Monday, July 6, 2009

Iceland has Michael Jackson fever.

In the USA I would never, let me emphasize, E-V-E-R be caught riding around in a pink and purple bicycle. Here, I am a different person. I look at the +$4.50 gas prices, smell the clean air, admire the hot europeans whizzing through town on their bikes, and hop on and ride until my hamstrings are pleading for mercy. I even have a cool lock and helmet, you guess which one I use. So, slowly I am learning the traffic rules, I am dodging less and less traffic with every practice ride, and I’m hopeful by the end of the week I wont look like a lunatic holding on for dear life!

My amazing boss gave me a month’s membership to FITNESS MECCA! Well really the name of the gym is, Laugar ( This is the nicest gym I have ever seen! You could totally walk in wearing a bag and come out, worked out, steamed up, massaged, exfoliated, waxed, hair cut/colored, nails done, make up applied, and ready for a red carpet event! This place has everything! You even have to enter using an eyeball scanner! Alright, maybe I am easy to impress (or I have just belonged to the crappiest gyms in the US) but I actually look forward to the gym now. But I must admit, my desire to work out for 3 hours every morning is also influenced by the sexy Scandinavian men sweating half naked with free weights in their hands rather than the 10 beers and detestable amount of alcohol pumping through their system as I saw them the night before crammed into B5!

Sigga and I have also enjoyed dinner at Sj√°varkjallarinn (translated to “Seafood Cellar”). From the first sip of our hilariously named cocktail “pornstar delight” (which made us giggle like 15 year olds) to the 7 course “exotic menu” meal which began with raw zebra and included Icelandic lobster and lamb (among other delicacies), to the extravagant dessert (which turned our table into a cloud); we enjoyed every bite!

This week I also had one of the most fun nights I have had all year! Being that I only know a few people in this country, Sigga’s co-worker invited me to crash ‘guy's night’ with him and his friends. I am no fool and I know that when you are the only female invited out on guy's night, you better be well rested and ready to have a great time! The night spun into a hilarious commemoration to Michael Jackson with sing-alongs and dance moves from the pre-party, club, and to after hours Icelandic pizza rendition. I even met some traveling Americans and we toasted proudly (and obnoxiously) to the 4th of July (over and over again.) The dancing, toasting, shoving, laughing, and flirting is of much more value than the way I feel the day after!

I’ve never been without friends and family celebrating the 4th of July. Independence day has always been arguably my favorite holiday. No pressure of gift exchanging. No cold weather. Just being with loved ones, hot dogs, and fireworks offers a sweet satisfaction. Here I have found comfort toasting to Independence day with fellow wandering Americans. In any normal bar in the States, I would have not been so friendly and inviting to random Tommy Hilfiger-wearing white guys, but when you are abroad there is something to be said about meeting a fellow American and the bond shared, especially on a national holiday.

In conclusion, obviously I am doing wonderfully here. Adjusting well. I am no longer jet lagged, and more importantly no longer hung up on situations out of my control in the States. This summer is a lesson about fate. Last summer I wouldn’t have dreamt (in my wildest dreams) that I would be spending a summer abroad in over 3 countries. Now I am gladly accepting that I have very little control over my life. No one really does. No matter how hard you try to make things work out in one manner, or persuade people to think the way you do, you’ll be a winner at a losing game. So I've decided to just sit back, shut up, love earnestly, appreciate the beauty surrounding me, and “expect nothing, live frugally on surprise” (Alice Walker).

Love and miss you all....




  1. Hi Cassie

    Interesting tale indeed and you have a knack of writing in the most endearing way. Would be interested in using some of your stuff for a local Icelandic web. Fire back if you would consider this.


  2. Albert,
    I would love to hear your ideas. Email me at