bought me a drink. Good Icelandic people.

#6 You will be reminded of your childhood.

If you're Chinese, that is. Why? You see, the Icelandic expression for "yeah" is "já", which is pronounced as "yao". So it's not uncommon for Icelanders to go like "yao yao yao yao yao" several times in a short conversation.
(Via Imgur).

You cannot imagine how much self-control I had to exert on my part to not go "摇摇摇, 摇到外婆桥".
(Via YouTube).

#7 Icelandic is impossible.

There is a reason why the souvenir shops produce such magnets. And the reason is that Icelandic is nearly impossible to pronounce. You remember that volcano? Eyjafjallajökull? The one which erupted in 2010 and started ASOS on it's free international shipping policy?
(Via Wikipedia).

Yeah. Eyjafjallajökull. Or, as one of the locals taught me, "Eh, I forgot my yogurt".

#8 The weather is changeable.

So, you may or may not have heard that it's very cold in Iceland and the weather is not so good. Of course, the source where you got this information from could very well be me. But I assure you that I'm an extremely reliable source of information as I never exaggerate. Cross my heart and swear to die. And also, I'd totally kill for these shades that Rita Ora is wearing.

But on a more serious note, the weather in Iceland changes more frequently than Taylor Swift changes her arm candy. There's even a saying.

And you can tell that the saying is legitimate because it's printed on a magnet. But it's true. So as you probably know from reading my previous entry on Iceland, Edwina and I took a flight to the Westman Islands to see Elliðaey, a very good island with just one house on it.

And we were damn worried because there was intermittent rain. And when I say rain, I mean monsoon-like thunderstorms. But it all worked out in the end. There was a 5 minute window for us to take photos of the island.
(Photo by me. #Proud).

Yeah so anyway, Icelandic weather is a fickle bitch. And over the Icelanders have settles on a very comfortable term to describe it - "shitty".

#9 The water smells funny.

So unlike Singapore which has no natural resources whatsoever, Iceland is a mine of geothermal energy from the geysers and hot springs and what-have-you. This results in a boundless supply of hot water all year round. Which is good for me because I love hot showers.
(Via someecards).

Anyway, because the water comes from like, natural sources instead of waste water that has been treated twenty million times over, there is a distinct um, burnt sulphur smell that lingers in the water. It smells like charcoal and overboiled eggs. If you're not as greedy as me, I guess having multiple baths in Iceland is a good way to kill your appetite and lose weight. And also if you venture to their geothermal baths you get to take cool photos of steaming 40°C water in the foreground, and freezing -10°C  snow in the background.
Also I title this photo "The Mad Woman and Her Phones". Or "The Siao Zha Bor and Her Phones". Both are acceptable.

#10 You shower before you enter the pool.

So going to Iceland's naturally heated pools is kind of a big thing in Iceland. I mean, of course it is. Why would you want to freeze in the open when you could be soaking in comfortably warm water?

And the thing about Icelandic pools, is that it's mandatory for you to shower without your swim wear on before entering the pool. And this is done in a public area. Which is okay you know because I'm not voyeuristic so I just mind my own business and shower with reference to this helpful chart.
I don't know what this means ok. But I think it mean that if you don't shower before entering the lagoon, your head, armpits, groin and feet will be cursed with warts forever. So I think it's a good idea to shower. Wouldn't want warts appearing all over your body.

Also, after I came back from the pool, one of the locals asked me, "So what was it like showering naked?" And I felt very clever when I replied...
(Via Imgur).

Okay and now I have come to the end of my post. I am truly sorry for the delay in getting it up (not really la. I was on holiday. But still not so good right?) Anyway, I love Calvin Harris and here is a good song for you to enjoy.

ALSO. I did not realise that ZoukOut will be today and I had like, McDonald's for lunch yesterday. And also cake. WHAT IS LIFE. 

❤ Jac.

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  1. post more re your iceland trip pleaseeee

    1. Hello! Okay please I will try my best to do this (seriously, very sincere and not bluffing).