I’m back from Brussels after a whirlwind trip to European Union HQ. It was four days in total, of which two went exclusively for travel, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Mind you, I had zero expectations at the outset — I’ve done these sorts of official trips before and they were generally filled with excruciatingly dull and mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations in which everyone in the room struggled to stay awake and couldn’t wait for it to be over. And although we had some of that this time around as well, what impressed me most about this trip was the amount of enthusiasm and passion of many of the people we met. I expected a legion of stuffy bureaucrats, but found a collection of individuals who were very unique, intelligent, well informed, and committed to their work and the ideology of the EU.
I was in a group of 11 media people from Iceland, most of whom I had never met, so an additional bonus was the chance to meet with them and compare notes on various things facing the media in Iceland today. That sort of networking doesn’t happen automatically here in Iceland — in fact I think it’s rather rare, so this was really very welcome. Plus the fact that we generally had a blast.
I’ve been up since six this morning [after a mere five hours of sleep, goodtimes] and it’s now midnight in that same time zone, so my brain’s pretty fried and I’ll have to write more about this later. Meanwhile, we have the municipal elections coming up tomorrow [and the Eurovision Song Contest, for which Iceland DOES qualify, much to my surprise] so it’s going to be a big day. The Best Party is still the largest party in Reykjavík, which is both exciting and more than a little scary. I don’t think they have the foggiest idea of how to REALLY play ball in this particular arena, so the fact that they might get elected is, um, slightly worrying. But we shall see.