Tuesday, January 29, 2008
On The Ground In Reykjavik, Iceland
I've always had an interest in remote, cold, windswept places, and for that reason, I've always been pretty fascinated with Iceland. In 1986, when I took a flight to Paris on Icelandic Air, we had a stopover at Keflavik Airport, situated about 50 km southwest of Iceland´s capital, Reykjavik.
At that time, not many travelers visited Iceland, but today, the country has a booming tourist industry. And that's not surprising since there's so much to do there: volcanic hot springs, amazing landscapes, mountains, drinking with friendly people. I look forward to going back there someday and seeing the country outside of the airport's boundaries.
My visions of Iceland has been shaped by watching Icelandic films, and one of my favorites is Reykjavik 101, which is based on a book of the same name by Hallgrímur Helgasonthe. It's the story of Hlynur, a comically lazy young man who lives with his mom and generally treats the world as a minor obstacle to his own day-to-day pleasure. Hlynur's mom is a lesbian, and her partner, Lola, is a sultry Spanish dance expert who somehow made her way to Iceland to teach. Hlynur ends up falling for Lola, and they have a drunken roll in the hay, but Lola's dedicated to her relationship with the mom.
At the end of the film, it is revealed that Lola is pregnant, and the implication is that it's Hlynur's baby. This realization finally spurs Hlynur to start living an adult-style life instead of sleepwalking through it in a fog like a lazy, petulant teenager who sees no future for himself or the world.