I had a horrid dream last night. I was standing outside, here in Reykjavík, and looked up into the sky to see a huge jumbo jet taking off. It was flying at a remarkably low altitude, circled twice around, and then crashed to the ground. All I saw was the massive flames and smoke rising up from the scene. My prevailing thought – as it always is when I have dreams of planes crashing – was that I couldn’t believe this was happening.
Does anyone else have dreams like this? I seem to have them remarkably frequently. Well, not every other night or anything, but maybe once every 2-3 months. And I suppose they increase when there are horrifying plane crashes that just seem so close. And they’ve definitely increased post-9/11. It’s always the same thing – the plane can’t get off the ground and crashes, and each time I can’t believe it’s happening.
So imagine my fright today when I heard the loud drone of an airplane engine and I looked out the window to see an Icelandair jet coming in for a landing, VERY CLOSE to where I live – too close for comfort. And not only that but there were two – TWO – helicopters following it.
This was very scary. One, because Icelandair jets don’t normally land at Reykjavík City Airport unless there is something wrong – like if weather conditions at the international airport prevent it. Second, helicopters don’t hover around jets unless there is something VERY wrong. In fact, I always immediately associate helicopters with something serious, because that’s when we hear them here in Iceland: when the Coast Guard sends one out to fetch someone who is seriously ill or injured, or when there has been an accident. Third, because I sometimes dream of things that come true the next day.
I instantly logged on to mbl.is and soon discovered that my anxiety was unwarranted – the Icelandair jet heading for Reykjavík City Airport with two helicopters in two was just bringing home the fricking handball team.
OK, I wasn’t going to blog about this, I’d made a serious promise to myself not to, but – I must. I’m finding all this commotion surrounding this Olympic silver win a bit TOO tedious. First there was the whole Order of the Falcon business being thrust upon the team members the moment they bloody well set foot back in the country, and then there was this whole pomp and circumstance that was set up to welcome them home today. Much as my little nationalistic heart swelled with involuntary pride when they made it to the finals, I now find the whole thing BEYOND embarrassing. I caught a little bit of it live on TV and truly, it was painful. PAIIINNFUL!! They had this stage set up on Arnarhóll and this completely hapless master of ceremonies yelling his head off trying to whip the crowd into a frenzy for each member of the team that walked up onto the stage. He’d shout the first name and the last name, and then yell the first name even louder and before making the crowd yell just the last name … it was as contrived as can be and went on and on, for each member of the team. The team members then went up on the stage looking like they didn’t know what to do with themselves and had to kiss every last official standing there and I swear they had the entire government and Reykjavík city council up there.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that it cost us the Icelandic taxpayers a cool 5 million crowns [USD 60,000 / EUR 41,000] to send the Minister of Culture PLUS HER ENTOURAGE to Bejing TWICE [including her husband who just happens to be a former handball star; including the ministry’s Permanent Secretary and his wife* ]. Because, you know, she had to rush back over there for the finals, and so did her husband, and so did the permanent secretary. It wasn’t enough that they’d already been once, or to have our president and Dorrit over there, we had to have a few more VIPs waving flags. Folks, this is what you call corruption and squandering of public funds and yes, we have it in Iceland, despite our whitewashed outward appearance.
In any other civilized country she’d have to resign. Not so here in Iceland, where our politicians get away with murder [practically] and nobody cares.
It’s outrageous I tell you. Bah.
DO WE CARE ABOUT THE WEATHER?
No because we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. Showers today. Occasional sunny spells. Mild. Right now 9°C [48F], sunrise was at 5:56 am, sunset at 9:00 pm.
* ok – to be fair, the wife only travelled to Bejing once. [ONLY]