Social studies

by alda on November 21, 2004

Interesting experience last night. Went to dance mentioned in previous blog. It was held at a community centre out on Seltjarnarnes, which is a tiny municipality adjacent to Reykjavík (which makes up for in affluence what it lacks in size).

Now, here in Iceland one gets the cultural phenomenon known as the ‘country dance’. Basically, (from what I gather) a country dance entails people in rural areas (isolated, starved for entertainment) congregating at a community dance hall and getting pissed out of their (small Icelandic) tree through spiking their (permitted) coca-cola with their (illicit) Black Death*. After which they would stumble out of the place, drunk and disorderly, fighting and/or puking and/or fornicating – sometimes all three at once.

Strange as it may seem, the Icelandic populace generally speaks of this phenomenon with a great deal of nostalgia and affection. And so it was last night. Although the community centre we were in was very much in the midst of the Greater Reykjavík Metropolis (please humour me…) people kept saying with dazed, happy looks in their eyes that this was just like a country dance.

Indeed. There was a lot of drunken Icelandicness, to be sure. Lots of maudlin weeping and inebriated rambling, people falling down, people falling on you, people falling on you and kissing you, boorish men who stepped on your toes and almost knocked you over without so much as uttering an apology. A study in the non-social graces, really.

YT was bemused and more than a little glad to have been spared this phenomenon in her upbringing. Phew.

FLOP OF THE DAY

The Beach Boys. They’re giving a concert in Reykjavík this evening and the promoters have been desperately trying to flog the tickets, selling them off 2 for 1.

Hard luck, but there’s something they should have thought about before they came: Icelanders are like overfed beasts when it comes to international pop stars. After all, there are only so many Big Stars that a population of 290,000 punters can take. Just this year we’ve been subjected to Lou Reed, 50 Cent, Pink, Korn, Marianne Faithfull, Metallica, James Brown, Sugababes, Van Morrison, Deep Purple, and a handful of others that I’m most certainly missing. And now they’re set to stage the MTV Europe Music Awards here next year. Help!

WEATHER

Clear skies, slight wind, temps around 1 degrees Celsius. Very nice, in fact. Sunrise 10.17; sunset 16.10.

*Icelandic liquor, aptly-named.

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